by Susie Cortright
I remember, not so long ago, looking at the boxes and boxes of my babies' photographs and becoming so overwhelmed by the notion that I had better get them organized and labeled before I lost track of which kid was which. And then one day, I picked up a particularly poignant photo of my oldest daughter, and I had an urge to create a scrapbooking page around it. I didn't know what I was doing. I just knew I wanted a finished product that would evoke the same emotion I felt when I took the photo.
I took far too much time on this page (and had so much fun creating for the simple sake of creating), and when my scrapbooking layout was finished, I showed it to my daughter. The look on her face told me I had succeeded in doing what I set out to do. She was touched, and so was I.
From that day on, I was hooked. But I had to promise myself that his hobby would never turn into another "should," "ought," or "must." My scrapbook became my precious lifeline to my artistic and emotional center, and I had to promise myself that I would never rush it. That I would never cheapen the experience with the notion that I had to finish "x" amount of pages in one day. That my photographs and memories would never be something to simply process - but something always to honor and revere.
Fast forward. I am now a scrapbooking instructor for a company that reveres this creative process as much as I do.
Scrapbooking is unlike almost everything else in my life as a mother of small children. The layouts and cards that I make stay finished, unlike the dishes and the diaper changes. When I'm done with a piece, I'll put it up where I can see it as I walk past, and I feel a small but sure sense of accomplishment.
And that is one of the reasons I scrapbook. There are others:
- Scrapbooking offers a connection to the community. Classes and crops are serving the same social function that quilting bees once did. This is a time to get together with friends, to share precious memories, to exercise your artistic expression, and to get something accomplished.
- When your children leave home, and if they are ever feeling down, they will look through the scrapbook you've created for them. They will hear your words and feel your love span across time and space. And, beyond that, when you are gone, your voice, your memories, and the written and visual record of your philosophy and your values will live on.
- Scrapbooking helps us to remember that our life is our art. The time I spend scrapbooking helps me to remember that every single moment I spend being a good mom - as well as a good human being - is time spent in positive, artistic creation. And I have no doubt that if we all spent more of our time in positive, artistic creation, the world would be a better place.
Whenever I spend time cropping, I relish the present moment with my family more fully as the very moments I seek to capture and celebrate on my pages play out in my living room.
Time spent scrapbooking is time spent in open, ardent appreciation of your family and the experiences that you have had. It's a way of honoring the experiences and people in your life with your time and reflection.
A scrapbook is a treasured gift. It is a piece of the real you, the real artistic, emotional you, which encourages others to show their artistic, emotional, real selves, too. And you can start today!
Susie Cortright is the founder of momscape.com, an award-winning online magazine that helps busy moms find balance. She also publishes a free weekly scrapbooking newsletter, featuring best of the net design ideas and advanced techniques: http://www.momscape.com/scrapbooking
Susie is a scrapbooking instructor for a rapidly growing direct sales scrapbooking company, which offers high commissions, second-to-none support, and low monthly minimums. You can browse her online catalog here: http://www.momscape.com/scrapbooking/catalog
Or get more information on how you can build your own scrapbooking business alongside her: http://www.momscape.com/scrapbooking/business.htm