Scrapbooking the truth and nothing but the truth

remove-personI haven’t been scrapbooking lately because of my back problems and as a result my scrapbook left off around April of 2012. I broke up with my ex in May of 2014. So I have two more years of scrapbooking where I was with him to do. And now I’m not sure how to do it. We all know there’s no retcon in scrapbooking.

When I was with him I was determined to gloss over every bad thing that he ever did and pretend like we were one big happy family, even though nothing could have been further from the truth. Now that I’m out of the relationship and I realize just how bad it was, it leaves me wondering just what I’m going to do with this fucking scrapbook. I already have photos printed out and organized and tons of supplies for everything that I did in those two years. So it seems pointless just to not do anything.

But do I tell the truth? The whole truth? Part of the truth? It goes against everything I stand for to continue the scrapbook as if everything was fine and I had been having a great time with him. But at the same time, who wants to pick up a scrapbook and read about how their friend was depressed and desperate and trapped in a bad relationship? Moreover, there would be no continuity. My first scrapbook for January-March 2012 is already done and it shows us as a happy family. Suddenly, April rolls around and everything’s shit?

In the end, scrapbooking is a haphazard thing. It’s my story and it will be my own decision as for how to tell it. I’ve learned a lot in the last two years and I can definitely incorporate that into my scrapbook. Whether or not I will put in all of the gory details, remains the question.

I can’t say that I’ve decided what to do and I have a little while before I’m going to crop where I will need to make a choice. However, the question occasionally resurfaces to nag me. I’m sure if I just throw myself in there again and start scrapbooking it will all happen naturally. But the pull of remaining truthful to my own story and relating just how much pain I was in during the time, bothers me. I think that sometimes life is painful and occasionally, that needs to be related, too. At least I know the scrapbook I will do for this year will be much happier.

Disney World vacation scrapbook

Tim and I went to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida in 2010. I saved lots of memorabilia and collected embellishments for years. Finally, I sat down and decided that I would make the book for Christmas for Tim. I had a blast! I hadn’t scrapbooked in so long due to my back problems that I had totally forgotten how much effin’ fun it is!

Here are a few select pages from the book. It felt weird not using my Silhouette, but I had so many embellishments from the online auctions I won on eBay that I really didn’t need to. It felt so good to finally scrapbook again and to do a book that I’ve been meaning to do for years.

The strange thing for this book was that I suffered from having a lack of photos instead of having entirely too many. I took about 45 photos at Disney World on my Blackberry. Tim took about 15 more on his super nice camera. So between the two I had about 60 photos to work with from our 4-day trip to Disney.

60 photos in 4 days?! I take 60 photos of the dogs, daily! My how things have changed in the last few years. But considering that the book only had enough slots for 30 pages, it’s probably a good thing that I didn’t have a million photos to work with.

After I finish this book, I’m going to put all of my Disney embellishments and accessories on eBay. I can’t see Tim and I going to Disney World again anytime soon. If we do, I’m sure they’ll have more scrapbooking stuff in the giftshop.

Trendy scrapbooking and other self-defeating ideas

This morning I was challenge surfing and came across a show that was just titled “Scrapbooking”. So I selected it and found that it was a spot on the Home Shopping Network, selling We R Memory Keepers products. I’m not really familiar with their stuff, so I decided to watch for a while.

The perky host was showing off a selection of 12×12 papers. They were all brightly colored and attractive, although most of them seemed to have a chevron patter. The host then talks about how current the papers are and adds that most of the time when paper goes on sale, it’s because it’s out of style. So if you buy these papers, you can be assured that your scrapbook will be cutting edge.

I furrowed my brow. First off, I usually only buy paper if it’s on sale. And given the cost of scrapbooking, fuck you if you think that’s uncool. My 40% Michael’s coupons are going to keep coming to my inbox and I’m going to use those bastards. Second, scrapbooks are supposed to be kept for decades to come, so your new and trendy paper is only going to be new and trendy for another few months, an insignificant portion of the life of your scrapbook. So what are you really accomplishing by buying this current and in style set of paper? Soothing your desperate need to be on trend for a few scant months.

Granted, this host was trying to sell products. She probably would have said buying this paper will make you a sexy beast if she thought that would have helped. But her comment just really shows how much either she or the company fundamentally doesn’t understand scrapbooking. The entire art form isn’t about being new and current, it’s about preserving memories. And really, with photographs on the page, who gives a fuck what kind of chevron pattern your paper has?

Why I bought my own photo printer


Photos are the backbone of scrapbooking. You can theoretically scrap without photos, but you only do that if you don’t have photos. The first time I heard about it, a woman said that some of her childhood photos had been destroyed in a fire. Needless to say, scrapbooking without photos is not something that usually done. I also scrap with photos. I have yet to do a single layout without at least one photo.

At first, I started getting my scrapbooking photos printed at the kiosks in Wal-Mart or Target. However, these didn’t suit my needs. You could only print out 200 photos per transaction and you had to go through all of your photos and select them one by one. Which was tedious and annoying. Also, I tended to print out at least 100 photos per transaction and the machines never seemed to be quite equip for that.

The machine would run out of paper or ink or just jam on me. It got to the point where I rarely got my photos printed without something holding me up. The technicians, which, come on, why do we give them the title of technician? Were always irritated that the machines had malfunctioned. They also never seemed exactly sure how to use the kiosks. After a while, the kiosks lost their glow of convenience and ease.

Then, I found out that you could order photos online at CVS and pick them up at the store. You could order as many as you wanted and you just went in and grabbed them whenever it was convenient for you. That sounded perfect, so I started doing that. It wasn’t long, however, because the problems started.

Once I went in and the machine had clearly jammed, chewing up my photos and causing them to print pictures crooked and sometimes print only have the image, leaving most of the photo blank. The only reason I even noticed this was due to a long line at the check out counter and I decided to open the bag and flip through my photos. The lovely photo technician had stuffed my mangled pictures in there and was going to try to make me pay full price for the messed up order.

I got the order sorted out eventually, but I had to come back a day later to pick up the rest of the pictures. This happened to me again at the same store, but at least this time the technician was honest about screwing up my photos and I only had to wait an extra half hour for him to reprint my pictures.

A month or two later I was picking up photos before heading out to a crop. I was in such a rush that I didn’t even look at my pictures before I paid for them. When I got to the crop, I started to sort them. Then I realized I had pictures from someone’s graduation and a toddler’s birthday party. I didn’t notice any of my pictures missing, but I take so many at drag shows there’s an excellent possibility that they received pictures of Esta Bunny in a tie-dye dress.

After I moved here, I got some photos printed for my Girls Aloud posters. When I went to pick up my order the cashier handed me two packages. I examined both of them and told the cashier that my order had been printed twice and I only wanted one copy of each of the photos. She told me that I must have clicked the order button twice and placed two separate orders so I had to pay for both of them. I knew I hadn’t clicked the order button twice because I am always so careful not to. When I examined the orders both had the exact same order number and were ordered at the exact same second. So I informed the cashier that this was clearly a mistake on their end and I wasn’t going to be paying for the double print of my pictures.

After this and various other problems that I’ve had with pictures, I decided that between the cost of getting the photos printed and the hassle I routinely had to go through, it would be a good investment to get my own photo printer. Tim helped me find the perfect model and I got a nice Canon. I was annoyed at first when I found out that the HP photo paper I had bought years ago wouldn’t work with a Canon printer. But that’s how they get you; make printers that require their particular paper.

I ordered some new 4×6 pages and as soon as they arrive I’m ready to print out the rest of 2012 and whatever else I want to print. I’ve already printed some larger pictures with the paper that came with the printer and the quality is amazing. It looks just like it was printed professionally. Besides, I already priced photo kiosks and they run about $2,000. A little out of my price range.