Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Scrappy Story

So, what makes you happy? I'm not talking about the deep-running undercurrents of joy in our lives that spring up and fill our hearts when we hear our children laugh in abandonment or when we witness something so beautiful there are no words to express our emotions...I'm talking about those things that, when we do them, simply make us happy. Things that make the stress and busyness of the rest of our lives forgotten, if only for a few minutes or hours.
For my mom, her happy place is her garden; for my sister, it's in her kitchen (cooking...not the cleaning!) For me, it's scrapbooking. I love the papers...the colors, patterns, textures. I love what you can do with them...cut them, ink them, tear them, sand them, wrinkle them. I love the doo-dads (officially called 'embellishments')...the brads, sparkles, ribbon, stickers, eyelets, flowers, metal accents. And I love the stamping...there is a perfect stamp for everything, I just have to find it!! Too many stamps? Not possible!! Admittedly, I wasn't a stamper until I found Close To My Heart clear MyAcrylix stamps. I do have quite a perfectionist strain running through me and I love to be able to place a stamp perfectly the first time and if (gasp!) I make a mistake, I can always fix the original design by re-stamping over it. Fantastic!!
As a symphony musician by training and profession, I have found scrapping to be my non-pressure creative happy place. I can sit down with a pack of paper and a stack of photos and my day is immediately better. The tactile nature of working with the materials fulfills my need for my hands to be 'doing', the creative challenge of choosing the right papers and pattern for the photos I have stimulates my intellect and keeps my problem solving skills fresh, and enjoying the finished product gives me a liberating sense of accomplishment...a feeling of being able to bring order and completion into some small part of my life. So much of life is a busy 'work in progress', right? I mean, really, you can't build a healthy marriage or raise a child in a couple hours.
And the best part of all this is that, as I am completing these small, fulfilling projects one by one, I am gradually adding art to the story of our lives. My family and friends will be able to look through my scrapbooks and remember things that might otherwise have been forgotten. One of my favorite scrapbook pages is one that I made with all the little 'inside jokes' and funny incidents that my best friend and I shared in college...more than a decade ago now. I know that I wouldn't remember all those little things if I hadn't taken the time to put them on a page. I'm looking forward to my kids asking me about them and laughing with me (or maybe just thinking that their mom was completely weird!).
So, there you have my mini 'scrapbooking story' and why it makes me happy. You can look forward to many more specific examples to follow!


Barb said...

Yeah Rachel!! Welcome to the blogging world! And I also wanted to tell you what a beautiful explanation you have created for why we love scrapbooking! You ARE so very artistic and creative! Congratulations!! Hugs...

Jinnag said...

No wonder you love this post - I would too if it was mine. J x