Why do you scrapbook?

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Why do you scrapbook?

I am not prone to drama or existential crisis in life, except about crafts. For crafts I go all in! Haha. Truly I am obsessed with scrapbooking and spend a crazy amount of time thinking about it. I'm not a big chatter in real life, but I think that's because no one I know will talk about scrapbooking for five hours with me smiley

Lately I've been considering my motivations behind why I scrapbook as opposed to those that are most often advertised. I feel like most "big" scrapbookers out there will go on and on about the importance of documenting as the main purpose for scrapbooking. I think this is very noble and good, however I'm suspicious this is not really why I scrapbook. Part of it for me is that if I were really serious about documenting I would A) need to be a lot better at journaling (which is my life long nemesis) and smiley scrapbooking does not really feel like the best way to present information. Especially if you want to paper scrapbook, which I find I'm doing more and more of now. Now that we have all these digital tools, paper seems very fleeting. And even my digital layouts are more about the embellishing, etc than focusing on a story or even the photos.

Thanks to all the voices I was listening to, it felt like documenting was really the ONLY reason to be scrapbooking. However, considering my own case, and also the scrapbookers I've started following online recently, it seems that doing it for the art of it, or the therapy of it, or in my case because I just like to staple a lot of papers together, is also a valid reason.

I think this has all come up for me recently because I technically have someone to pass things on to now, and I'm vaguely interested in making something for him. But in reality I'm doing it for myself because I like paper. This realization has been very freeing for me, and allowed me to take on some projects that I completely love doing without the pressure of feeling like they need to be useful or worth passing on. I can totally throw them away someday, as they're more about the doing than the having. This also means I can do more, because I was also concerned about having too many scrapbooks. If I have to option to toss them, then I can just go all out! And I can use my favorite photos over and over if I want.

So that's my current existential state of scrapbooking. Please share your own motivations!

I really enjoy the creation process - whether it's digital or physical. I feel at times as though it's therapy. At times it's a labour of love; creating a set of pages for a friend for their kid's birthday party, or even making a card, or "dressing" up a prayer or special grace that I was asked to say for a special occasion such as a wedding or anniversary.

I like to learn and create and play around with different elements, etc. Sometimes I get ambitious with the journalling, and sometimes I barely even have a title. I guess it depends on my mood, or on the picture, or the event behind the picture.

I do it because i love to create, and digital scrapbooking saves space irl. Since we are a bit short on space i had to move all my scrapbooking supplies and other stuff down to the storage/basement. And i found digitalscrapbooking and fell inlove right away smiley Not with Photoshop tho smiley I hated it at the begininig since i didn't know what to do but hey with some patients (not my best quality) i got it smiley And here i am still going when ever i can, even designing my own things now and then.. But to get back on the subject, i don't do it to document actually. I just do it to be creative. I craft in a very different way i guess than most people (by what i've read). I create my page first and then go looking for photos that fit the page smiley I've tried the other way around but always get stuck in my creativity that way so it doesn't work for me smiley

Overall the biggest reason I create things, BT kits or layouts, is to push myself creatively. I have never been the creative or artistic type and one day I decided I really wanted to try and change that. My stepmom physically scrapped a couple books and when googling cheap crafts / hobbies, I somehow stumbled upon digital scrapbooking which sounded perfect to me! Lots of freebies for me to start out with just to get a taste of whether or not this would be something I'd stick with and computer based, something I already had a knack for.

I never really intended to keep anything I made, it has purely been an adventure in developing my creative side and seeing what happened. Now that we've got a little one, I might try to make something (I find) worth saving for him about him and our family as he grows up.

If I do make something for him to keep, I do believe the intention would be to document the important things and allow him to relive those moments. Otherwise, the majority of what I make is only to exercise the artsy part of my brain that most often goes unused. smiley

LoL I am to A.D.D to document(and I am horrible with words). I have all of this years school days papers (it says the date, weather, how they feel that day along with a few other fun facts) in a nice tidy stack and I do see it everyday but it still sits there. That is why I WANT too.....but do I actually do that....no. Now for me it is therapy. If I can manage an hour or two at night I do sleep a lil better. smiley

This is an interesting discussion. I LOVE digital scrapbooking. I love the process of making just about anything, but scrapbooking has been my main outlet for the past 3 years. I started designing for Pixelscrapper blog trains before I ever made a digital layout though! Isn't that kinda crazy? Anyway, I love the art of scrapbooking because it has allowed me to get on several Creative Teams for designers. Sometimes for my CTs I will scrap a photo that isn't my own (like from Pixabay for example) just to make a page with their product. I enjoy this process, however, I feel a little..... guilty (?) when I'm not actually documenting my life. It's like I feel a bit like I'm wasting my time because its not something I will print and use and look at later. Sometimes, I look at a scrapper's gallery page and see that they are all just random photos and no real life stories and it makes me a little sad. For me, I think the stories are the most important part even though I love the process and the artsy-ness of of it all, too. I hope I don't sound judgmental because I don't feel that way. We each scrap for our own reasons and as long as it works for you, then that's great!

It's funny you ask this, because I worked in banking for many years...documentation was what I did there. They called me the Eagle Eye. Hahaha. For whatever reason I preferred my learning visually. I'm a visual type person, never had much interest in the math and sciences. Maybe that was because I was the youngest of five growing up with three older brothers who were wild and my older sister was nine years apart. Back in the days of physical scrapbooking, I took a liking to wanting to memorialize my cats, so I began that journey. I couldn't have children after trying for 10 years, and decided life was worth bringing back memories of our childhood. Just in case we might forget later in life. I documented my husband's youth growing up with his sports years. I couldn't figure out how to document how smart he was, so I eventually quit, but he is very mathematical and scientific I would say. Details was where I seem to love to be, that and cat livelihoods. I took up painting the little white ceramic village houses, and had a huge Christmas Village every year until our own house was too small to hold the entire bunch. So, then I became the cat lady. The bank where I worked was sold, and I found myself unemployed. And to this day I am self employed figuring out digital art and making a small fortune (haha) selling products online with art. I still enjoy details in art though. The smaller the art is, the more I'm fascinated with it. I'm always learning.

Simply put - I scrapbook for fun! I DO like making things that get to a point of "finished" - so they can be looked at - and we can remember past memories, photos, traveling, etc. I seem to have multiple projects not yet finished - but also lots that are finished.

I also LOVE to take pictures and I LOVE art/crafts/paper/paints - so to combine all of that into paper or digital scrapbooking seems perfect. I've done both types of scrapbooking (paper and digital). I'm not the best writer, so journaling doesn't always happen. I do try to at least add the month/year and names.

My main reason for scrapping has always been to preserve the stories behind the photos and memories. While everyone in my crop group was making gorgeous pages with lots of white space, I was making gorgeous pages with several photos per page and every available space used to journal the stories behind it all. My motivation was to leave my kids with a better understanding of their family than I had. My dad's side of the family in Tennessee took pictures, but recorded few names or dates on them. My mom's side took pictures and recorded the names and dates, but the details were written in German in a fine hard-to-read script. The photos and memorabilia from my dad's side had been stored in the old smokehouse (no longer being used for smoking meat, it had been turned into a storage shed) in cardboard shoe boxes and paper sacks. Needless to say, they smelled funky and some had been damaged due to exposure to humidity and insects. The treasures from Mama's side have been slowly working their way across the ocean from WW2 when Mama came to America as a warbride until the early 2000s. Some were in great condition, some not. With both families, we lived far enough away that we did not hear the verbal retellings from people in the older generations, just what Mama and Daddy could recall. My younger sister and I decided to try to reverse the lack of family knowledge the best we could. She took the German side as she knew some of the language and I took the Tennessee side and we began to track our family vines and sort photos and memorabilia. Most importantly, I started keeping better records of our events as they happened.

I began paper and glue scrapbooking when my children were small, about 15+ years ago. We did not have a digital camera then (they were frightfully expensive for a one income family!). I used various disposable cameras when they went on sale as we saved towards the digital camera. I have most of those photos scrapped. Several years later, we bought the digital camera and two memory cards. They were off limits for everyone but me in the beginning, but as the kids grew up, they began to use it for homeschool projects, 4-H projects, recording moments on the farm, etc. Periodically, I would peruse the memory cards and cull the blurry or repetitive pictures. About five years ago, my kids all wanted to download their photos in the memory cards and without asking me, they began the process. Instead of copy and paste, they apparently had done a cut and paste to their laptop/desktop computers rather than a disc or flash drive. By this time, I was working on high school transcripts, college applications, financial aid, etc and had not checked the memory cards. We lost my Daddy, my older sister and my father-in-law in a year's time, all after extended illnesses. It was only when I went to track down photos for the my Daddy's funeral that I found empty folders on the memory card. Of course, by then a laptop and the older two desktop computers had died and been discarded, so there was no recovering the photos.

I have scrapbook pages all planned out for those younger days, each in a pristine, acid-free folder. Papers, elements, journalings. I have the tiny 1/2" images on contact sheets that I made so I would know the image ID number as well as what file they were in on the memory cards. But no photos. Plenty of pictures of the cats, dogs, chickens and goats. No people. smiley Yeah, I know: Backup, Backup, Backup! I learned my lesson the hard way...

So, that brings me to here. Sorry it was long-winded. My fingers got ahead of my thoughts! I only ever made cards with my PrintMaster program, although this new version seems to have "photobook" scrapbook capability. I think I have enough digital supplies (many thanks to PS!)... close to what I have paper scrap supplies. Actually more, as the digitals are never used up like the paper supplies. I am already thinking along the lines of trying to scrap some of my forebears' old photo cards, especially since I cannot ruin them working digitally! We shall see...

I scrapbook for a couple of reasons.

The main one is telling stories - not necessarily preserving memories, though they do that, but showing what I was interested in at any given time & why I was interested. I love telling stories & am really good a making not-so-funny-at-the-time event (like falling down the stairs in early October & breaking my leg & tearing my MCL) into funny a story & I love showing that in my albums. I also use my albums to work things through. I sometimes notice a theme in them (something I'm doing or not doing, something I used to do & miss, that sort of thing) that I hadn't noticed in my every day life.

The other reason is that I've always loved both collages & old-fashioned scrapbooks (the kind grandmas always seemed to have) & hybrid scrapping is my way of doing both.

This is a great question, Marisa, and one I pose to myself frequently.
Along with the question, though, I usually have anxiety and a feeling of guilt.
Here's why.
I do it all for myself.
Yes, I have a son who does occasionally like to go through the books and say "oh, there I am", or whatever.
And yes, he will eventually get all my stuff.
that's not really why I do scrapbooking.
I love it.
I love the paper, the embellishments, the tools, the FREEBIES.......
I'm a freebieholic if there ever was one!

I guess I feel guilty because I'd rather be working on my scrapbook pages and making cards (I am finding I love doing this more and more!) than doing anything else here at home.
I am a horrible housekeeper, and being a stay-at-home Mom, I feel it is my job.
So, I feel guilty for spending most of my time doing something other than my actual job.
On top of that, I've discovered that I really cannot do things little time slots at a time.
I'm an all or nothing person.
That goes for housework too.
Either it's clean, all of it, or it's not. All of it.
And if I clean it, you dang well better not mess it up!
So, I'm either very laid back about the house, or I'm a Nazi about it.
It's one or the other.

So, I'd rather work on my craft projects, because people enjoy them and I get satisfaction out of it.
I love giving cards to people. I love scrapping events or photos I like (I don't do chronological anymore---too much work). And, I've found that if I go too long without working on craft stuff, it really does affect my moods.

So, to the chagrin of my husband, I go on several scrapbooking retreats throughout the year, because I need to.
Because it's what I love to do.
Because I now have some very good friends at these retreats that I never would have met otherwise.

Simply, it makes me happy.

I need a creative, artistic outlet. I can't paint, I can't sing, I can't play the piano - although those are my three greatest artistic desires - so I accomplish those things with my scrapbooking designs - sort of. I feel the flow of energy and creativity when I am designing. I feel peaceful and happy. It has become a personal philosophy of mine to give my designs away for free, in exchange for a random act of kindness. Perhaps that one act will change the life of someone, make a difference, inspire others.......I KNOW that somehow, somewhere just one RAK will change a life or save a life. I have seen it happen.

Simply, it makes me happy.

I love scrapping, I forget my problems of real life, the scrap helps me to forget everything and with the scrap, I discovered a lot of super nice girls who have the same passion as me, so it's great ! the scrap is a real passion for me.. smiley

I like doing pages for my CT and making challenges too smiley ... (sorry for my english i use translator!) smiley

Thanks for all the responses ladies! Glad to see I'm in good company. Which makes sense, you're not going to last too long doing something if you don't love it!

I think a big stumbling block I've been working over lately is the need for things to be useful. My craft projects don't need to be useful. I can do them just because I want to. I guess this is my current craft mantra. I think my final hurdle will be if I can get into art journaling. I love the idea of it, but part of me still feels like I need to see the use of it. Working on self-improvement through crafting!

Marisa, keep in mind... a project is useful if it makes you happy, if it makes you reflect on the good in your life, if it will mean something to someone else, if it will mean something even to only you, if it will cause you to reflect on choices made and help you come to grips with choices not made, if it preserves something for the future -- your thoughts or hopes or dreams, if it ... you get the point, I am sure. Usefulness, as we age, has an ever-changing definition. It takes many forms throughout our lives, and it meets many different needs in every stage of our lives. If art journaling will bring you joy or if it satisfies the creative hunger in you, go for it! Life is short and we only have one life to live... live it so there are no regrets!

I scrap for fun. I find people love pictures of themselves so I try to take lots of photos and give them to friends in the form of scrapbook pages. Everyone loves that. I've made sports cards, put sayings on photos and full blown pages...everyone loves it. So I scrap because it makes me happy and enables me to give joy to friends.

I, too, would much rather scrap than clean...and often I do. I have never considered myself creative and now I can say I create...makes me happy. That seems to be a recurring theme.

I'm a BIG crafter! I just love to create things and see what comes from putting my mind and hands together. I think scrapbooking is an amazing way to do something different with photos that would otherwise sit on a cloud somewhere. Digital scrapbooking has opened up a whole new world for me. You basically have unlimited supplies at your disposal.

I am one of those "documenting" scrappers. I hope that my albums will be something my kids will keep and enjoy. I started an art journal with my granddaughter when she was 2. She loved to draw and color with me so I put it all in a book along with tips and ideas for her as she gets older and begins to explore other art like painting and ink. She loves the book (which I am keeping until she is older, she's 8 now) so much that I started another when the first one was full lol. I guess the photo scrapbooking is something I hope my family will use to remember our wonderful times together. My dad used to say "if you think photos aren't important, wait until that's all you have left" and I actually like that saying because it taught me to take photographs and document our memories. Now that my parents have passed away I'm so glad that I did!

Traci, I agree with your dad's saying. It was only after my mama died that we realized how few photos we had of her. She was always the one taking the photos, but was rarely in them. Thankfully, she worked in the local school system, so we have the annual photos and candids from the yearbooks.

I scrapbook because it's my escape. When I am creating, I am not worried about any craziness in my life at the moment. Scrap-booking is for my "ME" time, not to sound selfish. But I love the fact that you can create so many memories in doing it. It makes the pictures in the albums come to life. It makes the cards, and tags, and boxes, and other things more entertaining. I love the fact that you can make something out of nothing, whether its hybrid or digital.

Scrap booking is just plain ole fun.

I scrapbook for many reasons. I love it, it's fun, I love being creative, finding new ways to express myself, pushing myself to try new things and it's a way to preserve your memories to look over and enjoy and hopefully leave for future generations to have an insight into what we did and how we felt.

I... just wanna make it pretty. Sure, I will occasionally title, and I am trying REALLY HARD to be better about including more journaling, but for me, it's very much about having a personalised reminder of the WAY things made me feel. Light and happy, somber and serious, and it's a cool way for me to share my travels and my living far away from family WITH family. It also let me share some pre-engagement stuff with my sister after they were married, since it took me that long to get the scrapbook done, lol. It's a neat way for me to try and preserve the emotions, if not the 'concrete stuff'.

I was always creative and I always loved photographs, probably because they connected me and made me a part of the relationships I'd missed. I was born 15 years after my youngest brother and missed out on grandparents and growing up with siblings, so I was always poring over those mysterious captured moments of the past. Before scrapbooking was even a thing I'd add things here and there to my albums and when I discovered scrapbooking thru Creative Memories in the 90s it was a huge ahha! moment! For me it's saving the memories; to document my family and myself and feeling connected. None of my siblings, or even most of my friends 'get' how I might cleverly use an embellishment or layout, or even want to read my journaling, but it's extremely fulfilling to me. Ultimately I've become the family historian, but it's really the creative part and making everything come together - the memories, the photos, the goodies, the story, even the font, and it makes me feel good.

I scrapbook because I love the creating part of it and I see how my family reacts to the finished albums. I do digital and have it printed into bound books. I create the kits (as part of ViVa Artistry) because again, I love the creating part and I want these kits for my own use and figured someone else likes it tooo!!! And no, I don't journal as much as I should. We travel as a family a lot, living overseas, so our books are more of a pictoral of where we have been and what we have done and a reminder to our kids of our family experiences.

I inherited a huge suitcase full of black and white photos from my grandfather when he passed away and a similar set of photos from my great aunt. I hang onto them because they're family photos. But really they mean almost nothing to me because I have so little information about the people or places. I take so many photos and I want to avoid having them just be a pile of pictures no one knows what to do with. Maybe my children and/or eventual grandchildren will want them and maybe they will throw them in the trash. But at least I will have made the effort to give them something meaningful.

And in one way they have already been useful. Like many teens, my almost 23 year old went through an incredibly incredibly difficult time around the time she was 13-15. She was very angry and bitter about our family situation. During the worst of these times I remember sitting down on her bed without a word to her and paging through the scrapbooks I had made of her infancy and childhood, slowly beginning to make comments about the memories. She would eventually end up sitting on the bed with me reminiscing. It was such a great way to connect with her when things seemed so impossible.

That said, I would not scrapbook if it weren't a fulfilling, enjoyable, creative outlet for me. I like doing it, and I understand the desire not to necessarily treat it as a means to an end. But for me, I do hope I'm making something useful that someone in my family will eventually want after I croak. smiley

Thanks for sharing that story about your daughter Jill!

You're welcome!

I scrap so I will have my memories in living color for when I'm too old to remember them all. And also because in addition to their memory jars and urns after my furkids leave it is all I have left of them and our fun lives together. Giving the best life possible to them after abuse is what fills me up (probably because I have been abused myself so I get them on a deeper level) and I NEVER want to forget anything!!!!

Good question Marisa! For me, as a graphic designer, being creative has always been linked to making something "useful" as well. That's why scrapbooking hit the spot for me: I could be creative, make something useful and at the same time play with all these yummy colors and embellishements that just aren't "allowed" in the back-to-basic clean creativity of my day job. I love my scrapbooks and flipping through them with my family. But after a while, the "useful" aspect of scrapbooking started bothering me, and I felt confined by having to make something nice that future generations would like to look back on. So I started art journaling. It was absolutely freeing to make something that was not useful at all (to others that is, since I soon learned it was definitely very useful to me) and that would just sit in my cupboard without anyone looking at it. Art journaling started out as a way to finally be creative without having to be useful (and therefore perfect), but it has taught me so many things about myself along the way that I can't go without anymore. It is now my emotional outlet, my creative flow and most of all my experimental playground. Art journaling has inspired my scrapbooking and many of my painterly experiments have ended up in a kit right here on Pixel Scrapper. Both journeys are coming together as art journaling seeps into my scrapbooking and photos and memorabilia find their way into my art journals. And both make me feel happy and creative in my own way.

I also scrap for a number of reasons

I love it and I can be creative. I would love to draw and paint myself, but no joy, I'm a frustrated wannabe. This way though, I am an artist and that dream is fulfilled.

It is an escape. My husband developed PTSD after 11 years of working every major disaster in the south as a Salvation Army officer. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita back to back were the last straw. The past 12 years have been hard with just that, but a major heart problem complicates and we live day-to-day. Scrapping allows me to process my feelings and to make memories for when they are all I will have. My boys will leave home in the next few years unless my oldest son's now temporary disability becomes permanent. But I can keep them close in other ways.

I'm a genealogist and I want to people to enjoy learning about our families. Scrapbooking them is far more interesting than reading a dull report. Try reading the begats of the Bible and you'll know what I mean. I scrap the pictures I can find and if I can find no people photos about the places they lived and the things they did. I often use copies of the documents on the pages, but the originals go in archival pockets in my albums.

When I am sleepless, as is oft the case, it fills in the hours with something useful.

I scrapbook to create something beautiful (i hope), and as a way to preserve memories. But ultimately, I scrapbook as a way to be me.

A few years ago, my ex-husband started abusing my kids physically and mentally while I was at work. The kids kept it from me, and I found out when CPS showed up at my door. I knew there were issues, but I had no idea how bad they were. While CPS was in our lives, the ex had to move out, and when he was allowed to move back in, he had a new hobby...porn. The day we went to court for CPS to get out of our lives since we had made so many positive changes, I found out he'd been having an affair. That was the final straw, and I filed for divorce.

It's been several years of counseling for me and the kids, but we finally got to a place where we were good. My counselor asked me what I did for myself, not the kids, and I honestly couldn't think of anything. Everything was about the kids for a while, ya know? Any way, she asked me what hobbies I had done in the past, and when thinking about that, I remembered how much I used to like scrapbooking and how much the kids liked looking at what I had done in the past. That week I downloaded photoshop and decided to try it again. The problem I've run into is that there were several years I didn't want to document, and so I've gotten out of the habit of taking pictures of everything. I'm having to remind myself to take pictures of me and the kids.