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SCRAPBOOKING MAGIC!
A Series of Articles about Scrapbooking!

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by Barbara Bennett and Brian Bennett

of MouseMemories Logo

Introduction

Purpose of Scrapbooking

Scrapbooking simply means capturing and saving personal and family memories. Usually this is done by taking photographs and including them with written text and other momentos, and mounting them in a book or binder (Scrapbookers call it an album or memory book.) for easy access and future reference. The main purpose for doing so is to make the information you've captured available to yourself and other family members for many years.

McClennen Project Scrapbooking Page
"They're not dangerous unless they're wiggling their ears."
McClennen Project Scrapbooking Page Layout, Produced by
Mouse Memories. ©Mouse Memories, 2008.

Many people commemorate special events by taking photographs. In fact, in the United States most couples hire professional photographers to take hundreds of pictures on their wedding day alone. Those photographs are usually mounted in a wedding album and are cherished for years as a reminder of a very important day in the couple's lives. The arrival of a new baby, the adoption of a child, family reunions, special birthdays (Who doesn't have at least one picture of their first birthday with cake and frosting spread through their hair?), vacations, school outings, and sports events, and other special times are all worthy of being remembered. And did we mention Disney trips? Those should definitely be remembered again and again! Scrapbooks are a wonderful way of capturing those events and making them come to life even years later!

A Brief History of Scrapbooking

The idea of capturing memories with pictures and text is hardly new. Cave dwellers in ancient Europe shared stories about their hunts and wartime victories with colorful paintings.

Cave paintings in Lascaux-aurochs, France.
Cave paintings in Lascaux-aurochs, France.
This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons, a freely licensed media file repository.
This image is in the public domain because its' copyright has expired.

Ancient Babylonians used bas-relief brick work and Egyptians used carved hieroglyphs to tell stories of their rulers' conquests.

Ishtar Gate from Ancient Babylon, now at the Pergamon Museum, Berlin, Germany.
Ishtar Gate from Ancient Babylon, now at the Pergamon Museum, Berlin, Germany.
This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons, a freely licensed media file repository.
This image is in the public domain because its' copyright has expired.

Ancient Egyptian funerary stela, now at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, England.
Ancient Egyptian funerary stela, now at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, England.
This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons, a freely licensed media file repository.
This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.

On Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Chile in South America, early scrapbookers took on the third-dimension and carved their Moai from local stone in order to capture tribal history.

Moai (Monolithic Carved Human Figures) at Ahu Tongariki on Easter Island, Chile.
Moai (Monolithic Carved Human Figures) at Ahu Tongariki on Easter Island, Chile.
This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons, a freely licensed media file repository.
This image is in the public domain because its' copyright has expired.

Navajo Diné (people) in what is now the SouthWestern United States, used sandpaintings to "scrapbook" their national and tribal celebrations and ceremonies.

Navaho Sandpaintings depicting the Mountain Chant.
Navaho Sandpaintings depicting the Mountain Chant, a Navajo medicine
ceremony of nine days' duration, Navajo Nation, Arizona, United States.
Northwestern University Library, Edward S. Curtis's
'The North American Indian': the Photographic Images, 2001.

In more modern times, other media have been used to capture memories of family tradition. Weavings, quilts, even clippings from local newspapers, letters, and postcards have been used as reminders of what has happened to people in our past and what those people have accomplished. Such famous americans as Thomas Jefferson ("Scrapbooks Shed Light on Jefferson," by Emily Turner, published in The Cavalier Daily, September 30, 1999) and Mark Twain ("Mark Twain Granted His First Patent on December 19, 1871," Brigid Quinn and Karen Sewell, United States Patent and Copyright Office Press Release, 2001) were avid scrapbookers.

"Modern" Scrapbooking

In her article "Memories & mementos" (Deseret News, p. C1, April 23, 1997) reporter Elaine Jarvik states that Marielen Christensen of Spanish Fork, Utah is credited with reviving interest in scrapbooking in the United States. She began designing creative pages for her family's photo memories, inserting the completed pages into sheet protectors collected in 3-ring binders. By 1980, she had assembled over fifty volumes and displayed them at the World Conference on Records in Salt Lake City.

What made Marielen Christensen's project different from scrapbooks created by earlier scrapbookers all over the world was her realization that "archival quality" backgrounds and page protectors had to be used to make sure that the photographs and documents that she added to her scrapbooks would not deteriorate as they aged.

Groesbeck Project Scrapbooking Page
This page will remind the family of a fun canine encounter for years to come.
McClennen Project Scrapbooking Page, Produced by
Mouse Memories. ©Mouse Memories, 2008.

Most substances (including paper, cloth, photo paper, etc.) contain acid which is the arch enemy of anyone that is trying to preserve photographs and other momentos. Acid content is measured on a pH scale. If a material has a pH value of 7.1 or more, it is said to be alkaline (acid free). Any number below that is considered acidic. A reading of 7.0 is neutral. Substances that are either strongly acidic or strongly alkaline can cause damage to photographs, pages and other sensitive elements. Another chemical arch enemy of scrapbookers is lignon, an organic substance that is found in wood fibre and is therefore naturally found in paper. Lignon is acidic and is the substance that causes paper to turn yellow with age. Fortunately, scrapbooking products produced by reputable manufacturers, have had the lignon removed, and been made to be as close as possible to pH neutral (non-acidic and non-alkaline). Such products are often marked acid- and lignon-free.

A large portion of the craft and hobby industry has become devoted to scrapbooking. The Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) claims that the scrapbooking industry doubled in gross revenue between 2001 and 2004 and is now is the leading craft in the United States. In fact, the CHA claims that scrapbooking has surpassed the sport of golf in popularity (with one in four households having a golfer but one in three having a scrapbooker). Today, scrapbookers get together and scrapbook at each other's homes, local scrapbook stores, scrapbooking conventions, retreat centers, and even on cruises. At these "crops," as these events are called, attendees share tips and ideas and enjoy the social aspects of sharing a hobby with others. (The term "crop" was originally a reference to cropping or trimming printed photographs, but is now universally used to describe scrapbooking events.)

Scrapbooking Disney Style

So how does this whole industry tie-in to All Ears.net? What possible connection can there be between scrapbooking and a Disney vacation? Actually, the answer isn't that surprising. More pictures are taken in Disney parks every year than any other place in the world. If those vacations are truly magical, then scrapbooks can help you "remember the magic" for years to come.

McClennen Project Scrapbooking Page
Licensed dimensional stickers make this page layout pop!
McClennen Project Scrapbooking Page, Produced by
Mouse Memories. ©Mouse Memories, 2008.

 

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Index of All Scrapbooking Magic Articles

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