I tend to document things that interest me. However, I am a firm believer in fun and don’t think history, current or past, should be dry or boring. I like to make my research and documentation interesting. Scrapbooking has been a great way for me to combine my interests of research, photography, sketching, design, history and crafts. I use this format to document everyday things that take place in my life, for posterity and future generations. And I also use this method to document many of my history ventures, to try to not only capture the facts of the situation, but also the feel, the sense, the essence of the research.
Details and presentation are important to me and they figure largely in the scrapbooks I create. I spend a lot of time designing and crafting these and therefore, the environment I work in is important to me as well. It’s all part of being a detail-person…
I prefer to create scrapbooks that have a vintage type feel to them. I use techniques like collage and layering to bring a variety of elements into a page. I like to add texture, along with photos, journaling, sketches and other ephemeral elements. I strive to bring an interactive feel to my work. Items like newspaper clippings, old keys, bits of lace, feathers, old coins and ticket stubs all help to bring an experience to life for me, when looking over the scrapbook in the future.
I use old bowls, canning jars and spice bottles to hold various elements and materials I use in creating scrapbook pages. Canning jars keep small rubber stamps and ribbon scraps organized, dust free and easy to see. Spice bottles hold glitter and buttons and other tiny embellishments. Bowls keep spools of ribbon, scissors and other small tools near at hand and decoratively convenient. Old mugs hold pens, pencils and paintbrushes. As well as keeping the contents organized, these containers add an element of interest and inspiration for me, in my work area.
There are a lot of commercially available vintage style scrapbooking components on the market today and I do partake of many of these when sales permit. But, I also derive much satisfaction from creating my own unique materials whenever possible. I save interesting brown paper bags and bits of ribbon and string. When I see interesting old-fashioned advertising and calendar illustrations, I clip and save those. I’ve scanned interesting fabric and printed it out on paper to use as backgrounds for relevant scrapbook projects. Recipe cards with decorative elements make great journaling tools. Luggage tags are fun to use, especially for a travel themed project. A bit of strong tea sponged onto paper or fabric adds instant aging.
Sometimes, just the sight of all my vintage-style scrapbook embellishments stored in plain sight, in the old canning jars, spice jars and mixing bowls, inspires me when I am looking for an idea or a starting point with a project. If you are a scrapbooker and have any vintage style hints, please send them in.