Reinvent and Recycle

I like to think I do my part when it comes to the climate issue; I recycle my trash, mainly travel by public transportation or walk, buy organic food when I have the chance… I do believe that everyone can contribute and that even the choices that seems minute matter. So, taking up scrapbooking as a hobby sometimes seem a bit ironic to me. It’s a hobby and an industry that seems to thrive on production and consumtion of paper, plastics and gawd knows what. Wasteful, some might say, but when one’s grandchildren flip through the scrapbooks, that might be the thing furthest from one’s mind.

I get as starry eyed as anybody when it come to the shiny, sparkly, colourful and pretty products intended for scrapbooking, and I would be lying if I didn’t admit that, yes, I want it all and do my best to build as a big a stash as possible of papers, stamps and embellishments. Sometimes though it’s just nice to look back to the roots of it all, beyond the brands, trends and prestige.

Scrapbooks used to contain… Scraps! A little bit of everything; your photos, memorabilia, old tickets, programs, pretty napkins, pressed flowers and whatever else. Decorating with what scraps you had and things you wanted to keep safe to remember. Far from the modern scrapbook by miles. The collective voice of the Wikipedia says, for instance:


Old scrapbooks tended to have photos mounted with photomount corners and perhaps notations of who was in a photo or where and when it was taken. They often included bits of memorabilia like newspaper clippings, letters, etc. With the availability of printed material it is likely that the content of scrapbooks shifted away from one’s own hand-writing or drawings or those of one’s family members toward commercially available printed mat ephemera, memorabilia collections and journaling.Modern scrapbooking has evolved into creating attractive displays of photos, text, journaling and memorabilia. Wikipedia


It’s not only just about collecting tickets and tags and photos, it’s about re-using, about recycling. So use what you have. Collect keepsakes and take photos of special moments. That is often where it all begins, not the other way around. Go nuts, go eclectic! Reinvent yourself, be true to that inner voice who thinks it has artistic freedom. Use what you have at hand, look around and you’ll find plenty of recourses. Many items have more than it’s intended use. Recycling has so many advantages; not only is it good for the environment, it’s also a more than affordable source of materials and tools. I always end up saving a heap of things that seems usable; cardboard, buttons, clothes tags, gift wrap, post cards, stamps, string, ribbons and the like. It’s free, give it a go!


Here are some things I did last year:

A postcard made of maps from a phonebook, stamps, train ticket, fashion catalogue and newspaper.


Flowers embossed in black on newspaper, lefs made of newspaper and a pocket made out of a home made over lay from a plastic wrapping.
Unbleached, recycled gift wrap glued to a round post card I got in the mail from one company or other, patterns stamped with some juice bottles and a wine bottle.


On the finished product I added a home-made overlay made from a plastic wrapping from a catalogue. I sketched a pattern I liked with a Sakura Glaze pen, and then attached a modified tag form a T-shirt.

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