Wednesday, May 2, 2001    


The Positive Aspects of Scrapbooking

By:Tara Gangi

Crop, scrap, embellish. These words may mean nothing to the average person, but to a scrapbooker, they are a part of everyday vocabulary. By scrapbooker, I mean, one who indulges in the hobby craft of scrapbooking. Scrapbooks are beneficial to the past, present, and future for a number of reasons. The process in creating a book can be therapeutic and relieve stress for the scrapbooker, as well as document a family's history for upcoming generations. This hobby gives people something to do while still creating something for all to enjoy.

Who thought up this hobby anyway? The art of placing mementos and photos into a book to record history is not a new concept. The world of scrapbooking dates back to the 18th century when European women would fill leather-bound, hand-tooled albums with copied verse, original watercolors, and small prints. From that, people began saving their newspaper clippings, photos of their children and other family artifacts into more complex books. However, the type of scrapbooking talked about here, including the creative way of presenting events and ideas with decorative papers, titles, and embellishments, is more of a modern day hobby. It pays more attention to photo safe products, as well as adding little extras to a page. Scrapbookers buy acid free papers and products that protect their photos to better preserve them for the future.

Scrapbooking is beneficial to all generations, no matter what time period. Scrapbooks can essentially be a personal time capsule. One can document his or her life or someone else's for future generations to admire. With the hobby becoming more popular, people are going back and redoing old family scrapbooks, containing black and white photos and old family documents. These scrapbooks are known as heritage albums. These albums benefit the families so that they don't loose touch with their past generations. It also stops future generations to feel as if they did not know their family's past. One company big that is well known in the scrapbooking field is Creative Memories. On their website, they published a philosophy behind scrapbooking. It states that their goal is "preserving the past, enriching the present and inspiring hope for the future."

Another reason why scrapbooking is beneficial, is the aspect of time consumption. First off, this hobby gives people something to do. The old saying "time flies when you're having fun" can apply directly to scrapbooking. Often, a scrapbooker loses track of time because he or she becomes so caught up in his or her books. Some scrapbookers spend hours on one layout. The outcome of the beautiful work shows how much an event or person means to them, making it extra special. Sometimes this dedication can turn into a career. There are many scrapbookers for hire out there that also may work in magazine and product relations.
Another benefit that applies directly to the scrapbooker is creative expression. Scrapbooking, like any art-related hobby, allows one to express him or herself in a creative manner. The process one goes to create a page also relieves stress and is even therapeutic. Often, scrapbookers bond together over this hobby. They get together at a crop, a term given to the social gathering of scrapbookers in order to work on their albums. That is why this hobby is sometimes called the modern day version of the quilting bee.
One reason why someone may be opposed to his or her crafty hobby is the cost. There is no denying that this is an expensive hobby. The results of the hard work and money put into each scrapbook page is worth it to any scrapbooker. What hobby doesn't cost some money out of the participant's wallet? Scrapbooking is just another hobby that may put a dent in one's wallet, but at least the results of this hobby can be seen and appreciated for years to come.

Whether attending a crop, scrapping a layout, or adding an embellishment, a scrapbooker is creating memorable history for upcoming generations to admire. The finished product is not only worth the time and money it takes to make them, but the careful attention to photo safe papers and products is important to preserve photos. This hobby gives people something to do and may even turn into a professional career for others.

Tomorrow at dMarie Daily: Nourishment for the Soul, by Jena, Menlo Park, CA

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