“Scrapbooking is about connection; to yourself, your family and to the people in your life; a connection with positive, happy memories and a great morale boost I can reflect on when I am having a down day,” said Janice Wolfe-Easley, Springfield, Virginia.
Prior to being diagnosed with lupus, Janice was extremely active. She is newly retired from a 34 year teaching career. Her most recent position was as an Adapted Physical Education teacher working with children with disabilities.
Janice ‘served’ as beach volleyball doubles partner, was an avid sailor and loved spending time at the beach with her family. But after severe, rapid onset lupus symptoms (to the point that her husband Don Easley, had to carry her out of bed), Janice had to modify her lifestyle.
Janice began scrapbooking when she had to start thinking about activities she could do out of the sun. In scrapbooking, she discovered so much more than a new hobby. ”Scrapbooking strengthens my spirit. It makes me feel good, laugh and smile. If I’m not feeling well, I can always put it down and come back to it when I am feeling better.”
With scrapbooking, you don’t need to be an artist or a fine seamstress to be creative. Scrapbooking materials and tools are easy to manipulate, even if your hands are swelling, and people of all ages can enjoy this hobby. Scrapbooking preserves memories of life’s significant moments. “It allows me to showcase my accomplishments and socially interact with others who also enjoy scrapbooking,” noted Janice.
Janice aims to be as active as possible in the DC/MD/VA chapter, serving as co-chair of the last two DC walks, DC Galas, and coordinating auction items for the annual galas. She has joined lupus support groups and attends monthly meetings where she continues to learn about lupus. She also organizes dinners and social get-togethers for these groups, where the group may or may not even talk about lupus.
“As I continue to adjust to my new lupus normal, everyday is different and even if I feel up to going out in the morning, by the afternoon I can feel done in. “As I continue to adjust to my new lupus normal, everyday is different and even if I feel up to going out in the morning, by the afternoon I can crash and require time to rest and/or nap."
I’ve come to understand that while scrapbooking started as a hobby I could do inside, with little physical effort, it has become so much more.”
Janice truly lives the new normal life with lupus to the fullest and she has the scrapbook to prove it.
Janice’s tips on getting started with scrapbooking
Start small. I started with using the greeting cards I received when I was first diagnosed; a few photos of my dog.
Try small pages, and small books. Arts and crafts stores typically have lots of supplies to choose from.
I like to take one plastic sleeve and one scrapbooking notebook page with me and work on one page at a time. Less overwhelming and easier to accomplish than cataloging your 400 photos from a vacation overseas.
Several craft store sell scrapbooks that have already been "decorated" and all that needs to be done, is add the photos. This might be a good way to start for someone that is worried about not being creative.