Things You Should Know About the Stay-At-Home Scrapbooker

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For many, myself included, creativity seeps in slowly over the years, acting as a happy little pill designed to save the last threads of sanity. For the stay-at-home Mom, creativity is not usually high on the priority list, yet we crave the creation of something beautiful anyway. There's no time, no funds, no inspiration - nothing at all beautiful about cleaning baby vomit or washing bottles or scraping food off the walls (again). 

What do we do when it all gets to be too much and we need our own time-out? Well, quite a lot of us put on our best pair of unstained yoga pants, smooth our hair into a sorta straight ponytail and escape to the craft store. It's pretty there. It smells good. It's bright, colorful and wondrous and they play hip shopping tunes over the speakers. If we have been blessed with an understanding partner, we may even get to visit this place WITHOUT KIDS. This, my friends, is what's known as "a higher plane of existence".

But there is guilt here. Serious, mind-bending guilt. Making art just for the sake of art usually doesn't apply to us. There are bills to pay, diapers to buy, a grocery bill from the deepest bowels of Hell. How do we justify this need to make our pretties? Looking at the big picture, they seem so trivial and really, no one seems to care much when they are finished anyway.

Artists paint what they know. Writers write what they know. Guess what? Scrapbookers make what they know. They know the story of lives. They create a visual timeline of family, friends, kids and pets. They use their scraped up cash to buy beautiful papers and they glue together a history of themselves and those they love. It's the only sure thing the stay-at-home Mom knows. Every lost tooth, every school award, every sports accomplishment and quirky habit, she knows it. And now, because she is a creative, everyone, for generations to come, will know it too.

Whether they care, or not. 

And eventually, something awesome happens. She gets kinda good at it. She starts to develop a style, tries new techniques, and learns things about herself as she goes. People start to care and ask about it. At some point, the children grow older and the funds flow a little more freely and maybe she is able to decorate a child's bedroom with handmade things she throws together. Perhaps, someone asks her to make them something for their own home (insert harps and angels singing here). Maybe she moves on to try her hand at painting (like a "real" artist) or furniture making, or maybe her silly scrapbooks are enough and those become elaborate storybooks of anything you never wanted to know about a family. 

And all of that is the definition of art.

The point is, she is a creative. Just like the painter down at the art gallery, the published writer, or the fashion designer. What is the difference between using paint or paper to get it accomplished? Cloth, wood, stains, saws, paint brushes...all tools...just like paper. Think of that the next time you see the disheveled "soccer Mom" staring at the paper racks in Michael's. She's creating something, standing there for 15 minutes, trying to decide which she can really afford and what she can do without - but still make something that will make her happy forever.

Oh, and that mini-van in the parking lot that you see her toss that measly bag of supplies into? 

She hates it and would much rather be driving a new Camaro. :)

 

Make what you want,

~Melissa

 

 

In art

Comments

Stay at home scrapbooker

Great post. I am not a scrapbook artist but I do dabble with and use a lot of scrapbook supplies in my mixed media. Some of the most wonderful art I have seen has been made by artists like you. And to look through a scrapbook of memories is, to my mind, an honor and privilege. All the personal memories that are shared.

Thanks, Debbi! I've watched

Thanks, Debbi! I've watched scrapbooking turn into a beautiful art form, featuring paper craft rock stars that didn't exist 20 years ago. It's pretty great, and I wish all of us got a little more respect for it. :)

And eventually, something

And eventually, something awesome happens. She gets kinda good at it. She starts to develop a style, tries new techniques, and learns things about herself as she goes. People start to care and ask about it. At some point, the children grow older and the funds flow a little more freely and maybe she is able to decorate a child's bedroom with handmade things she throws together. Perhaps, someone asks her to make them something for their own home (insert harps and angels singing here). Maybe she moves on to try her hand at painting (like a "real" artist) or furniture making, or maybe her silly scrapbooks are enough and those become elaborate storybooks of anything you never wanted to know about a family.

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