{ INTER } National Scrapbook Day is coming. I have a few thoughts.

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking14 Comments



{ Inter } National Scrapbook Day is coming this Saturday. Initially, I wasn’t going to do anything for it. Now before you think I was being a classic holiday Scrooge—and yes, non-scrapbookers, this IS a high holy memory-keeping holiday we take seriously—it was more that I’ve been so immersed in scrapbook-related projects that I thought to myself, “I cannot do one more scrapbook-related thing. Not a one.”

But the the team at Scrapbook & Cards Today said, “Can you design a little card for us?” and I thought, “For you, anything.” So I did (and you can pick that one up on their blog on Saturday!) and then I thought, “Oh come ON, Cathy. Make a cute card that captures why you do this stuff.” So I did and it will be delivered on Saturday to all of my newsletter subscribers.

So there’s that. I’m working to build my newsletter because it’s part of my business plan for 2015. If you sign up, you get a free digital stamp and you get emails from me. It’s that simple. Sometimes I’m promoting stuff that I’m selling. Sometimes I’m giving you free stuff. If you would like my NSD 2015 card set (including printable PDFs, JPEGs and a PNG file) then sign up here and I’ll be sending it out Saturday morning.

That’s my sales pitch.

Now for my non-sales-y thoughts…

A blog reader emailed me last week, asking me what do I plan to do with all the scrapbooks I’m making. She had recently attended  funeral where photos of the deceased were essentially up for grabs to take because the family had so many images, they really didn’t know what to do with all of them.

That was for an elderly woman from a time when they didn’t photograph every living thing within an inch of its life.

Think about our era and specifically, we who document memory with intention.

I told her that over the years, although I have worked in this industry since 2002, I have purposely under documented my life and the lives of my family. For a professional scrapbooker, that might seem like a strange approach. Part of this choice has always been logistical: no scrap room has always meant no extra shelving. My dining room is busting at the seams with my albums as it is. I am running out of room here.

When we held Aidan’s graduation party last summer, I brought out all of her albums. There are 5 three-ring binders. I had that old feeling of, “Man, I hope people don’t think this is overkill.”

Not that there should be a set limit on how many albums is the right number of albums, but I felt just a tinge of, “I wonder if people think I’m showing off here?” And I didn’t expect that. But feel it, I did.

Last year, I made a completely digital Project Life album and I was really happy with the results. This caused me to re-evaulate how I was saving stories.

I’m creating a handful of new pages right now for an updated version of an e-course I taught a few years back, “Ten Tips for Better Type.” They’re hybrid. They’re simple. They look very similar to one another and they tell stories I want to tell.

They are minimally embellished. They only have a few photos. They are, in essence, right in my wheelhouse of happy. And I freaking love them.

I guess my point today is this: I don’t care what happens to my albums when I’m gone. Keep some. Toss some. I can pretty much guarantee you that any pages I did with bulky shit on them (and yes, there are a few) might not hold up so well over the years. The point for me in doing this is not quantity and never has been. It’s simply been the process of telling stories, something I have loved since I was a little girl. I may change formats from time to time, but that’s been the key to keeping me engaged in my hobby all these years.

Okay, the photos might add something, too.

But it’s never been about quantity or trend.

It has been about design and creative expression.

But it’s mostly because I love saving all these stories. And that’s something I guess I do for me. If others get something out of it at a later date, then so be it. It doesn’t make me a better person than someone who doesn’t scrapbook. It just fills a need I have to save stories.

So with that, I wish you all very happy { Inter } National Scrapbook Day this coming weekend. Here’s to the part about all of this that you love.

Cathy Zielske{ INTER } National Scrapbook Day is coming. I have a few thoughts.

14 Comments on “{ INTER } National Scrapbook Day is coming. I have a few thoughts.”

  1. #2
    Cathy R

    After reading your post and being older than you which means I am closer to the time when my kids are going to ask “crap, what are WE going to do with this stuff?” I want to comment. I have been scrapbooking since 1997. I have been taking photos since I was a teenager. I inherited my mom’s pictures…so I have a BOATLOAD of pictures and scrapbooks. When all three of my kids graduated they each received a scrapbook of their lives up to that point. All three of them loved them. My youngest, a girl, dragged hers to college with her. She even got one for undergrad & grad school graduation! They now reside with her in her condo in a place of honor. I actually remade the two older children’s books because I used what was available at that time they graduated which wasn’t archival safe. Seeing their heads bent over these pages of their stories, slowly turning pages and then later having their wives tell me they look at the book over and over, well, I can’t put into words how this makes me feel! I scrapbook for ME but the stories I tell are memories shared which when I’m gone no one else can tell. I have told all three of the kids they can trash it all when I’m gone but I have a feeling that’s not gonna happen!

    I am taking your “Digi Basics” class now just because I like to learn. I probably will do hybrid scrapping because I still like to play with paper but who knows? I just may turn into a digi “mimi!”

    Thanks for letting me ramble…you know how it is with us old folks! LOL!

    1. #2.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I love it when the old folks ramble. (Wait, isn’t that me now on my blog? 😉 ).

      I do have a feeling the kids will keep their albums, too. But there really are only five albums for each of them at this point. I think that’s just fine.

  2. #3

    Love this. Yes, I scrapbook for my family, but I mostly scrapbook for myself. In the busy-ness of life with children, it has been my creative outlet as well as my way of saving the stories that could be forgotten in the rush to move on to the next stage in life. When I am old and my kids have their own lives, I will be able to sit back with my husband and look at the pictures and read the stories and remember how great our life has been. The point isn’t who gets all the albums when I’m gone. It’s for me and my family to enjoy while we are here.

  3. #4
    Deborah P

    I take pictures (tons of them). I have no children, but I have nieces and a nephew and great-nephews and a great-niece. The “greats” are the ones I scrapbook most often right now. So my pictures will be added to the pictures their parents and grandparents have taken. That means, when I’m gone, no one may want mine. That’s okay. While I love it when they look at them now, I am mainly scrapbooking so I won’t lose those stories. Like Cathy R and Carrie H, I’m not going to worry about what happens when I’m gone. I’m enjoying the process and the re-living now.

  4. #5

    I used to love going through my old family albums when I was a kid. I didn’t have the greatest childhood, but these pictures reminded me of the happy times. My mom didn’t write anything in the albums, but there were a lot of great pictures and I’m glad I saved them. I think my mom was going to throw them out!

    At one point, when I was in a scrapbooking rut and looking around at all of the “stuff” I have accumulated through the years, I thought, why am I doing this? I’m going to die and they’re probably just going to throw out my albums! But then I remembered how much I appreciate those old family photos that I have from my childhood. And I know my children will appreciate them too. So I told my husband and my kids that I want my scrapbooks out for my viewing/funeral. If they want to toss them afterwards, I don’t care, I won’t be there to complain. 🙂

  5. #6

    As someone who is about to have her first child, this is definitely something I think about. How will I record the time and will my son even care? I think I don’t mind. I would rather do it and he decide not to keep it than not do it and look back and think, “man, I wish I had recorded some of that SOMEWHERE/SOMEHOW.”

    Did the scrapbooks go over well at Aiden’s party, though? My aunt asked me to make a life album for my cousin when she was graduating and they had it out at the party and everyone loved it, so I’m sure they loved Aiden’s!

  6. #7

    I’ve been scrapping since 1998 and over the years I have often had the thoughts of “why am I doing these books?” I do not have children of my own. My youngest bonus son (my husbands child from his first marriage) will have 11 books that I have put together for him of the part of his childhood that he spent visiting his dad and I during school breaks. (Those are part of his future wedding gift for he and the lucky girl who becomes his wife). I am working on “family books” with my husbands old family pictures for each of the boys (I have an older bonus son who will have just one book of his time spent with us because there really wasn’t very much of that, that happened.) So there really isn’t anyone to pass my and my husbands books on to because the youngest will already have many of the same pictures and the oldest isn’t that interested in the daily life of us. There are nieces and nephews but I doubt they will want our books either. I used to let this bother me to the point of almost selling off all of my supplies. But when I start talking about not having anyone to pass our books onto, my husband always steps in and reminds me that this is a hobby I enjoy -taking pictures, telling stories and it’s a hobby he enjoys – sharing in the experiences while taking the pictures and then reliving the memories as we look at the books. I scrapbook for US and that’s all that matters. So I have never sold off my stash and I continue to preserve this life of ours so that we may look back on it all as life goes on. And what happens when we are gone? Well, whatever happens, happens. I won’t be here to know about it.

  7. #8

    My mother-in-law is a genealogist and avid collector of her kids accomplishments. She’s in her 90s and has an 8-foot shelf of 8.5″X11″ three-ring binders of photos and mementos on black paper. We’ve already had the conversation about what to do with the photos since none of her grandkids or great-grandkids are that interested in their history. She suggested donating it to the local library or a genealogical society. It’s a shame but that is really just too much stuff for almost anyone to take.

  8. #10

    Yes, yes, and yes. I scrapbook for me. My kids will have 3 albums each to move to their adult homes (baby, K-6, 7-12). I relinquish the memory keeping of their lives after high school to them although I’m still making family albums. But those are for me and my pleasure and when I’m gone they can fight over them or trash them. It won’t matter. I’ll have them available for me so I can remember stuff when my memory starts failing. Oh wait, it already has! Good thing I have those albums…

  9. #11

    Me too! Me too! I do change up what I scrapbook, what stories I tell, because I keep evaluating what will mean something in those scrapbooks in ten, twenty, fifty years? But really I scrapbook for me, because I enjoy telling these stories, remembering these stories, so yes, I do it because I love saving all these stories, and that’s all the reason I need. Thanks for the card and the sentiment!

  10. #12

    I subscribe to your newsletter and get your emails, but I have not received your email today with the Free NSD cards. Also when I use the link to the Scrapbook & Cards Today blog, I can’t find the card you created for them. I “really” want to get these cards to use on my NSD Retreat layouts. Any guidance or suggestions??

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