Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Friend in Need...

Forget about the 12-inch portable paper trimmer.  Forget about the silent eyelet setter. Forget about the Xyron sticker maker, the personal die cut machines, and the acid-free photo pen.  While all these are grand inventions in their own right, the single biggest innovation to ever hit the scrapbooking world is : the Internet.

To the non-scrapper, "Internet" and "scrapbooking" may not seem to go hand-in-hand.  But anyone who's ever picked up a tape runner knows that she would not scrap without her high-speed Internet hookups-both literal and figurative.

Just think about it.  Before the Internet, how did people know where to find the lowest price on American Crafts albums?  How did people keep up to date on the latest scrap celebrity happenings?  How did people compare ideas for enlivening Little League layouts, debate the best way to adhere twill to the page, or share the angst of trying to get noticed by the editors of Scrappin' Digest?

And most of all. how did scrapbookers find each other?

Scrapbooking can be a lonely hobby.  Husbands usually don't understand the obsession with all things lignin-free, and even the most dedicated memory keepers are often cursed with friends and family members who don't know a binder ring from a jump ring--and don't want to know.

Some of us are lucky enough to live within close proximity to a well-stocked scrapbook store, where we can meet like-minded souls.  But for many of our sister scrappers, it's easier to find a restaurant with Fresca on tap than it is to find a retail establishment that sells single sheet of Foof-a-la.  Thus, if it weren't for the Internet--and its scrapper-specific bulletin boards, inline communities, and Yahoo groups--a good portion of our ilk would live lives of quiet desperation, having no one with whom to share the trials and tribulations of hand-cutting titles and getting chipboard letters to stick on a page.

I think there are a couple of reasons why online scrapbooking communities are so popular.  First,  despite the fact that we journal on our pages because we want to share our stories, scrapbooking can be a very private hobby.  The longer you do it, the deeper and more personal your pages become.  And if you're going to journal about your stint as an exotic dancer, or you ambivalence about having breast augmentation surgery, you'll probably feel more comfortable sharing those stores online with a virtual (no pun intended) stranger, than with the gal you're sitting next to at Free Crop Night--a gal you just might run into at church or at the next PTA meeting.

Second, scrapbookers are round-the-clock crafters.  Yes, our free time may occasionally coincide with Archiver's business hours, but more likely than not, we're going to be needing that poem about the dead goldfish at 2 AM instead of 2 PM. And at any time, day or night, we can boot up the computer, safe in the knowledge that someone, somewhere--Australia? Madrid? Spokane?--will appreciate our creative use of deckle-edges scissors on our latest layout.

Any scrapper worth her glitter would argue that the friends she's made online are just as supportive and just as important as those who live next door or across town.  Whether we loan them our copy of Digital Designs for Scrapbooking in person or send it via UPS doesn't matter; the bond between two scrapbookers is stronger than any double sided tape.

Non-scrapbookers might not get this. "How can you feel so deeply about and spend so much time with people you've never met in real life?" they ask.  Little do they know that the hours we spend online are just as real--of not more so--than the hours we spend with our "real" friends and family.

It's okay if they don't get it, though.  They probably don't understand the need for seven different kinds of adhesive, either.

This is an excerpt from the book Snippets, Mostly True Tales from the Lighter Side of Scrapbooking by Lain Ehmann.

I love this essay in her book and wanted to share it with my online friends.  

The book was given to me at CKC in Tulsa last weekend as part of our registration packet.  It's comprised of short, humorous essays about scrapbooking.


TyTynNiyasmom said...

This is so true. TFS.


Anonymous said...

I LOVE this it is so very true. I have only ever scrapped locally with my sister and she and I have very different levels of talent so it's usually me inspiring/helping her and not the other way around. I do hate...I mean love her for her ability to write PERFECTLY with Stickles...I can't at all do that.

I shared this to my wall as well.

Flamenco92627/ Julieta said...

Sounds like an awesome book! Thanks for sharing.

M from Texas said...

LOVE this Linda. It's right on so many counts. I feel like I have so many friends that I haven't met, and sometimes I'm even lucky enough to meet them in person! :)

Heather R... mousemomma said...

I love this. I am a lone scrapper here where I live. My family doesn't understand my obsession with paper until they see what I create with it. I love my online connection with all you ladies, though it's a bit one-sided so far... :) Someday I hope to meet many of you in person, but until then, I've got my internet... Thanks for sharing.

Gina piazza said...

Thank you so much for posting this; how very true it is;
and how wonderful it is that so many of us are able to connect online.

cdm317 said...

Thanks for sharing this. It's all so true!
Colleen (gonescrappin)

barbarastewart1 said...


Robyn said...

So true! Thanks for sharing this....I have lived over 20yrs in my town. I have not been able to connect with one person who shares my intrest in crafts or anyone who quite gets my sence of humor! I finally connected with someone in the scrapping world who I knew was someone I could relate to when I opened her blog and I read the post " I just like to make Chit!". Well she had me at Chit! Lol! I loved it. If it wasn't for the Internet it wouldn't have been possible. Friendship are starting to develope and I look forward to meeting a group if ladies who aren't afraid to have a good time while scrapping!

ScrappyMama said...

Isn't this the BEST book?????!! I own it & pull it out every once in a while to read parts of again...I think it's hilariously funny because it's soooooo true!!

Linda said...

Robyn---I know exactly who you're talking about! LOL! I met her myself about 3 years ago and we've been pretty good friends ever since.

She talked me through how to use Design Studio and taught me how to make my own cut. files. She's also been my "worst" enabler! She shows me too many things I want! LOL!

Brenda said...

Loved this Linda and truer words were never spoken!! I'm always talking about "my internet girls" and my family looks at me like I'm crazy at times. LOL Thanks for sharing this with us!!