It is high time for a Friday Favorites blogpost! And what better thing to talk about today than scrapbooking, since I'm getting ready to spend the WHOLE weekend away with friends doing one of my favorite things! How fun is that? And I'm so excited!
I have been doing some form of scrapbooking since I was in high school. Granted, in those early days, I was using those horrible magnetic page albums and had little to no supplies besides index cards (to make my photo labels) and regular scissors to crop with. Or did I even do any cropping back then? Who knows? All I know is that I have taken lots of pictures for most of my life and loved being able to do something with them so that they could be viewed.
Soon after Daniel was born, I went to a Creative Memories workshop and learned all about "photo safe" and "archival" and had a whole new world of tools and stickers and die cuts opened up to me. Ka-ching! I decided that I would become a Creative Memories consultant and help others learn about scrapbooking and then I'd be able to get my supplies for a discount. I seemed to forget about one of my major personality characteristics: I hate to sell things and even feel embarrassed to ask people to buy anything from me. So that little "career move" was short-lived.
Once I got out from under the business aspect of scrapbooking, I got back into the fun part full-swing. At that time in my life, I could go to a crop once a month on a Friday night and all day Saturday. Boy, did I get a lot of scrapbooking done! I think Daniel has three books for the first five years of his life. And then there are the family albums, holiday albums, travel albums. The thing about scrapbooking is that if you continue to take pictures, there is always something to scrapbook about. I never get finished!
These days, I don't have as much time to scrapbook, so I have a lot of pictures just waiting to be put into albums. I've had to adjust my strategy through the years and have ventured into digital scrapbooking for some things and have changed my standard of scrapbooking chronologically (although that's still a long-term goal). I would like to finish Daniel's "school years" albums by the time he graduates from high school next year. I think I left off in his 4th grade year, but the good thing is that after elementary school, there's a lot less to scrapbook (it's not cool to have your mom go on all the field trips when you're a seventh grader).
My other new scrapbook obsession has been doing first year books for Erica and Mary Lane. And not just one each, but one for me and one for their family. That's what this weekend will be about: getting Mary Lane's baby book done for her family. Mine can come later, but not too much later, I hope.
Two of my favorite things about scrapbooking are the time it gives me with friends who also scrapbook (like on retreats and crops). It's like the quilting bees of days gone by. There's a whole lot of relationship-building that happens around the cropping tables. The friends who I scrapbook with are some of my dearest friends and I look forward to time we can spend together.
The other thing I love about scrapbooking, and the underlying reason why I do it in the first place, is the end result. Whether it is one of several traditional albums I've made or a digital book that I created online, my family and I get endless opportunities to revisit the events and memories that initiated the photos being taken. I love being able to sit with my nieces and look at scrapbooks together and it's always fun to find Daniel looking at one of his albums. Even the scrapbooking skills I used to create the display of photos at my dad's memorial service gave me and everyone who attended something tangible to look at and remember times past spent with him.
I know that scrapbooking can be overwhelming for many people, and in some ways, it is for me, too. But whatever form of memory-keeping you choose that works for you, it will bring a great return and will give lots of joy, both to you and to the ones who will come after you.