Wednesday, April 28, 2010

You in Your Scrapbooks

I've been on sort of a Sabbatical the last few weeks, having gone on my ScrapShare retreat in the beautiful mountains of Mentone, Alabama, at Camp Skyline.  Four days of rest, mountain air, awesome food by wonderful, local cooks, and fun!  It's hard to come home and get down to the business of daily living again,   I've been trying to catch up on lots of things, like spring gardening which demands our attention this time of year.. 

And writing.  Tomorrow you can visit Women's Memoirs and read my latest blog post about "A Sense of Self" in scrapbooks and memoir.  It goes live at midnight tonight.  Please leave a comment, because I love to hear from people who tell me about their own scrapbooking and storytelling.

I didn't complete as many pages at the retreat this time, but that's because I was focused on "creating" more than getting pictures on pages.  My Library of Memories class, taught by Stacy Julian at Big Picture Scrapbooking, has certainly changed my views on scrapbooking in a BIG way.  No longer do I strive to just be "caught up," because that's not what it's really about.  I don't care about strict chronology in my albums anymore.  If I want to create a layout about a vacation that came after a birthday party, I can do it. 

If I decide that only one photo in a stack will be enough to document an event, I can do that too, knowing that the rest of the stack is still there, sitting in my category drawers for future use if I care to go back to them and use a few for another layout.  This is truly Photo Freedom (Simple Scrapbooks), people!  I am having more fun scrapbooking than I've ever had, even more than when I first started 11 years ago.

Most scrappers I try to explain this concept to immediately blurt out, "Oh, I could never scrapbook like that," so I guess this is more of a personality issue.  I'm just glad it fits my personality, because I could never go back to the old chronological way again, using every bloody picture I take of every event in our lives, always feeling like I'll never catch up.  Other personalities don't deal with those issues, and that's okay too.  It's all about suiting your own self, what makes you tick.  As long as you are thoroughly enjoying what you're doing and creating.

I created a series of layouts for tomorrow's blog post on the Women's Memoirs site about putting "you" in your scrapbooks.  A lot of scrappers don't do this in an in-depth way, but I feel it's important to reveal more of yourself for the people you love, and who will look at your albums in the future.  I've found when I do this in my albums, share my feelings openly, my family treasures these stories a lot more.  If you want to know how I do this, you'll have to go to the blog post tomorrow and read my tutorial.  I will share a little here with you, however.

The above digital layout was created using a free OScrap template, created by Tabary.  It tells the story of my journey to growing up which started when I had to leave my childhood best friend Joanie because my parents moved across town to a different home.  I was 13 years old, but I was still a child.  And I looked like one.  I was lost without Joanie.  The endeavors to still see her, visiting each other's homes, wore off gradually, and especially when I met my new best friend Jackie. 

Jackie was "worldly" at the same age as I, and fully developed as a much sought-after young woman.  She had bleached blonde hair, wore makeup, and had boyfriends.  I was still in a training bra, wearing size 10 child's clothing. 

Over the next four years, Jackie and I were inseparable, and I began to blossom under her care and teaching.  We even bleached my hair.  My Dad didn't like it a bit.  He said no one in our family had ever been a blonde. 

Jackie ran off and got married during our senior year in highschool, and her parents begged me to find her; they were worried sick.  I knew some people, who knew people, etc., etc., and I showed up at her and her new husband's door early one morning.  She couldn't believe I found her.  She purposely didn't tell me about her plans because she knew her parents would get it out of me.  I convinced her to go see her parents and let them know she was fine.

After graduation, Howard (Jackie's husband) went into the army, and I moved into her apartment and we shared expenses, so we stayed best friends even after the marriage.  We had some of the most hilarious times living in that little apartment.  When we ran out of food and had spent all of our week's salary, we bought a sack of potatoes and I made french fries like my Dad taught me.  We lived on french fries and catsup for a week. 

This was a good time in my life, and I want to share it with my kids and grandkids.  They love reading stories about my younger self and the things I did and cared about.  It gives me a more accessible link to them, knowing I was once their ages and had experiences they can identify with.

I also write on tomorrow's blog a couple of sad stories about my past, because these stories are important too in the grand scheme of scrapbooking.  It's all about the "Sense of Self" appearing on the pages of your albums. 

Women's Memoirs

Women's Memoirs
Women's Memoirs