Pull the [scrap]book down from the top shelf

Over the weekend I scrapbooked for the first time in months and months. I don’t know for sure why it had been so long – obviously we were consumed with house details for a while, and I still haven’t hung pictures yet. I have been reading a little more than average, although most of my reading has been fluff. I haven’t really been challenged.

I don’t have musical talent, and I’m not very artsy-craftsy. Scrapbooking is my only female-type thing that I am good at. Unfortunately, it’s a lonely thing for me, too. Some of my friends like to scrapbook, but none of my friends do Creative Memories like I do. So when I go to the events, I go alone. I like Creative Memories, because I like supporting small businesses, I think their products are a little higher quality, and they speak my language as far as all the acid-free products. For example, my consultant told me that the pens they use are the same pens used in the Library of Congress. That is speaking my language – I understand the importance of making sure the ink and paper won’t fade, and it impresses me that they would use LC-quality products.

Scrapbooking is different than other creative ventures. You can’t exactly leave it open on the table and display it like you would a piece of pottery or a painting or a mosaic. People have to ask to see it, and looking at someone else’s scrapbook is not necessarily all that interesting (I realize that I am running the risk here that reading about scrapbooking is also uninteresting). Mike is supportive but clueless about all my tools and how much work I put into a page. I have come to realize that I can’t scrapbook for approval, or to be admitted into the crafty women’s club (I know there’s a club! I just haven’t been accepted yet). I do it for me. It’s like journaling plus cute stickers.

I am reasonably good at scrapbooking, probably because I focus on the journaling and making sure I tell the funny or cute stories to go with the pictures. I have a real sense of accomplishment about what I have done, and I like to look back on my pages and remember the fun times I have documented. I do find myself taking better pictures now, and my interest in photography has grown.

I consider myself feminine, but not really girly a lot of the time. Scrapbooking isn’t something I thought I would get into – I just wanted to do our wedding book and leave it at that. But I like the idea that my kids can look back and know about the things Mike and I did together. I like that, when we are having a hard time, we can look at my books and remember the good times. I like having something as solid as a book to document our history. And I especially like that it grows along with us. It’s not stagnant, but it’s a growing document.

It’s nice to feel like I’m doing something valuable.

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