Thursday, 18 October 2012

Why I scrap!

I recently made the long trek to Newcastle to attend a crop day.
So? Big deal!
Well for me, it was a big deal, and it reaffirmed for me why I scrap, and what I get out of it.
So, if you would please indulge me a little and read on ... 

What do I get out of scrapbooking?

My blog post is largely inspired by this post by the lovely Kate. She posed the question and once I read through her beautifully written and thoughtful post, I felt the need to answer the question too - answer it for myself as much as everyone else.

I love this quote from her - "I think with anything you are passionate about, you can get so caught up doing it, thinking about it, dreaming of it that you forget to ask yourself why you are actually doing it and what you hope to achieve out of it. "

Speaking of that crop day in Newcastle, and Kate ... well, we FINALLY got to meet in real life.
She was just as I expected, absolutely lovely - mwah to you my gorgeous friend xxx.
And I also got to see my dear friend Michelle again (since her shop, Scrapbook Divas, was hosting the day).
*** waving to Michelle too ***

So back to the trek to Newcastle ... it was a good 6-7 hour drive from our place to Newcastle but that didn't bother me. Originally I was just going to go and bring the children (which Michelle's husband had so generously agreed to mind) but then Marty was able to squeeze in a few days off so he took the chance for a quick family break which was fantastic for us. He and the kids fended for themselves, went 4WDing on Stockton Beach, swam and played and wore themselves out!

I spent the entire day however surrounded by creative, crafty ladies feeling very inspired and relaxed.

The crop day was in fact a fundraiser for breast cancer research in memory of a local scrapping lady, Amanda, who was known in many circles and who I had the pleasure of sharing with on many online scrappy sites, as well as meeting in person at Michelle's Scrapbook Divas retreat back in early 2008.

Hahaha, look! Just found a pic of the Divas (website) girls from the retreat - Amanda is in the centre back.

Sadly Amanda's very long battle with cancer ended earlier this year. She was just 49. She was, quite simply, a beautiful soul. And while her passing has obviously left a huge hole in the lives of her family and friends, she left a precious legacy, especially for her children, in the form of her scrapbooks.

So, why do I scrap? What do I get out of scrapbooking?

Firstly I guess, doing somthing creative or arty/crafty is something I've always done, always been interested in, right from when I was very young. It's part of who I am.

As many of you know, my first foray into "scrapbooking" was collecting all the ephemera during my 9 months living and working in London and travelling throughout the UK and Europe (back in 2001). I bought some art journals and literally made scrap-books of all I did. 
I guess paper and glue was my calling ... fast forward to 2004 when I was pregnant with our first child, Caitlin, and I discovered scrapbooking via Creative Memories.
Perhaps starting our family was the real catalyst to want to record and preserve not just photos, but memories and feelings and information.
That is still the basis of why I scrap. I whole-heartedly believe that future generations need to know, and will hopefully want to know, the details about their family and friends before them, just as I love to flick through the photos and notes of not only my parents (who are now in their 60's) but also my grandparents (all now passed away) and back it goes. When parents and grandparents, and other family and friends are no longer here to talk about times gone by, a record of who, what, when, where and why is not only interesting, but hugely important. Well, so I believe.
Of course not everyone may agree, but that's just my opinion.

Then of course, comes the creativity. And I think the 2 go hand in hand beautifully.
See that quote at the very beginning of this post? Perfect!
I want to preserve and record things in my life.
I love photos and photography
I love being creative.
Put it all together and I've covered all bases I reckon!
 But ... what if my romantic notions aren't seen in the same light by my children and future generations? What if those albums are tossed, memories lost, details forgotten?
Well, it will be their loss! I just hope that if my children/grandchildren want to chuck my scrapbooks then it wont be til after I'm long gone from this earth LOL.

So I dont dwell too much on the future because, realistically, it's not my problem, it's beyond my control. I know that what I create now give me great joy, great pleasure and a sense of satisfaction. 
Sometimes I dont scrap for any other reason than to create. Scrapping is my hobby of choice, creatively speaking, so it should never feel like I *have to* scrap this or that picture or event or place or memory.
My husband loves motorbikes. That's his personal interest and hobby. He loves nothing better than getting on his dirt bike in all the gear and roaring off for an afternoon bashing through the scrub with a mate. He also doesn't mind a Sunday cruise on a Harley Davidson either (and cant wait for the day he'll have his own Harley). To him that's his "creative" escape and he has to try and fit that hobby time into his incredibly tough work schedule.
For those who dont know, Marty runs/manages our rather big family farming business which is pretty much a full on, flat out kind of "job" for most of the year. There's no Monday-Friday. There's no 9-5. The farm is his life, but he also knows that it's not everything in his life which I think is hugely important.
 For me, it's creating. Something. Anything.
Paper and glue and pretty things are fabulous. I am starting to dabble in patchwork. I consider myself a bit of a creative cook too (but by no means a masterchef LOL).
I am finding it very hard these days to get time to create. Just like Marty finds it hard to get time to go for a ride. But, I think it is hugely important that we do find time, make time, make the effort to follow our creative pursuits, whatever they may be.
That's why I went all the way to Newcastle for a crop day, albeit a rather special one.

I believe a hobby can make you a better person. It gives you something else in your life. It challenges you. It creates all sorts of opportunities for learning, for growing, for interacting and friendships.
It gives you purpose, perspective, and joy.

Scrapbooking makes my heart happy.


Kate said...

beautifully written Helen, I love what you have written and why scrapbooking is important to YOU :) xxx

Kristal said...

Beautiful Helen ! I love what you have written- for the fact that its so close to why I scrap its not funny! I keep getting asked over the years whyI scrapbook and sometimes people just dont "get it"! No matter how I have tried t explain it it never seems good enough in words- you done it beautifully!

Josie Dean said...

Beautiful Post Helen! Since kate's post I also have been thinking about this question.. One day I'll sit and write my response!

Lisette said...

Helen what a beautiful post (just like Kate's). Again exactly how I feel about scrapping & being creative. I can't write as well as both you a Kate so maybe I will have to do a layout :)- maybe next months challenge!!! Still annoyed that I couldn't get to Newcastle.

Linda Eggleton said...

Such a beautiful post, Helen...your reasons for scrapping are exactly the same as mine :)
And I too believe that the stories & the who, what, where, when of previous generations is not only interesting...but oh so very important!