Try It Out Tuesday

Welcome to my first TIOT post here! If you are new to scrapbooking and want to learn more about it, grab a cup of tea, or a coffee, and make yourself comfy. This will be a lengthy read, but it’ll be well worth it 😃 Once a month, at the beginning of the month (except today, of course), I’ll have a new technique to share with you! But, to begin, let’s go over the basics. Welcome to scrapbooking 101!

If you’d like to catch my FB LIVE abridged version video, search Try It Out Tuesday with The Everyday Scrapbooker on Facebook. Join my group and I’ll walk you through this post there!

Just a note- I copy and pasted my original document to make my life easier, LOL 😂 Enjoy!!

So, you’ve seen the artwork floating around on Facebook and Instagram and you’ve flipped through the odd scrapbook album that your friends’ friend made. Its got you interested. But, what is it? What is the purpose and how is it done? What exactly is scrapbooking?

Very simply put, scrapbooking is a form of art intended to preserve, present and arrange personal and family history in the form of a book. In the very early days, scrapbooking was a method in which newspaper clippings or photos were collected and preserved inside a journal or notebook. There was very little artwork (or none) and journaling. As time went on, an entire crafting industry was built around this method of memory preservation. Today, products from paper to embellishments (such as ribbon, twine and other fibres), scrapbook albums, tools and more all benefit those that strive to preserve their memories in a thoughtful and creative way. Telling stories and preserving memories has been around since the beginning of time, but its only been in the last roughly 30 years that its become a trendy way to tell your personal story.

What is a scrapbook album? I’m glad you asked! It is the tool that stores and houses the photos, papers and artwork that’s gathered collectively onto one page or multiple pages called layouts. Wikipedia calls it a blank book for the insertion of photos, stamps or pictures. These blank books come in different shapes, sizes, and colours and are made from varying materials. Specifically at Close to My Heart, scrapbook albums only come in a 12×12 inch size, but other companies carry albums in 8.5×11 inches, as well. Some albums are made from hard cardboard, and others, such as Close to My Hearts’, are made from durable (and sometimes printed!!!) canvas. Quality differs, as well, amongst the different scrapbooking companies. A scrapbook album you’d find at Close to My Heart will be much better quality than one that you’d find at the Dollar Store. Same goes for the crafting products related to this art form. But, did you know that all these companies have created something called mini albums, too?! (I’ll share more on that, later).

Are you asking yourself what is included in a scrapbook album? Its very simple, but Wikipedia explains that scrapbooks are often decorated and frequently contain extensive journaling. (What is journaling? More on that later!!) Typical memorabilia includes photos, printed media, and artwork. Printed media could be just about anything. Are you documenting that cruise you went on 3 years ago? Pamphlets, ticket stubs, the cute little umbrella’s that come in your drinks….that’s all fair game. Artwork? Either doodle on the background paper, watercolor an element you want to include, paint your background with acrylic paints or with mixed media- they’re all used in scrapbooking. All these make up what scrapbooking is today.

if that feels too overwhelming to you, don’t fret. In its simplest, purest form, scrapbooking is adding photos to paper and storing them inside a page protector, which then goes inside your scrapbook album. As you gain confidence in your scrapbooking, you can add more details to support the story you’re telling. Why use a page protector? To prevent damage or fading from happening!

So, if you’re thinking that all sounds great, but why would I want to scrapbook? Well, I’ve got the answer for you. Actually, I’ve got a couple very good reasons why anyone scrapbooks- me included!

First, we scrapbook to record stories, because memories lie. (I found this online, and it really resonated with me). What? How can your memories lie? We scrapbook because we want to remember events, milestones, special occasions, our past. We want to preserve our history, so that our children and their children can look through the albums and learn who we were, and what our life was once like. They’ll inherit a part of us that would otherwise eventually be forgotten. No one wants to be forgotten. Its not a nice feeling, is it? Even if we’re long gone by then! In addition to preserving a part of ourselves, its important to record your voice, too. And, I don’t mean with a recording device or your smart phone. Jot down your thoughts, feelings and emotions as you experience life, or milestones and certain events. Because, once an event has occurred, if our thoughts aren’t jotted down immediately, the details become fuzzy and change over time. We can recall certain aspects of an event or milestone, but we can’t recall it completely accurately. Things are forgotten and remembered differently by different people. Your thoughts, emotions and feelings are important, so write them down! In the moment! I am guilty of not doing this, but its a good routine to practice. When you look back on your memories of a certain event, whether its good or bad, you can look back on it and remember it exactly as it happened. (Yes, scrapbook the not- so- happy moments, too! They are good to look back on, and learn from!) Reflecting has the power to remind us to be thankful for where we’ve been. Give life to your past and scrapbook! Your future self will thank you for it!

Secondly, scrapbooking provides a creative outlet. Use your creative strengths to create using a new medium. Any other art that appeals to you, outside of scrapbooking, can be applied to scrapbooking. Did you know that?! Its true! If you sew, add it to your scrapbook page! (There’s lots of sewing out there in the scrapbooking world)! The same applies to drawing, painting, colouring and more! There is no right or wrong way to scrapbook. Anything goes. Our scrapbook albums should be reflections of ourselves, and they should be made from the heart. It is often said that scrapbooking is a work of heart. When its a work of heart, there’s no mistakes. If you’ve never scrapbooked before, start with what you know, and go from there. Develop your own style. Do what speaks to you. Research it online. Visit Pinterest, Google search your heart out for inspiration, or to see how others have made scrapbook pages. Take what speaks to you and apply it to your own work of heart. Most importantly, its a great way to unwind, relax and have fun!

Lastly, scrapbook to decompress and relax. I have scrapbooked for over 10 years. It started out as a hobby and a way for me to document our story- I became a very serious scrapbooker when I met my (now) husband and I’ve never looked back. I instinctively knew at that point that this journey needed to be recorded, and I better not stop. My hobby turned into my life line after my kids were born. I suffered from postpartum depression and depression, and it got me through some of the darkest days of my life. For me, self-care and scrapbooking go hand in hand. When the twins were toddlers, I would scrapbook at night, because it was naturally the only time I had to do it. It was the only time I could be myself, and reconnect with myself. I needed to remember who I was, outside of the new role I had acquired after getting married and becoming mom. Its become a dear friend that I can’t bear the thought of losing; we need to spend some time together every day, or most days, or I go through withdrawals. Now, when life gets particularly busy, and I need time to introvert, I hide in my office, and recharge while filling up my happy bucket by reliving the past. If you know me, you’ll know that (now) scrapbooking is purely my obsession!

Pour yourself a glass of wine (or fix yourself your favourite snack) after a long, hard day, and unwind with it and your scrapbook papers and photos in front of you. Make some time- often- for your own self care. Scrapbooking is a great way to do that! You’ll find that as you fill up the albums, and display them on bookshelves in your home, you and your family members will enjoy pulling them off the shelf to look through. My kids do- they’re the reason I keep up with this hobby. They like learning about their history, too. I guarantee that yours will, too!

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