Thursday, October 23, 2008


Some of you who are just getting to know me may not realize that scrapbooking is not a new "obsession" for me. As a matter of fact, I have a long history with scrapbooking - not surprising since I have a long history with creative crafts and photography as well. In the 1890s my Great Grandpa Tisdale took photography classes at Hamline University in Minnesota. A few of his photos remain, which I think is really incredible!

Not surprisingly, he passed on the love of photos to his daughter, my Grandma Holly. She never really pursued it, perhaps due to lack of finances, but she always enjoyed looking at her daughters' and grandchildren's photos. As a young woman she took photographs of her adventures and family and of course her sweetheart, the man who would become my Grandpa, Alden Hopkins. I love this above quote, in my Grandma's exquisite and precise hand, which is on the first page of her photo album, which is about 11 x 7 in size. Currently I am scanning it. I plan on making an album using the full page to preserve her journaling. I will also extract certain photographs and photo edit them to restore or improve them and feature them alongside her pages. Added to that, I will fill in the blanks of information that I know from family history, chats with Grandma and my genealogy research. I think this will be a really fun album and I am looking forward to sharing that with my family.

If you click on this, you might be able to see the photographs better, but they are small in person too. Amazingly, my Grandmother's handwriting remained exactly like this until nearly the day she died about 75 years after this page was written! These photos are from her climb of Mount Baker in July 1926. She went with a group from Bellingham Normal School, which is now Western Washington University. It looks like they must have climbed from the Heliotrope Ridge trail, which I will have to hike some day myself. The same summer, Grandpa Tisdale, her father, climbed Mt Rainier. No small feat at any age, he was 56. I believe that it was the same week. Poor Grandma Tisdale! She must have been on her knees praying.

Well, move ahead some years and I began taking pictures. My first efforts are blurry and foggy from minuscule 110mm and 126mm negatives with a few Polaroids thrown in for good measure. My Aunt Grace and my Grandpa Johnson were both good teachers and even though my equipment was poor, I learned excellent composition techniques. Grace took a million pictures of everything, many gorgeous, many throw aways, many just for memory or to use in teaching her painting courses. Grandpa, like many male photographers I know, took his time photographing just a few shots and most of the ones he got were just right! I find that I fit somewhere in between the two.

In the course of putting all my photographs into magnetic (UGH!) albums, I felt that the pictures would be much more interesting if there was a story to explain. So, I began using strips of Scotch brand "magic" tape - the kind with the matte finish you can write on - and I labeled my photos, adding as many details as I could find. Whenever we went somewhere, I also picked up brochures and postcards to add to the mix. In 1977, I was 11 and went to visit family in North Dakota for the first time. How fun to take pictures of my grand adventure! At the end of the album I cut out "THE END ND '77". Later, in 1984, I was fascinated with the old fashioned scrapbooks in Germany that held bound pages of acid free paper with interleaves. I purchased one that now holds all my postcards, pressed flowers from hikes, stickers, beverage mats and other memorabilia from my first European experience.

Things progressed and I began using card stock and 8.5x11 sheet protectors with pigment ink pens and photo safe stickers. I cringe when I think of some of those creations. Next on the scrapping journey comes post bound albums and then Creative Memories, whose high quality albums I will continue to use for my paper scrapping.

In 1997 I began teaching classes at Treasury of Memories, which is still the awesome-est scrapbook store I've visited in 4 states! First I taught beginner classes and then I began developing a heritage album class, which incorporates more of my passions - family history, genealogy and old photographs! When I came to California in 1999, I developed the class further and taught at Scrapbook Station until I became a Mommy. About that same time I was excited to have some layouts published - a "My State" layout representing Washington in a contest run by Memory Makers magazine and a couple that were in their Quilted Memories book. My favorite from that was a layout about Grandma Hopkins entitled "All I needed to know in life I learned from a kindergarten teacher" playing off of the famous poem similarly named. On the layout and around the quilt square I listed all the things that I had learned from Grandma Hopkins. I'll have to find that some time and share.

While I was pregnant with D, I scrapped over 500 pages! Phew! That was a lot of fun too. After his birth, you can imagine how things began grinding to a halt and screechingly so when I had three babies under 18 months of age! lol

Enter my current phase - digital scrapbooking. It's such a delight to be able to work as I can, in pieces without having to worry about picking up a mess, keeping little hands out of it or finding room to work.

I can't wait to see what the future holds! :o)

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