Using the term loosely, one of my favorite winter activities is scrapbooking.  What I have come to understand since starting this activity is that there are scrapbookers and then there are scrapbookers. I fit into the first category, meaning I put pictures into books but do not have the prerequisite design ability needed to produce a book worthy of being bragged about to my friends.  The fact is, any knowledge I have concerning the high-end scrapbooking industry has been passed on to me by scrapbookers.

While I buy my supplies at discount and craft stores (I understand anything purchased from such stores is considered contraband if one is attending a crop*), scrapbookers purchase their supplies at scrapbooking parties*, product demonstrations*, and from scrapbooking consultants*.

In order to avoid shaming my family and friends who are scrapbookers, my scrapbooking is done in secret and I keep the books on closet shelves. Actually I’m quite pleased with what I do in secret since it’s a big step up from the way my mother preserved her pictures for posterity.

My mom’s version of picture organization was to always have an appropriate-sized box in which to put all of the pictures not currently being displayed in her home. The organization was developed by default rather than design and was carried out using a layering process. All new pictures were displayed on the piano or bookcase. Then, when an equally important new picture was acquired, the former new picture became old.  Old pictures found a home in the box. 

In the bottom of the box were pictures from my parents early years. The added layers were made with pictures of my brother, sister, me, grandchildren, and finally great-grandchildren.  Relatives and friends who sent pictures were layered in according to the year the picture was received. In her early years of motherhood, Mom’s picture organization efforts were frequently disrupted by her children when they decided to paw through the pictures to admire themselves and laugh at early fashions.  

Despite my own shortcomings in the area of picture organization, I refuse to be intimidated by scrapbookers. I’m a real person who participates in this one faux activity in the hope that my children will appreciate not having to someday sort through a stack of fifty or sixty years’ worth of pictures to claim the ones they want.

*Scrapbooking Definitions (as I have come to understand them)
§         Crop: 1. To trim photos to improve composition and balance or, more accurately, to make them fit in the amount of space left on the page. 2. A group that meets together to chit-chat while working on scrapbooks.
§         Scrapbooking Party: Think any kind party where one invites friends and family who, upon arrival, will be pressured to purchase and to schedule a party of their own.  Insert the name of a distributor for scrapbooking supplies on the invitation, plan refreshments, and you have a scrapbooking party.
§         Product Demonstrations: 1. A demonstration done at a craft store during a class for which the student is charged a fee. 2. A demonstration by a person who has just become a Scrapbooking Consultant. This may be done in your home, in the consultant’s home, at a coffee shop, or anyplace said consultant can command your attention. Consultants are most often also friends. That a friend is your consultant is probably a good thing. When spending big it’s always nice to know that a friend will be the one to enjoy the spoils.
§         Scrapbooking Consultant: Lovely person who might: a) be supporting a family, b) need more mad money, c) be trying to earn scrapbooking supplies, d) other.

Blessings and Joy to all of you scrapbookers out there! I admire you.


  1. I did not know there was so much to know about SCRAPBOOKING. Enjoy your scrapbooking!
    To Mama's everlasting credit, she labelled every picture in that box, save one.

  2. Vanilla, you need to meet a few real scrapbookers. They are serious people.