yeah just being real

A long debated post on Scrapbooking or should I call it crapbooking, because scrapbookers suck. This post has swirled round in my brain for a good couple of months now.

Scrapbooking is something that has been part of my life since mid December 2001, when a friend showed me how to do a CM page, her mum was a CMC and my journey began. Buying supplies, doing pages etc, etc. I was happy, I was on a message board with other CMC’s and other customers, we had fun, we chatted, there was never any negativity, there was no burden of getting published, it was just about the photos and the story they tell.

Somewhere after my end of school trip in 2002/03, I was no longer satisfied with CM, I was spending time on 2peas, shopping local sales I was having fun, but even then looking back on it I was relatively unsettled in my work, always going was it good enough, was it hip enough? I wonder sometimes if it was because I was comparing my work to that I saw on 2peas, in the magazines. When I was CM I never questioned my pages. 2peas changed my outlook on Scrapbooking.

This afternoon I was working on some projects for a magazine that I have to have in before I leave for Iceland and I was angry, with the fact that my samples were not playing nice and working out properly. Angry with the world for random minor stuff – possibly due to lack of sleep the night before.

I have come to think that I need to refocus. I am no longer going to chase commissioned work, I will no longer submit to those random calls which are rare even for me to submit to now. I am not going to look at the gallery each day, I will look randomly every so often. I will keep on enjoying my monthly Aussie Pea thread but that may be about it. , I will keep not reading scrap magazines, I question if I will put my work on 2peas or just post the layouts here for my family and friends plus the occasional random who stumbles on to my blog searching for “blood donation fainted” “lee kwan yew quotes” “helen is silly” “skonsur” “australian secret intelligence service blog” “shiney”, “hide and seek imogen heap” plus a good stack more of weird search phrases.

Out of all of my what 16 or so published or to be published works, 2 of those were from submissions, I know I am hell lucky to have had the chances I have had, but I wonder if that ratio has influenced my view on publishing.

For a while now I have stressed the importance of being real in my scrapbooking and I am happy to see others now who are “getting real” in their scrapbooking, because sure I do like getting affirmations (praise) on my work but really at the end of the day do I a give a flying xyron what they think? My work is for me and those I love. It is meaningful for us, they would not give a flying hoot if I haven’t used the latest supplies, hell they probably wouldn’t even notice if it was a CM style page or not. They purely like seeing my photos and what I write. That is it, I could share my journal with them which has random photos and my musings in, just a white page, a photo and a pen and they would enjoy it.

What brought this outpouring on? I am starting to realise my self and what I want or don’t want. I don’t want to see to others get tangled up in a web of publishing and is my work good enough. I wanted to go public to express the conversations I have often with other girls. Below are some random comments from a chat I had with Barb today.

Helen says:
I just am disorientated with the idea of scrapbooking and what it means
Barb says:
I think you do it perfectly helen and I think doing it for money sux
Barb says:
that it is not about being in fashion but about being real? and scrapping like a mess if you want
life is too short to scrapbook to please anyone other than who is in your family (that includes sean)
Helen says:
because my family doesn’t care what I use on a page, in fact they probably don’t even care it is a CM page – they like seeing their photos, they like seeing what I have to say
Barb says:
chris just likes looking at the photos in my pictures on the computer, he couldn’t care if there are mm rub-ons, he just wants to play with my paints lol
Helen says:

I ask if there is any reason to this post, do others want to see what goes on in my mind? Then I say this is my space on the server, if one reader leaves here thinking about what they do and why they do I will feel content.

9 Replies to “yeah just being real”

  1. i agree. i haven’t been to 2peas but to see layouts and that’s it. i’ve heard it is pretty catty over there. so you are doing a phd in east asian history? mine is in caribbean history. a fellow historian!!

  2. You are so right. Most of the people who post to 2Peas only do it for popularity. It is sad when all you are looking for is fake praise about your layout. I have seen some that suck and people are slobbering all over it because someone “famous” did it. Whateva! You have to be true to yourself and I applaude people who can see that.

  3. Ditto…
    I’ve never posted a layout on 2Peas…two reasons: don’t know how to stitch a 12×12 (duh) and I don’t give a rats ass what they think of my work. Yes, one day I’d like to see something of mine published …but it’s not my mission in life. It’s SO interesting, from a counseling point of view, to lurk and read some of the really petty, bizarre stuff they argue about…as if all that crap is getting them any closer to the meaning of life. Give me a break~!
    Hang in there Helen…take a step back and just enjoy the process again, just for you.

  4. Good on ya Helen – I little motto I have is “Be true to yourself and you will never fall” (Beastie Boys).

    You must do what is right for you. Time for a holiday and refocus I think!! Good on ya matey.


  5. Don’t give it up!!!! I am not part of 2peas because I ahve heard bad things, but the communities at and are very nice and encouraging!! Maybe you’ll give it another try over there? πŸ™‚ kristi

  6. You know, Helen, I have felt the same way before, as well. Such a fun and fulfilling hobby can be so awful at the same time! All the crap and drama that plays out on the MBs on the net, the competitivness, the back-stabbing… sometimes I hate the industry, too. quitting the Garden was hard, but I feel better in that I can get pages done for me, ya know?

    Helen, love reading your thoughts and I am enjoying the Aussie way of speaking. πŸ™‚

  7. helen – you have me thinking

    i have posted a lot of work on 2Peas and I have to admit I have been guilty a few times of what some people call “ho-ing” for praise and really after all is said and done – the solicited praise doesn’t really mean anything – I begin to wonder if any of it is really genuine

    i have noticed a lot of people have really gone the other way and have lost the “good reasons” they got started in the 1st place including myself

    i thought I would go out for a DT but at the last minute decided not to because I would have to put the more important things in my life (my family) by the wayside. I would never ever want to have to sacrifice my family time for the sake of scrapping for glory or money. I was putting together something the other day for this DT call and my daughter said to me, “But what about me mom? You promised to do this with me.” That was enough of a wake-up call for me.

    I still like to participate in challenges on the boards if I have something that fits and because I like to push my creativity. However I am not going to be like well there is this call so I need to do something for that and so on.

    I hate the cattiness and superiority complexes many of the gals have – my work is more recognized and I am better than you attitudes really suck!! It is amazing how some people are really down to earth and don’t let the celebrity of it all go to their head and then there are some who are like “why are you even talking to me – you are not worthy to be in my presence”. It is so very sad. And in the words of my DH – so very junior high.

    so helen – you really have me thinking – that I need to remember why I started this hobby in the 1st place – to preserve my family’s memories
    And also to really concentrate on spending time having those memories rather than wasting the precious time away worrying about the next call or some DT assignment

    sorry – I wrote you a novel – kudos to you for putting the thoughts out there and thank you – I needed to hear it.

  8. I haven’t been on 2Peas in over 2 weeks. I don’t miss it much at all. Not so much the work -though I’m always inspired- but more of the people I’ve met and have developed friendships with. SB was taking up so much of my time and I needed to refocus. I haven’t pursued being published much and I’ve found that I’m more creative that way. I need to stop myself and figure out how to just BE without SB defining me. Yes, girlee, you’ve got me thinking again…

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