I thought today might be a good day to walk you through my process of creating a scrapbook page with no pictures. “What?” you say, “How can you scrapbook without pictures? Isn’t the whole point to USE YOUR PICTURES? Your family treasures?”
Well yes, using pictures is fun, and while it makes you feel like you are making progress, it’s really a false sense of progress, unless you include the MOST IMPORTANT THING: Your words.
I have looked through a scrapbook that my grandparents had from when they first got married. There are a few captions here and there, so I’m not completely in the dark, but for the most part I have no idea who all these people were, and why they were important to my grandparents.
I think that is sad.
I want to know more about my grandparents’ experiences as kids growing up, as high school students during the great depression, as young marrieds at the start of World War II. I want to know more about their life together raising three kids, and the careers they had, and their take on life. And while I knew them fairly well, and even lived with them occasionally, there’s still so much I don’t know that I wish I did.
And that is why I scrapbook.
Because even though someone else may get to know me very well, they still can’t tell my story the way I am experiencing it. And if my children are anything like me, they will want to know my story, too. And this is why I’m trying to get my mother to write a little about her story, because even though she’s still around, and I can ask her any question I can think of, it still won’t be HER story without her perspective.
Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now. But I love scrapbooking. Because it’s ALL about love.
Another slight tangent regarding why I don’t have any photos from the trip I and my husband took to Jamaica. While happily snapping away during the dinner after our friend’s wedding ceremony, my camera froze up. The lens cover would no longer open and close, and it would no longer turn on. When a change of batteries did not solve the issue, I concluded that I probably got sand into the camera housing. Getting it cleaned and repaired would cost more than a new point and shoot, so that’s what we decided to do. Eventually. On Mother’s Day of the following year. So I went without a camera from November to May. I do have some video of Ethan on Christmas thanks to the video camera Ross had given me the previous year, but not much in the way of daily life snapshots.
I took the memory card from the camera to a local photo shop and had the pics put on disk, but didn’t print any because I wanted to decide what to print and what to toss first. I remember seeing the pics once, but have not been able to access the disk since. I’ve got one more trick to try at home before I go back to the local shop and ask, beg and plead for help with my now 4 and a half year old disk.
Anyway. No pictures. But I do have memorabilia. The wedding invitation. The ticket stub for the plane. A business card from the resort we stayed at. A postcard that I sent to Ethan while we were there. (I missed my boy-o a lot, but really relished the child free mornings and evenings.)
How it all began:
Stacy Julian put up a prompt on her website for a color combination she called “spring surf.” The colors reminded me of the whole Jamaica experience, so I decided I’d do a page about that. I printed out a screen shot of her color inspiration, and pulled out papers that were close to what she had listed, pulled out my memorabilia box, and threw all the pieces together on my work table so they could live together and learn how to get along. In between trips to my MIL’s house to paint the hall, I shuffled papers and memorabilia around, and gradually weeded out the parts that didn’t work. I decided to use 5X7 page protectors on one side, so I could have a place for one of the invites and the postcard, and additional journaling, if I want to get into how much I needed a vacation at that point in time. Oh, and to add the weird stories, like the glass bottom boat operator who exposed himself while I was recovering from a bit of claustrophobia after snorkeling, and the walk up the beach to a Jimmy Buffett themed resort to watch football with the guys.
Any way, those stories may or may not get recorded, but I have a place for them if I feel the need to add them. I finally figured out that I wanted just the highlights of the trip as part of the page, so printed them out with word. Using the color scheme, I added bits of patterned paper and cardstock to the small spaces of the 5X7 page protector, and added a strip of lace paper on top of the Jamaica/Caribbean patterned paper I’ve been saving for 5 years. I placed it over the red part of the collage to tone it down, and used that as the base line to build out the other parts of the page: the invitation, the ticket stub, the journaling, and the business card. I used an old rub-on and some letter stickers to add a title. I probably should have used larger letters for the Jamaican part of the title to make them easier to read, but I’m okay with imperfection. I’ve got more important things to do than get every scrapbook page exactly right. I added a piece of raffia to the postcard to make it easier to pull out and read. I chose raffia because it echoes the natual fibers Kate used on her wedding invitation, and the thatched roofs of a lot of Jamaican buildings.
If the local photo shop is able to save any of my photos, I’ll add them to a divided page protector, and call it done. The trip was a wonderful diversion, and I don’t feel the need to spend much more time on it than slipping a few photos into a few pockets. I would like a picture of me pregnant with Simon, though, which is why I’m still trying to get the photos.
What do you think?