Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Drama Drama Drama

No, this thread isn't about my teenage daughter.

Though it could be.

She is quite dramatic.

No, THIS thread is all about the drama in the scrapbook "industry."

Typing the word "industry" makes me cringe a little. It makes Scrapbooking sound like Microsoft.

Or something.

Anyway...there has been MUCH drama abounding lately.

To sum up:

1) It is extremely stupid to hold a "contest" (and I'm using this word lightly) and not check your entries for compliance to your own contest rules. Creating Keepsakes, (if you're listening, which I doubt, because I have a very firm mental picture of y'all with your fingers in your ears and your eyes squinshed shut chanting "I can't heeeeaaarrr you!"), you can't post contest rules, clearly DETAIL those rules in a public forum, and then chose to ignore them when it suits your purpose. Much drama will ensue. (See? Drama. The running theme here.)

2) It is impossible to take a picture of yourself on a river run from the shore while being buffetted down rapids going at a hearty clip. Especially if both hands are on your oar. Especially if it's in the exact same spot that the professional hired photographer takes her pictures. Especially if the mad photoshop skills it would take to blend a series of blurry, imperfect photographs aren't sufficient to erase a few pounds and clone out a moustache. Positing such an implausible scenario will cause much detective work and endless drama. And if the drama gets to be too much, don't storm out in a blaze of glory claiming that you were misconstrued. It won't work. It will just cause MORE drama.

3) It is a bad idea to manage a message board and violate your own rules. Especially if your board has a "glitch" that allows people to see your potty mouth. Especially if it also allows people to read you possibly handing out personal member information. There will be ...you guessed it...drama. People will dramatically email your boss. Your boss will have to post on your board trying to appease the dramatic and angered masses. And I'm guessing he'll be none to pleased about it.

This is the scrapbooking "industry." It is NOT "scrapbooking." When did scrapbooking start becoming "These are the Days of our Acid-Free Lives?"

Sigh. I remember when we cut out photo mats with fancy sissors, sneezed some stickers around them and called it a day. HOF was the shirtless dude on Baywatch and smack was something you did with your lips after you ate something tasty.

Those were the days.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Confessions of a Reformed Scrap Snob.

A few weeks ago, there was a Scrap Expo in town. Anyone who knows me KNOWS that I'll be there unless prevented from going by a major natural disaster. And we never have hurricanes in Utah....

Well, most people who know me know I also hate going places alone. It's mostly because I hate driving, period. I always try to get someone to go with me so I don't have to drive.

Well, on this particular occasion I invited my sister. Now my sister has scrapbooked on occasion, but has never developed my enthusiasm (read "obssession") for the hobby and usually declines to scrap with me.

Recently said sister went on a cruise. And has lots of cool, cruise photos. And has decided she would like them scrapbooked. So she agreed to go (and drive) on the condition I would work on her album with her.

So we go to the expo. I bring my travel stash but don't have anything that I think would go with her photos. So we start wandering the booths looking for things we could use. Right away she finds some fish stickers and thinks they would work on one of the ocean pages.

"Uh," I say, "I don't really use stickers. Like that. With animals. Maybe letter stickers. But not really fish ones."

"Oh!" says sister. "Stickers aren't cool anymore?"

"Ummm....not really. Well, I mean, I don't use them, but if you want to, you can. I mean, it is your album."

"Noooo," says sister. "I want it to be cute."

So we look around some more and score some awesome Scenic Route chipboard letters for 2 dollars each. While I'm standing in line to buy more MME buttons than one person could ever use, sister goes and looks at the next booth.

And comes back with a laser-cut Cancun title with a silver dolphin on it.

"Look!" she says. "I thought this would be good for the Cancun page."

"Uh, OK." I say. "I don't really use stuff like that, but we could make it work."

"Oh," says sister. "Well, maybe I'll give it to Stephanie. She can use it on her album."

Finally we get settled and sister watches while I do this semi-artsy page for her trip to Hell. (It's a place. Really. Some guy was exploring it and said Oh HELL! and the name stuck.) Sister seems to like that page ok. Then I start working on her Margaritaville photos and pull out my sacred stash of Foofala tropical colored paper and my Queen and Co felt trim. I add some of my newly acquired buttons for good measure and am really liking the way it's turning out.

Sister seems underwhelmed. She's not happy about a"hole" in my design. And about the fact that by this point we've spent about $130 and have only 2 layouts to show for it.

Fast forward two weeks later. Sister tells me she's going to Roberts to get some more paper for her album for an upcoming crop. "Maybe I can find some life-preserver paper and we can put Stephanie's and my photos in the holes. I'm going to look for some beach paper and some other stuff I can use too." Sister seems excited to get her album going.

And all I'm thinking is..."Life preserver paper???? How am I going to make THAT cute?"

And it hits me. I am a scrapbook snob. And I don't think I like it.

Who am I to look down my nose at the things my sister wants to include in her album? Why does it matter to ME what things she wants to put on HER page?

When did it become SO important that the pages I create are "trendy" and use the latest product? Why do I worry if my layouts are "magazine worthy?" I don't even submit! Why does the thought of having to use themed paper send cold shivers down my spine?

Now, I'm not going to change the way I scrap, because I have my own style and I enjoy my pages. But I AM going to be more aware of how my attitudes might affect others with different likes and dislikes than mine. I AM going to leave MY own preferences at the door and help my sister create an album that SHE enjoys. And I AM going to appreciate other people's creations for what they are: an expression of themselves.

I WILL scrap with the life-preserver paper. And I'm gonna LIKE it! :D