Friday, April 13, 2012


This turned into a rather long post...forgive my ramblings.

I was a scrapbooker long before the Internet.  Back then we ordered double-prints (in case you ruined one).  We cut and pasted our photos at a regular Friday night crop (short for "cropping" our photos into all sorts of weird shapes traced by real pens and cut out with real scissors).  We threw up sprinkled stickers all over the page.  We hand-drew our titles with markers.  Printed paper?  What was that?  Colored cardstock came pre-cut into strips and triangles.  Our journaling was handwritten.

Fast forward, just a couple of years, and there was an explosion of local, privately-owned scrapbook stores.  I think there were eight or nine within a 30-minute drive, half of which were about 10 minutes away.  God, how I loved those stores.  I loved to touch & feel the product as I hand selected each piece for my personal scrapbook(s).  I loved the smell of the paper (equally as much as a real bookstore).  I'd visit at least one every week.  All the store owners knew me.  These stores were the hub of it all, where you could be sure to find a group of like-minded souls congregated on a Friday night (think quilting bee). Oh...and the classes!  I was a regular.  I wanted to learn as much as I could and soak up all the creativity I could hold.

Things are different now.  Nearly all of my dearly loved, independently-owned stores are gone.  I was so in love with the notion of running my own store, that I begged Bill to take out a second mortgage on our home and let me buy a store from a lady who was moving out of state (boy, I'm glad he said no!  I think he may have said something like..."Are you Crazy?"). We now have a big box chain store (who single-handedly ran all the independents out of business).  Besides the big two craft stores, every other store now sells scrapbook supplies.  You can find scrapbook supplies at the local grocery store, the card store, and every office supply store.  And, of course, now we have the Internet...and digital scrapbooking...and online retailers and…

Traditional scrapbookers (with real photos & paper) digital, or hybrid, are all likely to spend a good amount of time on the Internet, our "go-to" place for ideas and maybe even shopping.  Going out on a limb here, but I think the computer is now considered the #1 tool for today's memory keeper (so long scissors...). From sharing digital photos on Facebook to reading the latest edition of my favorite scrapbook magazine or idea book online, memory keeping and the Internet are synonymous for me.  Even the term "scrapbooker" may fade in time as really we are all just memory keepers.  In fact...this pains me to say...a real hold-in-your-hands scrapbook may soon become obsolete...

I don't believe the shift from in-person scrapbooking to a world inside a small electric box has eliminated the warmth and connections I've found (and hold dear) through scrapbooking.  I think the opposite has occurred.  The online scrapbooking community is strong, vibrant, and thriving.  I have found and befriended many like-minded souls in places I’ve only dreamed of traveling, sharing stories about life and creativity.  Through a common hobby, we communicate through words and images, we can see others and their lives, and be truly seen ourselves, in ways that break down barriers and prejudices.

I can access inspiration when I need it and learn new skills on demand.  I can ask for help and have answers within seconds, not just from search engines anymore, but from real people.   If you need to be "shown how to do it," just ask.  Sure, they may not be Hollywood-quality videos, but they come from passionate, like-minded individuals.  And...they are brilliant.

The Internet has facilitated many scrapbook communities that are very valuable to me personally. It has allowed me to reach out and touch someone and connect with others that share my love of scrapbooking...effortlessly.

My mom kept all of our family photos in a hat box; just dumped in there haphazardly.  We were lucky if there was a penciled note or date on the backside. I wish she had taken more time and made scrapbooks.  I only hope that my kids will recognize the value of these treasures in years to come.  My goal is to make sure that my computer does not turn into a hatbox...


  1. It's Saturday morning and my "to do" list is long today. I just popped open my laptop for a quick check of e-mail and found your rather "lengthy" post. Judy, Judy, Judy! I don't have time for this! But, there was something that compelled me to read on, and I am so glad that I did! I kept hearing my self *think* "Oh, yeah!" "Exactly." "So true!" "Me, too." Your brilliant post was a walk down memory lane, leading right into my computer! I have been toying with the idea of digital scrapbooking, or even hybrid, but just can't get there yet. I know that it is coming, but I will so miss the smell of paper, those annoying rub-ons, and that title letter than "went missing"!

    1. Well said, Kay! Now that I'm so in love with paper, I can't imagine giving it up!

  2. You have waxed eloquent, Judy! Love your 'ramblings' Kay said, everything you said is so true. I also think about learning digi, but I would really miss the 'holding' of the scrapping goods. So even if we become a dying breed, I will always be an old-fashioned scrapper like you.....even using edge scissors once in a while!

  3. What a lovely post to read on my Saturday AM while I sit here contemplating which chore to tackle first...I think about digital too for the ease and speed of it but can never stop touching paper...this time honored art of Scrapbooking; recording lifes memories with scissors, paper and glue...for my journey in Scrapbooking always has been the art of it first, just so happens I'm also recording a little history too ;)

  4. Judy, this was a lot of fun to managed to sabotage several of us from getting a head-start on our Saturday "to do" list. LOL! Great post!

  5. OMG... this is as if you were writing about me. Seriously ALL of it. I loved this post and I know that my kids (both have left home) love my work and love it more when I make pages for them. Both my kids have a wall in their flats dedicated to scrapped and framed pictures of their friends, family and travels. For me scrapbooking was a life changing hobby. <3 <3 <3

  6. Love your post Judy and it is so true. I don't think I will ever go digital though, I love the smell and feel of my scrapping goodies to much to give them up. Besides what would I do with all my stash if I went digital LOL.

  7. Thanks you guys! Love reading your comments and knowing that there are so many others out there (worldwide) just like me. Let's stay true to this hobby we all hold so dear. Even though I've only met you all via the "box" - I feel a kindred spirit. It is strong. And treasured.

  8. I like the actual hands on scrapbooking, can never imagine giving it up. I too have met lots of dear friends through this wonderful tool called the internet, and learned so many things.

  9. Dear Judy, it is Asmah who sent me here. She mentioned you had writtem a very interesting topic about scrapbooking. I must say I was in the middle of my housework and like the proverb says"Curiosity kills the cat". Mine was "curiosity kills my housework". lol! Never mind that.
    Yes, very eloquent and very well written. In some ways, the internet helps me to connect with like-minded people/friends who share the same interests, ups-and-downs, ideas and inspirations. Again, I have to limit my interent time, else I'd never get anything done or I'll never reconnect with reality. In other words, it's so hard to cast aside the touch and feel of real papers, the snap-snapping of the scissors or cutters, the noise of the punches and best of all, going through the stash to find some hidden treasures that are forgotten at times. I doubt I'd replace the digi world with the real world. I'd done a few digis and even though it is interesting, I can't feel it or touch the end-product. Printing it out is as flat as it appears on the screen and so impersonal. I think I'll go with the mess and if I need to go digi, then let it be hybrid. Let's pray that the the manufacturers will not convert to digi and leave us paperless.
    Still, the net has helped me make new friends, learn many new things, get connected and most of all share.

  10. ROFL, loved reading your story and knowing it is all true. I did learn how to scrap digital but I just love the old fashion way a lo more. I also started scrapped before the digital era and doubles was all we had.
    And yes, even though the internet wastes a lot of my time it also gave me the blessings you wrote about!
    Have a GREAT weekend!