Tahlequah Daily Press

May 3, 2013

Scrapbookers preserve family, on paper

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Preserving family memories can be achieved in a number of ways, and one of the most popular is through scrapbooking.

Today is National Scrapbooking Day, and the hobby is a passion for local resident Cheryl Allen.

“I’ve been scrapbooking for about 15 years,” said Allen. “I even used to have my own scrapbooking business. I scrapbook because I want to have things to pass down to my daughter. I know I would love to have had a scrapbook from my grandmother, showing me what they used to do on holidays, and how they spent their time, so that’s why I got into the hobby.”

Allen said the hobby can be intricate and expensive, or inexpensive and whimsical, depending on the person’s intent for the finished product.

“Some people scrapbook because they want to keep memorabilia,” said Allen. “In those instances, you can go with less expensive materials. Since I want mine to be family keepsakes, I use good materials that don’t deteriorate photos, like acid-free and lignin-free papers.”

Allen makes an annual album, and has specialty albums, too.

“I did one for [daughter] Kaitlin as she is growing up, and I’ll make albums for special vacations, but I also make an annual album,” Allen said.

For the annual album, she starts a new file each year.

“Each month, I’ll gather up ticket stubs, cards I’ve received in the mail, newspaper clippings, and things like that,” she said. “As I get my photos developed, I also organize them by month. At the end of the year, I gather all that together, along with my day planner pages from the previous year, so I can have the dates in the right order.”

While some people enjoy making ornate pages with lots of intricate scissor cuts, glitter, stickers and other items, Allen keeps hers fairly simple.

“I think it’s good to take a scrapbooking class or go online to learn techniques,” she said. “You can learn how to do specialized things, like color copy three-dimensional objects, so you have the accurate size, things like that. But the simpler the page, the more you can do.”

After taking a scrapbooking class 15 years ago, Allen became a consultant.

“I did that for about 10 years, but found I spent more time helping other people with their projects and not working on mine,” she said.

To focus on her own work, Allen takes two retreats a year.

“I attend two scrapbooking retreats a year set up through a consultant in Tulsa,” said Allen. “We spend the whole weekend at a motel, and all we do is eat, sleep and scrapbook. I can probably get 50-60 pages done in a weekend. It’s fun and we have a great time.”

Local resident Sarah Payton received a scrapbooking kit as a baby shower gift 14 years ago, and she’s been cutting and pasting ever since then.

“I am an avid scrapbooker,” said Payton. “I look back at that first album though, and wow, I’ve come a long way and found my own style.”


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