Hello, I am Malisha and the founder of desiScrapbooking.
I often get asked what makes this site different from the many scrapbooking sites out there. “desi” has all to do with it. That is what desiScrapbooking aims to do:
To connect and unite to form one online scrapbooking community, irrespective of where in India you are; so you never feel alone or abandoned in the scrapbooking world.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced scrapper, you can follow my step-by-step guide to scrapbooking in India. We will shop around, and find cheap local scrapbooking supplies to use. (We are lucky that scrapbooking has not become highly commercialized in India yet, so let’s take advantage of this!)
I will share my experiences and ideas with you, and very soon you will be sharing your (yes your own!) ideas with all of us.
My scrapbooking journey thus far…
I discovered scrapbooking about 10 years ago when I was pregnant with my second child. I stumbled across the new scrapbooking shop “The Scrapbook” that had just opened in our suburb in Johannesburg. I was intrigued at the concept of ‘doing something more’ with the baby photos of my 2 year old son, and continuing to preserve memories of my baby girl who was on the way.
I had just resigned from my career in tax auditing, and had absolutely no ideas whether I had a single creative streak in me. As I look back, it must have been that ‘do anything for my babies’ mother’s determination that got me into their next class.
That and proof that‘there is no wrong in scrapbooking’ –believe me, all our pages did look different for the same class!
This rather spacious scrapbooking store had a small table in the corner, where I could continue scrapping on my own, using the store’s scrapbooking supplies (plus tea & cookies), provided that I made a small purchase (usually plain and patterned paper) from their store. (Of course I also fell into the trap of purchasing the many ready-made kits and packages on sale…I regret to say that I still have some of the items unused).
Feet up, armed with my tiffin, I managed to gather invaluable scrapbooking tips and techniques from experienced and passionate fellow scrappers at that table. Honestly speaking, the classes were expensive (about Rs300 then), and were always rushed towards the end. I was always in a-flat-spin-trying-to-get-near-completion-and-scrambling-to-get the instructor’s attention to have a look at my page and advise me before she went off.
Hence us corner table ladies learnt from each other, and also from the layouts created by the classes being conducted at the main table; from customers sharing ideas to the free step-by-step practical guides given by the owners themselves.
Mostly, we picked up ideas to source cheap supplies locally that were similar to those imported and packaged for scrapbooking. From buttons to bows, we found our substitutes around our homes or weekend markets, and from learning to keep our creative eye open and know what to be on the lookout for.
Then in 2008, my brilliant husband had a job promotion, and we moved to Mumbai…
A new city, new friends, no sign of scrapbooking, absolutely no idea where to get supplies…my motivation was slowly crushed. I let my kids use my supplies to create unique cards and gift tags, but that was all:
until my children moved to the American School of Bombay…
One of the mothers was teaching the after-school activity-‘scrapbooking for kids’. An experienced and passionate scrapper herself, she invited mums to join her (for free) for coffee on Tuesday mornings, just to watch and perhaps join her in scrapbooking. I dug up my scrapbooking supplies and some photos, and discovered that my passion was still alive!
What a mix of ladies…from Indian, French, South African, American, Slovakian and English- trying out scrapbooking in India when it was much more prevalent in the countries most of them came from. We shared ideas, and also some of our supplies. Every week, there was a new page to be started if you chose to follow, or alternatively, you could work on your previous week’s incomplete page, without any pressure, no questions asked.
Being ladies, we could not resist shopping and sharing our finds. I discovered an easy way to carry my scrapbooking to our coffee mornings, as I had no ‘professional case’ as some ladies managed to get on their trips back home. It also earned me the name ‘pizza lady’, because I used a pizza box which was large and sturdy enough to keep my 12’x12’ pages flat and intact.
We were constantly scouting the markets and stationery shops in our area. The joy of sharing a big discovery of a tiny jewel of a shop in the market! Our scrapbooking now extended to include trips to the extensive and intricate Crawford Market, as well as our local area markets. We discovered cheap scrapbooking supplies, and handmade embellishments that were so foreign & expensive in western countries.
One of the ladies invited her friend who owns a scrapbooking shop abroad, to visit and have a few scrapbooking workshops with us. Her suitcase was full with scrapbooking supplies for us to work with, and we eagerly bought up the items she did not use. Her suitcase when she left India? Filled to max weight allowed with scrapbooking supplies to sell at her shop (did I mention her posting a box of supplies back home before she filled that suitcase?)
I had an almost love-hate relationship with the two US scrapbooking magazines that the school library subscribed to. I loved reading up about new techniques, exciting new paper, special offers and easy layouts. I hated the fact that these scrapbooking supplies were not sold in India, and getting these small items shipped from US to India was not worth it. Even if one subscribed to the websites, most free shipping/posting applied only if you were living in the US.
Unfortunately, our group is no more. Most families are no longer at the school, and have moved to various parts of the globe. Once again, I found my little scrapbooking haven shattered because of logistics. Hence I thought that you may also be scrapbooking alone, and desiScrapbooking was born. Come join me as I embark on this new & exciting journey as we leave a small part of our Indian legacy in mighty scrapbooking pages…
Let this be your home where you come to for comfort, guidance, motivation, and inspiration as we connect with fellow scrappers throughout the Indian continent.
Looking forward to meeting you soon.