If I was to look at my favorite hobbies and rank them in order from my most favorite to my last favorite, they would be 1. Photography 2. Baking and 3. Scrapbooking. That’s right… a hobby I have never talked about and that’s because I haven’t done it a lot in years and yet I still love it. Let me back up and tell a little backstory…
I first got into (or I should say wanted to get into) paper scrapbooking back in the early 2000’s. You know during a time when we didn’t have camera phones and digital cameras were very very new. I bought the supplies; lots of supplies. I bought the tools. I had a craft room. I “scrapbooked” for 6 years and yet I had only completed 3 pages during that time. Which is CRAZY!
Being a graphic designer, you would think that scrapbooking would come naturally for me but it didn’t. I was afraid of making a mistake and ruining a picture I had to pay to get printed. I couldn’t ever find the right color brown ribbon (and therefore the page couldn’t ever be completed without the perfect coordinating ribbon color!). And the list just goes on and on with excuses about why I struggled with finishing pages.
So 2008 arrived, I was pregnant with Shawn and we were converting my craft room into his nursery. Plus, I knew that I wouldn’t have the time to hang out and “scrapbook” like I did before him. Digital Scrapbooking was becoming a trend – you work on the computer, buy cute graphics, layout your pages in Photoshop, and then print them out into a book. I was SOLD! I didn’t need space, I could work on it while holding Shawn at 2am when he wouldn’t sleep and I needed to keep myself awake. I was hooked and no longer did I fear making a mistake because I could just undo what I didn’t like.
I have produced tons and tons of books, however, I stopped in 2013 and have barely picked it up again since. My why? Blogging… I was trying my hand at Lifestyle/Personal blogging and I couldn’t put in the effort that type of blog takes AND scrapbook at the same time. (While still being the mom and wife I wanted to be.) Blogging won out… and don’t get me wrong, I still documented out lives – just in a different medium. But I do miss having the printed books to look though.
I quit blogging completely in 2016 due to Michael having a major heart attack at 41 and needing triple bypass heart surgery. My life had been flipped upside down and I stopped spending my free time coming up with science projects for kids and having fun parties and such. It didn’t matter anymore.
I have dabbled with scrapbooking on and off since then but nothing like I used to and I am actually thinking of getting back into it. Not to catch up on the years in between but to start with the now.
So now that I have said all that… here are some of my favorite pages of the past.
These pages are from a book in 2012 and the last big project that I worked on before retiring from scrapbooking. It was the end of the year and shortly after that I hung up my hat and moved into the world of “professional blogging”. I think it still remains my favorite book – creatively speaking. (the above spread is from this book too)
I didn’t just scrapbook about our daily lives but also thoughts, feelings, and letters that I would write to people; mostly to Shawn. It’s important to me that he knows how loved he is, what I was thinking and feeling during major moments in his life.
I wrote him a letter after his 1st week of Pre-K and how I felt about it all and my hopes for him as he goes through school. These are extremely heartfelt and emotional for me to even read again to this date (he’s at the end of 6th grade now!). I then wrote another letter about his growth at the end of the school year and his Pre-K Graduation. He’s never read these letters and nor does he know they exist. He will get them the day he graduates.
Music plays a big role in my life (I have a post coming on my love of music), and there are so many songs out there that remind me of stories in my life. Good things. Painful things. Encouraging things. So I started taking the song title and building a page around it. Writing my true, real, raw feelings about what the song reminds me of. This book is not finished and I still find songs and stories that I want to incorporate into it. The Songs of My Life book is a true representation of who I am.
Like I said, these stories are real, unfiltered and powerful. I touch upon everything from my struggles with infertility to my love of my Grandpa and how much I miss him. If there is ever something that I have written that makes me cry it’s the pages in this book.
For a few Christmases I completed a scrapbook of 25 pages documenting the Christmas season. I had one page for every day from December 1st to December 25th. These books are so special to me because it’s my favorite time of year and they’re so festive and fun!
My biggest book to date is documenting our trip to Walt Disney World in 2019. It’s actually not completed yet and it kills me to say that! However, this book is 225 pages and such a beast to complete! The man-hours that I have into this book are in the hundreds and it’s exhausting. Once the summer comes and life gets a little back to normal, I plan on powering through it and finishing it up.
I have done everything from using grid-like layouts, similar themed graphics, etc. to make this project easier and it’s honestly just a matter of burnout. I would take my laptop and sit in the Taekwondo school with Shawn for hours and scrapbook during class. I would be up late on countless nights. I would scrapbook on the weekend. It’s just a huge book and not done. I still have 1 1/2 parks left to do! At this point I think I would pay someone to finish it for me. LOL
I think that once I get this book done, I will find it to be freeing and I can move on with creating other books but until then, I will keep plugging away on this one.