Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Rant About Scrapbooking--skip if you're squeamish

Evan was "sick" today, so I let him stay home from church which meant I got a bonus 3 hours. (Ooh, that sounds terrible. I love church, it was just kind of fun to have time I hadn't planned on appear suddenly in my day) I ended up spending it finishing the scrapbook pages I started on Friday at my friend's monthly club. I like the idea of scrapbooking, and do lots of mental scrapbooking, but I don't do it enough to call myself a true Scrapbooker, with a capital S.

Today illustrated why. It took me pretty much 3 hours to get about 10 photos done. The pages my pal had designed were spectacular and I had a lot of fun personalizing her original concepts and even got the chance to journal about the fourth of July 2001 (the last one before 9/11), but 3 hours! I have thousands of photos waiting for me. I hear them weeping that their chance will never come when it takes me 3 hours to get 10 pictures taken care of.

I will keep going to club and continue to be inspired by my friend's prodigious talent and comittment. I will even finish my 48 pages. They will be amazing, I'm sure. In the meantime, however, I will continue my particular brand of scrapbooking that gets the photos into albums, with journaling, for everyone to enjoy but there is nary a brad or ribbon to be found. I find a roll of photos, grab one of my discount blank scrapbooks that I pick up from time to time, glue the photos in, journal about the event and usually, I've done 24 or 36 photos in an hour. My inspiration is this: my mom has one album of her mother's--one of those plain old black ones with black pages and black and white photos taken with a little brownie box camera--one or two per page, labeled with the date, the names and the places. It is about 20 pages. That book is a family treasure and is the very definition of simplicity. I love looking through it and even though it is only 20 or 30 photos on plain black paper, it is riveting to me.

I have gotten into digital scrapbooking and can get photos arranged and enhanced really quickly that way, and I like doing it. I like Heritage Makers books, but the Apple and Epson books are cool, too. The first ones I did were on and they got me hooked. Mostly, I like having the photos available for my kids to look at. It is a sweet thing to watch them looking through an album and sometimes I question whether I want them exclaiming over my amazing paper-wrangling skills or actually looking at the pictures.

The bottom line is, I love photos-they are my primary way of telling my family's story, so naturally I think that preserving them is important, I've just had to let myself off the hook. I take hundreds of photos a year and I have to give myself a chance to catch up. I take my hat off to you gals (like my friend who hosts the club) who have albums and albums of amazing, detailed, artistic pages. I love your work and I need you in my life for inspiration! If you need a break, or you're more like me, with lots of good intentions and pictures in boxes, call me up, we'll have some chocolate together, glue some pictures in old-fashioned albums (acid and lignin free of course) and know that our grandchildren will love them.

PS. Sara just finished reading Twilight and loved it. She did not put it down for 4 solid days. Thanks to everyone for turning me onto it. I am saving it for August-post Harry Potter but Pre-seminary. Look for me in the hammock.


  1. I love your ever-morphing style of photo-journaling. I am the same. Sadly, even the digital photobooks are falling behind! I really need to get that done. I say scrapbook EVENTS in small doses, then it's really fun.

  2. Sigh. I too am torn between perfect pages and just getting pages DONE. I started my wedding/honeymoon album 2 years ago and have yet to finish. Then I started an album for my MIL's pictures partly because I wanted copies of my husbands growing up years and partly so she can journal and tell the stories so the photos are safe and backed up on DVD.

    So I hear you! As soon as I get my wedding album done (hopefully before our 5yr anniv!!) I'll be cranking out the digital photobooks and plain paged scrapbooks with the occasional sticker embellishment...

  3. Interesting post, since I just had a discussion with my husband about this last week when I finally decided to "let myself off the hook" of scrapbooking. I was into it for YEARS (like, since junior high) and have finished up through nearly Sheely's first year. But I am done with that now. I am using picaboo and doing a simple digital scrapbook and making an album for each year. Like you, I just take SO MANY PICTURES. The task of scrapbooking them all was so daunting that I wasn't doing anything with them at all - and my kids LOVE to look at the pictures. I do really love to do "trip" scrapbooks though, so I will probably keep some of my supplies for that - making a book of our trip to Disney two years ago was a great way for me to re-live it (plus it has a very distinct beginning and end :)

    So, thanks for this. Glad to know I am not alone :)

  4. I just bought a plain black scrapbook to do just your style of scrapbooking!! I've been on a scrapbooking boycott for a couple of years now (I just couldn't keep up and wanted to let go of the guilt) and I would love to join you for a night of bradless, ribbonless, chocolatey, gluing-in-pictures fun!:)

  5. This is a great post, Kellie! I tried scrapbooking once, after my mission, and I realized very quickly that it would be
    1. expensive
    2. time-consuming
    3. addictive (especially for my personality).
    So I decided then and there I wouldn't touch scrapbooking with a ten foot pole! :) But I do admire the scrapbooks others have made. They are so fun to look at (and I'm sure they were fun to make)!

    So put me in the plain school of scrapbooking, and if I didn't live thousands of miles away from you, I'd love to join you for chocolate and photo gluing!

  6. Found your blog through Segullah. I confess, I'm a scrapbooker. But not every page I make is a work of art. I like being flexible with my scrapbooking. I try and take advantage of the deals and offers on digital photobooks. I have a system that I've organized that keeps me on track.

    I have an additional motivation for really keeping up with things. Ten years ago, my husband and I moved to Sweden with our two children. I wanted to preserve and keep all those experiences alive. So I really jumped in. I was lucky to make friends with a group of women there who met monthly to scrapbook. Fortunately, my most formative years of scrapbooking were where I had the most basic of supplies and tools. While I am enchanted by elaborate techniques and artistic layouts, I recognize that what I do isn't diminished by the simplicity of my style.

    That experience kept me grounded when we moved back to the U.S. 4 years ago.

    I just moved to the middle east and took all my supplies, which have grown greatly, because there just isn't a lot to do here, other than expensive shopping, which I loathe. I'm looking forward to having some fun creating.

    In the end, I think scrapbooking shouldn't only about all the cool artsy things to do. If that's what you want to do, fine. But that shouldn't diminish one's appreciation or utilization of a simple scrapbook with little bling!

    Your photo is pretty though. Loved the pages.


Thank you for sharing your insights!