MEMORY KEEPING 101 – IT’S NOT A CRAFT, UNLESS YOU WANT IT TO BE
I’m Not Crafty
“Talk to the hand!” Remember Fran Dresher? While people rarely throw their hand up in my face when the subject of memory keeping comes up, they do have several stock phrases they throw at me. I’m too busy! It’s too expensive! I don’t have time.
They generally wish they had sharable memories instead of their mess, but for a variety of reasons, they’ve already made up their mind to keep it on the back burner for someday. I do understand. It’s overwhelming and the longer you put it off, the more overwhelming it gets. I bless the day my mom gave me a Kodak Instamatic camera and a large leather scrapbook. She didn’t realize it at the time, but she launched me into a passion which would enrich not only my life, but the life of many others.
One thing is for sure. I was not then and I am not now crafty, so when someone uses a lack of craftiness as an excuse for not keeping their memories, I know it’s just that – an excuse. Oh, there are crafty scrapbookers. They cut out perfect little silhouettes with just a piece of paper and a pair of scissors. They draw really cute things on their pages, freehand. Their handwriting is gorgeous. Their pages are all about design and have more layers than baklava.
That’s not me. I have a passion for memory keeping and I know how to use basic scrapbooking tools anyone in the world above the age of five could probably figure out. I do have skills which make me a better scrapbooker than some people, but none of them have anything to do with craftiness.
It Can Be a Hobby
Whether you are crafty or totally not crafty, memory keeping can be your hobby. You can enjoy being a scrapbooker or a digital memory keeper without one ounce of craftiness. The purpose of memory keeping is creating a sharable format for your photos, memorabilia and words. You’ll need to sort what you have into some kind of organizational scheme, get it into the format you want and then journal about what’s there – whether that’s as simple as a short caption or pages of journaling. Where’s the craft in that?
If your memories mean a lot to you and most of us do cherish our memories, then making memory keeping a regular activity in your life is something you might enjoy. You’ll enjoy it more if you have a place to do it, so that you’re not packing and unpacking all the time. You’ll also enjoy it more if you have the right tools and accessories.
Here’s something else, as one un-crafty person to another; you’ll be more likely to keep up to date with your photos and memorabilia if you aren’t crafty. Crafty people can spend days working on a single page. They are so full of ideas that many of them create page after page without setting down a single photo. The craftiest people I know are some of the worst memory keepers.
Let Jane Do Something Else Completely
If you’d love to have sharable memories, but you don’t want a hobby or a craft, then here I am. Turn the whole darned mess over to me and let me fix it. There’s a good chance I might even care more about your memories than you do. I don’t just want you to have something you’ll enjoy and be proud of, I’m all about doing it right. While I am not crafty, I do have other skills that help me as a memory keeper and I am happy to use them for your benefit.
For instance, I’m a compulsive organizer. I can’t help it. I will stand in a store and straighten up their displays of merchandise or their rack of clothes. I can pick up something I know nothing about and figure out an order to put it in. It might not match the way some one else would do it or be considered the “correct” way, but it will be in order and it will make sense.
I’m also a story teller. A storyteller doesn’t merely catalog what they’ve seen or heard. They carve out the very best of what’s available to tell an engaging story. You don’t want to put every single item you can find in an album. It will be boring and redundant. You want the best pictures of the best and most important events to urge the audience on to the next page and the next page.
Through years and years of scrapbooking, I have developed an eye for graphic design and have a sense of color. You don’t necessarily need these for a good album, but they make it easier for me to do what I do. I don’t spend hours and days trying to figure out a page. I trim the photos, find some complementary decoration and slap it all down. That’s why I’m faster than the average memory keeper. I’m on a mission and I want to get it done.
You Want a Craft? It’s a Craft!
If you are crafty, I want you to know there’s an entire tribe of crafty people in both the traditional scrapbooking world and the digital world of memory keeping. They have worldwide online events where they share their crafty tricks with each other. They teach classes, they attend classes, they know all the apps and the websites. They invest in equipment I only dream of. They travel all over the place to attend events and conferences. They even go on retreats.
The purpose of this post is not to discourage craftiness in memory keeping, but to make the point that craftiness is not a pre-requisite for it. We can all do it, even if we’re not crafty. Time and expense are true barriers to memory keeping, but a lack of craftiness is not. If you’re interested, then I can help you get started. Just give me a call.
Then come back next week and we’ll talk about what it takes to get started in traditional scrapbooking. Don’t worry ,if digital is more your thing, we’ll discuss that soon!