I’ve never really had a hobby, even as a child. There were things I liked to do, and stuff I’d collect, but nothing you could call an actual hobby.

I recently decided I’d like one. Despite having a puppy and working freelance, I still find myself wasting too many hours on TV and games on my mobile (NB I’ve deleted all bar two games now). I wanted something that was purely for pleasure;  I’ve never been physical so sport and dancing was out.

I elected for something ‘creative’. I had a dabble with an adult colouring book, it took me ages to find one that had actual pictures instead of just random patterns. I did a few, but it was just repetitive, and the pencils hurt my fingers after a while. I tried digital colouring books, but that was even more boring. And I realised I wasn’t actually creating anything new.

After browsing Pinterest for a while, I discovered scrapbooking. When I was a kid a scrapbook was somewhere you just glued in postcards you were sent, or bought with 20p pocket-money, or the leftover photos that didn’t make it past Dad’s scrutiny into the album. And bday and Xmas cards. And maybe some random pics from magazines or catalogues. So basically a book full of crap pics that you don’t really have much emotional attachment to.

But these scrapbooks were works of art. Carefully selected photos, harking back to a pre-digital era where each frame of your film was precious, before memory cards full of near-identical selfies (ha! Autocorrect just amended that to selfishness). Collages made with beautiful papers, ribbons, rhinestones and buttons.

I knew straight away this was what I’d been looking for. The variety of techniques would keep my attention (I’d immediately dismissed digital / virtual scrapbooking, it was neither crafty or interesting, just more button clicking), and I’d finally have a reason to buy all those mysterious craft supplies I’d coveted for years.

So I bought a plain brown scrapbook from Paperchase along with stickers, washi tape, paper cutouts, pretty coloured pens, Pritt stick, craft knife, cutting board and rhinestones. I pulled together tickets I’d kept from early dates with The Boy, selected key photos from our 2 years together (although currently restricting it to pre-Kimber. That’ll come later), pulled out all the mounds of spare buttons I’d collected over the years from my neglected sewing kit and put them all in a beautiful new storage box, bought for purpose. I found online cheaper / free paper designs that you can print yourself, and organised them into folders for easy use later. I found Polaroid templates online to give some pics a more artsy look.

And I started. And I loved it. And I completed my first four pages yesterday.

Today I’ve already ordered some more pens, tapes, craft scissors, printing stamps. My theory is, the more different tools I have, the more variety of skills there are, and the more likely it is to keep me hooked. If I just buy basics, it won’t be beautiful.

So yes, after 35 years, I’ve finally found a hobby.

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