Many years ago, I was a quilter. I made many beautiful quilts for babies, weddings, friends, and family. I still have a couple that I started and never finished. Life has a way of getting us off track occasionally, and for some of my projects, I never got back on track. Yet. We’ll see. But one this is for sure . . . I loved buying all those coordinating print fabrics in beautiful color-coordinated designs, and then cutting it all up into little pieces. Then sewing them all back together again to make a gorgeous new design. The best part for me was the hand quilting. I loved to work on hand-quilting because it was so peaceful, and there is something about working with your hands that is just good for you. So bringing together a multitude of different patterns and designs was a concept that I understood and enjoyed doing.
Back in those days I had a dear friend who had never made a quilt but she did love to create scrapbooks for her kids. One day we were talking and we came to the conclusion that she loved making scrapbooks but she would NEVER, EVER like to make a quilt. I concluded the same thing about my hobby. I loved making quilts but I was pretty sure that I would NEVER, EVER have the patience to put together a scrapbook.
What changed my mind?
I already had about a gazillion pictures of my kids and all kinds of family events and activities, but all those photos were sitting in a box in a closet. Many of them were beginning to fade and get rather tattered around the edges because the kids liked to look through the photo box once in a while. I also began to notice that some of the older color pictures were turning a weird shade of yellowish-orange, and that got me thinking that perhaps I really should do something with those old photos.
My friend and I talked about all of this another day, and we both thought it would be fun if I would teach her how to quilt and she would teach me how to make a scrapbook. That’s what got me started on this journey! Now I have shelves full of scrapbooks, and I’m not even close to documenting all of the fun pictures, awards, school drawings, birthday cards, hand-made Christmas drawings, and all of the other cute stuff that comes home with kids.
Why do people do that???
One of the things that I have noticed over the past few years is that it seems like more work to get pictures printed out now that we have a million and ten pictures on our phones and computers. Back in the olden days, the only way to see your pictures was to take the film into a drug store and have them developed. Of course, by then, if all of the pictures were terrible there was no way to recaptures the moment. Now, we can take a thousand pictures of Baby Girl’s birthday party and look at them immediately. Then if you don’t like what you see, you can take a thousand more. So with all of the pictures that we have stored digitally these days, why would anyone spend the time and energy to make a scrapbook?
I still make scrapbooks because I like the process. I enjoy finding the best pictures and having them printed out. Then the fun part comes! I can find pretty background paper to arrange the pictures on, usually with some type of backing / border to coordinate with the paper on the page. There are so many really complex and detailed scrapbook pages that are absolutely gorgeous – but my scrapbook pages are still pretty simple. The main attraction is the pictures (of course!) but I also like to document when and where the pictures were taken. Also, I try to add a little commentary about things like, “Annie’s First Bike,” and then jot down where we lived, how old she was, and any other fun information. That’s so that, one day, when they are all grown up and I’m not around to answer the questions, at least they will have some information to help them remember.
Who made the first scrapbook?
Of course, I’m pretty sure no one knows for sure, but it seems like people have been documenting their lives and their history for . . . . all of history. We just have created different techniques and methods for recording stuff. You know, kind of like cave people drew pictures on the walls of their caves, people have always had a way of telling their stories. This is just one way that I have found that helps me tell our stories.
I decided to do a bit of research on scrapbooking and I found some fascinating information. I share it here with you, in brief, but if you want to know more about some of the earliest methods of keeping treasured “scraps” in books, I hope you will click through the links to read the articles I found. For now, I’m working on getting my girls’ scrapbooks up-to-date because we have a graduation coming up in May and I really would like to have their stories documented for anyone who wants to know about their lives.
I hope you can join us for this week’s Favorite Things Blog Hop and Linky Party. I would love to hear about your journey with scrapbooking (if you’ve started that journey, that is!) Here’s some information on the history of scrapbooking:
“Have you ever wondered about scrapbooking history? After all, scrapbooking ranks as one of the top hobbies enjoyed by men and women of all ages.
In fact, over four million adults are scrapbookers! Has scrapbooking been around for a couple of decades or dozens of decades? Actually, scrapbooking has been around for quite some time. The form of scrapbooking has changed over the years, but the history of scrapbooking begins in the 15th century.
According to scrapbooking history, people wanted a way to preserve “scraps” that were important to them. Scraps included love letters, greeting cards, business cards, poems and other paper items of importance or sentimental value. Interestingly, embellishments were added to the pages. Ornate designed paper would be cut into small shapes and glued to the pages.
The 15th century
Scrapbooking history has its roots in England. In the 15th century, commonplace books and friendship albums became popular. Letters, poems, recipes, quotes and similar items were kept in the commonplace books.
Friendship albums were typically used when company was invited to a home. The company would be asked to sign the album and to include something personal. Some people included a quote, a poem or their thoughts about the homeowners. Others drew pictures.
Over time, scrapbooking history included preserving black and white photos and newspaper clippings. To house these mementos, scrapbook albums were invented. Many of these albums were large and bulky.
During the mid-1800s, leather bound albums were manufactured and quite often contained themes. Some albums contained corner pockets to hold photos and even had pages for water coloring or drawing.
A Scrapbooking President!
In the world of scrapbooking history, you might be surprised to learn that one of our presidents was a scrapbooker! That’s right! Thomas Jefferson created album after album of pages containing newspaper clippings of his presidency.
In the late-1800s, Mark Twain capitalized on the scrapbooking idea and invented the Mark Twain’s Adhesive Scrapbook. The book contained pre-pasted pages that made putting an album together super easy to do.
Scrapbooking takes a dive
Then there was a shift in the history of scrapbooking. With the recession that followed World War I, the production of scrapbook albums drastically dropped.
People still collected and saved their photos, letters, greeting cards, and such, but they were kept in boxes and stored in a dry area. For those who wanted to keep their scraps in an album, it was difficult to find a store that carried the albums.
Later, as the world of photography began to expand, scrapbooking took another hit. People were eager to purchase photo albums and spent less time on scrapbook albums. In fact, some people tossed out their filled scrapbooking albums because they felt the albums were inferior to the photo albums.
Scrapbooking history drastically changes
In 1980, scrapbooking history took another turn. A woman, Marielen Christensen, had put together 50 volumes of her family history. These books were shared with the public and caused a lot of people to become interested in scrapbooking. Ms. Christensen opened the first scrapbooking store–Keeping Memories Alive. Within a decade, scrapbooking became one of the fastest growing hobbies in America.
Although modern scrapbooking still includes photos, love letters, newspaper clippings, etc., how the items are displayed has changed. Scrapbookers can now choose from a wide variety of scrapbook albums. Layouts now include backgrounds, matted photos, and interesting embellishments. Pride is taken in designing each page. Scrapbook albums are made with the intent of sharing their contents with other people, rather than keeping the information private.”
Welcome to this week’s Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop and Linky Party!
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