Why I Scrapbook

by Lain Ehmann on October 5, 2010

Pink Sherbet/Flickr

This post is an “oldie but goodie” from my old scrapbooking blog, originally published like a million years ago. Enjoy!

I’ve been thinking a lot today about why I scrapbook. I mean, with people dying and starving and fighting and all, what am **I** doing spending my time and money (and not a little of either) on what could be described as nothing more than a kindergarten art project?

I go back and forth on this frequently. I have an $80,000 college degree. I have a master’s degree. I have years of work experience. I could get a “real” job and add something more substantial to the family coffers. But I don’t.

Why?

The simple reason is, scrapbooking makes me happy. But it all goes deeper than that. I truly believe that scrapbooking makes me a better person. Not only can I disappear into my closet for a few much-needed sanity hours every now and again, I also am developing many of the skills that are making this journey through the world an easier, more enjoyable one.

Here’s what I mean.

Because of scrapbooking, I have learned what makes me happy. By taking time to reflect on events, I’ve learned that while our annual trip to Maui is wonderful, what REALLY makes me happy is the moments we’re all around the table together or sliding down the waterfall pool or watching Callie take her first strokes without her water wings. And those could happen anywhere, not just in a tropical paradise.

Because of scrapbooking, I’ve learned more about myself and how I approach the world. Call it my style if you will — but I know I like bright colors, clean lines, polka dots, and something unexpected. I like to make things accessible. I focus on words. I like to tell stories. These are all parts of what makes me who I am.

Because of scrapbooking, I’ve learned to move beyond the fad du jour and the worries about keeping up with the neighbors. I feel like I’ve gotten a pass off the treadmill, and I can observe instead of compete. I don’t care about the things I did for so long — and I care more about things I never realized, like making the little, everyday moments special and fun for my family.

Because of scrapbooking, I’ve connected with a whole community of people who love their families and their lives and celebrate the everyday, ordinariness of life and try to make things a little prettier, a little more “foof-a-like,” one scrapbook page or altered Altoids tin or greeting card at a time. These women know that it is, indeed, the little things that count.

Because of scrapbooking, I have tapped into a creative well of color inside of me. I’ve always been a writer, and creative in that sense… but now that creativity has tone and hue to it, and comes in a 64-color box of crayons.

Because of scrapbooking, I laugh more. I think more. I notice more.

And that has got to be a good thing.

P.S. Why do you scrapbook? Please share! I’m working on a project and would love your input.

  • Judianne Graham

    I went through the book “The BIg PIcture” by Stacy Julian, and did a few of her activities listed. One was where I actually wrote a mission statement as to why I scrapbook. Here it is:

    I want to tell the story, not of just our life, but with themes of life, love, death, sorrow, hope, compassion, commitment, growth, family and community. I will do this by collecting stories, pictures and memorabilia that will express my stories as “life being.” I value the diversity within our lives, and the influence that each experience has had upon not only today but tomorrow as well. I wish to preserve the personal growth of those close to me. I choose to step beyond my “comfort zone,” to develope a sense of style within my work that best defines who I am and who I hope to become. I am determined to be creative, resourceful & effective in the the telling of “our stories.” I reserve the right to scrap outside the timeline, to tell the story as it inspires me, not always in chronological order. I will make a conscious effort into “putting me” into my scrapbooking, with the use of pictures, stories and memorbilia. Above all else, I choose to visualize this project as fun, relaxing and inspiring, and not as a chore.

  • http://www.patzahn.com Pat Zahn

    I scrapbook because, well, why wouldn’t you?! It adds meaning to your life and connects you with all things past and present.

  • http://www.gabmccann.blogspot.com/ Gab

    Great post!
    I love to scrapbook for several reasons. I’ve always loved photos and I’ve always put them in albums with a few comments about who was in the picture and the date. I’ve also always loved stationery. So put those two loves together and I have scrapbooking. When my son was born I wanted to preserve every instant of his life. And I love the “me” time it gives me!

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