Guest of the Week.

Hey All.

I’m excited to begin sharing inspiration and ideas from YOU (my blog readers) on Mondays. As I work on getting well again, I’m opening up my blog on the first day of the week to a guest. My guest this week is the fun and phenomenal Lain Ehmann.


Confessions of an All-Night Scrapbooker

Explaining to people why exactly I feel so passionate about scrapbooking can be difficult. As far as the uninitiated are concerned, I’m just slapping photos on a piece of construction paper with some stickers, an activity most people outgrew in second grade. If only they knew…!

I have tried to explain the particular brand of excitement I get from signing up to take a photo a day for a whole year in Project 365. I’ve tried to explain why I would ever want to get together with thousands of other scrapbookers and attempt to break the record for the world’s largest crop.  I’ve tried to explain why, three times a year, I lead a group of hundreds of women through the process of creating a layout a day for a whole month. I’ve tried to explain how when I’m in “the zone,” all is right with the world, hours fly by, and the paper and photos seem to sing under my loving fingers.

But after 15 years of eye-rolling, shoulder shrugging, and upturned noses, I decided that people simply don’t get it. I figured, unless you personally have spent 12 straight hours swapping stories and colored staples with 20 other scrapbookers, you just wouldn’t be able to understand the particular allure of scrapbooking.

Until I found a kindred soul in a very unexpected place.

I’ve been training for a half-marathon and doing a lot of running about reading (unfortunately, more reading than running!). I came across a book by an ultramarathoner – that is, someone who runs MORE than 26.2 miles at a stretch. In fact, this particular gentleman has run over 200 miles at a stretch, multiple times (and they call SCRAPBOOKERS nutso!).

Anyway, Dean Karnazes spends a lot of time explaining his “Why” to people. Here’s what he says in his book, “Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner” (I’ve substituted the words “scrapbooking” for “running” – see if it resonates with you):

“I scrapbook to see how far I can go. I scrapbook because it’s my way of giving back to the world by doing the one thing it is I do best… I scrapbook because if I didn’t, I’d be sluggish and glum and spend too much time on the couch…. I scrapbook to explore. I scrapbook to escape the ordinary. I scrapbook to honor my sister and unite my family. I scrapbook because it keeps me humble. I scrapbook because long after my footprints fade away, maybe I will have inspired a few to reject the easy path, hit the trails, put one foot in front of the other, and come to the same conclusion I did: I scrapbook because it always takes me where I want to go.”

So the next time someone asks me why I spend hours a week, hundreds of dollars a month, and way too much brainpower on this “little hobby,” I’ll tell them the truth: I scrapbook because it makes me a better person.

I think the Ultramarathon Man would approve.

About the author: Lain Ehmann is a scrapbooker (and runner) who dedicates herself to educating and liberating scrapbookers via online inspiration, education, and fun. For a copy of her Super-Secret Fast Scrapbooking tips, visit her at

If  YOU are interested in being a guest blogger at, email with a fun, fascinating and/or fanciful post.


  1. I scrap because it’s fun! Can’t wait for LOAD in October because I and hundreds other get it!

  2. My sister in law is trying to get me to train for a Ragnar, but I don’t know if I can do it. I did go so far as to buy some running shoes. Now I just need to run in them LOL!!

  3. Great post Lain. It makes so much more sense to substitute scrapbooking for running anyway ;) See you in October for LOAD.

  4. Karen Schmidt says:

    What is LOAD? This was a great post and I totally get.

  5. Great post!!!!

  6. I have long felt the connection between scrapping and running, and I always thought that made me a little weird. Now I feel so VALIDATED! Leave it to Lain and Stacy to spread the happiness about both of these topics. See you in October for LOAD (where I think my name is Gutsy Mom or Tilly-Loo, one of those — hi Icecat!)

  7. I couldn’t have said it better myself. So true!

  8. thanks, lain! i so get it (and you and all those other scraphappy folk out there).

  9. I LOVE this. Thank you.

  10. Well put Lain! I scrap because it helps maintain my sanity. :)

  11. Thanks Laine,
    I too have tried to explain my why for years. Like you I find that many people just don’t get it (and probably never will). But I have found one or 2 kindred spirits along the way. They make up for all those others.

    Thanks so much for a wonderful post!

  12. I met Dean in person after reading his book. He (and my ultrarunner husband) are who inspired me to start running! I so get how you applied Dean’s philosophy to scrapbooking. Great Guest Stacy!

  13. This is an incredibly awesome and inspiring post! It’s making my #Retweetable list this week :)

  14. Love it UltraScrapbooking Woman!!!

  15. Renee T. (italgal on BPS) says:

    Awesome post, Lain! I love your remark about how time can whiz by at a crop. I once went to an 18 hour crop (5 am – 11 pm), and I never even took a break to go to the bathroom! Stacy – glad you are taking care of yourself…we need you!!

  16. Oh, my goodness! I just came across your blog today (from twitter) and I totally think this post resonates with me. I was thinking about this very thing this morning. I scrapbook because it is “me” time and it’s therapeutic and I love it ;D If I didn’t have this outlet I’m not sure what I’d do and probably would spend more time on the couch than I should (or do), and while I’m doing it I reflect on the beautiful moments with my kids and makes me appreciate them through all the hard times of raising two young, rowdy, energetic, loud, but very cute boys. Thank you so much for posting it!

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