Scrapbooking With The Professionals
You haven't scrapped until you've scrapped with these ladies
Last weekend a friend invited me to attend a scrapbooking retreat with her.
My reaction: A what? I didn’t even know something like that existed.
She told me to bring lots of pictures and the pages that I was working on. So I packed up about 200 pictures, along with three books that I keep trying to read.
I figured I could get some reading in once I finished with all of my pictures I mean, there was no way that I wouldn’t finish – not with 2 days of nothing but scrapbooking going on. There was just no way. Right?
When we arrived at the hotel conference room, I was overwhelmed. It was filled with rows and rows of tables and what looked to me like a million dollars worth of fancy equipment, accessories, cutters, paper, stickers and tools. I had never seen so much scrapbooking stuff in one place. Not even at the craft store.
I, on the other hand, came armed with nothing but my scissors and a Sharpie.
To say that I was out of my league is an understatement. These people were serious. They were not your average scrapbookers. For me, the emphasis is on SCRAP.
Yes, I am what you would call a “green scrapbooker.”
In other words, I am a cheap scrapbooker.
I use old birthday cards, wrapping paper, parts of magazine pages, ads that come in the mail… stuff that I find. NOT things that I buy.
My friend Terry knows this about me, and so she kept offering me her trash. “You’re not going to use that?” I would ask her incredulously. It became the running joke of the weekend.
Terry never said that I embarrassed her (after all, she actually knew these people) but she did warn me that she was drawing the line if she caught me face-first in one of the big community trash bins by the door.
A lady named Cricut Jackie (so named because of the little cutting machine she is so adept at using) had an amazing collection of die-cuts and stickers in a gigantic album. She told me that she was trying to get rid of some diecuts and stickers and that I should come to her table and look through them.
She didn’t have to ask me twice. I even told her -- in my mommy voice ( because it’s hard to change your stripes -- that they were both “very good sharers.”
We spent most of our time drinking coffee (I took a giant size carmel macchiato creamer along with us to share… nobody likes plain hotel coffee) and listening to doo-wop music at our table (am I the only thirty-something who knows every word to the entire Stand By Me movie soundtrack?)
We wore yoga pants, slippers and cozy jackets and pigtails. People were up until 2 a.m. scrapbooking, and I did not make very much progress because I was in a constant state of amazement.
I used cutters that I didn’t even know existed -- fancy little corner-cutting doodads and heart-shaped punches and stars that you can layer and circle cutting tools and all kinds of neat stuff that I had no idea that I needed.
For example, I didn’t know that I needed a tiny little paper cutter with a tiny little swinging arm like a tiny little guillotine. But I do! I need one!
And I didn’t know that I needed a fancy album that you can have your kids portraits printed on (the most I ever paid for an album was $19, and I thought I was getting ripped off with that.) But I do! I need one!
And I need pages that lay flat and don’t make my scrapbook look like it’s going to bust a gut and pop loose at the seams! I need a good binding that doesn’t consist of an old bootlace!
Wow. This little weekend changed the way I look at certain things regarding the life of my scrapbook. There is a whole sub-culture out there of serious scrapbookers.
I aspire to be like them. And yes, maybe I even covet their stuff.
But I confess – I’ll probably keep on digging through the trash.