NOTE: This year is my 10th "Scrap-a-versary", and I have decided to create a multi-part series on how scrapbooking has evolved, and what I see as my place in it over the years. I hope the backstory provides some insight, and that we can have a discussion about where scrapbooking was, what it's like today, and what the future might be for memory keeping in general. Here we go!
I remember the first day I discovered scrapbooking. I had heard about it, of course - my mother-in-law gave me a subscription to Paper Crafts magazine because I was a card maker, and I really liked stamping.
As I looked over my Paper Crafts issues, I noticed that many of the fonts were credited to Two Peas in a Bucket. Weird! So of course I had to go check that out. That was 2003. I noticed while I was there how HUGE the scrapbooking side of the site was - tons of product and tons of galleries and message boards. I bought fonts and ignored the rest. Heh. Little did I know.
In February of 2004, my little daughter was born almost 6 weeks early. I've mentioned a bit about that struggle in this post. I was, frankly, traumatized. Everything was new, I was lonely, and I had some pretty desperate post-partum depression. I shouted. I ran away a couple of times. Drove around for half an hour and came home with tail between legs.
One of the things that I started doing that helped was taking photos of her. For the first time, really EVER, I had something to photograph, and so the pictures began to accumulate on my computer.
She was about 5 months old when I decided that I really needed somewhere to put all these photos. A photo album, right?
So one Saturday I drove over to the Archiver's in Apple Valley Minnesota, less than a mile from my house. I knew they sold photo albums - so I went in for a photo album. Heh. Man, was I about to get my eyes opened!
This whole backstory, I hope, will help to illustrate what happened when I walked in the door. I was flooded by color and light and cute things and cardstock and patterned paper, and I do think angels sang. I would swear it. The Mothership had called me home.
I left Archiver's that day a different person. Preparation had met need, and my dormant creativity met my desire to capture the memories I had recorded of my daughter. I wouldn't realize until later just HOW different I would be. In fact, almost everything about my life - certainly my creative and working life, and my relationship to my family and my life in general would change forever. In a very real sense, I was rescued by scrapbooking. I will always have a special place in my heart for Archiver's because of that.
Since I had an account at TwoPeasinaBucket.com already, I started looking through the galleries at the scrapbook pages there. And I began collecting supplies.
My first pages? Oh yeah. I've never shared them publicly. In a way, I like looking back at these pages as I made my first foray into a new craft. A new way of looking at my life, too.
by Phillip Larkin
I have wished you something
None of the others would:
Not the usual stuff
About being beautiful,
Or running off a spring
Of innocence and love -
They will all wish you that,
And should it prove possible,
Well, you're a lucky girl.
But if it shouldn't, then
May you be ordinary;
Have, like other women,
An average of talents:
Not ugly, not good-looking,
To pull you off your balance,
That, unworkable itself,
Stops all the rest from working.
In fact, may you be dull -
If that is what a skilled,
Catching of happiness is called.
As the year of 2004 progressed, more pages came. More memories were savored and saved, and I was sucked deeper and deeper in to this craft.
I fell in love with Bazzill cardstock, (in fact, I still have quite a handsome collection of it), and started getting to know names, like Rhonna Farrer, KI Memories, Chatterbox, Autumn Leaves. And it never really became about "getting it done" as much as it was about the absolutely theraputic process of putting glue to paper. The hobby (ahem: obsession) had begun. Heaven help my husband. He had no idea what was coming. ;)