Did I learn anything new? Nope.
Am I glad I went? Oh, Yes!
I took my 8 year old to an art journal class at our local scrapbook store, Whim So Doodle, yesterday.
When I was her age, my Grandpa Allen used to drive me to Saturday art classes, she is so ready for that sort of thing.
I had a full circle moment with modern scrapbooking. Back in around the year 2000 - it might have even been earlier in 1998 or 1999, I'm not sure but maybe since I got married in 99 - I went into a small local scrapbook store here in St. Pete near the mall. The store no longer exists. I remember lots of patterned papers, Mrs. Grossman's stickers, frames and paper embellishments that were sold one by one etc. There were some sample scrapbooks in the back of the store. I mentioned to the clerk that I have been doing this sort of thing with magazines since I was a kid. She gasped and quickly told me how completely wrong it was to use magazines because they weren't acid free - and now I can say blah-blah-blah - we've all heard that bit before; but back then I felt like maybe this scrapbooking thing wasn't for me. I do remember going home to check up on my albums from high school. They were in magnetic albums and full of magazine clippings and they looked totally fine, seriously. Maybe a few of them had yellow around the edges of the album pages, but the magazine clippings were vibrant and my pictures looked fine too. A few years after that I tore apart my magentic ablums to "save" them. I sort of wish I didn't do that now. I also wish that lady's comment hadn't felt like such a personal attack, but somehow, at that time, it did.
So fast forward to yesterday and my daughter and I packed up our 90 weight watercolor paper pads, that I made smash book style at home; and our tackle boxes of watercolors, pastels, glue sticks, patterened papers, and OLD MAGAZINES!!!! I was amused that our first assignment in class at the scrapbook store was to cut up old magazines and make a collage in our art journals. Um, right.
With the exception that I was using watercolor paper instead of magnetic albums, it could have been 1986. It was fun to revisit an old friend - cutting up magazines - I'm pretty sure 99.9% of girls in the 80s did this at one point or another, whether it was to make something to decorate your locker with or it was to make a cool birthday card for a friend or even - gasp - to make an art journal (except we didn't call it that back then) - if you had a subscription to Seventeen Magazine - I'm betting you made something along these lines.
It was fun and there were familar faces in the class - sort of a loose sisterhood of scrapbookers. I should really get out more so that I could remember everyone's names better, I am so horribly bad at that. But I "know" these women, I should get out and hang out with them more.
That sort of energy was exciting. My daugther picked up on it. While taking a trip to the ladies room she said "I LOVE THIS!!" and she went on and on in a very fast excited voice, a more grown up voice, one that means she's seriously loving this - sort of like the vibe she gets when she watches Victorious or Jessee or those pre-teen types of shows; A sort of "this is new and I love it" feeling.
"Can we come back tomorrow?" she asked, reverting to her knees together bouncing up and down with her hands in prayer position stance. "Oh honey, they don't do this tomorrow but I will sign us up for next month." I said. "Next MONTH??!!" Totally unacceptable she let me know. I offered "we could do this at home, we have all the supplies." "BUT ITS NOT THE SAME AT HOME!" she said. She is right, there's something about being around other people doing the same thing. I think I will sign us up for some art classes at the art center and we'll be back down to the scrapbooking store next month for more art journaling.
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