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To Scrap or Not to Scrap – That is the Question!
Written by Cyn D Pagliolo

Many of you have found yourself hopelessly addicted to this not-so-new hobby called Scrapbooking. In your new-found addiction you find yourself wondering just what you should or should not place inside your scrapbooks. Scrapbooking is more than just a picture album; it’s telling the story of the photograph and the events that led up to that captured moment.

A great rule of thumb to follow is: if it’s important to you, then it’s a must-scrap. Nothing else matters. Anything that happens to you in your life is worth scrapbooking, be it a new job, a new baby, a wedding, even funerals are worth scrapping. (I myself have done ‘in-memoriam’ pages, they are therapeutic). Life and death are a large part to everyone and therefore those stories should be told.

You can place just about anything in your scrapbooks; just take care to use Archival Mist so the item won’t harm your photographs or turn them yellow. Newspaper articles are a wonderful addition to scrapbooks. Anything that comes from the special event you are recording will do nicely, anywhere from an apple seed to a napkin. There are many different ways to add these little mementoes to your treasured page. For example, you have your child’s first lost tooth-you can place the tooth in a sachet or a glassine envelope.

What if my child has the chicken pox-is this cause for a scrapbook page? Yes! Illnesses are usually recorded in the immunization and medical records, so why not complete the history inside your scrapbook? Yes, your child is in misery and doesn’t want his/her picture taken, but it is a great way for your child to remember they did have the ‘itchy spots’, as my children called them. Imagine the fun you could have with this page! Maybe a little chicken die cut with red dots all over it!

A family member was in a horrible car accident, should I take pictures? That’s a tough call and one I know all too well. Honestly, I believe I would, to let the person see what has happened to them. Your family member might want to see what the rest of their family saw, what they had to go through. It’s a wonderful way to record someone’s triumph after tragedy. Again, it’s history in the making.

I have a new job, how could I go about telling this story? Congratulations! You could start by taking photographs of the place where you now work. Maybe some new co-workers would like to be captured in the moment as well. I would start with your job title. Did you need a special degree for this job? If so, show it off! You could scan it, reduce it, and print it out to place it on the page. You could also tell about your job interview, how you felt while answering questions. Explain how you found out about the new job and your feelings at that time.

What about pets? They don’t pose well for the camera, how can I scrap this? Pets are always wonderful to add to a scrapbook. We love them like they’re our babies. Pets are a huge part of our families. True, they don’t like the camera much, but great shots don’t always have to be posed, action shots are just as beautiful and can add fun to the page.

My keyboard and mouse have been acting up and I need them for my work, can I scrap about this, or would it be too silly? Not silly at all! Computers are a large part of our everyday lives and when they decide to stop working, they drive us crazy. I think this would be a cute look at those machines that can cause us havoc. See if you can’t find someone to snap a picture of you in a frenzied state while fixing the problem. You can turn an aggravating day into a great page.

I’m a collector of many different things from baseball cards to marbles, is there a way to scrap this? Sure! A wonderful story is waiting to unfold here. You could get a few of the sports cards scanned and printed out (try not to use originals). You could place them on specialty papers that may pertain to the collection. Then add journaling on how you came to own your first baseball card or marble(s). The same goes for any collection – take photographs and tell the tales.

I just got the worst dye job of my life! Would it be too embarrassing to scrap? Oh boy! Having only dyed my hair once in my entire life, I can’t really share your pain, I can only imagine it. On how embarrassing it would be, only you can answer that-but imagine what a fun and interesting page it could make! You could use different color inks on some tags using your embarrassment on the hair color. Make sure you journal how you felt when you first looked into the mirror, what you did to fix it, or if you just had to let it grow out. Have fun with a bad experience!

I just committed to becoming healthier, what is a good way to start this scrapbook? Oh yes, this is a great scrapbook! Start with a list of what you eat right now, the good and bad. Get a photograph of yourself as the before picture. Keep a diary meant just for your eating habits and then later you can transfer the information into the book. Maybe make a list of your five favorite foods and how hard it will be to give them up. Taking photos with every goal you have met to celebrate. Good luck!

After receiving many rejections, I finally have a piece of writing that has been accepted. Would it be gloating to do a page on becoming published? Not at all! Congratulations! Becoming published is hard work and you should be proud of yourself and show it off! There are so many who have the same dream and are still struggling for achievement. I would take a scan of the work published and reduce it, printing it a size comparable to the size page you are working on. Reflect on how long you have been writing, when you became serious about getting published, and your struggles in doing so…you are a writer, show your story.

Remember the part of scrapbooking that makes it more than just a picture book is the journaling. Your feelings and stories about a special day will make the memories much more incredible to share with others.

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