Thursday, September 21, 2006

I Swore I’d Never

I’ve been a hard-core scrapbooker for awhile. I started around eighth grade when the bottom drawer of my nightstand, where I kept my keepsakes, became totally overcrowded. So I went to Wal-Mart and got some 11x17 plain brown paper scrapbooks. Over the years I’ve amassed about 10 of them, full of all sorts of things that I’ve hoarded over the years. But today’s scrapbookers would scoff at my brown paper treasure-keepers, probably referring to them as memory books or something equally as mundane. They simply bear no resemblance to the super-fancy, super-expensive scrapbooks that seem to be all the rage today.

I swore I’d never start scrapbooking, you know, the real way. It’s way too time-consuming, and I know myself well enough to know that I’d become obsessive about it. But it didn’t help that my mom gave me the most wonderful scrapbook of my early years when Joshua was born. And she’s about as crafty as I am (which means that we’re both really good at anything that requires following specific instructions, but neither of us are particularly gifted at freestyle-type creativity).

It also didn’t help that one of my parishioners gave me a Baby Book for Joshua that just begs to be given the royal scrapbook treatment. I’ve spent the last few days poring over the more than 300 pictures that we’ve taken of Joshua so far, trying to determine what to put in and what to leave out. I finally narrowed them down and was headed to Target yesterday for double-sided tape when I passed a scrapbooking store—a whole store just for scrapbooking. I went in. I made it very clear to the owner that I am not a scrapbooker, that I was just looking for some good tape and maybe some templates for cutting my photos into interesting shapes. I left with templates, stickers, and tape, and promptly came home to become completely obsessed with the scrapbook. I stayed up really late. I hemmed and hawed. I cut and scrapped. I climbed the learning curve as much as I could in one night.

When I got up with Joshua at about three this morning. I couldn’t go back to sleep. I was unhappy with my layouts and so I just laid there wondering if it would be possible to change them without tearing the paper. I am obsessed. I have other things to do. I have too little time in my life and too many things to take care of.

This is why I swore I’d never start.


anna said...

I've never gotten into scrapbooking but that's the exact same feelings I had for when I was designing and maintaining our website. I haven't picked it back up again because I know I'd spend way too much time getting everything just right to only redo a week later because I didn't like one little thing.

I definetely feel your pain.
I know my sister is an avid scrapbooking and can probably commiserate more with you on her obbession then I can.

My advice...don't ever step foot in the store again! :)

Kat E said...

I can relate to a bunch of that! (being good at specific instructions but lacking confidence in freestyle creativity; getting obsessed with getting it "just right"). My mother-in-law is an avid scrapbooker. She's currently working on our wedding scrapbook. This is a good excuse for me not to do it (though I will admit I kind of want to do a digital one...)

Jennifer said...

Yep, Anna nailed me. Ohhhhhh, how well I can relate!

I have always kept scrapbooks, too, which were mostly decorated with my own doodling around the edges and whatnot. I got into scrapbooking the real way when my daughter was little, too. It’s so irresistible! But it amazes me how the craft has become such a competitive, multi-billion dollar industry in the last few years. I used to subscribe to two scrapping magazines but quit because it’s become so waaaaaay overdone. These woman, god-love-em, have way too much time on their hands.

And it’s true, when I started designing our family tree website it turned into the same kind of obsession. “Should I go with the mauve wallpapered background and gold metallic buttons or the blue provincial background and rooster buttons?” Good Lord. I’d be up til 2 am some nights working on it. I’m in therapy now and doing well, thanks.

Jenny said...

It's a slipperly slope, sister, and just STAY AWAY FROM IT so you don't get hurt...

Put the cutting template on the ground and back slowly away and no one will get hurt...

Laura said...

Welcome to the cult, I mean club. I got sucked in after my wedding and am currently still working on Ty's scrapbook of showers and birth--not even his first year yet. So far I've converted my mother, my mother-in-law, my husband's aunt, and am currently working on my sister-in-law. Who says she doesn't scrapbook. Ha!