About Scraps

Come play with the Helper Monkeys and Me!

Come play with the Helper Monkeys and Me!

I am Jennifer “Scraps” Vanderbeek (nee Walker) and though I am currently a Bookkeeper by day, I am a Writer and Artist by life. I draw pictures for myself and others, blog about living creatively and all that entails, write cookbooks, design cocktails, and do my best to enjoy life. I am a former chef, a survivor of childhood abuse, and have a high retention rate for random information. You might be surprised at all the stuff stuffed inside my head.

All that random information, though, makes me awesome at coming up with creative and unconventional solutions to problems of all sorts, and I love to use my intuition to help others. I consider life as a constant classroom, but the cool Montessori style ones, not the too-quiet, too-structured, too-anything ones that some folks have bad memories from. Even so, I like thinking “inside the box” as much as out, because it’s sometimes nice to know where the walls are.

I have far too many pairs of shoes (or just enough, depending on how you look at it), and collect stuffed monkeys and monkey paraphernalia. The monkey is my spirit animal: curious and playful, jumping from branch to branch, sometimes mercurial and aloof but all the while part of a tight-knit pack.

At home I maintain an office/studio that I call the Abyss, because it holds all manner of happy, shiny crafty goodness–just like those bioluminescent butterfly-jellyfish things in the movie of the same name. I am a scrapbooker, but that’s not where the name of this site comes from. Scraps of Life was meant to encompass all the little bits and pieces that go into forming a well-rounded, well-lived life. That was the goal of this site when I first started it in 2003, but it wasn’t until 10 years later that it’s finally fulfilling that destiny.

I love lists and structure because they help me make time for the spontaneous and chaotic. I dream of living in an organized, streamlined home but know deep down that my space will always be a little cluttered, over-stuffed, and probably a bit dusty. I’ve made my peace with that dichotomy, and settle for the little victories over entropy when they come.

I believe in the power of laughter (especially at one’s own foibles), a good cocktail, (parenthetical references) and chasing rabbit trails. I believe there’s something out there bigger than all of us but prefer not to get too hung up on the name of It. But most of all, I believe that life is better when we tap into our own innate creativity.

I am a creative being, looking for more creative beings. Won’t you let yours come out to play?


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