Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Where Is My Mind?

With your feet in the air and your head on the ground...

My head is wild with thoughts this morning, mostly because the days of summer are quickly coming to an end, and I can feel my summer stream-of-consciousness melting away (beach day, shave ice, scrapping, sleeping in, impromptu belly rubs for the dog) and my back-to-school lists forcing themselves to forefront of my brain again (required reading, AP prep, seating arrangements, bulletin boards, work shoes...).

Luckily, the excitement of CHA has been delaying my absolute conversion to back-to-school mode.   I've been living vicariously through the photos and videos posted by merciful attendees.  Last night I came upon these photos as well as these, which helped me to scratch that CHA itch.

I've also discovered these videos from October Afternoon DT member Lexi Bridges

and Two Peas in a Bucket

I wish I could see the OA booth in person -- doesn't it look incredible?  Thanks to these pics and videos, my CHA jonesing has been sated (somewhat). If you have any other links to share, hook me up!

I've also been thinking a lot about Shimelle's incredible, beautifully affirming video on Ali E.'s blog, which I am embedding here so that I can watch it ALL the time.  I think I've watched it three times today  already.

It's a manifesto, really.

I confess to feeling strange when people ask me about my scrapbooking.  My mother recently told the rest of my family members that I was asked to be a Garden Girl at Two Peas in a Bucket, so at our Fourth of July gathering, one of them brought it up, unsure of how to phrase her words, I suppose, and asked, "So you were published or something for scrapbooking?"

Here was an opportunity for me to talk about what I love (and to explain what being a Garden Girl means to me), but I felt tongue-tied all of a sudden.  Me, tongue-tied.  The one who spends much of her free time immersed in scrapbooking, now at a loss for words?

Even last year, when I introduced myself to my new co-workers in my "tell us a little bit about yourself" statement and mentioned my love of scrapbooking, as others had mentioned their own interests and hobbies, I felt kind of sheepish.   For some reason, when one person says something like, "I run marathons," or, "I cultivate rare orchids," or "I love to travel. We just got back from Santorini, in fact," it seems as if "I love to scrapbook" somehow pales in comparison to more adventurous hobbies.

And yet Shimelle set me straight.  Scrapbooking is an adventure.

I think that maybe I just feel protective of what I do, and rather than risk people belitting it or misunderstanding it, I choose to keep it in a kind of sacred space, sharing it happily with those I know will appreciate it, and sheltering it from those I am afraid will never understand it.  I always anticipate a patronizing smile at the other end of my admission.  So what, though?  Scrapbooking is my adventure, dang it.

I read this quote about surfing by Dan Webber recently, and it actually reminds me of the difficulty I have in conveying my own passion to those for whom it is not a passion:

There's something about surfing that touches the very essence of what it is to be alive. It's hard to explain to non-surfers how it feels to carve across a wave, to push the limits of your surfing ability and to surf even better than you thought you could. One surfs with the wave, drawing on experience to manoeuvre the surfboard in synchrony with the wave, all the while anticipating how it will change shape.  
It's this synchrony that I cannot express to others when I try to share how scrapbooking moves me.  It's a you-had-to-be-there kind of adventure, I think.  Then again, isn't much of what we do as scrapbookers invested in helping others to feel as if they were in the moment, with us? But Shimelle is right -- we need to push on, to move past stereotypes, to acknowledge "that this hobby is more than just pretty paper and stickers."

Part of my adventure is documented in this blog.  Maybe it's time to step up as Shimelle did and be more contemplative of the metaphysics of scrapbooking.  Metaphysical Mondays, anyone? :)  Seriously, though, I do think that it is time for me to "come out" as a scrapbooker more honestly with those who are not in the scrapbooking community.  Why deny this part of myself, when it is so much of who I am?

I will now leave you with some evidence of my everyday adventures (a.k.a. my JBS July projects).

The full post for this layout can be found here
Thanks for stopping by!


  1. This layout is absolutley amazing! I love the unique design of the pictures and the fabulous texture down the left side of the page. Gorgeous!

  2. Thanks for sharing these thoughts, so beautifully put. I feel like that all the time too (and I'm no garden girl!).. I used to cringe when my husband would tell everyone about my hobby. Funnily enough, most of the women in my life don't seem to get it. The people who look at my scrapbooks the most are my son, my husband and my dad -go figure.
    Oh yeah, I would definitely enjoy metaphysical mondays! I don't do many 'meta' scrapbook pages, but I keep coming up with more and more ideas for them lately.

  3. thanks for that! I agree I hold it close because there are those in my family that don't understand it--the time the "$" (this is NOT my husband, he likes it.). Scrapbooking is VERY personal--I love it, and I'm grateful I have a way to document those everyday things that we might forget in the future. I'm also grateful that I can share in the joy of other scrapbookers and appreciate what they have to share through their creations. So glad I follow you on my google reader!

  4. Love your post--I'm at CHA this week and had this similar conversation with people a few times. Scrapping is important. I look forward to watching the video!

  5. I often dread the question, "What did you do with your summer?" Catching up on my scrapbooking doesn't seem like the most glamorous of answers. Maybe I would be more excited about it if I were more skilled. Finally I've gotten to the point where I understand that this is my art. It's my creative and emotional outlet. It makes me happy. Others often want to see what I've done, and they are not shy about saying what they like and what they don't like. Any criticism is now met with a smile. It was my creative choice. It is exactly what I wanted. How many things in our lives can we say that about? I did exactly what I wanted.

  6. Jill thanks so much for the CHA sneak peek and the message about scrapbooking, I live in Mexico so when I mention that I love to scrapbook or that I have a blog about scrapbooking, cookin, arts and crafts they are like what the heck is scrapbook? So I have to explain, but most don't get it, and the word blog is also unknown for 99% of the population, so I am kind of on my own, thanks for the chat the other day at 2 peas and congratulations for becoming a garden girl I want to be like you when I grow up(Just saying but I am older than you by sure!!!)

  7. LOVE this book layout! I need to try something like this! As always, I love how you have a journal heavy layout that is heavy on the artsy and techniques! the best of both worlds! I wish I could channel you when I scrap! ;)