It's Elizabeth here, and I wanted to say thank you, thank you for the wonderful welcome you all provided for the team at Write. Click. Scrapbook. yesterday! We're just as excited as many of you to have a new community online and we'll work our hardest to make it worth your while to check in often. I hope you've had a chance to look around a bit, get to know the collective, and to check out our first monthly gallery of layouts. We're working on many ideas to make your experience here as accessible and inspiring as possible, so watch for those additions and improvements to the site as we develop them! Don't forget to use our Suggestion Box to ask questions, request coverage of special topics, or provide feedback. We're listening! For example:
Q. Where in the world is Cathy Zielske?
A. Happily blogging away in exotic, sunny Minnesota, freelance desigining, and developing and teaching classes for Big Picture Scrapbooking. But don't worry, we'll convince her to make a surprise appearance once in a while.
Before I get you thinking more about our June theme, I wanted to share some random trivia with you about the diverse group of scrapbookers on the team here at WCS. I take my random trivia seriously (my house is filled with strange scribblings just like this, which I sometimes can identify days, months, or years later—and sometimes cannot):
As I was brainstorming what I would say here on the second day, I started looking at that incredible team of women I'm so excited to be associated with over there to the right, and it occurred to me that this is one busy group. How busy?
This group consists of 29 women raising 80 children, two of which are newborns. (Don't mind the bad math on my notes. I've never claimed to be good at addition.) By October, we'll be up to 81. Oh my goodness. But here we are, scrapbooking away anyway. When we say we're proponents of less-is-more, guilt-free scrapbooking, you have no choice but to believe us—how else could we scrapbook with 80.5 kids to look after? Here are some more interesting statistics and trivia about the team:
+ No one on the team has the same name. However, I do happen to know that at least five people reading this share the name "Willis" somewhere in their maiden or married name. And only three of them are related to me!
+ We have residents from 15 different states in the U.S. and three countries overall, though at least three members of the team are not currently living in the country of her birth. It isn't surprising that the U.S. state with the most residents here is Utah (7) but Washington comes in second (3).
+ I've met 14 members of the team in person! Not bad, not bad. Will have to plot a way to add more to that list! If there's one thing I'm good at, it's plotting get-togethers that involve travel.
+ And about that gallery... though instructions weren't given about how many photos to use, we ended up with a great variety in our first month: 9 single photo pages, 17 multi-photo pages, and 2 no-photo pages. We encourage all types of pages here at Write. Click. Scrapbook. and very little hand-wringing about trying something different—or deciding to stick with what you know and love.
Have you been thinking about why you scrapbook? I have. Even after I finished my page for this month's gallery, I've been thinking about it—in part because of something a very dear friend said to me recently. We're both in the process of picking up and moving again for the Air Force, and she was lamenting the fact that when you move, you lose some of your history that is interwoven to the physical geography of the place you're leaving and with the people who shared countless experiences with you—both mundane and life-changing. The people you think you'll stay in touch with aren't always the ones you do stay in touch with after a move, but that doesn't make them any less important in your life—your history with them is still there. And sometimes, the people you leave stay as much a part of your life as they ever were. It's inexplicable.
This photo of my dear friend's daughter and my daughter Gracie, taken at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. last month, pulls my heart in ten different directions. Here are two little girls who have become dear friends themselves while their mamas look on; here are two little girls experiencing the joy of a great adventure; here are two little girls visiting one of the most famous perfoming arts venues in the country. Here are two little girls who are about to say goodbye to each other as their moving vans pull away, sadly in different directions. They will cry, but their mamas will cry more—even though they have proof that paths do cross again. The shared history of these little girls will be compartmentalized, and a new history will develop in its place.
How in the world can I capture all these emotions so that they don't get lost? Saving them in a scrapbook is the only way I can think of. It's why I scrapbook.
So why do you scrapbook? We'll open our Flickr gallery soon so you can share your reasons, too. Thanks for visiting us!