Thursday, August 17, 2006

Starting Scrapping

I actually started scrapbooking when I was in high school. It's not the scrapbooking we know now, but it's still scrapbooking. Twenty years ago no one knew about acid free, lignin free materials. All we cared about was posting our photos in albums. We thought that the magnetic photo albums were the greatest thing to be invented after Polaroid. They gave us room to exercise flexibility and creativity in mounting our photos. Unlike the regular slip-on albums which were quite boring. You had a dilemma when you have a photo taken vertically among a sea of horizontally placed photos. You literally had to rotate the album to view it. And where do we place the captions especially if we had long descriptions?

My high school barkada. I used the song "Ever Since The World Began" by Survivor in the journaling. That song was a hit at that time and was meaningful to us.

We clipped interesting bits from newspapers and magazines to put in our albums. We cut the pretty drawings from stationeries to add interest to our photos. Greeting cards from our main crush were placed right beside that stolen shot of him sitting in the bleachers. And the love letters, ah, the love letters were carefully placed between the magnetic sheets of our albums. Including those tickets for movies we saw unchaperoned and the menu that we stole from the restaurant where we had our first date. If we could have scrapbooked our first kiss, we would have.

I thought I was being so clever! (Yes, that is the Keebler elf. I cut him out from an empty cookie bag.) But the acid will eventually eat away at our albums. See the edges turning yellow already?

Fast forward to now. Scrapping gurus are telling us that the magnetic album is the worst way to preserve your memories. Magazines and newspapers are highly acidic. Our wonderful letters and stationeries will eventually turn yellow and eat into our photographs. All the loving care that went into scrapbooking our life will literally dissolve before our very eyes.

Suddenly we find out that everything we used, except for the actual photographs, will not last long. But we want our memories to last, long after we are gone, so what do we do?

Enter 21st century scrapbooking. Hoard lots of acid free, lignin free paper. It helps that the designs range from pretty to cutie. Use acid free pen - nope, that Bic ballpen will have to go. Adhere with photo safe glues. Cut with precision cutters. Write captions or journal using computer fonts and printers. Have different colored pens at the ready. Different tips are a must. Get punchers and die cuts of the English alphabet, not to mention the entire flora and fauna of North America.

Truly, from simply arranging and captioning my photos, adding a few scraps (the word really means leftovers or discarded materials) here and there to make them more memorable and interesting, scrapbooking has ballooned into something that is sometimes frustrating and complicated, but always exciting. And yes, it has become quite expensive, too. You didn't think that making things free of acid, lignin or whatever comes free do you?

Does that mean I don't scrap anymore? Not on your life! There's still too much living, loving, and laughing yet to scrap.

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