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Five ideas for scrapbooking with girl power

five ideas for scrapbooking with girl power
five ideas for scrapbooking with girl power
I know Five Ideas posts are usually on Fridays. I also know that I usually keep the tone on this blog pretty light and I do things like sing the praises of the Martha Stewart butterfly punch on a regular basis. And because you read my blog, I assume you enjoy such lovely, light-hearted things as scrapbooking, paper butterflies and the odd sparkly rhinestone or three.

But today, I actually want to shake that up.

Because I also figure that if you’re reading my blog you’re most likely a girl. (No offence boys, but you are the vast minority of my readers, you’ll understand.) And because you’re reading this, you can read. And you have internet access. And you probably even have at least a little spare cash that you use on super fun but not really important things like the Martha Stewart butterfly punch. And all that adds up to mean you are one of the luckiest girls in the whole world.

Today, I am really hoping you’ll help me with something a little different. Can we – all these lucky girls around the world who read things on the internet and craft with photos and paper and glue – can we get together enough girl power to help some of the girls in the world who don’t get all the things we take for granted? Not even butterfly punches. Things like a basic education and a way out of poverty.

Recently I got to speak with someone who works with the charity Plan-UK, who told me a lot about their Because I am a Girl campaign. I was so impressed with everything they explained. They are passionate about helping children in the world’s poorest countries get on their feet, get educated and break the cycle of oppression. Last year they worked with over 27 million children in poverty. They inspired me to be thankful for my luck in this world and to try to use what I know – scrapbooking – to help others. So today, I bring you five ideas for scrapping with girl power… but also, a little something else.

scrapbook page
Scrapbook your inner super girl
What? You don’t have a photo of your three-year-old self in a super girl swimming costume? And you weren’t obsessed with Wonder Woman for the vast majority of your childhood? (Two words: invisible plane!) Then perhaps you’ll need to get more creative, but I’m sure there is an inner super hero just waiting to go from the depths of your personality onto a scrapbook page. Find your finest qualities and immortalise them in writing – be proud of your strengths, even if the flying over buildings part of super hero life is still leaving you perplexed.

I don’t even need to explain that just the fact that I watched super heroes on television and played in a paddling pool in the back garden means I had a pretty charmed life compared to girls whose families can’t afford clothes, books or transportation to the nearest school.

scrapbook page
Scrapbook the girls who know your history
These two lovelies literally were the girls next door – their family moved into the neighbouring house in the summer before I started fourth grade, and they had two girls my age. Scrapping an old photo of the three of us was so much fun and brought back so many memories. And it reminded me that I’m lucky to still be in touch with some of the girls I have known for years (thank you, Facebook).

A little perspective: we were about twelve and thirteen in this picture. We had nary a care in the world. But in some of the world’s poorest countries, up to one in seven girls are forced into marriage before their fifteenth birthday.

scrapbook page
Scrapbook your own baby photo
I don’t think I had even seen this picture until a couple years ago when it surfaced on a DVD of family photos. I wasn’t quite sure exactly how to scrapbook a photo of something I clearly can’t remember in any way, but after a while, it seemed like a lovely page to do a bit of wondering and contrasting all those years ago to where I’ve ended up today. Whether you still live in the same town or you’ve moved thousands of miles away, I’m pretty sure there’s a story in there from baby you to today’s you!

And in case you weren’t already thinking it: I was not exactly malnourished there at my first Christmas. Unlike the estimated 925 million people in the world currently suffering just that.

scrapbook page
Scrapbook a girls’ getaway
Have you scrapbooked your gratitude for the girls in your life from day to day? Almost all of these ladies blog, so it may come as no surprise to see us all on yet another scrapbook page but my scrapbooky friends and the times we can get away from real life to get together and scrap? I never want to take those good times for granted. All our group photos remind me that I am a lucky girl indeed.

Let’s not even start on cultures where it would never be a girl’s choice to spend time with friends or loved ones… because she isn’t afforded choices at all.

scrapbook page
Scrapbook the reasons why you’re happy to be a girl
And of course, there’s always that trick of a numbered list. You could take this really seriously and come up with a stack of reasons why you are happy to be a girl or happy to be a girl today and I think the resulting page would be very moving. Or you can just get show tunes stuck in your head and decide to go with sillier reasons why being a girl is awesome.

But here’s the serious side:
More than seventy-five million girls in the world don’t get the chance to go to school. It’s something that broke my heart, especially in Cambodia – to see children encouraged to sell things to tourists because the immediate income was more ‘important’ than the long-term good of an education. As a teacher, it also brought a new definition to the words ‘teacher shortage’ to my understanding. When my class sizes were climbing and I had to send students out to find spare chairs, I worried about where things were headed, but I never once thought of turning a student out of my classroom. We talk about teacher shortages here, but we have teachers who are trained and qualified and do their best. There are places in the world where there just aren’t people to fill that role. What happens if no one in your village is literate? How do you end that cycle? You can’t do it without some sort of outside help.

I really want to help.

For the next twenty-four hours, I’m going to donate 100% of my class sales to Plan-UK and their efforts to help these girls. You get a class (for you or a friend or a sister or a daughter or a mother) and all of the class fee will go to these girls who need a hand. I’m going to make my own donation too, but the more of us who can get together and help, the better.

So you can help in a few ways:
…sign up for a class. If you want to gift it to someone else, just let me know via the notes or an email. I’m happy to send the class to anyone you would like! And you can sign up for any class – they are all over there on the right and they all include permanent access and the classes that run every year (like Learn Something New and Journal your Christmas) include membership every year at no extra cost.
…help spread the word. If you tell a friend about any post I’ve ever written, let it be this one. Email someone you think can help, tweet a link, share it on Facebook, pin a layout to Pinterest, tell your message board friends – whatever works for you. If you want to reblog any of these images, go for it – any way we can spread the word and generate a bit more girl power is a great thing in my book.
…check out Because I am a Girl and see the ways you can help, like signing a letter to your MP, pledging your own direct donation or reading about the specifics of the different things they are doing to help girls break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy.
…make your own girl power layout and share it on your blog or in a page gallery. SJ has already started us off, and if you let me know about your own blog post, I’ll link to it.

I promise I will get back to posting things that are light-hearted and I will return to my vast overuse of the Martha Stewart butterfly punch. But today, I just want to help these girls.

And it would be awesome if you do too.


Thank you to ScrapDolly, Natalie, Debbie, Sally, Jenni Bowlin Studio and The Making Spot for blogging their own girl power today. And more blog posts from Kat, PaperCraft Inspirations, Vicky, May, Lisa, Abbey, Dina, Ali, Mel, Rhonna and Danielle. And many thanks to those who have tweeted, pinned, emailed and shared links with your Facebook friends. Every bit of help is so very much appreciated! Thank you.
Look here to see the end result of our day of girl power!

31 May 2011

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38 Comments for Five ideas for scrapbooking with girl power

  1. Sue Bone Says:

    I sponsor a girl and a boy through Plan UK. They are the same age as my children to put it in perspective for myself. You have reminded me that I need to contcat plan to see if there’s any way I can help the boy with further educationas he aproaches 16.

  2. Jennie Says:

    A great post Shimelle, I will go and check out the campaign and see how I can get involved. I will also go and see if there is a class I can take, especially as I so enjoyed JYC & BBFS. Your layouts are superb as usual, and it has been the first thing I have pinned to my Pinterest scrapbooking board as I have just joined there.

  3. becca Says:

    What a great idea and such a kind gesture! I shall be looking at the classes today! :-)

  4. helena c Says:

    go girl for doing this post – travelling overseas I’m always aware of the different education opportunities – I have bought a school related gift from Oxfam’s give a goat for the last 4 christmasses

  5. Scrapdolly Says:

    I have blogged about this. Thank you for such inspiration and doing something to help others. x

  6. Debbie Says:

    A super idea Shimelle, I’ve signed for a class and blogged about this today. Loving your layouts too :) x

  7. Shelley W Says:

    Fab idea! :) I’ve signed up for a class :) Thanks Shimelle. x

  8. Alison Says:

    Great idea Shimelle…have signed up for LSNED and hope to get a LO and blogpost done
    Alison xx

  9. Lisa-Jane Johnson Says:

    Wow, what a great idea, I shall get onto it right now. I remember being in Cambodia and listening to stories of how families send the children out first on the road to see if there are any mines as they are dispensible but the animals pulling the cart are not. And in Vietnam, we were advised to take sweets to give to the children along our motorbike route. I wanted to take pencils instead. I gave one to a little girl who looked confused and sad and explained she couldn’t eat it but didn’t know what it was. How can any child not know what a pencil is :-( Off to spread the word xx

  10. Kathy Graybeal Says:

    Thank you for the gratitude reminder, Shimelle. And thanks for pushing the Girl Power. Off to register a gift and spread the word!

  11. Junelle Says:

    Really a beautiful and meaningful post~ thank you for this. My heart is for the girls, too.

  12. dina Says:

    Got it up on my blog, my friend! :)

  13. Angel Says:

    Hi Shimelle, so generous of you and such a great cause. I’d love to sign up for a class or two. Is it safe to assume that whatever materials are mentioned in the class description will be provided even if, obviously, we are not taking the class in the original time it was offered?

  14. abbey Says:

    Will pick a class later on (or maybe just donate directly?) Meanwhile, tweeted and put up a link on facebook. I will try to blog this afternoon as well. Clearly a cause I whole-heartedly support. Thanks for the reminder!

  15. abbey Says:

    I blogged about it here.

  16. cinback Says:

    Found you via Ali Edwards and just bought your blogging class. What a fab idea to use Girl Power! Will definitely be doing what I can for this cause. Thank you.

  17. Carrie Says:

    Great LOs and a great idea. Have signed up for one of your classes.

  18. Judi Davis Says:

    My DH is not working at the moment. I sometime go without lunch because money is so tight; so I can’t help at the moment. But here’s a promise…. once he is back at work I will make a donation of some sort to help children who really ARE hungry, and who really know poverty, and who have no idea what education is and could do for them. What you are doing is truly amazing – I saw true poverty in Nairobi. I cried my way through Comic Relief and I have tears welling up now. So that’s my promise, and I always keep a promise. Jude.x

  19. gabbe Says:

    such lovely words & pages-thanks for donating the class money-i just signed up! i’m going to check the campaign page too! you rock!

  20. Kimmy Says:

    What an awesome thing to do. I’ll share on FB and sign up for a class, they look like fun! :)

  21. Mary M. Says:

    Great post, just signed up for a class. Looking forward to it, and glad to be able to do a little bit to help! =)

  22. Irene Fitzpatrick Says:

    Really good cause! I’ve bought a course to contribute!

  23. Melinda Says:

    I’ve got a question…is there a way to sign up/purchase two classes together so there is only one transaction? Thanks!

  24. Shelley Rixon Says:

    Lovely idea! Ditto to the comment above – we have sponsored children through World Vision (US) that match our own in age and gender just to keep life in perspective. Thanks for the remember and I KNOW I will enjoy the class. :)

  25. Kat Says:

    Have now blogged about it and re-tweeted your tweet and also paid for my class. Fab idea, Shimelle, thanks for that.

  26. Sinead Says:

    Shimelle…you are fabulous!! Just signed up for Love your Pictures, Love your Pages. This is a fantastic and inspiring idea, delighted to hear we’ve raised so much already. Can’t wait to take the class xxx

  27. Rebecca Says:

    I didn’t have time to do a page, but I’ve tried to spread the word, and did a blog post about this. I can’t wait to start on your Love Your Pictures, Love Your Pages class!!

  28. Wendy Says:

    Just signed up for a class. You are such a generous, creative and thoughtful person. Thanks for being part of my crafting life.

  29. Lynn d Says:

    what a generous gesture of you…signed up for a class today. so glad I found your blog from Danielle’s blog!

  30. Terrie Says:

    Thanks for the information and supporting the organization. I appreciated your post very much and am happy to buy a class to support you and your efforts on behalf of girls! Bravo!

  31. Caz Says:

    I have the ‘because I am a Girl’ feed on my facebook page which I was alerted to by Girlguiding UK. As the largest youth organisation for girls in the UK they certainly believe in ‘Girl Power!’. Girlguiding UK have done projects with Plan UK on this initative so that Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Rangers, Young Leaders and even us Guiders pause to think how life may be like in other countries where there is Guiding (and where there isn’t due to girls not getting the opportunities).
    Much as my Brownies may moan about school work… when they think about how in other countries they might not even get an education, even at Primary level they realise that maybe that schoolwork isn’t too bad and they are luckier than they thought they were…

  32. calendula Says:

    SO beautiful <3
    Thank you!

  33. Margie S Says:

    I wish I had seen this before, but on the day you posted this I had just arrived in India and was witnessing firsthand what you have written about. Ever since I started traveling to developing nations years back, I have never felt more fortunate just for being born where I was. I will spread the word and do what I can to help. These types of missions are close to my heart. I much prefer donating to these organizations than giving money to the kids since it often doesn’t go to them or their families and like you mentioned, it discourages them from going to school. Thanks for this post.

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