i am a scrapbooker...

The summer of 1996 I was a brand-new college graduate, starting my first post-grad jobs as an early intervention worker and a residence hall director at my alma mater. In just three months time I would also take on my first classes toward my Master's degree. It was a full plate and I dove in head first. Still working at my college allowed me to keep one toe in the bliss of my undergrad years, if only for a bit longer.

Always a lover of crafts, I frequented the big box stores (such as they were at the time) and that summer, stumbled across a pitifully tiny section in Frank's Nursery and Crafts labeled "Scrapbooking." A rack of flimsy colored cardstock, several packages of markers and decorative edged scissors hung along side a display of copy-your-own pattern books. If you haven't been involved in this hobby as long - these were books of hand-drawn, black and white patterns that were designed so that crafter's could copy the patterns onto cardstock, creating patterned paper. Yes, I'm serious. I bought it all up, brought it home to create my first pages to remember my just passed college years and, that day, I became a scrapbooker.

That September a specialty craft store, The Crafter's Workshop (now an incredible wholesale outfit), opened the next town over and I was a goner. I scrapbooked more and more, added rubber stamping and cardmaking and, within a couple of months, was teaching classes at the shop. I was head over heels in love with creating and teaching other women everything I learned.

I haven't scrapbooked much in the past two years with all of the stuff of life and whirlwind path I've been on. But, I am still a scrapbooker. The beauty of this hobby is that you don't lose it. You collect a lot of supplies (and collect, and collect, and then collect some more) and they wait patiently to be used. New fads and techniques come, go and come back again. In the end, memory keeping is at the heart of this. Yes, it's a creative outlet and that is a wonderful thing. But, scrapbooking has a purpose...to slow down and document all of the life we are living. If you are passionate about scrapbooking at one time, it has a hold on you.

What is my point?

I haven't scrapped since July ::gulp:: of last year, at least not traditionally. Instead, lately I've been focusing on being a new mom and photo-documenting my boy's first, well, everything. I'm taking a photo a day (more like dozens) and compiling my Project Life album. For me, for us, for him. That IS scrapbooking. Just without adhesive and embellishments.

I am still a scrapbooker (says so right in my sidebar --->) and I still love and believe in this hobby passionately. When things slow down a bit, I will get out my trusty yellow ATG gun, patterned papers and obscene stash of letter stickers to create. A million page ideas buzz in my head every day. I haven't yet figured out a way to fit it in but, I know I will get there. I look forward to that time but, for now, I'm happy just getting to know my boy, taking photos of him and writing his stories down to refer back to when the time is right.

Still, I hate to ignore a request for layouts so - Diane, these are for you. A few pages that I completed back in that last crop in July but never posted:

This photo was taken the week after our wedding on the observation deck of the Empire State Building. Such a happy day...I hardly believe how much has happened since then.Just a few days before taking this photo, I found out I was expecting. I needed to capture some of the thoughts that were spinning in my head the "new haircut" bit was kind of tongue in cheek - how very minor that was in the midst of the wonderful and monumental changes occurring. Our very first look at our baby George. At the time I made this layout we still hadn't found out his gender but, I knew in my soul it was a boy so I went with the blue background. And, I was right.

Hoping to share new layouts before too long.


Mom said...

you brought a tear to my eye!! Love you...

Diane said...

You were MY first teacher at the Crafter's Workshop, and you helped "create a monster"! The first class was how to do creative lettering, WITHOUT a template! Now I have a whole room devoted to my "stuff".
Thanks for showing me your work. It has always been, and remains, inspirational!

Rookie Momma said...

thanks to you...i am a scrapbooker too :) i am proud of the ridiculous amount of paper & letter stickers that i own. nice to see some layouts...love the sonogram.

nfaband said...

I sure do know all about the scrapping obsession, it's a crazy, wonderful thing and like you mentioned, it's always there waiting for us even when we've been away for a long time. I enjoyed seeing your gorgeous work again, your pages and scrapping has always inspired me, and your style is one that I adore. Thanks Jen for another wonderful post.

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