Ode to Cherry Fleck
46 Things about Me

The Book of Me on Shimelle.com

The Book of Me, originally uploaded by shimelle.

Here's proof it pays to check out one's blog stats.  I was skimming through the stats for this blog this evening, and noticed a fair number of incoming links from Shimelle's blog: ♥ pretty paper. true stories. ♥.  Not totally impossible, I do know her, and have hung out with her several times.

So I pop over there, to this post - Right: where were we? - and see this lovely big photo (above).

Turns out she's been blogging about her scrapbooking history/career, and included a write-up of her experience contributing to The Book of Me.  Here's a snippet (she does loooove to write!):

...now we’re back to the time warp and we’re up to 2002.  And this is the project I mentioned earlier that brought me bouncing out of my scrapbook burn out.

You may have gathered that it was not always the done thing to scrapbook about yourself, but if you weren’t there at the time it’s hard to imagine just how outrageous it was. Before I had met many scrapbookers in the UK, I went along to a crop organised by a few representatives from a direct-marketing scrapbook retailer—we are rewinding a bit here to late 1999, I should think. Seated around a table of strangers, I had brought one of my albums and my scrapbook basics and some photos and expected to scrapbook at my very first crop.  In getting started, the ladies at my table looked through my album and started asking me questions about my supplies and telling me there was no way that they could be photo safe and such…one went as far as to say there was no way to to make acid-free patterned paper. But really they were more interested in the fact that I was scrapbooking pictures of myself. And then the queen of subtlety had finally had enough.

“If you’re not married and you don’t have any children, then what do you have that’s worth putting in a scrapbook?”

In their favour, it was not the representatives who said this but one of their top customers. This was before I had ever been published (and these girls didn’t know of scrapbooking magazines anyway) and before I had much self-confidence in anything, much less scrapbooking. So while today I would retort with a mix of anger, education and careful wording, then I just cowered and cried. She may have thought she was asking a real question, but all I heard was the bit about my life not being worthy of a scrapbook page.  Ouch.

So a few years later Angie Pedersen, who lives in the same city where I grew up but I didn’t meet until I lived in England, asks me to contribute some pages and ideas to the project she is working on, The Book of Me, and it’s like the perfect little moment designed to help other girls who may have sat at a crop and been spoken to without thought and left to think they were not worthy of a scrapbook page. Brilliant. It was such a dream to work on that project, getting to see the drafts and things come together, email by email. It felt like important work, and it was probably the first time I felt empowerment in scrapbooking and grasped on to a bigger meaning for paper and glue. There was also a surprise when my copy arrived: on the Amazon page you can see the original draft of the cover, but the final cover ended up with the image above—I had no idea that I would be on the cover and it just about made my year. I love that it was a layout that marked a real change in my pages as well—it’s a single page, a 12×12 page, it’s a bit more arty, it’s sparkly, uses an enlarged photo and everything is in my own handwriting. The year before, that would have been a page I guessed would have been kicked back from publication. To see it on the cover made it feel like it was ahead of its time, perhaps. And it’s one that hasn’t really dated—I’m still quite happy with that little snapshot.

<Preen> Well, then. To have Shimelle Laine say that working on my book brought her "bouncing" out of a scrapbook burn out, and that "it was such a dream to work on that project", and that "it was probably the first time I felt empowerment in scrapbooking"... well.

Hat tip to Shimelle for making my day.

Be sure to pop over to Shim's blog to read more of her "time warp" posts - it's interesting to see the past 10 years of the scrapbooking industry summarized from her perspective.  Here are the posts so far:

It's Just a Jump to the Left

And Then a Step to the Right

Put Your Hands on Your Hips




Yes, I am sure if Mrs Corder read my blog today, she would write the same thing in the comments as she did in every paper I wrote for her composition class senior year: "Be more concise!"

But it was a very important point, and I wouldn't be doing what I am doing now if I hadn't gotten the courage from working on BOM, so yay and thank you. :)

We just won't talk about the layouts from me *inside* the book, which are more than a lifetime away now in topic! But alas, that is how life goes. And we carry on!

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