Welcome to this week's edition of So This is Scrapbooking! Today's guest is a young crafter of special talents; and I just know you are going to enjoy her story. When she got in touch to say she had a post to share I couldn't have been more pleased.
I first met Abi, I think, through the Blogging For Scrapbookers class several years ago; and, since then, she has finished her A Levels, taken a GAP year.won herself a place at university - and delighted lots of us with her stories, projects, tutorials and her outlook on life! But let's have Abi tell you a bit more herself...
So this is scrapbooking.
I am going to put this out there now. I no longer scrapbook with paper.
This is more a “so this isn’t scrapbooking!” story. My story with scrapbooking starts a long time ago though, and although I wouldn’t now consider it my main craft, it has influenced me a whole lot more than I ever thought photos and pretty paper could.
I was thirteen when I got my first scrapbook. It was a Christmas present; a box of paper, an album and my first digital camera. I was always crafty so I dived straight in. For many years I made albums documenting life at boarding school. As my confidence grew so did the quality of my pages. I got my first page published in a magazine when I was fifteen and man, it made me excited!
It was at this stage that I started hearing some scrapbooking names. I actually remember seeing a photo of Sian in Scrapbook Inspirations! I found Shimelle’s blog address in one issue of the magazine and typed it into google. There it was. The first blog I followed.
Naturally one thing led to another and I was soon following several blogs, all devoted to scrapbooking. At seventeen I saw an advert on a scrapbooking site for Shimelle’s blogging class. I had wanted to start blogging for a while but something held me back. This was the push I needed.
So scrapbooking led me inadvertently to blogging. It was around the same time I got my DSLR and the two seemed to go hand in hand. I connected with like minded people who shared a love of craft and photos and words.
At the same time as I developed my blog, my scrapbooking took a downturn. I went through a weird time of following so many scrapbooking blogs that I couldn’t make a page for want of comparing it with others. My work just didn’t feel good enough. This also coincided with A levels and the time left to scrapbook was squeezed out with revision. I hated leaving a LO half finished on a desk and then return to it a month later at the next holiday.
Looking back I think I totally lost sight of the “why” behind scrapbooking. I had got into such a rut that I felt guilty for not making a layout but then felt lost when I tried to scrapbook.
So I stopped. I gave myself some creative freedom. I got a sewing machine for my 18th and picked out new materials. I made my first quilt, then a skirt. I picked up knitting needles and made a scarf. I played with paint and paper and mini books. I did what pleased me, not what I thought I was defined by my blog as “a scrapbooker”. Sure, I started out my blog as that but I was a crafter first and foremost.
Two years down the line and I have dabbled in scrapbooking again as well as any number of crafts. At the age of twenty I have realised that I will probably never be a one craft sort of girl. I like experimenting too much. For this season of life I am happy with that.
I will forever be indebted to scrapbooking though. If I hadn’t started scrapbooking I would never had put photos with words. I would never have cooed over patterns and colour or found blogs. If it wasn’t for scrapbooking my blog wouldn’t exist and nor I think would the number of photos I take! I would never have found the support network, kind words, and beautiful sites of so many bloggers who I call friends.
I still follow scrapbooking blogs, I still ahh over LO’s. But I am happy to be the observer at this stage. I have recently started a new adventure into Project Life, working with the digital elements for convenience and costs sake. Project Life is feeling like scrapbooking did at thirteen; simple photos paired with words. Back to what attracted me to it in the first place. Do I think I will be doing PL for years to come? Maybe. But if I don’t I will be ok with that.
In the end it comes full circle; we rejoice in the glorious, the colourful, the handmade and the every day, the stuff of life. I don’t think this will change, what craft I express it through though is a whole different story!
Thank you Abi! Abi studies at the University of Durham and still finds time to blog her projects and her stories at her beautiful blog Creating Paper Dreams. She'd love you to visit, say hello, stay a while...