Saturday, August 9, 2014

Set it free, baby!

Hello scrappy friends!  Today is my BIG DAY in this amazing blog series:

I started scrapbooking in 1998 and back in the old days, the scrapbook police were pretty heavy handed.  Rules were everywhere and while no wrists were ever actually slapped, the threat was palpable.   

Things have definitely calmed down, but there still an underlying sense of “shoulds” that exist.  And they’re good guidelines, I suppose, but I’m here to say: This is a hobby, and you SHOULD do what makes you happy.  For me, that’s the only hard and fast “should” to live by.

Like so many of us, I got started when I had young children.  I had shoeboxes of photos and 2 children with a third on the way.  I saw a friend’s scrapbook and knew instantly that I wanted in!  I followed the rules vigilantly for a long time.  Everything was acid free.  I’m not even sure I know what lignin is anymore, but I know there isn’t any of that bad stuff in my earliest albums! I set out to record our history and document their every stage in their growing up years.

But something happened along the way: I started scrapping more for me than for them.

HUH?  Yup. I now scrapbook for me.  Because somewhere along the way I decided that I really enjoyed the process of scrapbooking.  I felt it was my responsibility to document those formative years, those things that they might forget otherwise.  But they’re older now.  Capable of keeping a journal, a blog, or *gasp* their very own scrapbooks.  Now that they’re older, I feel free to  do things differently:

I scrapbook the stories that I want to tell, and I don’t feel obligated to document every occasion.  For example: I rarely even take pictures on Christmas morning.  The scrapbooker in me says that I should, but I’d rather live that time uninterrupted. 

We're off to a great start, right?
Bear with gets better.

 I embrace my sense of humor, and while I try to keep it PG-13 (ish), I don’t edit myself too much. I want my personality to show, more than I want the world to think I’m perfect.

Sometimes I scrapbook the cruddy things in life. I don’t scrapbook every cruddy thing, mind you, but if I feel like I want or need to, I don’t shy away from it.  That said, I don’t always display these layouts.  More often than not, these layouts get slid between others in the page protectors.  For me, the creation of the layout is therapeutic, but I don’t necessarily want to revisit it.  Of course, not all cruddy things are so serious that you can’t have a little fun with it:

I use the products that *I* want to use.  There are some trends that I can’t wait to jump into, and others I’m happy to wave at as they pass by.    Also, if a page about my Mr. ends up with a little pink on it, well, so be it.

 I scrapbook about me, and I do so unapologetically.  Guess what? I matter, too!  And if there’s one thing I hope everyone reading takes away, it’s this point: YOU belong in your albums, too.  (Feel free to check out the explanation on this layout to get the full version of this philosophy)  If you’re used to scrapbooking about your family, this may feel awkward at first, but you probably wouldn’t hesitate to make a page about your children or your spouse…so why not you??

And if you're uncomfortable with this, think of it as gift to those you leave behind.  Image the period after you go, and your children or spouse or friends or siblings going through your albums.  Imagine how much those layouts about you will mean to them.  All those people you love and scrapbook about?? They love you, too.  

So that's my thinking.  I'd be lying if I said I don't take my family into consideration when I scrap.  I do.  But I do it for me.  This isn't a burden, it's a hobby, my therapy, my happy place.

Want some more scrapbook liberation??  Be sure to visit the other stops on the "Set Your Scrapbooking Free" express!

August 4 - Paige Evans
A Scrapbooking page SHOULD always have a story and lots of journaling

August 5 - Ashli Oliver
Scrapbook pages SHOULD be fast and simple to just get them done
August 6 - Jen Gallacher
Scrapbook pages SHOULD look perfect
August 7 - Melissa Shanhun
Digital scrapbook pages should look as much like a paper page as possible 
August 8 - Ashley Calder
Scrapbooking SHOULD be done *this* way  
August 9 - Caroline Davis
A Scrapbooker SHOULD scrapbook FOR her family
August 10 - Lisa Harris
Scrapbooking SHOULD be a legacy for the scrapbooker's family
August 11 - Connie Hanks
A scrapbooker SHOULD follow the trends and be aware of what others think of her pages
A Scrapbooker SHOULD scrapbook chronologically
August 13 - Nancy Gaines
Scrapbooking SHOULD be 12x12 traditional paper pages
August 14 - Cara Vincens
A scrapbooker SHOULD always be caught up

♥♥♥   ♥♥    ♥♥♥    ♥♥    ♥♥♥

You know what those hearts mean.  Time to talk about my daughter again! 

This is Maggie, her younger sister Molly and I after Maggie's graduation in 2012.  She's getting ready to head into her junior year at RIT (the Rochester Institute of Technology) where she's pursuing a BFA in industrial design.  

Maggie is laser focused on her goals.  She earned a $25,000 annual scholarship, has student loans and a grant to cover the massive $45,000 tuition.  She earned straight A's last year and worked two jobs on campus.  This summer she's been working full time to earn money to cover her gas and food.  She found an apartment off campus with some roommates to shave $3000 off the costs.  

But there's one tiny detail.  Maggie needs a new computer.  The work that she does is all on the Adobe Creative Suite - InDesign, Illustrator, PhotoShop, etc.  The computer she has now chokes on Word, let alone even PhotoShop Elements.  And here's the hitch: Mom (me) has had a rough year financially.  I'll let you poke around the blog for the story, it's all there.  And unfortunately I just can't make a new computer happen for her.  

So I'm asking you to consider donating a couple dollars to a GoFundMe account that I set up.  Under better circumstances, I wouldn't dream of asking for help.  But I am not in better circumstances.  And I hate that my situation might affect any of my children, much less the one who's at that critical moment in her life.  It's this education and her passion that will prevent her from ever being where I am now.    

"Many hands make light work."  (John Heywood)

Please consider.

Thank you!

And thank you for stopping by!  I hope you'll visit again soon, and feel free to check out my newly created YouTube channel.


  1. Great post, I'm really enjoying this series :)

  2. This is such a fantastic post! LOVE it :D

  3. Your sense of humour shines for SURE! :) Gorgeous pages and great reminder!