and I didn’t know it!

But today I was in another scrapbooking store (souffle pens!) while Hill$ong crappy charismatic creepiness blasted from the store stereo.  That was ok, I could block it out by humming my favourite Lily Allen track (“Fuck you.. fuck you very very muu-uu-uuu-uch…”).

But what intrigued and frightened me was the group of women sitting around a table all with identical pieces of various papers while the teacher drill sergeant said things like “And now we are going to take our 8 cm square of green paper and stick it exactly one inch from the bottom left corner” and the women responding with worried tones: “Have I got this right? Is this ok?”

I would have told her exactly where she could stick her square of paper, I would.  This class was obviously for beginners, ok, but it was doing NOTHING towards raising these women’s confidence or belief in their own right to make decisions!  ARRRRGH!

Please note – I’m not (totally) anti-scrapbooking.  I love the toys in those shops, love the huge variety of coloured papers and printed papers and rub ons and stamps, and the PENS, OMG the pens, I loves me a good pen, who doesn’t? I am THRILLED that scrapbooking stores are around not least because there are such limited options for buying other art supplies locally.

But – WHERE’S THE CREATIVITY? WHERE’S the EMPOWERMENT that making something YOUR OWN brings?


In the last few posts I have shown you my visual journal – and you can see that I have been learning from other people’s styles.  I am so excited at the prospect of learning more, of getting the INPUT I crave.  But I don’t ever want to just make something exactly the same as anyone else (let alone as the other 6 women at the table  (“Now post your cropped photo of your schoolchild 5 inches from the right of the page…”)

Look, I know you’ve seen (heard?!) this rant before, and I’m sorry, you’ll probably hear it again… but if we are not here to be INDIVIDUALS and find meaning in our own lives – then why are we here at all?

(To see where the thoughtless copying mindset leads, have a squiz at “you thought we wouldn’t notice”, a blog highlighting laziness amongst “creatives” … and see also this post from the (hugely talented and inspiring) Marsha at Tumblefish Studio. )


  1. Annie’s avatar

    Interesting post Caity! Dear FSM, I don't think I could have stomached the Hill$ong crap for more than about oh, two nano seconds…

    Souffle pens rawk! It's trying to find the white as opposed to fucking CLEAR (in their incy wincy bloody print) that's the only problem. 😎

    Interesting point about the scrapbooking class. A couple of months ago, I took two card making classes with Wrapped in Paper, who are just bloody fantastic! I did this becase as hard as I tried, I couldn't figure out the technique to making this incredible flipping (quite literally) card.

    As it turned out, it was a surprisingly excitingly simple thing to learn. But learn it on my own off written instructions? Never in a million years.

    But I was surprised by the amount of panic amongst the other girls doing the class. I think we textile people are a shitload more relaxed and highly adaptable than paper people. right down to the millimetre 8-o. Bugger that for a joke.

    Heh. I took my 'cupcake' flipping card and instead of making another slavish copy, turned it into a neato 40th annivesary of NASA's moon landing card.

    Your journals are looking fantastic. Well done.

    If they keep peddling Hill$ong at you, go buy online…..



    1. Caityquilter’s avatar

      Yeah, I think you could be right – fabric MOVES, there is very little you can do about it – why fight it?
      I'm sure there are many really cool scrapbook/card making classes, and I know there are a lot of talented people in the industry but sheesh – that lady was NOT one of them – talk about your classic creativity quasher!

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