The creative art of scrapbooking is back and more popular than ever.
I can remember 16 years ago, at the tender age of 13 when I left my home country to live in Paris and received an abundance of ‘goodbye’ gifts, the common being notebooks, scrapbooks, diaries and journals to document my journey and create keepsakes of my favourite places, moments and people. The ticket to Paris Disneyland, the Eiffel tower ticket, my first metro ticket, photos and postcards were all cut and pasted into scrapbooks along with a small anecdote of the day.
Nowadays, those printed life experiences only get recorded into cyberspace. No longer do I send postcards of new countries I’m visiting, having been replaced with an upload of a photo and a ‘check-in’ on Facebook for friends and families to comment on. No longer do I receive the excitement of opening that Kodak envelope after getting my photos developed from the local pharmacy or print shop not knowing quite how they were going to look. Before the digital age it was a mere 20 photos; now we take three of the same shot (just in case we didn’t get it properly the first time) and end up with hundreds and hundreds of photos we eventually have to trawl through on the computer to find the best ones to upload into albums on Facebook. And how often do you re-visit them? Rarely.
But, it seems the world of craft and scrapbooking is not all but lost as retailers report growing numbers in the sales of scrapbooks and associated craft products. The stationery chain Paperchase has seen a double-digit rise in scrapbook product sales in the last year and has recently opened new workshops in Buchanen Street, Glasgow, Tottenham Court Road, London. Hobbycraft the arts and crafts chain also reported a surge in sales rising by 600% on the previous year.
The Craft & Hobby Association UK estimate that 2.8 billion Britons are ‘scrapbooking’ with 28% of them aged between 16-24. The hobby attracted 615,000 new crafters between 2012 and 2013, with the total expected to rise again this year. It’s nice to see the younger generation rediscovering the enjoyment one gets from creating tangible memorable objects, reverting to the old fashioned way of collecting memories.
And, just yesterday I discovered how to make my very own custom made notebook which will be my keepsake for a few years. I ventured into our bindery where our talented bookbinders taught me how to make my very own hard case book from scratch. For all those beginner bookbinders out there, I'll share my experience with you in my next post.