Why Scrapbook?

My mom led an interesting life before having kids. She was the drummer in a rock band in college and traveled around the country, and she was a magician's assistant for many years and had a regular show at Knott's Berry Farm. She also had an interesting upbringing: she wasn't told until age 18, when her parents divorced, that she was actually adopted by her father and her "real" dad passed away when she was a baby. She had constant drama once her parents were divorced, so much so that her mom refused to attend her and my dad's wedding if my mom's (adopted) dad would be there! She doesn't have a lot of pictures from these experiences, but she can still tell the story. One picture or one piece of memorabilia with some journaling is all it takes to create a lasting legacy for your kids, grandkids, and future generations! A legacy doesn't have to be only happy memories. It's about knowing where you came from.

I don't remember how old I was when I started asking my mom about her wedding, and when she and dad were first married, but I remember I did. She told me it was a small wedding and the pictures were put away. She got out a couple at one point, but I still would LOVE to see all of her wedding pictures...no matter how small it was. I suppose it was a sad time as well as a happy time, and she may not want to dwell on that, but it would probably be good for her, and I'd love to know the whole story. And I'd love to see more pictures of her and my dad before kids.

I think it would be so cool to see what your mom and dad's lives were like before you came along...to see that they weren't always just your MOM and DAD. I would have loved to see a scrapbook of my grandparents' lives...and their parents' lives. My grandma (my mom's mom) started a scrapbook before she passed away, but it never got finished. I started to work on it, but I had to keep asking my mom who people were and what some pictures were from. Now it's sitting in a box, unfinished—I'm hoping my mom and I can work on it together someday.

Journaling in your Scrapbook

I love that scrapbooking tells a story...that's why journaling is so important! I want to see my mom's whole story...I want to see the pictures to go along with the stories I've heard over the years...and I want the stories to be retold so I never forget them!!! Oh wow, I'm starting to get emotional :)

I didn't always journal. I thought it ruined my page to have something handwritten on it. But when I started forgetting the story behind some of my older scrapbook pages, I realized how important it is. Plus, with computers so readily available nowadays, you can type your journal spots. (I've since gotten over the fact that my handwriting ruins a page...now I design my journal spot into the layout, and I can hide it if I want to!) But not only is journaling important for YOU, but someday you will not be around and your kids will know the stories behind their baby pictures, and your grandkids and great-grandkids will know what happened in all of your pictures! And they will be able to read funny little stories to go along with them. (Plus, if you don't write these stories down, YOU will probably forget them!) Regular photo albums are just pictures, but scrapbooking adds your personality into it. There are many forms of scrapbooking nowadays, like Picture My Life (AKA Project Life), MyCrush (AKA Smash books), or mini albums.

Put YOU Into Your Artwork

Don't forget to take pictures of yourself

I want my daughter and son to see that I'm not just their MOM, I was once just like them! As a scrapbooker, it's easy for me to take plenty of pictures of my kids (and I do!), or to document a vacation or event, but it's also easy for me to forget to make sure I'm IN the pictures! You want to be sure you are telling YOUR story as well as your family's story.

Scrapbooking subjects

Scrapbooking your family vacation to Hawaii or your son's first steps will never go out of style. But you can also tell a lot about yourself in unconventional ways. Mix some layouts in your scrapbook that focus on one subject. Maybe you have a thing for purses or, like me, SHOES. Take pictures of your favorite purses and shoes and turn them into a scrapbook layout. Explain how each represents you or how you wore them to death. Or take a picture of each room in your house. Explain what each room's purpose is, which you spend the most time in, and why you decorated it the way you did. I wish I had done that just in the few places I've lived in over the years. I'm sentimental :)

I PROMISE if your kids (well, daughters) are anything like I was growing up (and I still am), they will eat this stuff up. Especially if you begin scrapbooking before you have kids...one day they will see that you weren't always MOM.

Purposeful scrapbooking

Another way to make sure YOU are in your artwork is purposeful scrapbooking. Make a layout of something difficult you went through, maybe a loss, or struggling with an illness. Or make a layout of something very exciting...like the adoption of a child. Focus on one single experience rather than trying to tackle your whole life. Purposeful scrapbooking isn't necessarily just pictures. Add a picture or two, but add lots of journaling. What were you thinking, feeling, experiencing? How did this experience make you grow, how did it make those around you feel, what was your weakest or highest point? It's all about honesty. Think reality TV—wonder why it's so popular? It's behind-the-scenes of real life. Put that into your scrapbook.

Become a part of the layout so your voice is heard. It doesn't have to be about sad things that happen...it can be about happy things...but our lives are not always honky-dory. We all go through rough patches...let's document those as well. It will help your kids and grandkids to understand the circumstances that shaped who you are today.

Here's to YOUR scrapbook!

To order Close to my Heart Scrapbooking supplies, visit my website.