Sickness, Scrapping, and Thinking. Oh My!

This has been a challenging week in many ways for me. My little guy, Junior Burger, has been fighting his first bout of the “crud.” So, he’s not sleeping well and has been needing lots of extra cuddles and TLC. Thankfully he seems to be on the recovery side of things now and his outlook has improved dramatically. Yay!

The other challenge that I have been dealing with has been in relation to “the seamy underbelly” of the scrapping world. Scrapbboking has certainly changed since I started my hiatus back in 2003.

Maybe I was oblivious, but there seems to be more emphasis on the scrapbook “celebrity” now. Layouts need to have a certain “look” to avoid sharp criticism if they are published or displayed online. Many of the online communities have become quite mean. There seems to be a very real “us vs. them” thing going on here. The crafty scrapper vs. the simple scrapper, the kid page scrappers vs. the edgy scrapper.

It feels like for many, instead of enjoying their hobby there is a real need to scrap a certain way, be that like the LOs online, in magazines, or the way their fave celebrity scraps. Scrapping has become more about competition and the pursuit of perfection than about relaxing and recording memories.

It makes me sad.

I flatly refuse to endorse a certain style of scrapping. I can’t anymore, because I think we all scrap for different reasons, don’t we? I scrap for several reasons.

I scrap to record memories. I have seen too many old pictures where those in the photograph are no longer remembered. I look at these pictures and wonder why those people were there? What were they feeling? Was there a reason for the pictures? A birthday? An anniversary? A reunion? What was their life like? Pictures and (my sometimes too vivid) imagination have the power to transport me. I want to know what was going on, I can hear the echoing of laughter behind the image on the paper in front of me. It touches me. I want those that I love to have the answers to those questions when they look at my pictures.

I scrap to leave a legacy. What I wouldn’t give to have a written record of my ancestor’s lives. To know how they felt, what they thought about, their ideas, their dreams and hopes, their disappointments. I hope that someday a descendant of mine will stumble across my scrapbooks and be thrilled to get to know me. To see my life through my words and pictures on a page. To know me even through the distance of time in a way that I can never know those that came before me.

I scrap as a creative release. I love mixing colors and working a visual medium. Playing with the layout of a page, finding the right papers and elements. Striving to strike the right balance between decorative and focus on the pictures. Writing the memory down. Trying to capture the emotions behind the pictures.

I scrap because I love it.

We all have reasons to scrap. Maybe your reasons are the same as mine. Maybe they’re different. Does that invalidate your pages, does that invalidate mine?

Not all of my layouts are one page, embellishment heavy, one word, single picture layouts. But I do have some of those. I also have tons of two-page, picture heavy layouts. I have a few that are mostly journaling because I had a story to tell.

Not all of them are worthy of being published, but that doesn’t make them any less worthy of being made.

My biggest struggle this past week has been in trying to avoid taking a side. I think I have finally found the balance that I need. Part of this means that I have to take myself less seriously.

On the freebie side of things – I will still post freebies, though probably not daily. In using my own kits I decided that I want to make sure that what I am putting out there is high quality and usable. In order to do that I need to sit with my freebies and use them a couple of times to make sure that you all are getting everything that you need in my kits…

I’ll be posting the Second City Elements early next week! (How’s that for cutting to the chase?)


5 thoughts on “Sickness, Scrapping, and Thinking. Oh My!

  1. Angel says:

    Very well said. 🙂

  2. shayna says:

    I’m so sorry your little guy is ill 😦

    About the scrapping world…I agree with you completely. It’s so sad but I won’t even upload a LO I’ve made because people have become too critical. I scrap to preserve memories!!!!!!!!!!! I’m not a great scrapper but years ago that didn’t matter. People simply enjoyed seeing pics of my family and a bit of journaling to tell them about the person in the LO.

  3. ahalversen (DBA) says:

    I agree with you about the trends of scrapbooking. I just try to ignore them and make things that I think are beautiful! I don’t bother even looking at the most “popular” thing anymore! I think some layouts with one picture are beautiful, but I take so many good pics it would be impossible to only do one style! I try to mix it up as much as possible. Thanks for your comments, and there are others out there who agree with you! Thanks for all you share with us!

  4. Kris says:

    I so totally agree. I’ve been through the “everything looks the same” phase, the “don’t do it because each page has to be a perfect art project” phase, and am now in the “doing what I like, when I like and how I like” phase. The most important thing for me, is recording the memory. That’s what my kids enjoy, what my family looks forward to and ultimately what will be remembered. Thanks for your insight and creations!

  5. Erika says:

    I am worried that you have not blogged in a while, I hope all is well. I agree with what you say about the trends and the need for things to be a certain way. I do my pages for my kids and for me, they love them and that is the only feedback that matters. I think it is sad that people are more focussed on doing the in style that the reasons they started scrapbooking for. Ignore the critic and follow you heart. Gosh how boring it would be if we all did the same !

    Best wishes from Australia,


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