Give memories, get accolades
I like making stuff. I like saving money. I like having people open their gifts and think I am the most caring, giving person in the world because I took the time to make them something.
That’s why, this year, it’s all about scrapbooking. I made five miniature albums last weekend, some with photos of my wedding, others with pictures of me and my little brother as kidlets. I already had the scissors and glue and acid-free paper, so the projects didn’t take much money. And it was fun.
I spend much of my spare time at Magic Moments & Keepsakes, known to husbands Chico-wide as, simply, “the scrapbook store.” There, we work on our albums as we chat, quilting-bee style, in what are called “crops.” Sometimes, I don’t bring my supplies home for days on end—I just leave them under a table until I can steal an hour or so.
But even if you don’t know a die cut from a cold cut, it’s easy to whip up a meaningful gift. Your artistic side is closer to the surface than you may think. You can go all out with fancy paper, metal eyelets and chalk, or just stick to the basic photos and stickers. The people on your gift list will be equally impressed.
“I have all levels of scrapbookers, from beginning to advanced,” said Michele Lehane, who in March opened Magic Moments & Keepsakes in the Almond Orchard Shopping Center. As the holidays near, her weekly classes (she also offers private lessons) have been geared toward Christmas-themed pages, holiday lettering techniques and “mini” albums that work up in an hour or two.
Plus, I find the whole experience to be much more relaxing than the stress of the shopping malls and money woes.
“The investment depends on you,” Lehane said. “You can get going on $25.”
Besides grandparent albums featuring her son, Lehane has made anniversary albums for her parents and in-laws. Guests brought pictures and a little write-up to their parties, and, “There were tears all over the place.”
Not to belabor the point or sound selfish, but with scrapbooking you get major points for creativity and heartstrings-pulling. A gift of the scrapbooking variety—be it a calendar, greeting cards or an album—shows “somebody took the time to make something for somebody else,” Lehane said.
It’s a hobby that has really taken off in the last couple of years, something Lehane attributes in part to the idea that “children have become more of a focus in our society.” People love their families, and nothing brings grandparents to their knees like well-presented pictures of the little ones.
People who were into rubber stamps or card-making are trying scrapbooking, and shutterbugs, Lehane said, “see this as an extension of their photography.”
“I get new people coming in every day who’ve seen somebody’s scrapbook and want to start their own," she said.