Why My First Scrapbook Page SUCKED!

For all of the Scrapper’s Style Interviews I’ve conducted, the one person’s story I haven’t told is my own. Thus begins the tale of my scrapbooking journey.

My Beginnings

Look, I’m going to be straight-up honest. Keep it one hundred, as the young folks like to say. I had no clue what I was doing when I crafted my first scrapbook page. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my photos, where they should go, how many photos I should use, what background paper would help my photos shine, or what the hell an embellishment was and why I should, could, or would use it. I was clueless. Lost!

All I did know was I wanted to tell the story of my pregnancy and the birth of my newborn daughter via words plus photos — creatively. I had moved beyond photo albums and wanted to add my own unique and crafty touch to something personal.

So, for the first time, I visited a local scrapbook store, the LSS, and my intimate love affair with scrapbooking began. I became obsessed in a very short amount of time. I purchased the huge, black crop tote and filled it was deco scissors (more than one should have). Bought every shade of paper in every type of texture. Picked up tons of Jolies that I never used because they looked prettier packaged. Eyelets, brads, staples — you name it, I had it! Looking back, I was probably in love with my stash and supplies more so than the craft, but I digress. I geeked-out on scrapbooking! 

I also discovered scrapbook magazines and used the pages within as design inspiration. Becky Higgins, with her creative sketches, shortly became my idol but I never quite felt my pages spoke to me and my creative heart.

That was 2005. It would not be until some time between late 2006 and early 2007 when I finally started to feel comfortable in my own scrapbooking skin. When I didn’t feel like I needed to use a sketch/template. When I switched from paper scrapbooking to digital. And when I started identifying what about my pages I did not love and what about my pages made me feel satisfied.

Because, when we get to the root of why we scrapbook, we all want to look at our pages and feel satisfied! It doesn’t matter if we scrapbook chronologically for a Project Life album. Or if we want to creatively capture moments to events. We all just want to tell our story in a satisfying way because the memory we captured is deserving and important to us.

CLICK TO TWEET: We all just want to tell our story in a satisfying way because the moment deserves nothing less.

So back to my first page: I had no clue about what or how to scrapbook. I just did. And here is my first page for all the world to see:

Notice my hand-cut onesies — super fresh! You know what else I notice? This page, though very much me, because I crafted it, is so not me. And that was because I was at the beginning of a journey.

See, a journey begins with fun because it’s new and fresh and invigorating. It’s also scary and kind of unpredictable. You’re not sure what’s ahead of you. Even if you have a plan with everything mapped out, some unexpected, small or large life event will veer you off course. How exciting and nail-biting at the same time! But none of that really matters. What really matters is starting.

I’ve showed my first paper scrapbook page. Here is my first digital scrapbook page. It SUCKED too.

I admit, I knew a lot about computers. But I was still clueless about what I could do with my page that would satisfy me. And so when I look back at my first page and subsequent others, I think man: if I knew then what I know now, my pages wouldn’t have sucked so bad. They might have been a bit more … satisfying.

Does It Matter That I Sucked?

Does it matter that I think they sucked? Nope! The feeling I felt was a natural part of being creative, a designer. We are our own worst critic. And that’s completely okay because:

  • I started …
  • And, I’m still going.

I guess I don’t suck as much as I thought.

Here’s what else I learned: I did a lot of scraplifting then (the art of crafting a page based on the design of someone else’s page). Took a while for me to understand that the design style and crafting techniques of many other popular scrapbookers didn’t work for me. They didn’t satisfy how I wanted to tell my story or showcase my photos.

I also learned that certain digi techniques catered to certain styles that also didn’t work for me. How could my pages improve when the tricks I learned didn’t apply? I can’t count how often I was frustrated because my pages didn’t represent me as an artist and the time I felt I wasted learning processes and techniques that were not for me. I know I’m not alone in the feelings I once had …

And it’s for those reasons why I help others learn the art of digital scrapbooking. It’s why I share my methods for developing kick-butt pages. Why I like to connect with every single one of my students through instructor led classes rather than self-paced classes. So others can feel the same satisfaction of a page they’re proud of and spend more time kicking crafting butt rather than feeling like “I suck”.

I don’t want you to feel like you suck. Ever.

Do You Know What I’m Talking About?

So here’s what I want you to do and it’s not much! Answer this one question: “What do you wish you knew then about scrapbooking that you know now?” And if you have it, link us to your first scrapbook page! I want to see where you began your journey! Plus your courage to share your page and describe your thoughts might encourage another newbie to begin her (or his) journey too.

That’s it!

I hope you’ll join me next week for part II of this post: How I Moved From Scrapbook Pages that Sucked to Pages that Kicked Butt. Matter of fact, subscribe so you want miss it!