I already sent out one item, a mini scrapbook I made blank last summer for a baby girl. Last night I finished my second item, and since I'm pretty sure the recipient never reads this blog, I get to share!
I have done very little scrapbooking in the past several years. Sometimes I reflect on why I don't do it any more. It's far more that "I don't have time" or "I don't feel like it." It's all mixed up with how my life and my perspective on life has changed, my reasons for doing anything have changed, and how technology has changed not just how we take pictures but how and why we share them. Another post for another day.
I will say that reading Elise Blaha's numerous posts about making minibooks has really inspired me. I've been reading her blog for quite some time and having read almost all of it, I've seen the evolution of her minibook making. I don't know why her posts inspired me when I have been reading Ali's posts about minibooks for years, and never wanted to really make one. Maybe because Ali's books are about her children and it's implied that her children will be looking at these books, and therefore the books have some kind of larger purpose. Elise is married but started making books when she was single, and for no other reason than she wanted to for herself. Even though she is now married I doubt her husband often rummages through her basket of completed books and looks at them.
I guess I was inspired by the feeling that the book can be a collection of what is important NOW, and that the process of making it is enough. As opposed to this scrapbook-y idea that whatever we make is supposed to be a product that we finish that will then be enjoyed/used/seen by our intended audience.
I don't know if I am saying it very well.
All I know is, about 6 weeks ago I was taking my lunch salad out of the Panera bag and then I looked at the bag and I thought: "This bag could be turned into a minibook!" And I wonder where those ideas come from, since I have more been into the whole archival/long term concept during my crafty life. All I know is, I had recently been reading Elise's blog posts about minibooks, and how they are repositories of papers and photos she has collected that reflect her life at that moment. Going to Panera for lunch is very much a part of my life at the moment.
Mostly I was kind of excited at the idea of looking at a thing that is one thing, and seeing a new thing that it could be. A thing that is buried or hidden in the first thing. And then working to being the new thing out of the first thing.
All this to say, I made my friend a minibook last night.
Scrapbooking, in it's modern form, is about far more than just cutting and pasting photos and papers. Even though construction just happened over a couple of nights, the reality is that making a scrapbook of any kind takes weeks or months (or years). Because I include in the making time the time to be inspired, to come up with the idea itself, to make the physical album, to choose photos to print, to choose a smaller selection of those to go into the album, etc is all a part of the creative process. This minibook was made to hold one horizontal photo per page, so there is no "layout" but there is still design. Just the looking through my hundreds of photos taken with this friend, and selecting the horizontal images only, and then from there the 15 or so I might use, is a creative process. Deciding what order to place the photos in and how they relate to each other is a creative process.
letterbox at Wolf Prairie. Amelia is reading the clues, which we printed off. I'm debating whether I want to do more with this cover. I had planned on putting letters in the big empty space. The title: Amelia Adventures. Maybe in letter stickers. But something about that empty space there appeals to me, and it seems to imply the theme of the album. That my friend, being 25 and still working part time and living at home, is still trying to find her way. That the whole big wide world is open to her right now. So I don't know.
Bleeding Heart punk rock vegan bakery. Really REALLY cool place. I put the little tab up there and wrote PUNK on it with Sharpie. Since I made the album from a paper bag, I figure a Sharpie is fine. On the right, there we are at Beltane at Ringing Anvil in Chicago.
One thing I have come to believe is that there is a difference between what looks good in person and what looks good online. And the idea of making things look good on a computer screen has sort of taken over. We all know people who are very attractive in person, but they don't look good at all in photos. Photos just don't capture what makes them look good. Not everything or everyone looks good through a camera. I reject the idea that only what looks good through a camera is what looks good. (Oh fine words, but if there is a bad picture of ME... delete! delete! delete!) (anyway)
This year's march is also in June should you care to enjoy. And letterboxing at The Alley shops, which are pretty well known here in Chicago.
Busy Beaver Button Museum last spring, as a part of the annual Atlas Obscura event. This year I am touring the world's largest particle accelerator at Fermilab on Atlas Obscura day.
Lincoln Park Conservatory last spring at this time, which is gorgeous ANY time of year, and also FREE.
Showman's Rest. The plot holds the graves of many many people who died in a circus train crash in 1918. And of course there are numerous statues for Elsie the Elephant there. It was her first letterbox and she was hooked, just like I was. The next page is unfinished. I think I need ot do more with it. Her birthday celebration at the Rainbo Club in Ukranian Village. I put a tab on the page and wrote PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon) because the Rainbo is a TOTAL HIPSTER BAR. And PBR is so pretentiously hipster. Of course, it'[s what we drank at the party because $2 PBRs make for a cheap night out.
An of course THE photo. A big ole AYYYYYY! with the life size Fonzie statue in Milwaukee. Ha. We went on a road trip to letterbox up there. It was so fun.
Of course now I want to keep this little book for myself! I love seeing all the pictures of the various things we have done and places we have been. The photos cover about 3 years. And I love this town.
I am sure she will love the book, because hey why wouldn't she. And I enjoyed making it, a lot. Now I am on a quest to find these green envelopes I bought back in January, to make a similar book for an amazing 16 year old's birthday., NEXT WEEK. Ack. I have the photos but the envelopes are AWOL!