Patching Together A Scrapbook

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First of all, welcome to my rambling attempt at a personal column. I have written them in the past, but it has been awhile. I am a little rusty, so I am falling back on the old advice given to aspiring and/or struggling writers: Write what you know.

I know a lot, or at least a little about a lot, so I will focus on what I know lately.

Lately -- most recently -- I spent 12 hours at a scrapbook retreat, or a crop as it is known in scrapbooking circles ... I will not tell you what I called it a couple tongue-twisted times.

Scrapbooking is a multi-million dollar industry and, I must confess, I have contributed to that total in a shocking fashion (when I think about it or start going through my supplies).

I started my journey in the world of scrapbooking 10 or 11 years ago. It began with a private lesson from a Creative Memories' representative. She was going to present a public class for the Camp Verde Parks Department and I was writing a promotional piece for it.

Over the intervening years I have collected more supplies than created actual scrapbooks (I think I have three: the first one, which was of family and friends, another of travels I have been fortunate enough to enjoy and a wedding album).

But I bet you when I get around to creating another scrapbook I won't have to buy anything -- much.

One of the big things in the scrapbooking world is "the crop" where scrappers gather to work on projects, encourage one another, share tips and equipment and have fun ... and in the case of the crop Saturday, really good food.

I have only been to one group crop and that was years ago. So, I was a little timid about attending the one on Saturday.

Paper & Metal Scrappers (the scrapbook and more store in the Swiss Village) put on the 12-hour event (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.), Saturday, June 7 at Mount Cross Lutheran Church's big fellowship hall.

Originally it was billed as a mother-daughter crop. I have no daughter and I don't think my mother would have been able to stay in one place, doing one thing for 12 hours. She is just not made that way -- her mother was fond of saying she came out fast when she was born and hasn't stopped since.

So, before I signed up, I asked if it was OK if I were solo. Brenda Martell and Barbara Wilembrecht owners of the scrapbook store are two of the most agreeable, kind and encouraging people you will ever meet. Of course, I could sign up as a solo. So, I did.

It's been a busy time at the Roundup and there was little time to make preparations for 12 hours of scrapping.

Since it had been so long since I had been to a crop, or even pulled out my stuff to work on an album at home, I didn't know what to bring. The Internet came to the rescue. I did a search on "scrapbook crops" and found an article on what to bring for a successful crop.

I decided to start what is called a "Heritage Album" with photos I have collected and inherited of my "ancestors." Since family history has been an interest of mine for more than 40 years (I was just a baby when I started asking questions about the people I saw in my grandparents' old pictures) I have quite a substantial collection of old photos and fortunately the bulk of them were where I could get my hands on them.

Gathering up my supplies was another matter. I had to rearrange my office/junk room to get to the crumbling wicker trunks where my scrapbooking things were -- or at least part of them. Some were in an ice chest in the storage room, along with a huge notebook of card stock and idea books.

Once I had everything collected, I had to find something in which to transport it without breaking my arm or dislocating a shoulder. I have a number of really big totebags, so I was able to cram stuff into two of them.

But then I had to get the right kind of paper on which to place the old photos and the odds and ends that go with them, paper on which you write about the photo, paper to frame the photos and assorted embellishments.

Because I had decided to do a heritage album, I wanted the paper to look like an old-fashioned photo album, so it had to be black and heavy. A quick trip to Paper & Metal Scrappers during lunch on Friday and I found exactly what I wanted.

So, after pulling all the elements together on Friday night, from about 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., I was ready to hit the ground running Saturday at the crop.

In a 12-hour period I was able to sort my pictures into the order I wanted to place them, build a cover page and about seven album pages. Plus have really great food made by Brenda Martell for lunch and dinner.

I even know what the next several pages in the album will be.

Now, I just have to buy one more album. You can't just put those carefully crafted pages of photos into any old thing.

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