When chocolate accidentally found peanut butter they suddenly became the perfect match. The combination just makes sense. When a woman has children and needs a creative outlet the result is the discovery of the perfect match of artistic design and storytelling. The combination just makes sense. And, voila, there you have scrapbooking, a worldwide hobby that provides a path for women to express their creative side and preserve memories.
|First Scrapbook Album, Taylor's Baby Book|
I didn’t know the hobby even had a name when I found a beautiful album 13 years ago filled with paper and stickers that I thought would be perfect for documenting my first child’s life. Oh, yes, I bought the deckle edge scissors and overly busy pattern papers and made pages with very little design sense at all.
But the years and supplies accumulated. The industry exploded and my love for it continued to grow. My style evolved and my bins soon turned into a whole room dedicated just to the craft of memory making.
|Colorbok 2nd place winning page of my great grandmother.|
In 2004 I won second place in a National competition from Colorbok and Susan Branch that carried a $500 prize and publication. It was exciting, but I didn’t push myself to break out into paper craft stardom. I was still on a scrapbook rollercoaster, distracted occasionally by other hobbies and life circumstances, but inevitably coming back again to my beloved paper, scissors and glue.
|First Page Publication from Studio Calico Yearbook Kit|
Eventually I found the company that turned my passion into a full blown obsession: Studio Calico. I joined in 2008 and the 27th of every month became a sacred day that better not be messed with ‘cuz mama had to get her fix…and I would order a big box of supplies greedy with anticipation, disappointed if I didn’t have quick enough fingers to get what I wanted before it was all sold out.
|Publication using Studio Calico Summer Camp|
But this form of scrapbooking with a kit took my design abilities to the next level. I found a supportive online community and inspiration to last a lifetime. I began making pages worthy of regular publication, having more than half a dozen pages published in Scrapbook Trends Magazine. I began teaching classes and building an online resume. I had big plans of being on a design team and making my own products.
|Last of the scrapping days, June 2011, Studio Calico Paper Moon|
I thought the future of me and my scrapbooking was a lot like a peanut butter cup: as long as they had ‘em in stock, I was going to keep eating them. But one day I looked at that sweet chocolaty treat and it dawned on me that I could keep eating it forever as long as I allowed it, but I knew deep down my secret passion for dark chocolate and almonds had been buried for so long and could not be denied forever….and right then I decided I had to “quit” in order to fulfill other dreams.
|Last known scrap page, June 2011, Studio Calico Paper Moon|
It has not been an easy process leaving this world of paper I have built. I have so much time and money invested in scrapbooking and an online community that I love. I made the decision in the fall on 2010 and it took me a full year to finally put it away and pick up the pencils and paints.
|Masses of scrapbook supplies, now obsolete.|
Last week I made the final step towards having a studio instead of a scrapbook room. I packed up all of my old stuff, labeled what I wanted in boxes, put them in the closet and then made a massive pile of that-which-much-find-a-new-home. Then I pulled out the paints, brushes and canvases and have displayed them in a prominent spot (future post planned, stay tuned!) I am ready for the next big thing. I am doing the next big thing. It has been a long process to convince myself of doing the next big thing, but I am confident it is the RIGHT thing for me to be doing.
I know I will not turn my back on scrapbooking completely, I still have stories to tell about my boys and I love this form of documenting their lives, but I suspect it will be the anecdote to my new artistic profession. So there you have it, this is my scrapbook history – it was the best creative life I lived before taking the “Big Leap.”
And this was the best week ever as I dug deep into the memories of the last 13 years. I will forever be grateful to the creative life it gave me in the years it has taken space in my heart and the gift it has given me of design knowledge and creative spontaneity. Thank-you.