Friday, November 14, 2008

Confessions of an Ex-Scrapbooker #23

Wikipedia's definition of "Scrapbooking" ~ Scrapbooking is a method for preserving personal and family history in the form of photographs, printed media, and memorabilia contained in decorated albums, or scrapbooks. The idea of keeping printed materials of personal interest probably dates to shortly after the invention of printing. This trend is probably similar for photographs. Historically, scrapbooking was a tradition similar to storytelling, but with a visual and tactile, rather than an oral, focus.

Did you see that? Storytelling? Yes, the history of scrapbooking comes from the idea of "telling ones story"....yes, story! Scrapbooking came from the idea of writing story, capturing the essence of the photos in words, and having something to hand down to the next generation. And believe it or not, Mark Twain and Thomas Jefferson were also keepers of scrapbooks. Even back to the Victorian period, the young ladies had a tradition of giving "friendship albums".

The thrill and excitement of the traditional craft has taken it's own course, and I did spend some time there. I loved many things about "traditional" scrapbooking. I loved to BUY the stuff...I'm a shopper. I could spend HOURS in the little shops...and spent 1000's and 1000's of dollars (crap I hope my hubby doesn't read this post). I loved the crop nights with my friends. I loved looking at the pictures and trying to magically fit 19 photos and embellishments on an 8x11 piece of paper. (The competitor in me...sorry...always up for a challenge)

However......that excitement and challenge only lasted for so long. I was overwhelmed with oodles of scrapbooking "things"....paper coming out of the wazoo, pens, embellishments that cost a fortune, bags of stickers, files, carts.....and the list goes on. And spent more and more, made bigger messes, and got farther and farther behind. I was frustrated.

During that time I started reading "Roots" and had this overwhelming feeling of connecting with the past....with more than just pictures and pretty things. Alex Haley, the author of "Roots", introduced the book in the 1970's and a huge interest in genealogy was born. This interest in genealogy led to people wanting to capture their heritage. And that's what I wanted...heritage, story, memories, photos....

Late one night...or actually about 2am in the morning I was trying to get a few pages done in peace and quiet when I decided that something was wrong....this wasn't going the way I wanted it to go.

I asked myself a question, "Tara, why did you start scrapbooking?" I had one vision in my head....I could see myself older (flinch).... sitting down at the holidays or during the summertime with my kids and their kids and sharing these memories, stories, photos, and teaching them about where we all came from, who we are and were, what life was like. That's all I wanted. I realized that's not what I was doing....I wasn't preserving the most important part of my vision...the story.

I still love "Scrapbooking" but in the digital sense, with STORY. I love technology and I love the amazing things it provides memory keepers, storytellers and scrapbookers. I love what digital scrapbooking and technology is providing to people of all ages, all over the world. I love being a part of this movement with Cherish Bound. I love that I can teach people about the importance of story, how to organize, write, and preserve it for the many generations to come. Most of all, I love that we have our kitchen table back. ;o)

Next week's "Ex" post will be all about Digital Scrapbooking with a twist of story. Right now, Jessica Sprague is having the MOST AMAZING class that's guiding people into's perfectly inspired!! It's awesome and I'm so very excited about it. (can you tell...) Hopefully you signed up for it!! It not, you have missed out....seriously!


heather said...

I've never been much of a scrapbooker. Someday I might catch onto the digital kick -but I doubt it. :)

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