Sunday, May 8, 2011

National Scrapbook Day

I hope everyone had a great National Scrapbook Day.  Did you get to scrapbook?  As you probably know, the Crafty Neighbors had originally planned to host a big 14-hour crop for National Scrapbook Day, but wound up canceling because we didn’t have enough people signed up.  We really couldn’t imagine a National Scrapbook Day without scrapbooking, so we decided to go to a retreat in Waxahachie, but that, too, was foiled--this time, by a last minute scheduling conflict.  So after a long day of doing just about everything else, it was almost 10:00 pm before we actually got to sit down and crop, and even then, it wasn’t my own scrapbooks that I got to work on, it was samples for a class we have coming up. 

It really brings home a blog I wrote a few years ago about finding the time to crop.  These days, it seems like I never do.  I was recently lamenting this sad fact to a local scrapbook storeowner, to which she replied, “That’s what happens when you go into the scrapbooking business.”  She’s right.  It makes me think back on what we were thinking when Stephanie and I first started Crafty Neighbor.  We thought we were doing something that would allow us to crop more.  Boy were we wrong!

I’ve always been a big fan of crop parties and gathering together with friends to do the crafts we love.  In the early days of my scrapbooking adventure, Stephanie and I made a regular routine of going to weekday crops at our local stores and scrapbooking together on weekends whenever we could.  Sometimes we were joined by my daughter, Christen, or by other friends.  And after I moved to my new home with a dedicated “crop room”, we enjoyed hosting crop parties and gatherings with our crafty friends. 

It was through these gatherings that I really learned to scrapbook.  It’s where I learned to be less hung up on perfection and to just enjoy the process of crafting.  I never took a beginner scrapbooking class; I just started right in, and I learned just about everything I knew from watching others or by trial and error.  New techniques were learned by necessity, and I never would have learned anything at all if it weren’t for all my friends, all the LSS employees, and all my fellow croppers at all those weekend crops.

National Scrapbook Day crops have always held a special place in my heart.  The first one I ever attended was based on a “Survivor” theme.  Participants competed in scrapbooking versions of the popular TV show’s immunity challenges, winning prizes and hoping to take home the grand prize – a basket full of scrapbook goodies and a fabulous retreat for two.  Stephanie and I had a great time.  I don’t know if it was the marathon 60-hours of non-stop cropping, the prizes, the games, or the great people I met that year, but we’ve been trying to recapture the magic of that event ever since.

I won’t lie to you.  I would love it if all my scrapbooking efforts translated into a little extra money once in a while.  I mean, who doesn’t need a little padding in their wallet?  But that wasn’t really my primary reason for becoming involved in this business.  It was the people.  It was the knowledge I’ve gained through scrapbooking with others.  It was the friends, life-long ones, that I’ve met and who have become important pieces in the puzzle of my life.  Stephanie and I wanted to create the kind of crop that we wanted to go to, and we did it with the hope that we could help sustain the scrapbooking industry and keep a little piece of it alive for ourselves.  By hosting crops, we gave ourselves a place to crop.  Or so we thought.

Sadly, our big dreams of having our own scrapbook company didn’t turn us into rich millionaires with tons of spare time on our hands.  In fact, we probably have less time to crop now than we’ve ever had, and now that I’m selling travel with Pam and we are both very busy trying to promote our October scrapbooking cruise, there just isn’t much time for scrapbooking any more.

So this year, for the first time ever, I didn’t participate in an organized crop.  Instead, I stayed home and worked on a few projects for my upcoming classes.  But today…that’s another story.  Today was Mother’s Day, a day when I should be able to do whatever I want, right?  So what better use of my time today than on scrapbooking?  And you know what else?  I’ve decided that no matter how busy I get or how stressed out I might be, I need to be sure and make more time to scrapbook just for fun.  By continuing to do the thing I love, and by continuing to buy supplies and take classes, I can help ensure that local stores continue to carry scrapbooking products and that small scrapbook stores stay open.  We should all remember that it’s not just the albums and the pictures and the pretty paper that brings us all together – it’s the people.  We don’t have to wait until National Scrapbook Day to celebrate!  Make every day a scrapbooking holiday!  Call up some family or a friend and ask them to come crop!  You won’t regret it!  Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day!

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