Memory Books

The calendar proclaims that spring is here during some of the most unlikely weather.  We don’t need to watch the calendar at our house, as we have our own personal harbingers of spring who come and sit on our back fence and sing a sweet song that lets us know spring is here. They are a lovely bluebird pair who begin their nesting ritual in our back yard, and usually arrive about the same time that Grandpa’s daffodils begin blooming. Spring is official for us when someone yells, ” The bluebirds are back!”  and we all run to the window for a look.


I was thinking of this and realized that these are the type of lovely memories that I want to preserve for my daughters in the scrapbooks that I am making .  More than the birthday parties, family vacations and reunions; I want to share the moments and traditions that help define who we are.  I am a little saddened when I realize that I don’t have a photo of the profusion of daffodils that used to surround my parents house every spring, or either of my daughters giving me that first handful of these prized possessions that would adorn our home for a few short days. No one in our family can look at a daffodil without a myriad of memories flooding the moment. Not only the memories of the blooms themselves; but the quiet times spent beside my father weeding in the garden, or his feigned complaints as he watched the neighborhood children toting his blooms home to give to their mothers.


For my youngest daughter who only knows her grandfather through photos, the stories of his daffodils and the flowers themselves are a symbol of who he was and where she came from. It is important for me to share more than just  photos of him with her. There are many stories about my parents for which there are no photos. Through my stamped artwork and journaling, I can design a page that will still impart a clear picture in her mind. Scrapbooking actually began before there were photos. People just assembled their memorabilia, letters and journaling in memory books. We have taken this tradition from simply preserving memorabilia and photos, to creating works of art that can serve as a biography of a loved one.


Stamping is the perfect medium for this hobby; whether you are creating a memory book, or a framed piece that tells a story of an individual or event. Different colors and techniques can be used to change the tone and texture of the piece.  The images you choose and all of the combined elements of the page work together to help tell the story. These elements can depict time, mood, style and much more.  Don’t despair if you don’t have the perfect photo for a page, your design and journaling can tell the rest of the story. As you improve your scrapbooking skills, you may want to keep a camera always loaded and close at hand so that you can catch a few photos that tell who your loved ones are. Those  little things that show their personality.


Whether a scrapbook page or a card designed especially for a friend, the finished product is only a part of the stamping experience. We gain as much from the creative process that goes into our stamped pieces as the people who receive these gifts. I recently read a quote that summed up what stamping is to me. “Stamping is the continual learning experience, a stretching of the imagination, an expression of self and nourishment of the soul” (unknown).  I am off to nourish my soul. I hope you get to stamp today, as well.