When was the last time you looked through your photo albums or your camera roll? Yes, I know you’ve been meaning to go through some of those special memories you captured. Scrapbooking offers an easy ‘designer’ way to showcase your photos and preserve those memories.
I have often asked foreigners and other tourists what they admire about India. They most certainly praise the vibrancy and mast with which we celebrate our festivities and remember our culture and traditions. We so whole-heatedly put in the effort to dress up-both ourselves plus our surroundings too: that equals perfect photo opportunities!
No, I don’t mean the old traditional scrapbooking, where you pasted pictures and clippings of cricket articles, Raj Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan into old books with blank pages.
Scrapbooking has evolved into a popular, modern hobby and craft, due to new techniques and tools being introduced. Over the recent years, scrapbooking has become a new craze in most western countries. Fortunately for us, scrapbooking has not become so commercialised in India as yet, so supplies are still easily available at affordable prices.
At all stages of your life-whether you are a child, a newly wed, a new mum, a mother, grandmother, a best friend, a relative or a well wisher– scrapbooking will still appeal to you. A hobby that is cheap, and simple to begin.
Since it involves preserving your history and your memories, it’s not like other hobbies where you tire of it and throw it out (and watch your money disappear). Even if you do take a break from scrapbooking, you or another family member can always pick it up later and continue. After all, you are documenting your Indian family legacy in these mighty scrapbooking pages!
Allow these Top 10 reasons to convince you further:
SCRAPBOOKING PREVENTS YOUR PHOTOS FROM ACCUMULATING ‘DIGITAL DUST’ IN YOUR MOBILE, COMPUTER AND CAMERA
It’s easy to determine when we bought our 1st digital camera-just look at the point when the photos stopped in the baby album of my 2nd born. I assure her that the rest of her photos are all on my computer…(more likely stored away on CD/DVD ).
Nowadays, I somehow do eventually manage to back up or upload my photos from my camera to my laptop. But that’s not enough. I hardly have time to go back to look at that last hill station holiday photos, let alone gather everyone for a family viewing.
My old mobile is still lying in my cupboard. My children stopped asking for it (probably because it’s become too outdated for them now). The truth is: I’ve been meaning to back up and print the special photos for more than a year now. That forgotten mobile has some of my really special memories!
Scrapbooking makes a home for these memories. It’s a warm nostalgic feeling to re-live those wonderful moments.
I love taking plenty of photos- every step my children take, every family outing, birthdays, all the festivals when we get all dressed up & shaadis of course! But then- the worst part- I leave it there to get forgotten as it gets replaced by more and more recent photos…what a waste!
If you commit yourself to scrapbooking, you’ll learn to go through all your photographs, pompously display the good ones, print out the not-so-ugly ones and delete the bad ones.
It’s good to have a hobby you can easily do at home when you want to relax. And to combine your hobby with the guilty pleasure of catching up with your TV serials, or listening to your favourite radio station, a cup of chai with your feet up: well, even better I say!
Scrapbooking can be a creative outlet, no doubt. In a way, it’s multitasking because you get to be creative while doing something useful -I like to feel that I am responsible for preserving the family history…while at the same time really enjoying passing my time.
Scrapbooking makes me want to get organised, and gives me that great feeling of being in control of my free time.
Love looking at the albums in your family? Use this as inspiration to create your own. They are one of the most precious gifts you can ever make for your loved ones, one your children & grandchildren can flip through one day & remember all these great times that are happening way too fast in our lives.
Re-live your Sangeet, your first Holi together, your pregnancy, your childhood or your college days. These are the seasons of your life. The scrapbooking process helps you appreciate and reflect on these happy memories. You will feel so thankful in your heart.
Get out those old printed photos & store them in a safer environment. Yes, it’s those boxes on the top of the cupboard that you always wanted to get to, but never had the time. India’s humidity does not do your photos any favours.
A simple way would be to store them in an airtight container. Separate the negatives & process any undeveloped camera rolls. This is also a great chance to re-organise your memories. Perhaps all holidays together, or your baby’s photos in date order.
Have you ever found a photo stuck to the transparent sheet of your old photo album, which starts to tear when you pull it apart? That’s because of the acid in the glue used in the album. Scrapbooking albums are acid and lignin-free, which means it preserves the life of your precious photos.
Scrapbooking is a ‘designer’ way to put together your photos- something unique to document your memories. Our memories lie to us, so we need to record them, for ourselves, our children and their children too.
Along with gold jewellery, Tanjore paintings and silk brocades, how nice if your Dadiji passed you a glimpse into her life then. Something she made with her own hands, especially with you in mind. Now YOU have a chance to.
As a beginner, you may wonder whether scrapbooking is one of those complicated crafts. Not at all. You’ll discover that it’s simple to get going and sweetly addictive. Actually the most difficult part will be choosing your photos- from the horse riding, waterfall, sunset, hotel, and scenery poses all in that one hill-station holiday…don’t worry, there’s guidance for that too.
YOU get to decide how much of time and detail you allocate to a page. Your scrapbook can simply be a classy photo album, or one with notes of what you thought or felt at that time; with as little as one photo per page to many smaller ones. It can also be a mixture of both too.
‘There’s no wrong in scrapbooking’ was music to my ears when I started. And no two pages can look the same-even if both are yours. You can love your creation, as it actually is your style. Make your scrapbook feel like you.
Your children too, would love getting involved in what you are doing. Scrapbooking is a fun, safe, and creative activity for them.
You are not the only one, so don’t feel alone. There is a big scrapbooking community out there, in your city and throughout India, who you can network with online.
Be sure to mention your new hobby when chatting with friends, neighbours and family, it also makes a great conversation starter at social gatherings. Invite an interested friend over while you scrap. Help set her up with her basics, or at least ask her to bring along a photo or two. Scrapbooking ideas & techniques are so easily learned from fellow scrappers.
Scrapbooking coffee mornings or even kitty party lunches are great because you can chat away and share ideas and inspiration while you scrap at your own pace. A regular meeting will ensure that you set aside time to complete your project.
Who knows, one day you can even open up a business from home!
I like projects I can do with my hands while I hang out with the rest of the family. I don’t have to be isolated in another room. I can work at the dining room table and know what’s going on around me. I can do an easier task while sitting to watch TV with the family. Even if I not fully engrossed in the cartoon or the sports programme, just being there means a lot to my toddler or my husband.
Your kids would love to help with the family scrapbook, or you can even help them start their own…after all it’s all about them!
Involve grandparents in helping discuss old photos…and be sure to write their thoughts down for your future scrap page. Family members will also love to help sort your photos.
You can certainly create a scrapbook for your own personal use, to save photos and memories that are important to you. If you’re a parent or grandparent, you can use a scrapbook to document the life of your child or grandchild, from birth through graduation, marriage and beyond.
You can make scrapbooks to celebrate occasions like a wedding or graduation. A scrapbook would make a great gift to a couple for a landmark anniversary, such as the 25th or 50th, or to your daughter on her18th birthday.
When you’ve run out of gift ideas, a framed scrapbook page or a mini album will be appreciated for your time & effort. A scrapbook page of your kids to grandparents –priceless!
Many hobbies can get quite pricey and can cost you a lot of money to start up. Fortunately, scrapbooking isn’t one of those hobbies that require you to start saving months in advance.
We in India are particularly lucky that so much of typical scrapbooking supplies are made right here – think hand-made paper, sequins, silk, ribbon. A visit to the stationery shop down the road is enough to get you started!
But even before that, a quick rummage through your sewing and children’s stationery cupboard with have you half way there. You don’t need a printer-get your prints done in the photo shops or save & print a few photos on a sheet –I love the big printing shops in the market & near the station.
Add in a dash of creativity, & you are all set to go.
I now take more photos, of family in their final poses of course, but also the details around them, and their everyday routines. I want my photos to tell the story. Rather my son stuffing a laddoo in his face instead of the decorated Mihai trays. I won’t pack my camera away at the end of our kite-flying, until I also click the torn kite, so we remember exactly what happened last Makar Sankranti.
So keep your camera on standby, you never know when there will be a special memory in the making!