Scrapbooking: Does it all qualify? Is Project Life really scrapbooking?
I recently hosted a crop here in Austin and I brought my almost-completed December Daily album so I could do some final “editing.” A fellow scrapper spied it on my table and asked to see it. Of course I obliged. (blushing)
The scrapper, who I consider to be quite artistically talented, perused its pages and complimented my work. I was thrilled! Wouldn’t you be?
And then, as she handed back my album, she shared this comment, “Your work is awesome. It’s great to see a ‘real scrapbook’ rather than pages where people just slap pictures on the pages and call it done.”
I must admit, I was a bit dumbfounded. I thanked her again for her compliment on my work, attempting to digest the “real scrapbook” comment while simultaneously glancing at the other scrappers in the room. It was obvious that some heard the comment that was made. I didn’t even know what to say, but I knew I couldn’t let that comment stand (especially since I consider any pages done, photos scrapped and stories told to qualify as “real” scrapbooking). So I offered, “I spent a lot of time on this book, but I could never do this all the time. This was just way too much work.” Somehow that still didn’t seem a strong enough reply.
Fast forward to a few days ago and a conversation I overheard. The topic? Project Life. The gist of the conversation? Whether or not Project Life qualified as scrapbooking, or as simply adding photos and captions to a photo album of sorts.
Wow, really? Again, I was dumbfounded.
I consider any attempt at creating a book or album with scraps of everyday life and/or pictures and captions (journaling, storytelling, adding the 5 W’s, etc.) a form of scrapbooking. After all, if we look back at scrapbooks through history, many had no photos (in the very early days photos didn’t exist, but later because scrapbooking was really more about placing scraps of daily life in a book), and many were more of a collection of items like matchbooks, postcards, news clippings, etc. In those days, these albums were considered scrapbooks.
But, by today’s standards, would they be considered “real scrapbooking?”
That leads me to the title of my post…
Project Life – Is It Really Scrapbooking?
What do you think?
I imagine the answer depends on who you’re talking to.
A few weeks ago I attended the monthly City Wide Garage Sale here in Austin. It’s an amazing event and one that I love attending, every month if I can. One of the things I hunt for at this event is old scrapbooks. And, there are usually at least a few in residence.
Sometimes I spend time perusing pages created by someone who is no longer with us, and often I find that the scrapbook is empty, sometimes even containing the original price tag or brand insert. If the price is right, these wonderful treasures come home with me and find a new home on my collection shelf.
Every once in a while I come across one that has amazing photos and captions and I feel great sadness that it’s not in the hands of the scrapbooker’s family members.
And then, there is that rare moment when I come across what I consider an “original” scrapbook – a book of scraps from someone’s life. A scrapbook like this one:
Not only did this book stop me in my tracks, my asking to look through it prompted a wonderful conversation with the mature woman who was selling it.
No, she was not the owner, but a world traveler and collector who couldn’t wait to engage with me about this scrapbook, as well as the others she had found. And, who shared that she has found people scrapbooking all over the world. Given that I have seen scrapbooks in other countries, and that I had just stopped at a booth filled with items from Germany, including a few WWII-era scrapbooks from German families, I had to concur that it was not just a U.S-based hobby.
I wondered what she considered “scrapbooking” and was soon treated to her tales of keeping a scrapbook filled with scraps of life. Her perception was that a scrapbook was what I was holding in my hands, a book of scraps.
So, here’s my question: what is a “real scrapbook?”
Is it only books filled with scraps of life? Or, does it only qualify if it’s a fancy album filled with artistic layouts? Or, perhaps it’s as simple as a photo album with captions and a few page titles? Maybe it’s only those albums that contain a title, photos, journaling and embellishments. Or maybe it’s those layouts made with only acid-free supplies. It might even be a Project Life album, right?
Or, maybe, just maybe, it’s ANY attempt to document one’s life, one’s time on this earth?
At a time when we are busier than ever, why are we debating what qualifies as “real scrapbooking?” Why don’t we accept anything anyone creates to document their time on earth as valid, as “real?”
I believe any attempt to document one’s presence here on earth is a good thing.
What do you think – what do YOU consider “real scrapbooking?”
Please share your thoughts below in the comments section. I look forward to learning how each of YOU defines scrapbooking.
Have a great day,