I’m not creative enough to be rightfully called a “Scrapbooker.” Or do they call those people “Scrappers”?
I don’t own any specialty scissors. I’m not sure what a “tag curler” is, and I’ve never purchased “embellishments.”
We like to record our memories as much as the next family, but we just do it a little differently. Our method isn’t as beautiful as scrapbooking, but it works for us. And it is far superior to my old method of chronicling memories, which involved little more than tossing photos into boxes and wishing for a free day to dedicate to scrapbooking.
Eventually I had so many boxes that a month of days wouldn’t have sufficed, and I needed an alternative. So I began notebooking.
Somehow, that one word made all the difference to me. I could choose to make our notebooks a thing of beauty, full of embellishments and curled tags. But I didn’t have to. After all, I was not scrapbooking, and my notebooks could be plain and practical and no one would care.
Our tools typically involve little more than a three ring binder, cardstock and a stack of page protectors.
Whenever we are on vacation, I pick up enough maps and brochures so that each child can have his own set. After we get home, each child makes his own vacation notebook, taping ticket stubs and maps onto cardstock and tucking mementoes into page protectors. Years later, should we choose to revisit the same location, the maps and brochures are easily found in the notebook.
It is important to remember not to tape down photographs, lest they degrade over time. A few archival quality photo pages slipped in the back of the notebook give each child a spot to put his favorite pictures from the trip. If they have kept a journal during the trip, this can easily go into the notebook, as well.
I do something similar at the end of the school year when I chronicle highlights for each child. Samples of their best work from each subject are placed into a three ring binder, along with written compositions and drawings. Throughout the year I snap photos of all their field trips, hands-on projects, recitals and special events, and put the prints in the back of each child’s notebook. Saving and displaying these photos is much more practical than keeping every project they make throughout the year, and the children can see at a glance all that they accomplished.
I love my notebooks. The simple, unadorned look of the three ring binder enabled me to stop worrying about how my memories would look on the page, leaving me free just to record them. And that’s what scrapbooking is all about, right?