Thursday, May 8, 2014


Did you know that last Saturday was National Scrapbooking Day?
I got hooked on scrapbooking when it became so popular in the late 1990s/early 2000s.  Here's an example:
Why did I think that it was a good idea to take the only copies of my treasured childhood photos and trim them with decorative edge scissors?  And why did I need to add stickers of balloons and presents?  To remind the reader that it was a birthday party?  This is so juvenile.  I made this page when I was about 24 years old, but it looks like a nine year old did it.

My pages did evolve and improve over time, and there are plenty of scrapbookers who have taken things in an interesting, artistic direction.  You can browse here, or any number of other scrapbook sites, and see some lovely work.  But in a lot of cases, I found myself looking at people's pages and wondering which came first, the photos or the products.  If you just bought some new glimmer mist and want to play with it, then add a two inch square photo and call it a scrapbook page, it feels like the tail is wagging the dog.  When I started seeing layouts titled "Why I Scrapbook" I thought my head might explode.  Scrapbooking about scrapbooking?

Make no mistake: I am not suggesting that I am too sophisticated for scrapbooking.  I have a deep love for patterned paper, markers, and stickers.  My patterned paper stash weighs many, many pounds, and even though I have not made a true scrapbook page in a few years, I can't let go of it.  I make a card once in a while, and maybe some day I'll wallpaper the craft room with my favorite pieces.
Because what else am I going to do?  Cut into that swirly purple peacock?  Let my kids chop it up?  No way.

Today I'm following the example of Ali Edwards, sort of a celebrity in the scrapbooking world, and documenting a day in our life.  Just jotting down notes and taking lots of pictures.  I'm hoping to print them out and make a couple pages this week, if I can bring myself to use up some of that pretty paper.

As usual, I fell down a little rabbit hole when looking at the Wikipedia entry for scrapbooking.  This January 2005 New York Times article about a woman who worked as a sales rep for Creative Memories is an interesting snapshot of their heyday, pre-bankruptcy.  It mentions that her husband sold pagers (hello, Dennis Duffy!) and that she put out ham and cheese appetizers for her customers who were doing the Atkins diet.  "Sorry, I can't eat that.  I'm on Atkins."

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