For the love of scrapbooking!
As much as a nuisance it is to my boyfriend, I love junk mail and I think you should too. When our letter box is overflowing with catalogues and take-away menus, I haul those beauties upstairs before he has the chance to chuck them. To me, that pile of papers is a gateway to inspiration and a guide to achieving my goals, both career-wise and on a more personal level.
Here’s why: I scrapbook. When I’m having a mental breakdown because I can’t control what’s going in my life or if I’m having a day when I feel like I can take on anything the world throws at me, I attack my magazines and junk mail with scissors and I stick those shoddily cut out quotes, dresses and holiday destinations in my scrapbook. Once I’m done, I put it away and I make sure to only look at it when I need a reminder of what exactly it is I want to achieve, whether on a day-to-day basis or in the future.
I don’t spend a fortune at an arts shop and my scrapbook isn’t going to win any awards for being pretty, but it works for me. It’s a nearly-free way of keeping track of my values and ambitions as well as serving as a dose of inspiration on occasion. Scrapbooking doesn’t need to be a hobby – if you want to call it that – just for the ladies and doesn’t need to cover your room in glitter when you open it. If you need to keep track of the career you want to forge when you feel stuck on a sales job, or you’re someone who struggles to acknowledge how you’re feeling when you’re juggling responsibilities, or if you just want a way to note down how the change of seasons inspires you, scrapbooking is a quick and easy way to do that.
Scrapbooking may seem like a bit of a waste of time, especially if you’re artistically inept (like me) but the benefits you get from doing it once a month may surprise you. I challenge you to give it a go and let me know if it works for you. Here are my tips!
What you’ll need:
- A pair of scissors
- Magazines, junk mail, birthday cards!
- Something to stick with. A glue stick is best but be careful not to stick the pages together. Sounds obvious but it happens.
- The scrapbook itself. I just use a normal A4 pad.
When looking for graphics to cut out, I try to get a balance between what instantly catches my eye and what actually carries some relevance. I’ll cut out a cute kitten and have it alongside a quote that struck a chord with me because the point is to be able to flick through the pages of my scrapbook and feel a connection to who I am, what I want and the things I enjoy in life. Keep the cuttings you’re going to chuck in one place else it becomes a nightmare. I have woken up with bits of an advert stuck on my head before.
Now for the fun part.
Make a rough arrangement of the layout of your graphics before you stick them in, otherwise you’ll end up with blank spaces and nothing that will fit in them. But don’t be pedantic about it: you’re not creating a masterpiece and it should probably be for your eyes only.
Get your glue stick out!
I started my scrapbook in June of 2011 and I only have 12 pages. The reason for that is I don’t want this to become just another half-arsed project. If I have a month when I don’t feel inspired to do it, I’m not going to force myself and I don’t want the pages to be filled with graphics that don’t mean anything to me a year later. Of course, there are some things in there that don’t carry the same value to me as they did when I stuck them in but that’s part of the point: I can look back at what drove me to work hard last year and realise that my career ambitions have changed or that I’m not into polka-dot tights anymore. It’s a pretty good way to evaluate myself for five minutes without the navel-gazing and that comes in pretty handy when my life is shaken around a bit, like I mentioned in my last post.
I’d love it if you try this and show me the results! Plus, follow my digital scrapbooking on weheartit.