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10.01.2007

THOUGHTS ABOUT the FUTURE of SCRAPBOOKING

I fell in love with these little felt pumpkins a while back at the craft store. The boys and I made magnets out of some of them but I snagged a few for card-making. (The finished size of the folded card above is 5.5" x 8.5", so you can tell, they are a good size. The striped paper is Scenic Route's newest...Ashville. De-lish.
I was surprised by how well I liked the pale blue background. Pale blue isn't usually what I think of when I see pumpkins...until now. :)
In other news, Noell Hymen of the Paperclipping blog posted some thoughts about acid-free scrapbooking yesterday. This, in particular, jumped out at me:
We take more pictures than any generation before us.
We document more events, feelings, thoughts, and stories than ever before.
If some of the pages don’t withstand the years because of periodic acidic
items, our children and grandchildren will still inherit many more
well-preserved photos than what we’ll get (or got) from our parents.

For most people, I think she's right on the money. The birth of consumer-friendly (easy and affordable for even novice photographers) digital cameras and home-printing systems has changed the face of personal and family photography, especially in the last ten years and nowhere is this more true than among scrapbookers. Since going digital in 2006, I have taken more than ten thousand images. (Luckily, I've only printed a small fraction of those.) The freedom to snap off twenty shots in hopes of getting one good one--one that is worthy of scrapbooking--is amazing and creatively liberating, in a way that I never suspected it would be. There is no "film commitment" to worry about and deleting excess is as easy as 2 clicks.

Becasue of this ability to be selective with what I save and what I print, I have more photos to choose from, and by extension, more photos to scrapbook and store. In the pre-digital days, I would be lucky to get 2-5 great shots per roll of film and to find them, I had to have the entire roll printed. Now, I only print what I love and plan to scrapbook. Where I was previously getting only 2-5 scrap-worthy photos per roll...now 100% of what I print is scrap-worthy. Think of the $$ saved!

However, how does this apply to the future of scrapbooking? I agree with Noell that my children will likely inherit far more photos and scrapbooks than anyone in my family ever has, for a variety of reasons. But what if they don't want them? What if, despite my attempts at brainwashing, my sons don't care about "Mom's hobby" and what it yields? What if there are so many volumes of scrapbooks documenting their childhoods and lives, that they find it overwhelming and inconvenient to have the scrapbooks and albums? How would I feel if I were in their shoes?

It seems pretty easy for me to rack up a single scrapbook of every one to two years of our lives. The average lifespan of a woman in America is a nice round 73 years. If I end up on the same pace, I will leave behind at least 36.5 albums! Do I really want to burden my sons with that many volumes...

Stay tuned.

5 comments:

a wandering heart said...

I found you through the scrap n' memories blog, and look forward to reading more. :)

I inherited several of those old sticky-page albums from my mom, chock full of tons of memories... first report cards, first preschool story written (and bound in leftover wallpaper from the early 80's). Even though they are now falling out of order and not well journaled, I am thankful to have some record of my childhood.
I hope to eventually preserve them better.... after I catch up on my adulthood scrapping, perhaps....

Hollye said...

Where did you find those pumpkins? I've been looking everywhere for some cute felt pumpkins to use for a project!

Shanna C said...

Last year I (finally!) completed a rather hefty album of my life from birth through high school graduation with 2 pages devoted to college years and 2 pages devoted to my marriage (I have the wedding stuff in a separate album). This album was compiled from years of old scrapbooks I kept when I was a kid. I don't think my two children will feel burdened with all the albums I am creating, since I recently caught my 20 year old son going through his albums with his fiancee - but even if they are not interested in these snippets of life, it brings me satisfaction and joy to put them together. Maybe my future grandchildren will delight in them years from now!

TracieClaiborne said...

I agree with your thoughts completely. However, I try not to think about it because the fear of where my scrapbooks would end up would keep my from just enjoying my hobby and scrapping to my heart's content. I have approx. 9 albums and my child is 7.25 :). But I do think of consolidating some older layouts and redoing them into one. I have some real stinkers mixed in there. I'll get to it someday when she's not so cute and I'm not taking 100 pics a month! And by the way, I actually do print almost every picture I take that I keep. I then feel compelled to scrap them. So in a way, going digi made it harder on me because I have so many great pictures that I don't know what to do with them!!!! Oy. It's all very overwhelming.

Tania said...

As they get older I find I tend to take less photos, thank goodness as I was racking up a lot... every milestone and every moment. Hee hee. You are not invited as much to school, and they are not so willing to pose either. So, my scrapping has changed. I still have at least an album a year, but it's slowing as they grow. I am quite sure that someone, sometime, will appreciate my scrapbooks even long after I am gone. It might even be a great grandchild? Who knows?