Friday, February 12, 2010

Legacy of Scrapbooking

Hello. My name is Pat and I'm a Scrapbooker.

When I started on this wonderful hobby about six years ago, I thought that noone else in my family scrapped...I'm the first. I immediately loved everything about it - the beautiful papers, embellishments, ribbons, brads, buttons, stamps, stickers, glue in all its many forms, rainbows of flowers, photographs, and the list goes on and on.

Then, when I was two or three years into it, it occurred to me that I am not the first in my family to embark on this memory-saving, family-chronicling journey. It had been going on for fact well before I was born. All I had to do was think and remember.

One of my earliest memories of Mum and home, was in 1952/53 when I was four or five. The King of England had died and his daughter, Elizabeth, was to be crowned Queen Elizabeth II of England. The newspapers and magazines were full of pictures of the royal family at this time and being loyal members of the British Commonwealth, we would cut out all the royal pictures we could find and Mum put them in at least one scrapbook. I can easily remember Wendy and I helping to mix the water and flour paste that we used as glue in this book. I don't remember whatever happened to that scrapbook. I suppose in our many moves as a military family, it got misplaced or left behind someplace. I would love to have it now.

After the experience of making the Royal scrapbook, Wendy and I for awhile cut out movie star pictures and put them in another scrapbook. Again, this one has disappeared. I didn't think about them for years.

Mum also made a scrapbook for each of her three children. We loved to get those books out and look through them. The first page of each one contained congratulation/baby cards received when we were born. The books had birthday cards, Easter cards, Christmas cards, Valentine's cards and anything else Mum thought should go in. It was such fun to look at who sent what way back then. My favorite page contained a full-page birthday card in the shape of a gingerbread man, trimmed with glow-in-the dark paint. I would take it into a closet and close the door so I could see the gingerbread man glow. That book is still among my treasures, although it is starting to come apart.

The next scrapbooks I made (very plain and simple, unlike those I do today) were of the wedding cards Lloyd and I received, and then one I made of all the wedding invitations we received and baby announcements from friends. I stopped working on those about 38 years ago, but they're still part of my 'stuff' that has followed me across the country several times as we've moved around. As each child was added to our family, I made scrapbooks for them containing congratulation and greeting cards. I stopped after each album was full - about 4 years per book. The baby books I kept for each of the kids are also a form of scrapbook. Great treasures.

But my favorite treasured scrapbook is one my Aunt Evelyn gave me. It was made by her mother - my dad's mother - my namesake, Millicent McCarthy. She made several scrapbooks in the early years of the 1900s. This one is very fragile but I managed to photograph the pages so it would never be lost. It is beautiful - full of colorful pictures cut from magazines, cards, advertisements, prayer cards, post cards, ladies' calling cards and anything else Nanny found beautiful. Looking at it is like glimpsing a piece of the past. Nanny died when I was 10 so I never had a chance to talk to her about her scrapbooks, although I do have vivid memories of her and always felt a bond with her because of our names. Scrapbooking is another bond I have with this lovely woman.

the cover

And to continue the tradition, a couple of my daughters and nieces have begun scrapbooking. It really is a family legacy.

Emily at a crop

I started scrapbooking because I had albums full of pictures but they were just pictures - no stories attached, no sentiments written, no names attached. By putting the pictures in scrapbooks with stories and journalling, a more complete picture of the people and activities emerges. I'm hoping my children and grandchildren will treasure the scrapbooks I make of them and their lives as much as I treasure the scrapbooks made by my mother and grandmother.

I no longer use flower and water paste, newsprint scrapbooks, or magazine pictures and have a roomful of scrapbook supplies, but the basic premise of scrapbooking prevails - I record what is beautiful in my life so those who come after me will know who I am, what was important to me, what I loved, and how much they were loved by me.

Scrapbooking is also a great way to make friends.

And that is why I scrap.


JQ said...

You used to sit in a closet with RadiumMan? No wonder my gamete was so screwy. Thanks for updating. I love all your record-keeping, including this blog.

Pat MacK said...

the gingerbread man was perfectly safe Jenn. Sure didn't do anything to my fertility!

Mary said...

I'd scrap if I had the time/money/space required.

Mickey said...

Lovely Pat!
Catching up on your blog! You've been busy! Love your stories. We need to get out to a crop one of these days.That looked like an old pic of us

Kath said...

Scrapping always looks so fun. You do such a beautiful job with it always.

*I am the one that left the anon comment on the vday card post. Oops