Oh, has it been fun for me to read all these scrapbooking histories—what a powerful and lasting hobby this is, purple-handled scissors and all : )
My own personal history of scrapbooking is a little different. In early childhood, I appear to have been a taper-of-things-into-highly-acidic-albums, but only if it didn't interfere with my obsession with sticker albums. Here is a sample page from the highly acidic "Scrap Book" I have in my possession:
I won a GIANT Easter basket for that coloring contest victory. I remember it well. It may have been the reason for my lifelong love of entering contests—the potential for winning copious amounts of chocolate. Mrs. Roach was my first grade teacher, and I've always loved saving birthday party invitations, for whatever reason. The monkey one is from a friend I still keep up with on Facebook! And that Hello Kitty sure looks good after all these years. She hasn't changed at all.
I don't have any of my sticker books—I'm hoping they're tucked away somewhere in my parents' basement, because they were... OK, are... prized possessions. Did you keep sticker books? Trade for stickers you really, really wanted out of your friends' sticker books? Carefully arrange and rearrange your stickers while other children were riding bicycles? Hee hee hee.
Next came my Magnetic Photo Album With Handy Plastic Cover Sheet Period. It lasted a long time—from early childhood to March 1995, to be oddly specific—I must have read somewhere that magnetic photo albums were bad news that month, so I immediately stopped running from the KMart photo counter to home to put my newest photos in albums that minute. I can tell this is when it happened because the last photos are from a ghost town named Castle, in Montana—a place Matt and I visited when I came to visit my new home just before I graduated from college. It's a pity, kind of, because I have a lot of photo envelopes stored in photo boxes that don't get enjoyed nearly enough.
Thankfully I've let most of that guilt go these days, and dig through those boxes for what I need when the mood strikes to revisit 1995-2003. In that huge amount of photo albums pre-dating 1995 is my first foray into scrapbooking, sort of. My friend Nancy and I took our photos to the beach in the summer of 1989 on her family vacation, and armed with white office labels, a blue ballpoint pen, and scissors to cut random friends out of pictures for emphasis, I went to town creating a fully-captioned magnetic page photo album of my life to that point. (Cut-out friends not pictured to protect their dignity identity.)
Whoo boy, those are some nice looking photos of me. And check out that dress for the 8th grade dance. What a sharp pink cummerbund I had! Incidentally, I still keep up with my date from that evening on Facebook as well. He wore a matching pink sweater that night : ) And, I'm proud of early indications that I could care less about chronology.
While all my friends were apparently running around with their deco scissors cutting their beloved family members into Easter eggs and whatnot in the 1990s, I was not scrapbooking. I knew that I wanted to do something with all the photos and ephemera (I have a LOT of ephemera) but I didn't know what. There was a lot of hand-wringing during this period—what to do, what to do? I picked up a copy of Memory Makers in 1997 and decided that wasn't what I wanted to do, but I didn't have any other ideas so I just kept busy taking pictures and putting them carefully in photo boxes for later. In the meantime, I made cards. Lots and lots and lots of cards. Many with deco scissors, many with rubber stamps, and many more with punches. And on my best days, all three : )
Sadly, I cannot find my classic doozy of a Christmas card—the first one I ever mass-produced and sent out. Let's just say I really, really, really loved that little snowflake punch—even more than I did on these examples. I think it's packed away with Christmas things, though, so it will have to stay in the vault for now. My story continues similarly to many here—after a lifetime of searching aimlessly, I found my creative answers in Simple Scrapbooks. First from Stacy's book of the same name, and then from the magazine. (A magazine!! Every other month!!) I didn't start scrapbooking right away—I pored over every detail in every issue and also over at Two Peas, where my life was literally changed forever with creative possibility. Well into the 21st century, I made four albums to give away to my parents, Matt's parents, and my sisters. Topic? New baby Maddie. Of course.
These days, I scrapbook all sorts of topics. Sometimes I scrapbook a lot, and sometimes I go for weeks—or even months—without so much as picking up a piece of patterned paper. But when I do, I am always so excited about what I've made, even if it doesn't always include punches or deco scissors. : )