The short answer: I need to.
I need a creative outlet. I need a way to express myself. A way to be who I want to be. A way to remember who I am, where I came from, and where I want to go.
It reminds me of my priorities in my life: my family, my friends and the memories we all make together--all of which is anchored in the Gospel. It keeps me grounded.
I've always been a science geek. I like to think I have a pretty logical/practical mind. Even though numbers don't always make sense to me, Biology does. It's what I studied in school. I love it. It facinates me. To me Biology is creative. It's a science that deals with creation. My very favorite class was Cellular and Molecular Biology-all about how cells are created and how they function. So facinating to me. But it's definitely technical and exact. And I can only handle so much of that.
Sometimes my Left Brain gets all dominant and then my Right Brain rebels and goes all crazy until I create something. Usually it turns out to be a scrapbook page. I think I'd go crazy if I didn't have some kind of outlet. Everyday I talk to people that don't and they do go crazy. Seriously. This makes me grateful for scrapbooking.
Scrapbooking is not necessarily "practical" (shock I know!). It takes a lot of time and energy, and sometimes money, spent on something that usually just sits on a shelf in a binder and nobody looks at it. I'm okay with that. Though, it would be nice if someone would look at it once in awhile. Validation is always nice, but it's not necessary to me. I give myself lots of validation. hahaha. Oh, wait, not validation, I give myself justification. Whatever. :)
But my scrapbooks are important peices of my personal history, and some day my family's history. I'm not good at keeping a journal, but I can take pictures and document the things I do. Besides, pictures are so much funner! And I love presenting the fun pictures in a fun way. As my family will attest, I've often said about a lot of things, "It's all about the presentation."
How I got started...
When I was about 14 I got really sick and missed a lot of school. About the same time, my mom got me a pack of "pretty" paper (scrapbook paper was cheesy and awful back then). I had gotten a free sample of scrapbooking paper in the mail and begged my mom to get it for me. I had always loved art, paper, and sissors and I KNEW I needed that scrapbooking paper. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. And I used every little scrap of it I could.
Some time later, probably to keep me busy while I was home from school, Mom got me a small pack of paper and a little kit for my birthday so I could start my first scrapbook. I still have that old 8.5"x11" 3 ring binder, cheesy Lisa Frank stickers and all.
From then on it was all down hill. Any extra money I had I spent on Mrs. Grossmans stickers and construction paper. I glued and cut and stickered to my heart's content. As I got older, I began to refine the process a bit and use better quality supplies. But I still glue and cut and sticker the heck out of my pages. And sometimes (ok, a lot of times) I still add some flair by using glitter glue!
And yep, Mom--this is all your fault. :) Thanks for getting me
An Evolution (or was it a Revolution?)
When I graduated from college I decided that I wanted to upgrade from 8.5x11" Binders to 12x12" binders. With this change came a whole new world of possibilites! I could cram so many more pictures on a page! And I learned that I don't have to cram 50 pictures on a page. Sometimes one picture from an event is all you need to capture the feeling of it. I allowed myself to explore more of the art of scrapbooking, in addition to the "preserving history" part of it.
I began creating themed scrapbooks for friends using "expensive" embellishments--meaning I bought them instead of making them. My sister and I created our childhood scrapbook for Mom--my first completed 12x12 scrapbook. And it is massive.
Then I discovered online forums and Brands. I joined groups online and began looking at other people's layouts for inspiration.
My first "fancy" scrapbook was when I made my Disneyland scrapbook. I went all out and began buying all sorts of Disney scrapbook papers and embellishments--months before we even went. It was terrible. ;) And then for months afterwards, I scrapped the trip. Again, that book is massive.
Then I discovered my local scrapbook store, Green Tangerines. It's lovely. It feeds my creative soul. It's pretty expensive so I don't buy too much there, but I love going in and seeing what they have and how I can recreate it using what I have already. Then, last year, I heard they were hiring. I got a job there. And then I got on the Design Team. And then I got fun, expensive, scrappy goodness for free.
I'm in heaven.
All in all, I love the feeling of creating something from nothing. I love being free from whatever problems are bouncing around in my head and solely focusing on the beautiful paper and pictures in front of me. It's exhilarating. It's relaxing. It's fun. It stretches me. And the finished project is a part of me. I love it. :)