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


Fink said...

I have often thought the same thing when looking at others books. I am a simple scrapper still kinda stuck in the Creative Memories ways of scrapping and always think how can they put that in their scrapbook. Where do I get off thinking that? Is it because they are better than me? I would say probably because they have the guts to do something fun and different! I am slowly learning a new way of scrapping and trying to hold off turning into a different kind of snob!!!!

Suzanne said...

Well good for you Meredith! I'm glad to hear this! I personally tend to appreciate everyone's scrapbooking style for what it is (like you said). I've always brought to the table that there is no right or wrong! I have a friend that's just starting out and she has absolutely no stash. So, I suggested she start with a themed pack of paper (something I choose to not do myself) for her wedding album..she was sooooo excited! So, she bought the paper, album and stickers and I must say she did excellent with it. Again, not my style but it was really beautiful work that she did. In addition, it made me feel special that she asked me for MY opinion!

Peggy Severins said...

Well we all look differently at things and time changes, I mean when I look back at things that I bought a while ago it often makes me shiver too :) You are so lucky though that you have someone you can share your hobby with. Have a great day.

Stacy Armstrong said...

That was a great read Mer!! I think snob is a little harsh for you.....maybe just extra!! But I know exactly what you are talking about. I'm trying to reform my high maitenance ways!! Its not working very well. lol.

It amazes me the wide gamet of scrapbook styles, yet we only see, what seems like, 2% of the scrapbooking population's style in the magazines. Which of course is the most graphic inspired....Okay, I'll stop editorializing on your blog now. sorry :)
Thanks for the good read. I miss seeing you on CX....have you been gone or am I just missing you??

Andrea Amu said...

Well, I also agree that you shouldn't be so hard on yourself. I think that this is just something that every die-hard scrapper goes through! I know I've caught myself with those "snobby" thoughts before too!