This post is a continuation from Part 1 of Where Have All the Scrappers Gone? I have decided to do an in-depth exploration of scrapbooking from the perspective of my ten-year involvement. :)
During the fall of 2004 I started looking at scrapbooking magazines, in my typical response to anything I want to learn more about in-depth: go to the bookstore. I found PaperKutz, Scrapbook Trends, Scrapbooks Etc., Memory Makers, and Creating Keepsakes. Remember those? Remember walking in to your Michael's or Jo-Anne's or the bookstore or your local scrapbook store and finding not one but SEVERAL scrapbooking magazines for sale?
The year 2004 ended as we found out we were expecting Elliott the next summer, and I met my first scrapbook friend from 2 peas in real life: Michele Skinner. We would go on to add to our group, including Susan Weinroth and Nisa Fiin. (who I met at my first scrapbooking road trip to the 2 Peas crop in Wisconsin - I thought she was absolutely crazy - she is - and I knew we'd be friends for a long time). I also got to meet my first scrapbooking girl-crush, Ali Edwards. (ahem: it's 10 years later and she is still my scrapbooking girl-crush).
From then on, the Twin Cities girls got together pretty much once a month at different stores to work on projects and chat. I started to discover that scrapbooking is as much a lifestyle, a way of looking at the world, an outlet and a conduit for creativity, and a way to connect with other women as much as it is - or maybe more than it is, about recording memories. And let's be honest: it's also about collecting the grownup-girl school supplies of cuteness. ;) I started learning how naturally scrapbookers became friends, and within those first few months I knew I'd started to make friends (online and in person) that I would have for life.
Every night after work Jared and I would sit in the office after Rowen was asleep, and I'd work on scrapbook projects and he'd play computer games. I remember telling him over and over again, "There's something in this for me." I didn't know yet what it was, but I could feel the ground under me shifting, even then. I also found Cathy Zielske's book called Clean & Simple Scrapbooking, and read it over and over - I still have my original copy of it, spine broken and pages warped from taking it into the tub to read while I soaked. (Ahem: Cathy Zielske is also one of my scrapbooking girl-crushes) That book, and Cathy's unabashed mixture of gorgeous design with an obvious love of paper really helped define my style.
As I perused the magazines each month (I subscribed to Memory Makers and Creating Keepsakes), I started to wonder where they got their pages from. I discovered the submission instructions and also "The Pub" at twopeasinabucket, which was a message board for those who were interested in submitting projects for publication. I began sending a few pages in response to some of the calls for projects from the magazine.
I received my first email back from Jana Lillie at Creating Keepsakes for August 2005 issue, and I was stunned. And elated. I jumped around and did laps around my office singing the Rocky theme for like, 3 days. And I packed my layout carefully and sent it off to Utah.
In the spring of 2005 I quit my job as a user interface designer for a software company in St. Paul. I wanted to stay home with the kids after Elliott was born anyway, and I had been put on "low activity rest" until he was born because of heart problems I'd developed being pregnant.
Of course the "low activity" was spending lots and lots of time making pages - I feel like this was the beginning of really developing a style, starting to learn about design. It became pretty much the replacement for my old job, in some ways. And always, therapy. Through my photos and the sifting through memory that I was doing, I began to see the beauty in my life. Began to really throw myself into this craft heart and soul, and relished possibilities I couldn't imagine at the time. The next year would change everything.
Part 3 coming soon!