Click, Write, Scrapbook

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“Scrapbooking isn’t about scraps of paper and photos. Scrapbooking is about scraps of life – yours and those special to you.” ~Rebecca Sower

Today I want to encourage you to think differently about Scrapbooks and Scrapbooking. I am currently District Competitions Officer for 105M and part of my role is to promote and organise the District Scrapbook competition.I am also an avid Scrapbooker.

One of the first things I did when I took on the role was to google “Lions Scrapbook competition”.  No where in the many lists I found outlining what the judges expected to see did I see any reference to journaling and in many cases no reference to photos either. I confess to being shocked that in many of the posts I read, evidence of media coverage was considered to be the most important aspect of a scrapbook. Surely, I thought these are not the most important aspect of a Scrapbook, that’s why we have a separate Press and PR competition? Ask yourself why do we have a Scrapbook competition? What is it that LCIF is trying to encourage? I would suggest that the scrapbook is intended to document our lives as Lions from a personal view point, both as a reminder for ourselves and as a resource for engaging others. But how is anybody going to understand what all those bits of paper stuck in a book mean to you unless you tell them?

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To me, scrapbooking is storytelling. Be it with stickers, ephemera, sophisticated designs or pixels on a screen, I am telling my own life story. My scrapbooks are illustrated memoirs that celebrate pieces of life I may forget unless I write them down. Stories, memories, emotions, triumphs, set-backs which I may or may not wish to share with others. Pieces of me which will hopefully enable others, my descendents in particular, to know me and understand me.

I first kept a Scrapbook as a child, one of those old fashioned sugar paper books with pink pages which seemed faded before I even started. It was just the sort of scrapbook that the rules to the Lions Scrapbook competition seems to be asking for, and no doubt the vision that many of you have when scrapbooks are mentioned.  I filled it with ticket stubs, brochures from holiday destinations, notes and newspaper clippings, special birthday cards or postcards which I stuck in with celllotape. Until recently that book still existed, the pages more faded, the tape yellow and brittle and not a single photo or piece of journaling to put the scraps into context or evoke any real memories.

But, that was how I  scrapbooked then. My scrapbooking now retains some of those elements, such as preserving precious memories, but focuses more on journaling and creative expression. Instead of just placing menus and tickets on  a page or photographs in a photo album, I try to to capture the feeling and the mood associated with my memories. I hope that when someone looks at a page in one of my scrapbooks instead of just seeing photos and ephemera on a page they may be transported to a past time and understand the significance of the occasion.

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My husband once said to me, “Looking at your Scrapbooks helps me to understand you better; your hopes, your dreams, what drives you, what makes you sad, what inspires you, what makes you, you.” Isn’t that what we should be aiming for as Lions with our Scrapbooks? Sure we want to include the menus, the newsletters and the news coverage beacuse they’re part of what tells our story, but only part. Without the photos and your words, they offer little insight into what being a Lion really feels like, it’s like an outsider looking in, rather than us giving a little bit of ourselves.

So, if you’re a Lion reading this, I would ask you to think about producing a Scrapbook that shows what it’s like to be a Lion, how it makes you feel, the triumphs, the obstacles, the smiles, the friendships. Be real, be you. Scrapbooking is something which should come from the heart and which you should enjoy doing, every bit as much as others enjoy looking at the results. My own Scrapbook layouts cover a vast range of subjects, and are produced in a variety of styles and manners, often even digitally. They are sometimes personal and for my eyes only. They are sometimes for public display and promote understanding of a subject. But, they always tell a story.

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Categories: Scrapbooking

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