I am a scrapbooker.


I am a scrapbooker. 

There, I said it. It's kind of embarrassing sometimes when people say 'you ... what?' But I am. A scrapbooker. It's something I have to do. I care. A little bit too much. About taking all of the pictures. I care about beautiful papers and prints and patterns and color schemes. I save things. I write down the stories, even if I'm not the best writer. I really like that kind of stuff and I don't care if some people think it's dorky. I'm back, I'm doing it. Here we go.

My parents took a lot of photos when I was growing up and looking at them now absolutely has an effect on me. They bring back memories and they make me feel. We all want to see things the way they were, remember times long gone and see the people we love in their younger years. We want to know the stories and where we came from. I'm pretty sure it's human nature.

In recent years, I took a hiatus from scrapbooking. On my break, I explored other crafts and hobbies. There's nothing wrong with that. But while I was gone, I missed scrapbooking.

I used to be into it pretty deep. If you've read this blog since, well ... the beginning, you'll know that I was very much into scrapbooking in years past. I would scour Two Peas for days. I became pretty involved at SIStv. And Red Velvet Kit Club. And all kinds of challenge blogs, collaborations and art journaling projects. (Remember Work Your Soul?) I finally I found my tribe with my girls at The Dares. If I'm losing you, I am so sorry. I'm getting deep down into the denizens of paper crafting people here.


But eventually I felt burned out by the 'old way' of scrapbooking, fun as it was. I would spend entirely way too much time on one page that would hold one or two photos. Convincing myself that I could realistically keep up with documenting life in that painstakingly slow way started to feel overwhelming. So I stopped completely. I didn't know how to carry on so I didn't. I still love most of those old pages I made – don't get me wrong. But with all the work I was doing, I wasn't keeping up with life. What made me feel worse was the fact that during my scrapbooking hiatus, a few more years had come and gone and I didn't feel like it was possible to go back where I had left off and start again.

I realized that my children didn't have baby books. And that bothered me. Their best and most eventful years existed in the photos on my hard drive. I had scrapbooked random moments about Lotus when she was a baby but the story I wanted to tell was not there. My favorite photos were not there. I wanted to share it all and I needed a better way to do it. I thought about this for a long time. I saw a lot of my online friends doing Project Life. I thought about it some more.


Then, last fall I hung out with my good friends Jamaica and Kristi. And we talked about scrapbooking. Like only true scrapbooking nerds can. I shared my frustrations about wanting to document my kids' lives. In a doable, realistic way. I needed a photo book and it had to tell the stories, use my favorite photos and still look cool. And my pal Jamaica looked at me and said, 'You should really just try Project Life, Jen.' She told me all about it. And so I went home, went through my hoard of scrap, printed some photos and and jumped back in.

So there you have it. Here I am. I'm a scrapbooker. And I'm on the Project Life Creative Team. I am stoked to be actually working on those baby books right now. And I look forward to sharing my progress/strategy here and on the Project Life blog very soon.

Maybe you've taken a break from scrapbooking too ... maybe we can do this together. xo.


22 comments:

  1. Way to jump back in. I know as a scrapbooker people are like what?but then they thumb thru a book and are like I wish my life was documented.

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    1. Thanks Katie! I think you're totally right.

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  2. It's so funny for me to read this because I know you as a scrapbooker who knits sometimes. Though I bet most people think of you as a knitter first. Anyway, I'm excited to see what you do this year! I have jumped back into Project Life myself after taking a year and a half off from it and I'm having a lot of fun so far.

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    1. Hilarious. I sort of feel like maybe people didn't know or remember the scrapbooking thing but maybe I'm wrong! I'm glad you're doing PL ... I love seeing what everyone else is doing, too.

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  3. so happy you are scrapping again! :) can't wait to see your PL inspiration xo

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    1. THANKS, Vee! Miss you and thanks. xo.

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  4. I hear you girl. Nothing brings on the burning pink ears faster than telling someone I scrapbook for the first time. It's not like knitting which has a rebellious new image. But I love telling stories so I keep at it even though I often wonder why i waste so much time and money on it. Im also missing some favorite stories- PL seems so overwhelming but maybe if i dont see it as a daily thing but a telling stories thing I might just jump in- good point.

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    1. Right! So right. And yeah, I'm not going to do Project Life week-by-week. I have too much I want to catch up on ... bigger stories, like you said. I'm going to approach it one project at a time. That seems more doable to me!

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  5. yes yes yes...all of this! and man i am so excited to see what you do!!

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  6. I found your blog through the Dares, which is funny to think about now that we share the same area code and super-great-maker-community here in our city.
    I was inspired by your art and your scrapbookin' works before I was able to be inspired by you personally.
    (A true testament to your genuine, creative spirit.)

    I can't wait to see what you make.

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    1. I'm inspired by YOU, girl ... you're awesome. xo.

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  7. and i forgot to say i STILL miss the effers :)

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  8. I admire the work of scrapbookers. I've made a couple but the way I scrapbook is to cram as many pictures as possible onto a page. It's not pretty. But I guess it works for me :)
    I am expecting my second child in July and I have yet to start my 20 month old's baby book. As much as I want him to have this book it's so intimidating! However, I am determined to do it before baby 2 arrives!

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    1. I totally understand! I'm going back in time and working on my 7-year-old's book ... and my youngest is almost 2. But there's no better time than now, I guess. :)

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  9. Oh my goodness, I thought I'd checked out all the Creative Team members blogs and info, but I somehow never realized that you were THE Jen from the Effers Dares...I was (and still am) so inspired by your work. I actually still look at the dares website just to scroll through and get inspiration. Anyway, didn't want to sound like a stalker, but I feel so honored to be on the team with you :)

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    1. No way, Heather! Aw, thanks. I'm a huge fan of YOUR stuff. Exciting!

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  10. I have been following your blog since way back and I have always loved your take on scrapbooking. Can't wait to see your Project Life process! I've been doing weekly Project Life digitally for two years, and I love it. Still can't let go of playing with the pretty paper a bit, though. I think those pocket pages are great for documenting everything from baby days to vacations to vintage childhood memories. yay!

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  11. xo, Kristen. Thanks so much for hanging with me through the years. <3

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  12. I think I originally found you via The Dares, and actually won a Rob Ryan book from you a few years ago which was so exciting! I've really enjoyed all your crafting adventures and am so happy that you'll be sharing your project life too - thank you for all your inspiration! xx

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  13. I've followed you since The Dares. I only started scrapbooking because of Kristi. I never liked 12 x 12" pages. I took a class from her on making mini books. I found my niche. I took a class from Shimelle where I learned scrapbook storytelling in 2008. Ever since I've done a photo calendar book. I can't wait to see what you do with Project Life.

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  14. Ahhh...I'm so glad you're back. I miss The Dares and I miss Red Velvet as it used to be...but like you I quit for a long time. Now I'm back in, too, and I am kind of a hybrid...Project Life with Studio Calico and a little vintage thrown in for good measure. I need to start sharing my pages. It's such a good way to unwind and save your stories.

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Thanks for stopping by and saying hi!