Thursday, January 17, 2008

this is not your grandmother's scrapbook.

I'm really into scrapbooking. I just love it. Although, if you'd asked me a couple of years ago what I thought of scrapbooking, I probably would have told you it was for old ladies with a penchant for doilies and lace. However, last year I made a scrapbook for a friend and found it so much fun that I began to explore the hobby further. What I found was an excellent blend of my passion for beautiful paper and stationary supplies with my love of graphic design and writing. I was thrilled to find all sorts of web sites, blogs and layout postings of fabulous scrapbook pages that looked nothing like the sticker-sneeze pages of the past. These scrapbook pages were beautiful. They featured clean lines, gorgeous papers and amazing graphic design sensibilities. I was in love. Finally! A hobby I could do at home while Csilla was napping that allowed me to be creative without compromising my clean and simple aesthetic.

The funny thing was that I Googled "clean and simple scrapbooking" (because that's what I really wanted to find) and discovered my new guru - Cathy Zielske, author of - you guessed it - Clean & Simple Scrapbooking. This woman is a scrapbooking goddess. Cathy is a graphic designer by trade and applies all of the exacting graphic design principles that I love to her scrapbook pages. I quickly ran out and bought her book and haven't looked back since.

In one of the first chapters of C&SS - the sequel, Cathy quickly dispels every notion I ever had about scrapbooking:

"I'm always surprised at the reactions I get from people when I tell them what I do with so much of my spare time. But I can never just say, "scrapbooking," and leave it at that. I feel this moral obligation to elaborate - to help vaporize the stereotype of ladies wearing applique sweaters, running amok with decorative scissors and teddy bear stickers.

See, scrapbooking of today is really an exploration of life through words and images. It gives people the chance to celebrate that which matters, that which enlightens, that which makes up the very fabric of life. It's really cool. No, I'm serious. I see you smirking, but I'm telling you: don't knock it until you try it, and then, don't come crying to me when you've maxed out your credit cards on scrapbook stuff."

Amen, Cathy!

Since reading these words, I've filled two scrapbooks with pages about our daughter Csilla, and I've made countless other cards, mini-books and albums for friends and family. It's such a fun hobby for those with a creative side and a desire to record their family history and memories. Did I already say that I love it?!

Another wonderful offshoot of this hobby is my new found passion for photography. Scrapbook pages and photography go hand-in-hand and I was lucky enough to be born into a family of photography enthusiasts. My brother and my father are amazing amateur photographers who have been more than happy to share their knowledge and passion with me. I was even lucky enough to receive a wonderful new digital SLR hand-me-down for my birthday this year.

And don't even get me started on all the gorgeous scrapbooking products, papers, magazines & books. The ladies at my local scrapbooking store rub their hands together when they see me coming. I giggle with delight at all the fun stuff I find. My poor credit card...!

Plus, what an amazing community of artists there is in the scrapbooking world. Everybody is so supportive and encouraging of each other's work. There's something for everyone. So, to those of you who have never had any interest in scrapbooking, but love playing with paper and colours and words and design, give it a try! Here are some wonderful web sites and blogs from my favourite scrapbook artists to get you started:

Two Peas in a Bucket
Simple Scrapbooks Magazine
Cathy Zielske Blog
Margaret Scarbrough Blog
Rebecca Cooper Blog

Have fun and get scrappin'! Posts of my layouts to follow...

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