Scrapbooking (Memory Keeping)

Why do I want to scrapbook. I had to ask myself this as I looked at loads of giant albums and drawers and cupboards full of stickers, paper and embellishments. Is there a point to all of this? Will anyone care about it all?
I’m actually starting this entry (or whatever it turns out to be) from our big comfy rocker recliner while Bennie nurses. Well she’s not really nursing. She is, but she’s more sleep nursing. She does this when she gets up from a nap too early and really wants to go back to sleep, but can’t on her own. Tuesday used to sleep nurse a lot, it was her only way of napping… FOR A YEAR.
What does that have to do with scrapbooking? Well I’m sitting here nursing and playing with Bennie’s soft baby hair. It’s amazing and I love it. It won’t be like this forever. And really I don’t want it to. I want to love it now, remember it forever, and move on to the next thing that happens. It’s a lot easier to feel this way the second time around. For me parenting only gets better. I’m more confident. My girls get more amazing, because they more fully develop into their lovely selves.
I think memory keeping is wonderful. It’s certainly the more in vogue way to talk and think about preserving memories than calling myself out as a scrapbooker. It’s also more encompassing, certainly taking photos, updating a status with a child’s quote, or blogging are all memory keeping; and I support them all. Today I am talking about scrapbooking. Physical books to flip through. Journaling to read. Products to play with. The latter may not mean so much to some. But for me it’s often the hook I need.

I found a pack of Ki Memories paper at Goodwill (unopened) for 99 cents. I was so excited. This was my favorite line back in the day (maybe 2003?). I loved it, I used some and I saved a lot, not wanting to use my special paper. When I found this pack I immediately wanted to sit down and scrapbook. I just felt an itch to tell all these stories. I love doing Project Life, and for sure it’s the favorite of everyone around here to look through. But there is something about just focusing on one picture or set of pictures and one story that I love.
It takes up more space yes, but now that I do Project Life style scrapbooking I don’t feel the need to scrapbook anything else “traditionally” unless it speaks to me and I really want to. I don’t share all my layouts, I’m not looking for praise or publication (A decade ago that was big motivation for me), I just want to sit down with the memories for a while and record them in a fun way.

I don’t think that my girls are going to want all these layouts or albums. Some people get hung up on that. I mean, “What are we scrapbooking for, ” is a huge (and valid) question. Bj and I had to deal with all of Grandpa’s scrapbooks (12 boxes full). We didn’t keep many as they were. Of the actual family scrapbooks we kept ZERO as they were. Oh we loved looking through them and pulled out a few pictures, but most “layouts” were of long ago parties and people we didn’t know and never will know anything about (he was not so great at journaling a story for us to follow). The albums were in the old books which were ruining the photos, so they had to be taken out anyway. We kept a book of his personal military service history, and a set of more genealogical type albums.

I think my girls may want to keep their baby books. I love looking at mine, and it doesn’t take up much space. I hope that I am physically able to look through these books for many, many more years. That really is my favorite part. I feel like maybe I should do a page that talks about the books, what they mean to me, and what I hope they are for my children; something fun, with no guilt if keeping them doesn’t work out.

Maybe technology will make it so that scanning in a whole album will be cake and they’ll just have digital copies, who knows. The point is: I don’t worry about.  We enjoy them now. I love making them and that is good enough for me.

And this. My hand writing, my love notes to my girls, my husband, and myself. Records of things we’ve done. It’s all good.

Scrapbooking seems to be out of vogue a bit. There is only one local scrapbook store left here. How do you feel about scrapbooking? Do you think of it as an “old lady” craft? Do you do it? Did you? Did you stop? Why?  I’d love to have a conversation about this friends. I updated my blog with some new fancy formatting so that I can respond direction in the comments, so can you, and they’ll be all threaded and pretty. I’m very excited about this, so please, tell me what you think.

Join the Conversation


  1. Like you, I scrapbook mainly for myself. It’s a way to create something beautiful with beautiful (and fun) supplies. It also combines my love of writing with a visual image. I’ve thought about the physical books, too, and probably my kids (8 + 11 now) will pick and choose just a few pages to keep. That’s okay. I’ve recently discovered that sometimes destruction is an equally satisfying part of the act of creating. I still love looking back at my pages, but I’m at peace if they do not live forever.

  2. And yes, “scrapbooking” has become an “old” person’s hobby. There was a discussion on the Paperclipping Roundtable at CHA time in January, and the participants were so offended by that label. I think it’s funny. Teenagers and young adults today have moms who’ve scrapbooked their entire lives. Of course they think it’s an old person’s hobby, just as knitting was 20-30 years ago.

    1. I love listening to the Paperclipping Roundtable! It’s great to have on while I’m scrapping or even just organizing supplies, especially since so few of my friends “in real life” scrapbook.

  3. I have scrapbooked since 1995. I have loved every minute of it…and don’t regret a single layout. I have made about 30 albums and have developed many friendships through this hobby.
    While my children are 22 (girl)…19 (boy)….15 (boy) and none have developed an interest in scrapbooking….they each have expressed interest in having their fair share of the albums when I pass on. It brings a smile to my face each time I see them poring over the albums and reliving the memories.
    Just 4 months ago, I shifted my efforts to more of a project life style of scrapbooking. I love it!!!! I only wish I had done this when our days were filled with the mundane (a different mundane) such as dance lessons, diapers, bubble blowing, story book reading and favorite kid meals.

    1. Janie, I find the differences in scrapbooking “traditional” and “pocket style” so interesting. The different formats bring out such different stories. I too love all the little bits of mundane, though sometimes when you’re in the thick of it, it’s hard to remember it all… or have time to scrap it all. I’ve found some apps that help with that though! And yes, having family and friends sit down and look through the albums is the best!

  4. I scrapped when my oldest was little, complicated, wonderful layouts…well,, I could not stay with it between work and another child…and I feel terrible that my youngest does to have the elaborate pages. So I am hoping to take project life and make it into something, so my youngest doesn’t totally lose out:) I have had to choose hobbies, and scrapping hasn’t made the cut, though we do look at the books I have created again and agin, except the youngest hardly made it into a page…bad mom:(

    1. Awe, don’t feel bad! Bennet has so few pages that I only just made her an album! I realized that Tuesday was needing a second 12×12 and Bennet’s was non-existent, oops! Sometimes when I’m scrapping I think about how I’m not doing the other things that I am scraping about (other hobbies, time with family, etc.). It’s something I keep coming back to, but I certainly go in fits and spurts. Maybe you’ll come back to it?

  5. I always love your layouts. I started with a gifted scrapbooking calendar after my first was born, keeping up with all the firsts and such. This started a tradition I continued with his little sister and brother. I’m so glad I kept up with the writing on each day of their 1st yr -just a little something- like “noticed the ceiling fan today!”
    Then I knew I should continue SOMETHING but with working fr home & planning to have more kids, I knew I couldn’t keep up with EVERYTHING, so I gave a shot at scrapbooking a Birthday Album for each of them. I keep up with the books only once or twice a year (sadly) but the kids just love looking through them. {my fav pictures of my childhood are ones at my birthday, and we’re big on parties every year! hey, they only turn __ once!}
    Many ladies I know have moved into digital, so it’s changed the atmosphere of the scrapbook retreats I’ve enjoyed through the years. 🙁

    1. I wasn’t clued into those calendars until my oldest was halfway through her first year, but I got one anyway. They are so great! It is hard to keep up, and I’m not “caught up” (because that’s not really the style I do anyway). I am so lucky that one of my best friends still scrapbooks, and we get together and have scrap days. No one else has stuck with it. Plus most of the local scrapbook shops are gone. It is different, but I remain hopeful it will come back around in popularity.

  6. You know on my on and off again scrapbooking. I wish I had the time and energy to put more into it. I think I started scrapbooking in 2002…when Jacob was a baby. I was always one of the youngest at any of the scrapping things I attended (I sure do miss the scrapbooking weekend retreats that I somehow made time for at least 4-5 times a year!).
    My goal now is to have at least 1-2 books for each kiddo up through about age 5-6, and then family books after that.
    I also make books on shutterfly, but I find myself wanting to go back and make layouts of the same pictures–it’s just different…
    And both big kids love getting the scrapbooks out and looking through them. Hopefully they’ll have that same desire in 10+ years 🙂

  7. Hi Amber,
    It was so nice to see you back blogging. I look just about everyday to see if you posted something! I love being able to watch the girls grow up and see what you and BJ are up too. (Remember that I’ve know you and Brett for almost 23 years now! And it was thru Luke and Brett that you met BJ. So happy it worked out for you guys)
    Whatever you did to the top pix at the top of the blog is great as they now show all the pix as before it only showed Tuesday on the swing. Maybe it was just my IPad but seeing the pix rotate is great. Thanks for sharing. Say “hi” to the girls and BJ for me. love Luke’s mom, Mary Lou

  8. You know I don’t scrapbook, but I certainly enjoy checking out your layouts. Your creative ability in photography and words is nothing short of wonderful!

  9. I don’t scrapbook, but I love the idea of it. I have a folder filled with stuff from our Disney trip I would love to scrap. I think it would be so great for Charlotte to have to look back on someday. I am so behind on her baby book, too. I was so busy and tired those first several years that I wrote down things I wanted to remember on post-it notes and just stuck them in her book. I need to get busy!!

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