Saturday, 30 January 2010

This is why I scrapbook

Like Shimelle, I don't fit the conventional stereotype that is so often associated with that curious enigma...the 'scrapbooker.' I don't have any children. Or grandchildren. Or pets. I am, in fact, an unmarried, 23 year old postgraduate student.

So, why scrapbook?

Had it not been for one person in particular, it is highly likely that I would never have discovered scrapbooking as we understand it today. That person is Mrs. Rose.
Back in 2004, I spent a year living and studying in the U.S. (Memphis, TN to be exact). As a high school senior, I lived with 9 host families who had daughters in my class (I also lived with my AP English teacher), changing families roughly every three weeks. Mrs. Rose was one of my 'host moms.' She was also a scrapbooker.

When I mentioned to Mrs. Rose that I wanted to make a scrapbook of my photos, mementos and memorabilia from my 'Senior year' (it's always such a novelty for me to be able to say that!), I envisioned some sort of album, some scissors and a glue stick...nothing fancy or complicated...just a simple keepsake to acknowledge my own 'American dream.'

But then Mrs. Rose led me through an innocuous reveal her very own scrapbooking room. This, for me, was a total revelation. I had never, ever heard of such a thing. And, as she gave me a tour of her scrapping space and her supplies, I realised that I had pretty much died and gone to heaven.
Mrs. Rose equipped me with my very own pink post-bound scrapbook album, a Fiskars paper trimmer, a pair of Cutter Bee Precision-Cut Scissors and some Tombow adhesive. She gave me her permission to delve into her supply of cardstock and patterned papers. She even let me use her original Sizzix Personal Die-Cutter, which was pretty much the coolest thing ever...And then she took me to Michaels.

I was smitten.

Of course I realise now - six years later - that my first foray into scrapbooking didn't just satisfy my life-long stationery addiction. At the time, it helped me to get through several bouts of homesickness. It became a catharsis. It was a way of processing an incredible and totally life-changing experience. It was a way of preserving this experience...and, most importantly of all, it was a way of doing it justice.

And this is why I scrapbook.

I scrapbook because I am blessed with a fantastic family, a wonderful boyfriend and some fabulous friends. I scrapbook because I love this life that I lead. I scrapbook because one day I want my children to understand who I was...and who I am. I scrapbook to process and preserve the past. I scrapbook because I want to do my experiences and my memories justice. I scrapbook simply because it is something that I love to do. And I scrapbook because of Mrs. Rose.

Thank you, Mrs. Rose.
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Meghann said...

What a cool post!

Chey can cook! (and more) said...

What a wonderful memory to share with us:) Scrapbooking rules:) I think I scrapbook so someday my husband, friends, family and I can look thru them and laugh/cry, and to show our kids someday that their parents were "cool" hehe

Heather said...

that was so beautifully & carefully written :)

KateB said...

well written and love the Basic Grey stuff that you used!!! Very nice!! and very cute pictures!

Denise R said...

So cool Gen! I love that I have passed on my love of paper and scrapbooking to you and you are still doing it! I think of you often and wish you were still here with us in the 'South'! I am so excited about your blog and have posted it on my Reader so I can keep up with you now. I see your scrapbooking skills have really progressed and I am so excited for you!

Anonymous said...

GEN!!!! My mom sent me the link to your blog!!! LOVE IT GIRL!!!!!!!!! We miss you soooo much here, but I am so glad that I can "stalk" you through your blog now!! Glad to see mom was able to pass on the love for scrapbooking to someone!! :) MISS YOU!!!