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Lessons from Scrapbooking

I believe I’ve mentioned I go away two weekends a year scrapbooking. There’s an amazing bed & breakfast in the mountains a couple hours away from home which caters to scrapbookers. It’s rather fabulous.  With a dedicated table, I can set up the day I arrive, and leave everything out until we’re ready to come home. You get a lot done that way.  It’s three days of cropping from mid-morning til late at night. This past weekend, I worked on the Princess’ Clara book from Nutcracker.  And of course, as I was working, thoughts were turning in my mind of how to blog about it. I came up with a list of the things I’ve learned from scrapbooking and going on a scrapbooking retreat.

  1. Scrapbooking is for everyone, not just suburban, stay-at-home moms. Seriously – the room was full of women from all stations, all situations in life. And yet the conversations flow…..we all have something in common.
  2. Usually, less is more, but sometimes more is more.  Some layouts just require all kinds of bling. I’m good at the bling.
  3. However, sometimes blank space on a page is a good thing, especially when you want the focus to be on the picture.
  4. Everyone has her own style. Seeing the creativity of some women makes me feel I’m lacking in that department, but then I realize I have my own style, and it’s all good.
  5. Scrapbooking is humbling and teaches patience.  I was about six layouts in when I realized I wanted to go about it an entirely different manner. It didn’t mean tossing what I’d done and starting over, but it did mean replacing some photos, and adding in a couple of layouts. At first, I was REALLY frustrated. I may have said a few bad words. But then I just did it, and it wasn’t so bad. It definitely made my life easier, and made the book look better.
  6. Wine while scrapbooking is good.
  7. Sometimes, you just need to stop what you’re doing and join the conversation around you.
  8. Scrapbooking is a social event, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I try to crop at home. It just isn’t  nearly as fun, and I find my pages are rushed, boring, and lacking when I’m cropping alone.
  9. There’s something to be learned from each person in a room. Listen.
  10. Just eat chocolate every once in awhile. It’s not going to kill you to have some extra calories now and again. Just don’t make it a habit.  Life is too short to skip dessert all the time.
  11. I actually can go to bed at 1am three nights in a row, and still be functional.
  12. There are adventures to be had. Be open to experiencing them.
  13. When your kid has done something amazing, it’s totally okay to brag a little bit, especially when you have pictures to support it.

There was something different this weekend. I think I’ve been going to this retreat with these women for seven or eight years. Most of that time, I’ve been a stay-at-home. Many of them not only work full-time, but they work full-time at incredible jobs and manage home/family as well. I would sometimes feel a wee bit insignificant. They never promoted that emotion, it came out of myself. How often are we the ones putting ourselves on a lower rung? I didn’t allow myself to feel that this weekend. I’m not less, my life is just different, I’m in a different place.

We usually walk every morning we’re up there. It was SOOOOO cold, and it had snowed a couple weeks ago. We did venture out to our usual path Friday morning, layered up and braving the 27-degree temps, only to find the trail had not been cleared of snow. We decided to go it anyways, and it was SLOW going. I didn’t realize how much walking on snow would work my core! We usually go 1.5 miles out and then back. We barely made it a mile and decided to turn back, and ended up going out to the road to finish.  The most amazing thing happened though…..While we were walking, we heard a pack of coyotes howling across the lake.  We looked over to the other side of the lake, and then watched as one of the coyotes ran all the way across the frozen lake. It was beautiful to see.

I finished the Clara book Saturday night, and gave it to the Princess when I got home yesterday.  She loved it. I had a much-needed getaway, and come home re-fueled.


10 thoughts on “Lessons from Scrapbooking

  1. Wow. This is amazing. I only see people scrapbooking in movies. To see that all these lessons can be learned from it, it must be an amazing hobby. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for reading. I’ve been scrapbooking since my oldest was an infant, although I’m nowhere near “caught up”. It’s a creative outlet, definitely.

  2. I have thought about scrapbooking, even bought a scrapbooking kit. I don’t know whatever happened to it, but I just couldn’t find what I was looking for on the pages. I think I may do a little poking around (including in my mind), and see what new thoughts I come up with. 🙂

  3. This sounds marvelous. My closest writer friends and I try to get together as time and families allow at least two or three times a year for a writing weekend. We all get some kind of writing work done, or we read aloud for critique, or we brainstorm solutions to plot snags. We also eat chocolate and watch movies.

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