Last week I was talking to my sister in law. She was extolling the virtues of Snapfish scrapbooks, where you insert pictures into a layout and they come up with a printed book. They’re nice – I’ve done them before and they’ve come out great. But in truth, they don’t quite do it for me. Confession – I have become a full-fledged scrapbooker. There’s something about sitting down with a bunch of pictures, stickers and the like, arranging them into an eye-pleasing layout, and combining them with other pages in a book of memories. I’ve always shied away from the label “scrapbooking”, but in truth it’s something I’ve been doing since elementary school. I used to clip magazine headlines and artwork to put with pictures of my friends and family in an album. If that isn’t scrapbooking, what is? It’s just something I did before it had a trendy label to it.
In high school, I was editor of the yearbook, and what is a yearbook if it isn’t a huge scrapbook. I take pride in how the layouts came to be, and feel that the final version reflected a lot of my personality (there were only 17 of us in the senior class, so that’s not an egotistical statement – there weren’t that many of us to contribute personality in the first place.)
In college, I worked production for the student newspaper, constantly walking around with paste up glue and line tape all over my clothes, that is when I wasn’t pulling an overnight shift in the newsroom. I loved the feeling of creating something by hand and then seeing it produced and printed. I’ve never gotten the same rush from something online. I’ve worked in Photoshop and with Scrapblog, but it’s just not the same as sitting down and getting your hands dirty.
My first project was a scrapbook for my mom of the past year – the kids, holidays and our trip to Disney World. My friend helped get it started – 12 x 12 paper, stamping, scrap paper, etc – but I gladly finished it. Next, I did an IT Boy book. I never kept up with his baby book – writing down his milestones was weighing on me when he was late with them – so this was a great way to remember his first year.
At first I was obsessed with getting someone with neat handwriting to write captions in the book, else I was going to print them out on the computer. Then I realized that it was a way to add a piece of myself to the book. I remember when my mother-in -law passed away and we were going through the jewelery that was left to the grandchildren. She wrote a little description of how she got the piece and where it was worn, which was very personal and sweet. That inspired me to put my own chicken scrawl into the book, and it ended up looking just fine. I’m now doing a second boy book and by popular demand will work with the Girl on one about her for her. There are tons of photos to go through in the basement, and endless possibilities for more books, keeping my hands busy for a long time to come. I would even relish attending a scrapbooking party. It makes sense, getting together, sharing ideas, stickers, and papers. I just wish we could find a more trendy name for it.