Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Don't let them define us

We need to take a stand against the antiquated mindset that scrapbooking is "dowdy" or "saccharine". There is a sexy side of scrapbooking, and we don't need (nor do we want) Martha Stewart to prove it for us.

Remember the Panty Journal?

How about Scrap City?

Consider some of the scraponistas out there and their cutting edginess.

Here's me looking down my nose at the Wall Street Journal article. Dowdy? Pfh.

We missed out when we failed to own our own definition of scrapbooking. And we're still explaining that it has nothing to do with doilies.

Mike Harnett warns us of stereotyping the category. And we need to heed the warnings across the board, especially regarding product development and usage. Not every scrapper wants the latest/greatest.

The only stereotype I want scrapbooking to have is that it's an activity for everyone. Scrapbooking is so personal and personalized that it can be whatever you want it to be. But the common denominator remains: memories.

So don't let some Wall Street know-it-all or high-brow hot shot define your passion or label your look. Besides, I'm quite sure the writers of both articles saved clippings of their printed stories, even before their first by-line.

So, what are your thoughts? Got any proof to the contrary? What image should scrapbooking have? Let's create it!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Let's get real

I'm pointing out the "reality" trend that has emerged in scrapbooking (perhaps a response to all those reality shows?). The trend has been looming, I mean, how many single photos layouts wallpapered with flowers can inspire Suzy Scrapbooker who only wants to organize and preserve her 3x5 snapshots of her teenager's ninth birthday?

To draw your attention to the recent surge, take these examples:
  • Tara Governo's Imperfect Lives (F&W) tells the kind of wonderfully human, less-than-glorious stories that often go untold. Its pages are full of honest, edgy, quirky, humorous layouts about real life
  • Tasra Dawson's Real Women Scrap and t.v. for busy women
  • Memorytrends April 2007 cover story "What Women Want...and how scrapbooking gives it to them"
  • The handful of blogs attacking and smacking celebs and wanna bes (and no, I won't provide the links...stay here and finish reading)
Here are some other observations. The number of inquiries for information for LSS business plans has decreased significantly. More hobbyists are waking up to the reality that operating an LSS is 99% retail and 1% scrapbooking. Real life (i.e., kids, the mortgage, aging parents, insert "any daily stress" here) or lack of business skills, foresight or critical thinking has pushed retailers to close their doors, and the predictions are realistic. Industry politicos worn of the impending doom; the number of LSSs in the US will be down to 800 by the end of the year; this vendor is not exhibiting at CHA-S, and that vendor is not going to Memorytrends.

All this is reactionary and old news in this cyber-fast world. What we really need is to be pro-active.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

It’s raining men

Creating Keepsakes has announced its new editor. Replacing Tracy White is Brian Tippetts. Yep. A guy. He joins a handful of men making their way into the female-dominated world of scrapbooking. The guys have always been here; but now they’re getting face time.

CK started with Don Lampson. David Venable works side-by-side with Lisa Bearnson at QVC. And the first male Hall of Famer, Mitchell Kraft, was named in 2007.

F+W is doing it, too. David Pyle is now Group Publisher, formally held by industry matriarch Jeanne Wines-Reed. Steve Smith’s column, "Manly Memories," appears regularly in Memory Makers Magazine.

This sprinkle of men is just the beginning of the summer storm. There will be a gully-washing this year in the industry, brought on and carried out by the “guys who get it.” Are you ready to ride the winds of change?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

My precious Winnifred

Today, my beloved Winnifred died. She was my shadow. I miss her. I mourn her. I have spent the day crying. As much as I loved her, she loved me more. She taught me what it meant to love.

When I told my nine-year-old son that Winnifred died, he responded in a way that touched my heart. He's been keeping a notebook in which he's outlined letters to spell out his classmates names. He quietly brought me the notebook and showed me the names he has done so far, one per page. Then he turned to the next blank page, slid the notebook to me, and said doing Winnifred's name would help me. So I drew her name and together Joseph and I colored in the letters. Purple was Winnifred's color.

I added a few recent photos, and this make-shift memorial was created:

I've been working on a layout of Winnifred for some time now. I've scheduled some time on Friday to finish it and will post it as soon as it's done.

Pets is a hot theme in scrapbooking, now more than ever. And because of Winnifred, I know why.