The importance of being you


So there’s this awesome young scrapbooker who makes first rate projects every. single. time. She’s a fellow Brit and is just so cute and perky, you want to pop her in your handbag and take her home.

For the sake of ‘anonymity’ (coughs), we’ll call her Ellie.

For the sake of any concerns from her mum, I promise to never, ever try and put her in any sort of bag.


Anyway, one morning, I’m scrolling through Instagram over my elevenses and there’s a video from Ellie of the most amazing project I think I’ve ever seen in my life. Seriously.

It’s a little album in a box, that kind of falls open in a way that can only be described as magical. The execution of the project is flawless; the video is professional, and the accompanying ‘crafty girl’ music is just spot-on.


And suddenly I feel like going back to bed.

“Wow,” I think, “I may need to quit this thing and leave it to the younger girls like her.”


Later on that day, I’m popping together my application for the American Crafts Design Team (if at first you don’t succeed, keep on pestering) and I’m searching for an example of one of my handmade cards to send. 

And before I know it, do you know what thought’s sprung unbidden into my head?

“What would Ellie send? Have I got anything cute and hand-stitched like her work? That would go down well.” 

And I literally stop in my tracks, because hello? I’m not her. She does her incredibly well; I’m far better off doing me, you know?


I wonder how much time we spend wishing our work looked like someone else’s? How much effort we put into trying to capture a style that comes effortlessly to someone else?

I wonder if you ever scroll through someone’s Instagram feed with a bit of an envious heart, because they seem to nail it each and every time?


In the end, I decide neither to whip up a quick embroidered card, nor go back to bed.

Instead I send Ellie an un-edited fan-girl message, telling her how much she rocks and that I hope she keeps on shooting for the stars, because the sky really is the limit for her.

You see, if she were my kid, I’d be pretty bloomin’ proud.

And even if her face winds up appearing on that Design Team grid without me? Well, it’ll still be ‘two enthusiastic thumbs-up’ from me, because she’s one talented young missy and some people just deserve their success.


At the end of the day, this whole creativity thing is about us being as *us* as we possibly can be, isn’t it? We put down our brushes just long enough to cheer others on as they discover their God-given creative identity, then go straight back to doing our thing.

It’s about finding the ways of working that bring us alive and then really pushing ourselves to be our very best at that. That’s what being authentically creative is all about, however popular or Design Team-worthy it ends up being.

In the words of ScrapGal Tiffani: “You do you; I’ll be over here, doing me.”

So there’ll be no ”44 Things I’ve Learnt at 44′-project for me, which is probably just as well: that would be one hefty little mini-album.