11/20/2009

I'm Quitting...

I re-evaluated Scrapbooking and I'M QUITTING.  Yes, I'm done scrap-booking.  Shocked!  Don't be. It's OK.  REALLY!! And I'm OK with it. I've gotten it wrong.  I learned a hard, cold, but very valuable lesson and got a much needed wake up call. 
Last week I was given a box of photos.  Old photos.  Very old photos.  Some more than 50+ years old.  Family photos.  And there are not a lot of them.  And the few there are, are so old, and faded so badly you can barely recognize the people in them.  And then only if you look really close and carefully at the pictures.

Someone got to them before me and tried to look at them and in doing so ruined many of them. Many of them were stuck to each other.  When they were pulled apart most ripped or tore and many now have large chunks missing.  And do you know what?  Even damaged the photos that show the people and their homes are the ones that mean the most to me.  Unfortunately those are the ones that are damaged the most.

The pictures of the places we went, the things we saw held up better.  Why? I don't know.  Maybe because they aren't quite as old.  But honestly, I could really care less about them.  It's the people and the everyday things in the photos that matter the most to me. You know the ancient TV in the background, the crazy fireplace, the old coffee table, the dog that snuck in, the dishes on the counter, the mural hanging in the kitchen etc.  The things I've been cropping out of my pictures.  The things I thought were distractions...

I've gotten scrap-booking wrong. It's not about the pretty paper or the fancy flowers or the cool rub ons.  It's all about the who, what, when, where, and why.  A simple date on an old film envelope thrilled me.  A name on the back of a photo had me exclaiming with joy.  And the one badly damaged "scrapbook" type album I did find had me jumping up and down.  It had pictures on PLAIN black construction paper with photo corners holding them on.  And I was thrilled... especially on the few pages someone thought to tape notebook paper to them and added a date and sometimes a name.  That little info was pure gold! And that was the ONLY embellishment or decoration on the entire page.  Many of the pages were just black paper with photos stuck on.  That was it!  Nothing else! And I was fine with it.  All I cared about were the pictures.  I didn't even care about the old b-day cards, I found tucked in the pages every once in a while.

It has made me re-evaluate scrap-booking.  And I have to say I am done.  In 10, 20 or 30 years no one is going to care about the pretty paper I used or the cool technique I applied to the page.  Or how drop dead gorgeous those prima flowers are.  They are only going to care about the people in the pictures and maybe a little bit about the stuff in the pictures with the people.  I found a picture of my brother's first car.  It was in the background of another pic - just sort pf sticking out like an old thumb.  So glad no one cropped it out.  The same is true of the brief glances into my parents first house. I have vague memories of the layout, but that is it.  Who would have thought those things would be important?

Yes I've gotten scrap-booking wrong.  In 25+ years my kids won't care about the pictures of the animals we saw at the zoo, or how pretty their b-day cake was, or the cool art exhibits we took them too.  The only pictures that will matter are the ones showing the people.  Yes the people, doing simple everyday things.  Even if those people look silly or have mustard in their hair.  I know.  I just received a box of pictures from my childhood.  I could care less about the picture I colored when I was five or the award I received.  But I love all the pictures I found of the people - even the ones where half the heads were cut off.  They were better than nothing!  So GLAD no one threw those away.  I know I would have.  Yes, I only exclaimed over the pictures of people, my parents, their friends and relatives.   The paper or envelope that held the pictures was meaningless to me. And so I say...

Good bye $ scrapbook paper, goodbye prima flowers, goodbye fancy stamps and rub ons... I am moving on...  I found what really matters and it isn't you.  I am done with fussy, fancy scrapbook pages that sometimes take days to put together.  I'm going back to the basics.  Black cardstock, pictures and lots of journaling listing all the people's names along with dates clearly labeled because in 25+ years I won't be able to remember either.  I just had a very hard and very real course in what truly matters in your photo albums and fancy paper and embellishments are not it.  Bring on the black card-stock and photo corners.  It's truly the pictures and the people in them that matter most.  :)

2 comments:

Strawberry Fields said...

LOL...isn't it funny how something can give us that "aha" moment!

You know when I go to Disney and such and take pictures of the same things over and over I think the same thing. BUT...

I found pictures my mom took at Disney when I was a little girl and I LOVE seeing the changes. I'm glad she took a pictures of the decorations, rides, etc. It is all different now. What used to look so cool and high tech is so "cheesy". Do you remember the ride 20,000 leagues under the sea? It doesn't exist anymore but I have it in photos.
I've always been big on scrapbooking my old pictures. My grandmother left me loads of heritage photos, letters and documents. I have pulled most from the plain albums and added flowers and paper because I like to do it.
So I guess what I'm saying...do it because you like to do it and don't over look the small stuff just to create a page. But don't forget the small stuff either because one day it will matter even those animals at the zoo.
Stacy created a page once with an old photo of her grandmother in the kitchen and the cool part was the old stove in the background. So neat to see how things used to be:)

Strawberry Fields said...

Oh and if you need any photo corners...I have plenty in stock ;) lol