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.