For those who have followed along this blog, you might have noticed drastic changes since the inception.  I started this blog as an learning experiment that turned into a paper crafting blog to share my discoveries.  Then I got into cardmaking because I’m a huge lover of stationery designs and the thought of making my own sounded fun and seemingly more economical when writing correspondence. When I moved to Italy I had a hard time making real cards because of the lack of materials and tools, so I switched to all digital designs…joining in with card challenges, offering freebies and just playing around.

Recently, I started getting into digital scrapbooking and realized that I have been doing it all along, just entirely outside the industry. I am a collector of ephemera and usually create albums to celebrate a specific experience, preserve photos and create keepsakes for family.  Often I’m in such a rush to finish albums because I don’t want to forget the details and want my thoughts to be as fresh as possible. For example, I have 5 siblings…so a family event means I have to make 7 copies of an album so my parents and all of us kids can each have a copy.  It’s a lot of work! So, I switched to designing online and printing books (or scrapbooks) of photos to ease the workload and also because digital photography does lend itself to working digitally when I switched entirely off of regular film (wow, that was a long time ago).

However, I was never in tune with the scrapbooking community out there.  I didn’t know of any companies or designers specifically, it was more just buying some things that looked cool – whatever was available locally. Digitally I created my own designs – much more graphic designy in style than the layers of texture I see in many layouts today.  Now that I’ve looked into the industry of scrapbooking a bit more, I have discovered so many designers that share tips and tricks, so many household names and most recently started listening to a podcast, The Paperclipping Roundtable. I really enjoy listening to experienced folks and what they think about scrapbooking and the experience. It’s a hobby, yet it’s a way to preserve memories and there are so many ways to do it.

The podcast discusses a specific topic each week and they have talked about tools, the process, time management and why people don’t scrapbook.  As a beginner I’ve definitely thought a lot about why people do scrapbook – I mean, who would be listening to the podcast if they are NOT scrapbookers? 😛  Perhaps the generic impression or definition of scrapbooking is what scares people away, however when people do scrapbook they form their own definition that keeps them going. I am more interested in why people DO scrapbook.  I honestly don’t think scrapbooking has to mean making pages that go in a book…unless that’s what you want. Like many out there, I am more into the process than the final result.  The act of picking a topic that allows you to relive a moment or reflect on an experience in a creative way is the “high” of it all. I know many scrapbook to preserve memories…which is great…but they are specifically your memories because inevitably it’s your interpretation of an event or experience.

Another aspect is that I think the industry controls too much how we preserve our memories…or perhaps I mean that the industry causes many to think they must preserve their memories in a certain way … to be worthy of sharing perhaps?  Which is so not the case.  If my husband stapled a few pictures onto a sheet and wrote a heartfelt sentiment to give to me that would be worth more than a glitzy packed with the latest greatest trend design layout.  That’s how I feel even after just a few short months of being introduced into this world, the frenzy (even through the web) of CHA and all the tooks and designs and jazz out there. Don’t get me wrong – I love new designs and new products to play with – I just don’t think it’s necessary for everyone and people should not feel that it is necessary. You are the only thing necessary, because you are celebrating your moments, your experiences, your thoughts. Scrapbooking is ultimately for you…and the fact that others can share in your final product, can be inspired and reminisce and pass it on in the famly, well, that’s just icing on the cake.  The creative experience is why I think you should scrapbook.  I think perhaps the industry is not doing a good job in getting that message across, so that truly everyone should scrapbook one way or another.  Otherwise, it does seem like something very far away and untouchable for those looking from the outside… how could they ever start?

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