Monday, November 06, 2006

Scrapbooking is a Social Hobby (Even for those of us who scrap in Solitude!)

By Christina VanGinkel

My son's girlfriend stopped by yesterday to ask me a few questions about scrapbooking and to use my Wishblade Media Cutter. We ended up cutting a few titles and a few pictures for her to use in a number of layouts she is working on or planning. I also showed her how easy it is to use the Xyron 900, a multi use machine that can laminate all sorts of items, turn a piece of paper or cardstock into a full size sheet of ready to cut stickers, and work as a magnet maker all in one. Simply swap a cartridge and you seamlessly move from one task to the next. She looked as impressed as I was the first time I used it. I have a great fondness for that machine, even though I do not use it all of the time, often turning to one of my smaller Xyron sticker machines such as the X model, especially when I have just one or two small pieces I need transformed into a sticker.

While she was there, we also pulled out a few scrapbook magazines for her to browse through, and I showed her how I use different tools for more than what they were intended for. One example is how I use my embossing tools to help me lift cut letters and designs off the cutting mat of my Wishblade Media Cutter. While I had her rapt attention, I also told her to go through my paper and pick out a few sheets that she could use. I have an ever-growing collection of paper and embellishments and I actually get a thrill knowing that by sharing a few pieces of paper and an embellishment or two with someone, they will learn to love the hobby of scrapbooking that much more. Overall, it was a great way to spend some time with her.

Scrapbooking is such a multi faceted hobby that different scrappers reap different rewards from the time they spend scrapbooking or socializing in response to the hobby itself. While not everyone is a social scrapper, even those of us who enjoy scrapping in solitude, as I do, still benefit occasionally from such days as I had yesterday. Someone may ask us a question about scrapbooking, or comment to us on the fact that we scrap, or even offer us some supplies or past issues of scrap related magazines. Scrapbooking by nature is a hobby that brings out the gab in many of us. It can be the perfect hobby to share with a new group of friends, or friends you have known your whole life.

My grown daughter often stops by to use my supplies and tools, often leaving me paper and embellishments that she either bought with me in mind, or that she thought she might use, but decided she would not. She then passes the items to me. She will also call me up and ask me if I want to take a drive to the nearest scrapbook store, some fifty miles from where we live. (This is a new store, before, the closest store was roughly one hundred miles!) Scrapbooking has provided us a hobby in common that gives us something to do together, even though we rarely sit down side by side to work on a project. It has essentially become a stepping-stone from one generation to the next.

If you have younger children, scrapbooking is the perfect hobby to share with them too. The artistic side of it allows them to be creative, while the photos and journaling are great icebreakers for opening up dialogue and discussions with even the most reclusive pre teen or teenager. Even very young children can be included and will find the hobby fun. My three-year-old grandson loves to work in his scrapbook. It is a simple binder that he can store his 'layouts' in, and he loves showing them to everyone who is willing to listen and look.

Scrapbooking is quite the social hobby when you think about it, even if you consider yourself a scrapper who likes his or her solitude, as I do. If you are considering taking up scrapbooking for whatever reason, be sure to consider the additional benefit of socializing that often accompanies this most fascinating and fun hobby.

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