Monday, October 27, 2008

Scrapbook Sanity

Scrapbooking is something that grabs you and becomes a part of you. It is more than a hobby, it is a social phenomenon that has replaced the quilting bees of our great, great great grandmothers. It is not just something that you do alone in your home, it is something that makes you want to pack up your supplies and go and sit with others and share. It would be simplistic to say that what you are sharing is a hobby for what you share is so much more. You are sharing a part of yourself, you are sharing your life, you are creating a support circle of people who by their very nature will be there for you when you are in a tight spot. Scrapbooking is one of the great anti-depressants of our time.

With economic times being what they are, we still want and perhaps even need the interaction of crops and scrapbook classes. In fact in my case I need this interaction more than ever. As a scrapbooker I love to take time with my friends to sit and talk while working on my pages. I makes me feel not just connected, but like I'm accomplishing something special.

As someone who is fortunate enough to teach scrapbooking at a couple of scrapbook stores as well as to my group of Scrapbook Buddies, I have tried to make sure that the projects I offer have a lot of bang for the buck. I want, no I personally feel the need to make sure that the people that come to my classes have a good time and leave with a feeling that they had a great few hours and that they came out of class not just with a great project but happier, more fulfilled and empowered than when they came in. I take far more time than many of my fellow instructors getting my classes ready because more than anything I want them to be a no stress zone where I can assure the people that they will be able to complete the project before they leave. I cut out anything that is not part of the learning process ahead of time, make sure that there is time to complete the project and always make sure that there is no class immediately following mine so that I can stay as long as I'm needed.

As someone who hosts crops, I've seen an increase rather than a decrease in the interest people have to get together, to be a part of something while getting away for a few hours from the daily grind. I confess to having the same need to have my friends around me and get away from it all, the economy, the declining prices of homes, our house which we got for about $10,000 less than the market value when we bought it is now worth about $65,000 less than when we bought it, and the rest of the bad news out there.

When I am scrapbooking with my friends, I know that tomorrow will come and that we, each of us can have a hand in making sure that it is better. How do we do that? By having faith in each other, by making a stranger smile, by being courteous rather than curt, kind rather than abrupt, optimistic rather than negative. By holding out a hand to someone that is less fortunate than we are and there is always someone far less fortunate. But more than anything by looking in the face of a friend and knowing that together you can help each other make it through the week, the month.

St Francis of Assisi wrote this so many years ago and it is still my favorite prayer:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


CathyR said...

Well said M-C. Scrapbooking isn't just a solitary thing.

Enjoy teaching your classes. Your students are very lucky to have you as a teacher.

Teresa said...

Yes, you are a very positive person and might I add....ver creative as well.
Look forward to cropping together soon.

Anonymous said...

I have taken several of MC's class and have watched her grow from her very first class. She is absolutely the best and most prepared instructor around. Her creations are fabulous, too.