Friday, April 8

Blogging for Scrapbookers: Why I Scrap and Why I Blog

I Scrap by Julie Ann Shahin  Credits

I Spend A Lot Of Time Online Because My Friends Live In Here!
by Julie Ann Shahin

Left Page

Right Page

These are two layouts above that illustrate Why I Scrap and (a little peek into) Why I Blog. I confess I haven't been comfortable using my blog to share a lot of personal stories before Blogging for Scrapbookers. I hope to do the Year of Blogging prompts, and open up a bit more - this is one area that my real life persona shines through as I've always been painfully shy and a private person. Think of the Hollywood  star who says, "I don't talk about my personal life" - and that's me minus the Hollywood and minus the stardom! LOL

Yet I blog because I want to share and connect with my many online friends, and all of my family that lives out-of-town. I want everyone to see my scrapbook layouts (and a few of them I'm obligated to share online for various design teams or creative teams), yet I also spend A LOT of time visiting galleries and other people's blogs giving feedback on their layouts and journaling, and encouraging their art too. I really enjoy letting others know how much I like their work. I spend so much time online, so much more than I probably ought to, yet this act of sharing takes time. I'm so easily distracted online too. I flit from one thing to another and back again that I rarely use my time online wisely. I need to do what I did yesterday, which was take a timer, write down "I am reading email", and just read email for a specified amount of time...and not get distracted by the various links that email can take you to. Save those links for when the timer goes off and then write down "I am checking out email links" and check out just those links for 15 minutes, and not allow myself to get distracted. Or say work on a digital or hybrid layout for a half-hour, and not be  tempted to check email in that time even though I'm on the computer and it's oh so easy to just peek. Write down "I'm digi scrapping now" and set the timer. How do you prioritize your time online and find balance?

So I digress. Back to topic.

As you see above, I have the usual reasons for scrapbooking. I love the art-form. I love traditional scrapbooking, digital scrapbooking, hybrid plus art journaling and altered art.  I love capturing the memories with my camera, and processing the photos with Photoshop Elements. I love showing my love for others in this way. I love the thought that our history will live on. I love the thought that some things we will never forget because I scrapped it. I love making layouts. I love journaling. I love scrapbook sketches and challenges. I love scrapbook trade shows and conventions. I'm not that much into cards, I really struggle with them, and I am not much into sending cards as I'd rather make a mini-album that I know someone will keep forever. I am quite envious of talented card-makers though because I've seen some masterpieces that I would kill to have those skills. I'm in awe I confess. I also love the publishing side of scrapbooking, as I worked on the staff of Scrapbook Dimensions Magazine, Bella Scraps Magazine, Flourish, and now GingerScrapsStreet Magazine. I love writing and sharing tutorials, although I haven't felt much mojo for any tutorials lately (and that feels quite frustrating).

There was a time before I had a computer and before I found scrapbooking, as I hinted to in my layout "I Spend A Lot Of Time Online", where I didn't know much about online networking. Those were very lonely years for me because I am painfully shy and a homebody to boot. I have Fibromyalgia which is not to induce your pity, but to explain that I don't have a lot of energy to be outside of the home socializing. I have TMJ Disorder, tempomandibular jaw disorder or lock jaw or where you hear a click when you open your mouth, which gives me a lot of facial pain and jaw pain so I don't like to talk on the phone. I never put the TMJ and not talking on the phone together until I read an article this past week where a lady with TMJ said that she limits herself to one phone call per day. I had a lightbulb moment, AHA! That's why I don't like talking on the phone! It's exhausting and painful. So the computer really opened up my world, lifted me out of loneliness literally, connected me to people with the same likes, connected me to long-lost friends, connects me to distant relatives, and makes it seem like people half-way around the world are right next door. I am subscribed to sooooooooo many blogs in Google Reader that it's insane because I could never get around to reading them all, but I can't help it because everyone is so darn interesting.

Yesterday I thanked two influential people in my life, just two of the many. The blog post took so long to write that I had to cut it off there if I was to get anything else done that day. Yesterday was a bad day for me. I was feeling moody and it didn't help that when I tried to hit the "share on Facebook" button feature on blogger after I published, Facebook had blocked me from doing so because I had been reported as being spammy. (Or abusive but my guess is spammy). You see, right as this BFS class was starting, I sent an email that was supposed to go to about 50 of my FB friends about my new blog address, except I got carried away and didn't pay attention to how many of my FB friends I added to the PM. FB does not tell you a count of how many people you are adding. To give you proper perspective, I had at the time over 2,300 FB friends. I ended up picking 500 names. That's 0.217 of my friends. I know it's a lot yet I wasn't aware because my list of friends was so long. Anyways, to get on with the story - I sent this PM not realizing it was going to that many people, no clue at all, I thought if I overshot 50 in anyway it was a maximum of 100 people (still a lot but not when compared to 2,300) it went to 500 people. The problem came when someone replied and then another person replied, and another person replied - well, I can't tell you the details because I didn't get a SINGLE ONE of these replies!!!! But I can imagine what happened when every single of the 500 people got each of those replies. I didn't find out until many hours later when about 3 people sent me a direct message and asked me if I had done this or if someone else had hacked into my account. Of course I admitted to it. I would never cop out of my own mistake, I never have, never will. If I am accused of something I didn't do, I will fight for my innocence, but if I did it I admit it.

Apparently, from what I heard from these three people, who I had to pry information from because they assumed I was getting all of the replies, and there ended up being hundreds of replies they told me, people telling each other to stop answering one another. Two different people notified me that they were unfriending me because of  the situation temporarily until it was all over, and a dozen more unfriended me without any goodbye, which is ok by me. If they are not my friend, they are not my friend. I sent an apology right soon after I found out what was going on, I have no idea why not one of these hundreds of replies did not come through to me? Anyone ever have replies not come to them on FB? I promised I would never send a mass PM like that again. I ended up getting a handful of direct responses (not sent to the whole group) of supportive messages, and the rest did not say one word to me. Not one word on my wall even. A few were very grateful to know I had a new blog, and I did get a ton of traffic to my blog that day, but that is not how I would have liked to have gotten it via such controversy. It was a very painful lesson to learn because many of these women received these hundreds of replies, I was told, and some of them received them as text messages!!!! EEEK!  It was just a horrifying day. I guess in some blessed way I was spared from those hundreds of messages, or else I would probably withdraw and close down my blog forever from the shame and guilt. I was just so frustrated because the reason I opened a new blog was because my old blog was hacked into, and  it wasn't all that old to begin with.

For a private person, I've really opened up here.

If you were one of those spammed persons on Facebook, let me again deeply apologize for the whole incident.

If you are just reading my blog as a follower and got this far, congratulations and thank you for not falling asleep. I hope you learned something from my tribulations. They say the truth will set you free. Let's see if it works.

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Cheri said...

Your layouts are beautiful Julie and I really admire your talent.

I am also an introvert at heart, but I found that through my blog I developed a tribe of loyal followers who read and comment and allow me to be me and make me feel oh-so-much-better about myself and where I am in life.

Hang in there! The embarrassment over the Facebook Faux Pas will pass quickly. Live and learn.

Kimberlee said...

Facebook schmacebook... friends need to be friends and that is that.

Thanks for opening up and sharing your personal journeys!


Lori said...

LOVE these LOs Julie!!! ... and what you have shared in this post. It is hard to 'put yourself out there' and being a public arena, our mistakes are also very public. I suppose it is all an exercise in communication and human behaviour. Forget about the FB incident - if you lost a few 'friends' over it, I say good riddance. All mailing lists need a good purge from time to time!
So glad you are still blogging and sharing your work.

Sian said...

A very thoughtful, thought provoking post - it held my attention right through to the very last word.

humel said...

Wow, I love your responses to why you scrapbook and why you blog - thoughtful journaling beautifully presented :-)

Sorry to hear about your Facebook hassles though, that sounds really unfortunate and not fun. I hope you soon get past it xx

taylortattle said...

Julie, I would never have know you were basically a shy person; you seem so open and friendly to me. Oh gosh what a fuss about the FB thingie. Have to say I can hardly fathom it all out anyhow; hope the dust has settled now. Sue xxx

scrappysue said...

PS: no I didn't audition for American Idol, LOL! That would have cleared the auditorium rather quickly! Sue x

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