Sunday, August 06, 2006

Scrapbook a Layout about Yourself

By Christina VanGinkel

Every so often, when I pull out all of my photos that I have been meaning to scrap, nothing looks remarkable, nothing catches my attention, yet I still want to scrap something. When I asked a few fellow scrappers if this has ever happened to them, the answer was a resounding yes. When I questioned them further on what they did to get past this hurdle, this scrappers block for lack of a better term, several of them had a great suggestion.

Take this as an opportunity to create a scrapbook, or at the least a single layout, all about yourself! Grab your camera and snap a couple of pictures of yourself in the mirror, or ask your spouse, one of the kids, or even a good friend, to take a couple of photos of you doing something you enjoy. If you have a favorite craft or hobby, or spend a lot of time helping others through volunteer work, or if you consider quiet time, reading or writing the one thing that best defines who you are, capture a picture of that.

If none of these ideas sparks your scrapping ignition, consider something you dislike doing, and create a layout about that. If you hate the wash, or doing the dishes, or cleaning up the toy room after a marathon session of the kids pulling out every toy they own and a few you have no idea where they even came from, create a layout about them. Snap some photographs and jot down some journaling about why you dislike these things of all the things you spend your time doing.

A scrapbook layout or book whose focal point is yourself is also a great place to try new techniques. It is yours, and it can portray or say anything you want it to. Because of this simple fact, layouts that focus on you are the ideal place to try out something you have been unwilling to attempt elsewhere. Not a journalist in the sense that you rarely add pieces of journaling to your layouts, maybe because you are a bit intimidated by what others might think of the words you use? Take this as the perfect opportunity to write whatever you want; after all, the main subject is none other than you!

If you are still unsure of where to start when it comes to creating a scrapbook about yourself, or wonder why you would want to in the first place, consider these ideas:

If you remember something special from your childhood that you want to create a memory of for yourself or for your future descendents, scrap about that. My personal list includes the time I went to band camp and took both a first in solo and in a duet, showing my horse at the county fair as part of a 4-H group, breaking my ankle skiing when I tried to do a flip over a jump, and coming home early from summer camp because I came down with strep throat. Good memories and those not so good all will help to paint a picture of who you are today.

Create a book all about your love of scrapbooking itself! This one is a great way to use up all those papers, even the ones you bought then wondered what you would ever scrap with them. Make a page with them about how your judgment is not always on par, how scrapbook supplies can be so tempting to buy, that you do not always take the time to think each purchase through.

Scrap about an illness that you have tried hard to overcome. This might be hard to do, but can be surprisingly therapeutic, both for you and your loved ones who might someday read it.

Scrap about your favorite way to spend a quiet moment, such as watching the wildlife in your backyard, sipping tea, or practicing your skateboarding technique in the driveway.

The magical thing about making a layout or scrapbook about you is that there really is no right or wrong subject. Anything that is of interest to you is fair game to be scrapped. The most important thing to remember when making a personal scrapbook or a layout is that you should do whatever you want, after all, who knows the subject at hand better than yourself?

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