Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Saying Goodbye to {Scrap}per's Guilt

Hi, everyone! Welcome back to Life on the {Scrap}beach! I wanted to share one of the recent blog comments with you today, because I think it hits on something so important to how I view this wonderful, amazing, addicting hobby of ours. Jill W. left this comment on my Q&A post:

I am feeling alot different about my love of scrapbooking after reading your blog. You hit it dead on, guilt! The idea of scrapping one side of the family at an event and not the other, or one child more than the other, or one sibling & family more than the other; oh well, you get the idea. I have never "shared" photos on a public forum like shutterfly or whatever, but it would make my hobby about things I want to say instead of what I feel I need to say.

I have thousands of ideas "running" thru my head of what I want to do with different photos, not to mention hundreds of "scrap" things, i.e. tickets, foreign money, menus, kids stuff that I am going to "put away" and take some of the pressure off of myself to do a layout.

I am going to journal about the process of enjoying what I want to do and not necessarily what is "the right" thing to do. I love the craft and I am loving learning the things that I am through medias like your videos and blog, time to go back to what I enjoy and lose the guilt. Thank you, you have made a difference in my journey today, and hopefully for a lifetime.

First, I just wanted to let you all know that I am so moved to have received a comment like this. When I started making my videos and when I started this blog, I never dreamed that I would ever touch or change someone. I just wanted to share my love for this hobby with other people through the internet since after I moved I didn't have any local scrapping friends. I am just really feeling very touched right now, and I am so grateful to all of you for your kind words and your support and your lovely comments.

Second, I completely understand how the author is feeling & I am so glad that she is freeing herself from scrapping guilt! It makes me very happy to hear that I have helped in some small way with that process.

And last, as for why I think this is important, I believe that too many scrappers burden themselves with a guilt related to this hobby and a desire for an unattainable perfection. I see posts all the time on message boards on not being caught up, or not having finished Child #3's baby album as quickly as the others, or how exhausing it is making a separate album for each family member. Why do we put these rules and requirements on ourselves? Why do we make the hobby not fun anymore? Where does this guilt come from?

I have been scrapbooking since the Fall of 2006, and I got into the hobby 100% because of guilt {more details coming on my May 2nd post}. My first full year of scrapbooking -- 2007 -- I drove myself nuts scrapping every. single. photo. Of every. single. event. I kept this long list of projects that "needed" to get done that only got longer and never got shorter. If I made a mini book of an event, I also made a 12"x12" layout so there would be something to go in the album. I spent the first three months of 2008 panicking that I was falling behind and would never catch up. I filled three entire albums for 2007 alone!

Then I had my lightbulb moment: this is crazy! I love scrapbooking, but it is stressing me out. This is my hobby -- not a job, not something that has to be turned in for a grade -- it should be relaxing and not stressful. How much I scrap, or who, or how often is totally up to me because this is a record of my life through my eyes. There are no rules, no mandatory layouts, nothing but what I put onto myself. So I gave myself permission to scrap what I wanted, when I wanted, and to eliminate the "musts" and "shoulds" and "have tos" from my scrapping vocabulary.

Phew! What a freeing moment! It changed everything, from what I chose to scrap, to who, when, why, where and how. Even my style evolved. {No pictures? Fine. No journaling? Also fine! Mini book instead of 12"x12"? All right!} There is no right and there is no wrong in scrapbooking -- only what makes me happy! No scrapbooking police are going to come into my house and go through my albums to make sure each family member and each event is represented equally and in perfect chronological order with no gaps or omissions.

The bottom line: my family and friends know I love them -- these books are for me, not for them {unless I make one specifically to give to them, of course!}. If they enjoy looking at them, too, that's great! I love to look through my albums with the people who are in them -- it's so much fun. If they want the albums when I'm gone, also fabulous. But in the meantime, I'm here to have fun creating beautiful pages to record the moments in my life that are special and important to me.

And that's all I wanted to say about that.

Life's a beach. Scrapbook it.


  1. If you were not scrapping and just blogging you would have had the same problem.  At least I do.  I blame your Grandmother.

    Uncle Cliff

  2. Kathryn, your blog is turning out to be just as wonderful as all your videos. Brenda