Friday, March 30, 2007

The Gift of Scrapbooking

It's finally Friday, and I'm relieved to wrap up a really crappy week.

My boyfriend's dog and faithful companion of over 15 years passed away on Wednesday after several days of seizures and constant care. Kiltie meant the world to Eddie, and I am humbled to be the one to comfort him in his deep loss. I plan to print off the many pictures I have of Kiltie and make a simple album so he can remember her and record his feelings for her. As a scrapbooker, I take lots of photos.

This week my child support case was elevated to a custody case and now involves lawyers. So far I have fought this battle alone. I have journaled my thoughts and fears as a way to express my frustrations. Journaling encourages me to search for the meaning of what’s happening in my life and to record my feelings at the time. As a scrapbooker, I journal.

I teach that scrapbooking is the creative preservation of memories using mainly photos, journaling and memorabilia. I truly feel that scrapbooking will help get me through the struggles of this week, just as it helps preserve the joys and celebrations of my life.

You know what I think? I think scrapbooking makes me a better person. Not a better person in comparison to other people, but better than I would be if I didn't scrapbook. It is times like these that I am so thankful for the gift of scrapbooking.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The week of "the call"; RIP Irv Rubens

Today is the day scrapbookers around the world (at least in the United States, Canada (excluding Quebec), England and Wales) who entered the Creating Keepsakes Hall of Fame contest anxiously await a call from founding editor Lisa Bearnson. She makes "the call" to all 25 winners. If you get "the call," it most likely will change your life forever.

Scrapbookers that make the Hall of Fame go on to contribute to the magazine on a consistent basis, design the hot products we will lust for a year from now, and get book deals that feature their special style or approach. Some accept the HOF as a pinnacle and go on to reach other life goals, scrapbooking-related or not.

There will be the drama...of waiting for the call, watching the boards, counting the number of secret toots, hearing the disappointments, then the jealousies. It's the same every year.

And every year I am blown away by the winners - and the honorable mentions - and their ability to inspire and touch scrapbookers of all levels. Their pages are very powerful. And everyone who enters a competition such as the Hall of Fame pours forth their best and newest work. Just entering the contest and meeting the required assignments can be self-satisfying.

Congratulations to everyone who entered, and especially to those who get "the call."

P.S. I just received notification that the founder of Pioneer Photo Albums, Jason ("Irv") Ruebens, passed away at the age of 99. Born in New York, he started Ruko Camera Cases in the early 1940's and then moved on to California in 1960, eventually creating the nucleus of what is today Pioneer Photo Albums. Pioneer Photo Albums continues on strongly with his work ethic, and is still run as a privately-owned company by the family members who will greatly miss his presence.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

ScrapbookING, yes!

Here's an article that warns us that we --as a market/industry-- have gone overboard and scrapbooking is now alienating consumers. Perception has crossed from overwhelming to down-right frightening. From the author:
Scrapbooking is everywhere...There is even a television show about it, which I watched one time simply out of sheer disbelief.
Upon leaving the store, I had the urge to down a whiskey to counterbalance the act of purchasing scrapbooking supplies on a Friday night. But since I don't drink whiskey, I settled for a raspberry martini, which took the edge right off my uncomfortable foray into the world of scrapbooking.
It seems my old method of sitting down biannually with five photo albums and a shoe box full of pictures no longer cuts it.
...scrapbooking highlights my inadequacies in the craft department, takes too long, and makes my fingers and my neck ache.
It makes me sad, because there is only one rule in scrapbooking: If you're having fun, then you're doing it right. The author of the article was not having fun. And I don't know who looses more: that we loose a customer, or that she looses confidence in her capacity to creatively preserve her memories.

Scrapbooking is not about getting excited over the latest and greatest products. It's about finding and embracing a way to integrate memory preservation into our lifestyle so we become more passionate about our life.