Aside from crochet, one of my other hobbies is making little graphics and embellishments for digital scrapbooking and ATC cards. I trade them on Listia or put them in my Etsy shop. I love scrapbooking. I could look at people’s books for hours. Or more accurately, look at their stock of papers and supplies. And I get unreasonably giddy over embellishments. But, even though I have made most of my living as a graphic designer and typesetter, scrapbooking intimidates me. Getting all those things placed just so and getting the journaling just right so that future generations won’t be traumatized by a mis-matched background is a lot of pressure.
When I was a child and teenager, I loved to make scrap books. But then it was a different prospect. I’d find pictures I liked, cut them out in an interesting shape and glue them down with lots of Elmer’s glue. Or what glue I had left after spreading it all over my hands then peeling it off like skin, that is. As a small child I was prone to cutting little chunks of my hair off to stick onto pictures of animals, like fur. I was an odd child.
I remember spending hours working on these books. I could fill one up in a day! Just finding pictures, drawing on them. Making doodles, painting them. The pages got thick and crackly from all the paint and glue and glitter but I liked the sound they made when I turned the page. I used just plain lined composition books because my parents didn’t mind getting me those. Or reams of typing paper tied together with bits of yarn.
When I went away to college I noticed my friends made these books too, but theirs were so much more sophisticated. The beginnings of formal scrapbooking. Nice paper. Artfully arranged pages. Wonderful hand drawn art that I could never hope to achieve. As I became a nomad my books began to disappear and I stopped missing them. I kind of wish I had them back–especially the hairy ones.
You know how you sit down at the computer to look up one thing and it leads to another thing, and soon you’re at some topic that you never even thought of looking up and the original topic has slipped your mind? Me either.
Today during one of my electronic jaunts I came across the concept of the “Smash Book”. Apparently it’s all the rage. But again they make special albums and stickers and things to use with it. I idly clicked on a video made by a young girl telling how to make a smash book. I suddenly realized that I had been way ahead of my time when I was a child! She was putting everything in her book! Pictures she liked! Doodles! Paint chips! Shapes that made her smile. It was like I was watching a video of my teenaged mindset. And then I saw that there were videos by adults doing the same thing!
I think I let other people’s idea of what is “good” or “adult” or “sophisticated” take a joyful hobby away from me. I like cutting things out and doodling and sticking things on paper still. Who cares if it looks arty or if future generations will like it? Who cares if I tell a story or just rant or just stick a dreamy picture of Robert Plant on a page for my own enjoyment?
The key here is “my enjoyment”. I have no idea why these junk books (yes, there’s a set of people doing those, too) were such an enjoyment. Even after all the gluing and painting and hair cutting was done, I just liked having them. Flipping through one would sometimes set me off on another book filling frenzy.
I have a whole pack of colorful card stock, glues, pens and yes, even glitter. Tomorrow I think I will start a smash book!