Sunday, March 13, 2011

Scrap that


We all try to capture the important moments of our lives in the form of photographs, and on occasion save some items – like ticket stubs, postcards, newspaper clippings, or even words scribbled on a piece of paper – that remind us of a time or event that we don’t want to forget. Each and every one of us has stuff lying around that takes us back to special moments; if you want to organize and add flair to your collection of such memorabilia, then you might want to try scrapbooking, a hobby that not only lets you unleash your creativity but also helps you artistically preserve your memories.

Scrapbooking involves combining photos and memorable items supplemented by accompanying thoughts and encompassed in decorative templates, so as to display the significance of that item or event. To create meaningful archives, photographs are arranged on a paper along with relevant clippings and notes, with explanatory text added to detail the experience in order to document important information next to the images; decorative elements are then added to the page that reflect the scrapbooker’s style and feelings as well as complement the photos, so that the final product relays a story and communicates the underlying sentiment or message in a more expressive way than any of the individual items could have done separately.

Basic scrapbooking materials include background papers, albums for storage, adhesives, archival pens, cutting and mounting tools, and decorative elements, like patterned paper, stickers, laces, ribbons, and other embellishments. The quality of scrapbooking supplies can, however, vary according to budget. You can use any paper, even plain paper or a notebook, if you so wish, although such material is unlikely to last in the long term and can also damage your photos and clippings. Proper scrapbooking supplies (like acid free paper and safe-for-photos adhesives) can range from expensive to more economical options; such supplies are specifically treated so that they don’t damage the things you want to preserve or severely deteriorate over time, and are therefore a better choice for safety and longevity.

If you’re short on cash, then you can also try its computer-based variant: digital scrapbooking. Digiscrapping lets you use scrapbooking software for building pages around digital/scanned photographs; you can create your own templates, and also find (both free and for-a-price) kits, elements, backgrounds, and tools online. Computer scrapbooking is easier than its traditional counterpart, and will save you both time and money, while making it easy to share the final product with others.

Scrapbooking is an activity that can be enjoyed be people of all ages. Scrapbooks can be created just for fun, as an outlet for creative expression and style, or to preserve personal or family history, and can also be made as a present for a family member or a friend. The hobby can also be social; scrappers can host events in which they get together and work on their pages, which can help them make more friends who enjoy the same hobby. Scrapbooking can potentially combine photography, journaling, and art; it can not only be creatively fulfilling but also gives you artistically preserved memories that you can cherish later on in your life and share with loved ones.

- Sameen Amer

The Express Tribune - 13th March, 2011

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