my role as a memory keeper.

ok. so let’s face it. as memory keepers, life artists, designers, scrapbookers or any of the other many names we have invented for ourselves within our community of scrap. we all have one thing in common: photos….and lots of them.

in 2008, i was faced with a HUGE decision. keep my ROOM full of supplies or downsize in a major way. as a scrapbooker, i have always been prolific. like REALLY prolific. my idea of finishing a set of supplies was to scrap it down to the last tiny bits and pieces. still, i had  an excess of supplies that i was just not inspired by and that made me feel a HUGE sense of guilt. i felt like i was almost bulimic in a way. i had this massive hoard of things that i KNEW i was not going to use, a steady stream of pictures that were stacking up on my computer and no easy way out.

so i had to choose.

i dismantled my scrap room that had gone from my spare room to our finished basement, got rid of a LOT of supplies by either selling or donating and kept just a few things, my favorite stamps and ink pads, some paper and card stock and my cricut. everything fit into a few blocks of my basement expedit. i could take it or leave it and in any case, the girls would use the supplies for school projects.

i started to scrapbook digitally, basically teaching myself with online tutorials and freebies. it was slow…and i think i lost about 25% of my hair, but i DID it. it was a new world! all my supplies were in my laptop, i could scrap wherever i wanted and there was no mess:) AWESOME!!!!! i made shutterfly books, costco books, printed pages at persnickety and pretty much caught up on my current photo stream. but…..

i remembered. there were photo albums full of pictures that had no stories. i scanned some of them. used those scans in digital pages but still, there was a nagging feeling in the back of brain. what if i never get to those?

so i did a few project life kit type albums with older pictures. most of our life before getting married is now documented. all my digital pages and albums are safely housed. i have back-ups of everything. and yet…there was still that nagging feeling.

now mind you, my life and that of my family is well documented….more that i would say 85% of the population, maybe even more. i have pictures and pages of things that i don’t even remember. isn’t that the whole point?

still, as i got caught up, i felt like there were gaps. lots of gaps. so i am doing a bunch of different things. i am no longer strictly a paper scrapper or a digi scrapper or even a hybrid scrapper. i have tons of things going at the same time. i have a project life type album with pocket pages and digital pages and everything else. it is a dumping ground for all the little things that happen and for the big ones too. i have a set of smaller snap albums that i will put things in every once in a while…another dumping ground for the memories that are running rampant. i have 8.5×11 binders that i do pages for. and 8×8 pages too.

what i am trying to say is that there is no ONE true way of keeping memories. there is no system that is going to magically transform those piles and piles of pictures, be they printed or in digital form. it has taken me about 16 years, but i have finally figured it out. i am not a designer or a life artist or a scrapbooker. i have no designated label. i keep my memories and i keep them safe in whatever format feels organic. there is JOY in this hobby. there is purpose and there is a feeling of accomplishment  that is like nothing else.

and that is why i keep memories. so i guess that is what i am: a  memory keeper and i am good with that:)

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