I just posted an article by Joanna Campbell Slan titled, "Journal the Hurts; Scrapbook the Highs". It's an article that has stayed with me for years now -- if you'll notice the copyright at the end of the piece, it reads 2001. (That's practically a lifetime in scrapbook industry years!)
In my classes, I continue to reference this article. It expressed succinctly a key point I try to stress -- that scrapbooking about challenges can be rewarding and healing, but it doesn't have to include every last sordid detail of each experience. When I first read it, I immediately appreciated how Joanna was able to put those thoughts into words.
Unfortunately, even though I mentioned the concept in my classes, I had no where to point students so they could read the article on their own. The article was originally (and exclusively, I believe) posted at Graceful Bee, a now-defunct online scrapbooking magazine (may she rest in peace -- GB was a pioneer in online scrapbooking magazines, truly innovative and groundbreaking). Since the GB archives are gone, so too was Joanna's article.
So I recently bucked up my courage to email her and ask if I could reprint it here on my blog, so I could use the permalink in my class handouts. Joanna graciously agreed. Yea!
As I said, the article sums up most of my thoughts on scrapbooking and journaling about challenging topics, whether sad times, regretable times, bitter times, hateful times, traumatic times, times of betrayal, times of deep loss, or a multitude of other "negative" emotions or situations. Poor health, death, school bullies, depression, natural disasters, divorce, the loss of a close friendship -- none of us are immune to these kinds of life events. The question often comes to me (and Joanna, obviously) -- how do I scrapbook the 'hard times'? Should I even scrapbook them?
Both Joanna and I seem to agree -- yes, you can definitely scrapbook about life's challenges. Do you have to? No. Can you? Yes. It's a personal decision.
For example, divorces (or just past relationships) are often hard to handle in scrapbooks, but still valuable...