I thought I’d start a weekly posting of an old layout or two. For the inaugural posting I thought I would talk about how I started scrapbooking to begin with. I’ve always loved to scrapbook—just not in the commercial “SCRAPBOOK” way that is popular today. I made travel journals, file folders of ephemera from trips, embellished photo albums… I’ve always loved paper. I remember first venturing into a scrapbook store to see if they had anything that I could use as writing paper. I used to be a big letter writer—at one point I had over 30 penpals and ran my own penpal website—and I was always looking for interesting paper for that hobby. (Although I haven’t written many letters since the girls arrived, I keep in touch by e-mail with my closest pals, and plan to pick it up again one day. I have some pals I’ve been writing to for over 10 years, and I’ve met some of them on a few occasions. I miss writing letters, but my brain just doesn’t work that way these days. I get distracted too quickly to write a whole letter, and I hate writing in chunks.)
A few month after I got married in 2003 I walked past the same store and noticed an ad for their “Scrapbooking 101” class. I suggested to my friend, Sonya, that we go for kicks. Well, I was hooked that first night. I decided to tackle my wedding album, which took me two years on and off to complete. (I’m going to take photos of that album soon to post here… it already looks dated to me, but it was a real labour of love!) I didn’t start a 12X12 album until I got pregnant with Audrey in early 2006. I wanted to document the pregnancy, and that’s when I started scrapbooking in the story telling sense. I’ve always loved the idea of telling stories. I have a great short term memory, but a terrible long term memory. (This works well for memorizing lines in a play, terrible for holding on to family history.) Most of my journaling reads like a letter to someone, which comes from my many years of penpalling. The difference is that I don’t mail my stories off to anyone anymore, I keep them for the girls one day, and also for myself.
One of my favourite layouts is this one I called, “SCREAM!”. It was one of the first times that I used a big blow up, and I took the photo holding the camera straight out in front of me. The story is classic, and holds true for my second pregnancy as well…
The journaling reads:
"Okay, if one more perfect stranger feels the need to tell me the sex of my baby I am going to have to SLAP them! It seems people are compelled to tell me I’m having a boy, (not a one has guessed girl), and it makes me want to SCREAM!!! It usually goes something like this:
Stranger: You know you’re having a Boy, right?
Me: Actually, it’s a Girl…
Stranger: (shaking head) No. Boy.
how to I respond to that? And then there are the reasons why they “know” it’s a
boy: I’m carrying high, low, in front, etc., my belly button is sticking out
too much (it is?), I’m still pretty and girl babies “steal” your beauty...
okay... or just “I have a feeling and I am never wrong about these things!”
Well, move over modern medicine—-the guy behind the counter at Staples has a
feeling! Then there’s the pitying look they give me when I assure them the
ultrasound said you’re a girl… it’s like, “Oh, poor thing, she’s going to be so
surprised when that baby boy is born!”.
Now, truth be told, the ultrasound wasn’t absolutely conclusive that you’re a girl, but they were pretty sure! And, you know, if you happen to pop out a boy-—wonderful! Fantastic! We’ll exchange all the clothes and find you a lovely name. As long as you have all ten fingers and ten toes I am happy either way. However, if you are a girl-—and I have my own “feeling” about that-—then I will let out a huge “HA!” to all those nosy-- well-intentioned, I’m sure, but nonetheless nosy—- strangers who swore up and down that you must be a boy! Here’s hopin’!!"