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Piece of Scrap!

I may work as website support, and earned my degree in culinary arts years ago, but first and foremost I would describe myself as an artist. As early as I can remember, my mom would give me the long sheet of Publishers Clearing House stamps that came in the mail, a piece of paper, crayons, and a wet sponge and I would go crazy. I spent hours gluing and coloring. Something so simple had my right brain pinging.

In first grade we had show and tell every Friday. I would make a craft almost every Thursday night. I could turn a paper towel tube into a giant yellow giraffe. An egg carton might get turned into a caterpillar. Give me a Highlights magazine and I turned directly to the arts and crafts page. As I got older, I didn’t need a magazine, I just needed scraps. What might have been thought of as trash, quickly became my canvas. An old muffler would become a fully functioning robot/planter. I would lathe a tree branch into a baseball bat and then paint my version of La Grande Jatte down the side using poster paint and a Q-tip. I loved being creative!

I still do, but now the only thing that females my age do is freakin’ scrapbooking! I cannot nor do I want to relate to others through that hobby. I don’t know what it is about it that turns me off. I love looking at pictures of my family. I have even dabbled in photography; I’ve probably taken thousands of pictures. I still love gluing, drawing, and painting, but instead of scrapbooking, I would rather create an Elvis mural on the lid of a toilet seat using guitar picks, mucilage, and velvet.

I’m not one to knock something before I try it, so yes, I did create two pages for a scrapbook I don’t even have. It took me about two hours. I could draw a picture of my daughter’s face faster! At that rate, it would take me years to scrapbook even half of the pictures that I took of my daughter from birth to age three. My husband and I are really the only ones who look at the pictures anyway. We don’t need buttons, bows, decorative papers, oh, and my favorite: letter stickers that spell out our daughter’s name on every other page. Seriously, if it takes stickers to remind me that it’s my daughter in the picture, then dude, I have a problem.

The weird thing is even though I don’t want to scrapbook, I still like looking at all of the components in the craft store. Of course, I could look at art pencils for an hour if you let me. It seems any paper, color, or sticker one can imagine is in the scrapbook department. So that part is enticing, but when I see the price tags, I’m brought back to reality. My daughter needed decorative paper in different colors one day for a school project. I went to the scrapbook section at the craft store by work and spent half of my lunch break looking at paper!

The biggest reason I can’t get into scrapbooking is that I’m too particular. I like being exact with the things I make and write. If I can’t remember a specific date a picture was taken, or at the very least how old my daughter was at the time, then I don’t want to document it. I would rather write my guess on the back of the picture (in pencil, just in case) and move on to the next photo.

I don’t need to “pretty-up” family pictures by putting them in a book with a bunch of fluff. It just seems like bragging, or showing off. If you want to see pictures of when my daughter was born, or of when my husband and I were married, then I’ll hand you a stack of photos. Want to see pictures from a time after we bought a digital camera? Just go sit at my computer and I’ll show you folder after folder. But if you desire a cool picture frame made from old chair legs, ribbon, and decoupaged pictures of unicorns, I’ll make THAT to display your picture. I mean, it’s… uh… girlie, but it’s still better than stenciling out “1st Halloween” in gel pen, and covering the page with scratch and sniff candy corn stickers.

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