A good friend died a few months ago. He wasn't the kind of friend who you would pour your heart out too, he was more of the kind of friend who had an infectious zest for life that made a day a little bit brighter. He didn't want a funeral, instead, he, who had oodles of money and could have been very posh and proper, decided he wanted to go out with a bang. On Saturday, there is going to be a large pig roast with a chip truck (serious, he wanted to serve chip truck fries) and the cost of entrance is a funny story about him. We have all been asked to send funny stories and photos to his widow and that will be compiled in a book and each family member will get a copy (and I have been told that we are being considered "honorary family" - hooray!).
I am terrible at keeping and organizing photos so the last couple of days, I have been frantically combing my scrapbooks to find pics, trying to get dates so that I have a clue where to find the files. I have kept scrapbooks for years (since the year after dh and I started dating, 1992). I think I am done but it has helped me to realise something.
I LOVE strolls down memory lane. I used to scrapbook before all the embellishments came along. My layouts were filled with pics, memories and momentos. Dh and I had fun gathering things that were scrapbook appropriate - bills, orders of service, ticket stubs, etc. My scrapbooks were all about capturing memories (I think everyone thought we were nuts when my in-laws' car got towed on Boxing Day and Dh and I asked to keep the ticket and Dh took photos at the impound lot). It was so much fun.
Somewhere along the way, it changed. Take a look at the layouts above, just a few samples, and you can see the difference - the original layouts were simple and were just labeled photos and momentos. The later pages are much more elaborate, although these layouts are far from being the most elaborate or time consuming of my layouts. I got sucked up into the "crafty" world of scrapbooking. I am not saying that it isn't fun - I love playing with papers, patterns, letters and embellishments. There are big problems, though. The cost got totally ridiculous, layouts took forever to design and there was only room for one or two pictures. I discovered online scrapbooking stores and spent way too much money on embellishments that I often didn't even use. Scrapbooking became about creativity and not about the memories themselves (at least for me).
Like most people, I have gotten to the point where I don't have time to do the elaborate layouts and I can't afford to buy all the kitch. I was thinking of giving it up altogether. Today reminded me why I started scrapbooking and how much pleasure I get from going back and browsing the memories. It's time to go back to my original scrapbooks and to have fun capturing the most beautiful, fun or significant moments and people instead of as an artistic venue. I can still have some fun with paper but it's time to go back to the essence.
I can't wait to get started!