Monday, May 01, 2006

dear cathy zielske...

My last post got me going in the right direction in terms of how I want to approach scrapping now. Cathy's new book has just fired me UP to scrap the important DETAILS of my life! I am so inspired!!! So I sent her an e-mail which she responded quickly to. Even though it's basically a repeat of what I posted last time, I thought you might like to read my e-mail and her responses to my questions. Her answers are written in italics under my questions and at the bottom. (I don't think she'll mind since I'm the president of her fan club, LOL. I just love Cathy - she is a joy to know!)... ________________________________________________________

Dear Cathy,

Hey girlie! I just had to write and brag on your new book. It is my all-time favorite book other than the Bible. ha!

I had some "a-ha moments" while reading it. I thought you might want to know how you've inspired me (again and again and again...).

A-ha #1 - My favorite layouts I've done are ones that really speak from my heart. When I start with the journaling, I always end up happier with the end result. When I worry too much about design, I always end up comparing myself to others. Trying to be trendy, original and "cutting-edge" makes me feel pressured. Telling a good story and recording our life makes me feel accomplished. Only I don't think I even realized that I felt that way until I read your second book. I just wasn't happy with how I was doing things but I didn't know why. This book made me go "I'm changing the way I think about scrapping!!!" When you said you didn't want to scrap just for the sake of scrapping - I was like "ME EITHER!!!" Thank you for putting that into words for me! Also, I LOVED the "coulds vs. the shoulds" list in class in AL. That totally rocked my thinking too. You verbalize so perfectly the things that I feel.

A-ha #2 - I totally thought the whole "being caught up" thing didn't apply to me but I realized that I have been pressuring myself in a different way about my piles of photos. Most of the pictures I take are great pictures because I have a digital camera and I keep snapping away until I get good shots. So every time I take pics at the fair, the zoo, the pumpkin patch, a birthday party, etc. - I think..."oh, I have to scrap these!" Your book (and class) made me realize it's not REASONABLE to think I'm going to scrap all those pictures! It's not that I think I should scrap every picture I take but I can't even scrap every picture I think is "scrap-worthy." There's just no way! Life's too short and I'm too busy! I loved it when you said the word "reasonable" in relation to scrapping too many pics. That's NOT reasonable thinking! Even though I haven't been scrapping chronologically or trying to be caught up, I've just been thinking about all these pictures sitting there, waiting on me to tell their stories when really, there isn't always a story to tell. I love how you said that your fair pictures took you too long and your photo album was starting to look good. So my a-ha moment #2 is really this.....IF THE PICTURES TELL THE STORY BY THEMSELVES, I DON'T REALLY NEED TO SCRAP THEM. It's perfectly fine to put them in photo album! Giving myself permission to do that has taken a weight off my shoulders! Thank you! You also reminded me that life is in the details. It's the little things that we really won't remember unless I write them down. See I knew that, but you put it into words for me!

So here's two questions I have about the above...

1) Since you scrap what really matters to you, do you find yourself actually TAKING pictures specifically for a page often? Or do you just look through your pictures until you find some that match the message you want to get across? Like right now, I made a list of all these things I want to scrap about. For instance, the company that my husband owns with 3 partners....I'll need to take pics for that. Do you do that often?

Cathy said....I think it's both. but yes, there are many times when i do that too....take photos for a layout. i mean, when i get a "roll" back, rarely are there photos that i'm just DYING to scrapbook, you know? so...if there's a story I really want to scrap, i will take a shot, or dig through what i have and see if anything fits.

2) Since Caroline was born, I've scrapped basically every holiday, event, trip to the pumpkin patch, etc. and I have 7 albums full along with a lot of personality and moment pages too. If I basically started putting most of my event pictures in photo albums, do you think that she will wonder why at the age of 5, I stopped scrapping those things? Do you think she'll be sad that they're just in photo albums? Should I not care what she thinks? heehee

Cathy said...Honestly, Tracie? I think our kids will think anything we do is amazing. I really do.... but remember, this hobby is for YOU too. If it makes YOU feel good doing these things, then keep doing them, capeche?

3) How do you decide what you want to scrap NOW? Do you ever deal with that? Even though I'm not going to let my pictures pressure me any longer - I have such a huge list of things to scrap that I let THAT overwhelm me! I need therapy, right?

Cathy's response to this question was that she usually does whatever her assignments for SS mag are. She elaborated but that was the gist! :)

Okay I know this is a novel but you've just inspired me so much and I'm trying to work all this out in my mind and have a plan. I'm a girl that needs a plan.

Thanks again. I know you get a trazillion e-mails so I hate to add one more but I couldn't help myself! LOL

Love you!!!!!
Tracie :)

PS - I'm copying your layout word for word that is the last one in the book. The one where you say "it's not about the photos." I'm making it in the colors of my scrap area and posting it as a reminder of what's important. Sometimes I get frustrated and feel pressured about this hobby but when I read your books - you make me love scrapping again. That's huge! HUGE!

PSS - Have you seen the Creating Garden this month? It just bloomed today (the 1st) and the theme is "every day." It totally goes along with your book! Check it out.

Cathy said...Love it. So inspired by all that everyday stuff. THAT is what i want to do......


Tammy Batson said...

Hey Tracie ... I don't get to "scrap" like I would like to because I stay so busy ... but one thing that has helped me "mentally" cope with this is by sitting down every once and a while and actually writing LeAnna a letter - as to "how I feel about her at that moment, what she means to me, and usually end up apologizing for not journaling or scrapbooking like I would like to. I have done this several times ... it's almost like therapy ... not only does it make me "feel better" - but hopefully one day, when she is old enough to "want to read" these letters along the way that I've written - she will understand how Mommy felt and why I did or didn't journal or scrap at that particular time in my life ... hope this helps ... it has me! Hugs ... tammy

TracieClaiborne said...

Tammy - that is so awesome. I think journaling is so much more important than making a page so if you have journaling written, that's a huge sign that you care! You're such a great Mom. I love you!

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing Tracie! I'm definitely with this line of thinking! :)

Chelle said...

Since taking Lexipro, I no longer worry about what I "need" to scrap. It really takes the edge off and I just enjoy the process. I don't really have a lot to say, I wish I did so I sometimes just scrapbook whatever pictures I have. I just love being crafty!

Anonymous said...


I'm so proud of you for writing to Cathy and so glad you got so much more than you thought out of her class.

Just so you can't tease us any longer, would you please, please, please post a pic of the layout you are going to copy? :)

I'm off to scrounge around the 'net to try to snag a copy.
Memories still doesn't have it....

Anonymous said...

YES! Tracie, I've been going back and forth about what I want to do Saturday with some friends who are coming over to scrap (nat'l scrapbooking day and all) and you have just given me my "theme"- "it's not about the pictures". LOVE IT! I want it to be a fun and liberating time for my girlfriends, but I want to have a good time too. I was stressing about what I could have them make and this and that- but I'm really going to go back and check out my BPS and just get some core thoughts down and stress that theme I mentioned above. I also wanted to encourage them to just take 10-15 min. a day to think about scrapbooking, whether that be looking through pictures, organizing, reading something scrappy, journaling, brainstorming... whatever, just spend a bit of time on it and it won't be so overwhelming when you sit down with all the STUFF.

whew. so glad I stopped here before bedtime.
any other thoughts on this would be greatly accepted!

Deanna- yep Dee-na said...

tracie! isn't she just phenomenal?!
i mean she, stacy julian, and donna d. just make me feel like i can do whatever the pea i want! lol
their books have all made me grow and think the most about how i want this joy of scrapbooking to be in my life. what a joy and blessing to learn from her in person, emails, all of it! so cool!
i hope i get to take one of her classes someday.