Monday, May 19, 2008

Thoughts on cards, kids, photos

I was a cardmaker before I was a scrapbooker. In fact, I was a cardmaker before my 10-year-old daughter was born. I was immediately drawn to the idea that I could make something for someone while saving some money. Yeah, that saving money thing didn't really happen, but I sure did make cards for people! I amassed a good stash of stamps, paper, and tools. So, when my daughter was born, I had the basics for creating a scrapbook.

Some of you who know me already know the story of how I started scrapbooking, but let me fill in my other blogland friends. When my daughter was 2-1/2 years old, her dad and I decided on the Big D Word, but we still had to live under the same roof for a few weeks. I dove head first into documenting my daughter's first few years. Part of me needed a creative escape, but another part wanted to make sure I preserved those family memories before the three of us fell into the broken family category. The result was a chronological scrapbook from birth through potty training, a scrapbook that I created in less than one month. I also made her dad a scrapbook to take with him. Thank goodness I had the cardmaking basics down so I was able to whiz through that chronological documentation process.

As my daughter and I moved on as a mother-daughter unit, documenting our memories moved to the back burner. I still kept some memorabilia like her preschool class photos and report cards, but the only times I dragged out the camera were birthdays and holidays. A desk drawer collected the rolls of film from my 35mm Canon EOS Rebel. I operated under the assumption that if I wanted to create a layout, I had to pick up where I left off in time -- somewhere around my daughter's kindergarten year.

A part of me kept wandering the scrapbooking aisles, though. And when I got married in October 2006, I gave myself permission to scrapbook the honeymoon. It was then that I realized a hole was being filled. I poured myself once again into this craft I loved so much! But once the honeymoon and wedding were scrapped, I sat back and waited for the next big event to scrap, and part of me was sad.

While I waited, I searched the internet for tools to help me improve my scrapbooking. Thank goodness I did because I came across ScrapHappy, Simple Scrapbooks, and Stacy Julian who all helped me give myself permission to scrapbook everyday life.

Since then I have had a new perspective on scrapbooking. I have decided that, for me, the center of scrapbooking is the photo, and I can create a layout from any photo or group of photos I find interesting. This brings me comfort. I don't feel as if I am constantly behind in my scrapbooking. And I feel free to take the camera anywhere.

This morning as I dropped my daughter off at her second to last day of elementary school, I drove off in tears. Where did my baby go? Why didn't I document all five grades? What did I miss? As I got home, my daughter called. She sensed the tears in my voice, but I said I was fine. She asked me to bring her the towel she forgot for playday -- an annual school event involving lots of water. I got ready to bring it to her, and started thinking about my scrapbooking. That made me stop my pity party and realize that each moment of everyday life is a gift worth preserving. I headed to the school with her towel, and my new blankie -- my camera. As a result, I captured so many moments, expressions, splashes, smiles, and fun. And, I took what I think is the best picture of my daughter that I have taken in her 10 years. Eventually I want to scrapbook it, but I can't wait to share it with you.


Becky said...

Hi! I like your site--you are very creative! A friend of mine loves to scrapbook, so I will forward your site to her. Thanks for sharing! :) --Becky

Annapurna said...

I forget to take a camera among all the other things and making sure the two kids get in the car with clean clothes. Nice picture. TFS.

Rachel Webber said...

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts & that beautiful picture of your daughter - think I really need to take a leaf from your book, I have so many photos!!!

MelissaS said...

what a lovely post - I'm choked up reading it! Thanks for summing it up so well. Enjoy the summer with your daughter before the "teens" hti!!

Joni Norviel Shellabarger said...

Rachel - I love your site and your work! It's good to see the talents of a fellow choir member! : ) Keep up the good work - it's inspirational!