I’m having a hard time writing about this.
Scrapbooking -- a woman’s thing. Mostly a mother’s thing. I’ve come across several creative words for this: Memory-Keeper. Life Artist. Story-Keeper.
I find myself caught in old nets: what men do is art; what women do is craft. And one does not want to be, or be seen as, a crafter.
Though there’s a word with a distinguished meaning (from Dictionary.com):
1. an art, trade, or occupation requiring special skill, especially manual skill: the craft of a mason.
2. skill; dexterity: The silversmith worked with great craft.
3. skill or ability used for bad purposes; cunning; deceit; guile.
4. the members of a trade or profession collectively; a guild.
–verb (used with object)
9. to make or manufacture (an object, objects, product, etc.) with skill and careful attention to detail.
And from the Thesaurus:
Definition: expertise, skill
Synonyms: ability, adeptness, adroitness, aptitude, art, artistry, cleverness, competence, cunning, dexterity, expertness, ingenuity, knack, know-how, proficiency, technique
Of course, historically, women craft things that are used every day, from food on the table to clothes on the body; while artists (and poets) make things to admire from afar. What women make can be used and appreciated by most anyone; what artists make requires “a trained eye”.
Ideas I’d thought buried long ago rise to torment me.
So here I am, feeling defensive about how I’ve been spending much of my time the past weeks. And -- just to up the defensive quota a bit -- it’s extremely self-involved. What I’ve been doing, I mean.
This -- a scrapbooking class from Ali Edwards called Yesterday & Today -- is the least planned and most time-consuming of all the classes I’ve taken on this year. I’m still stunned that I signed up for it at all (given my disinterest in such things) and even more that I like it.
For me, this project has turned into a sort of photographic memoir that snaps nicely together with the mondo beyondo dream lab + the gifts of imperfection class. Since my mother’s death last year I found myself thinking quite a lot about how I got to be who I am. Both of these experiences are clarifying on that score.
Since I’ve been posting rarely, and am trying to be more … open … above is some of what I’ve done so far. Other pages are not public. They are too personal, and not, I think, of general interest -- not that these are. But -- there they are anyway.