I stumbled into scrapbooking when my Grandma died in 2000. I never experienced a loss like that. I never felt such a pain. I never thought I could ever get over it. I wanted to have all the memories I had with her somehow preserved. Those days I just felt miserable and spend my time surfing the Internet – because I was missing my Grandma. And somehow I picked up Two Peas in a Bucket – a large website which had so many beautiful scrapbook layouts created from its users. I started collecting them. And I wanted the same. I wanted pictures I could scrap. But in 2000 there was not much digital photography around and it was even hard to duplicate photos I had. Beside that: These photos often had a bad quality with lots of red and orange colour – that’s how it was in the 80s and 90s.
I was left with a new hobby but not many photos I could use. But then: Photography was not just my hobby but also my main subject at University so I had a lot of material to scrap. Since scrapbooking wasn’t popular in Germany I could hardly find things to use for my new hobby.
Making a long story short I figured that scrapbooking is not “just” about the crafting part. It is so much more. Yes, these days we have tons of photos on our mobile and maybe look at them from time to time thinking “Oh yeah, that was this or that”- but then you swipe to the next. Scrapbooking is more. It’s about getting those pictures from your phone and even out of your computer.
Before you can actually scrapbook there are a few things you need to take care of:
- Living the Life you wanna scrap
- Writing (aka Storytelling)
If you missed one of these parts you can hardly scrapbook and therefore preserve your memories.
I must admit that I’m just experiencing this. Right now, May 2021, Germany is still in Lockdown mode. For months we haven’t done anything but working, grocery shopping and staying at home for a nice evening or going for a walk. It’s OK but I’m done with it 😉 – I know it’s necessary, that’s not the question. But it feels that I’m not living a “life I wanna scrap”. That’s why I made it a habit to take a picture – or many more – each and every day. Sometimes it’s pretty hard to take a picture from me sitting in front of the computer but it helps on the other hand to keep track of the days which otherwise disappear in blur. And really – since every day is the same I can hardly remember what I did yesterday.
That’s why photography and in the end scrapbooking helps. It helps me to stay on track of my own life and record what I’ve done. Still, there is more.
Once you’ve taken your photos you need to write down the story. If you don’t do it you will hardly be able to remember why you took that photo in a year from now. You won’t remember the situation. You won’t remember the feelings you had. So writing that story is absolutely necessary.
And once you’ve done those three important parts you can get into the crafty part and do your scrapbooking.
And that’s when preserving your memories really starts or better ends: With the fun part of maybe a family afternoon scrapbooking layouts which hopefully results in more memories you can take photos of, tell stories about and craft new scrapbooks from.
For a long time and since scrapbooking was never that present in Germany I felt like hiding my love for it. Anyone seemed to look at me a bit pitiful. Like “What are you doing? Scrapbooing? That’s not a business, it’s a hobby!”
But hey, it has been my side hustle and then business since 2008. It can’t be so bad.
I used the Lockdown now to re-invent myself. Myself and my scrapbooking. I no longer feel ashamed saying what I do. I proudly share the videos. I proudly upload my classes. And yes, I proudly scrapbook. Because I want the life I live, the photos I take and the stories I have to tell preserved in a scrapbook I create.