Monday, June 17, 2013

The only thing inevitable is change.

I just finished another marathon, but this one was for a different sort of book: It's a scrapbook of my trip to Europe last year.  I've been meaning to get to it for months, but the Pipe Woman Chronicles kind of got in the way.  But I knew I had to do it soon, so I could start on the scrapbook for the Alaska trip before I start to forget details the way I have for the Europe trip.  (The journaling part of this scrapbook would have been a lot richer if I'd done it sooner.)

Scrapbooking is an obsession with some people; they take pictures of every milestone of their lives or their kids' lives, and put them in a scrapbook by month, date, and event and/or holiday.  I never had it that bad.  When I got into it, I promised myself that I would only do scrapbooks for my vacation pictures -- and I have stuck to that (except for one catchall book for my obsession with Colorado).

But when I started working on this latest book, I realized that I might as well start using up all the precut papers and stickers and things that I'd been hoarding for "another scrapbook someday," because I only have one more vacation destination on my bucket list.  So after the Alaska book is done, I plan to do only one more scrapbook.  That's not to say that I'll never do another one, ever; I certainly don't plan to stop going on vacations, and I may someday take another trip that requires memorializing in scrapbook format.

But making a scrapbook -- at least a dead-tree, cut-up-and-mat-actual-photos scrapbook -- is time-consuming.  And it needs a lot of working room.  This weekend, my dining room table was covered with packs of colored papers, a small cutting mat and templates, my little paper cutter, markers, stickers (alphabet and other), paper punches, scissors, pens for journaling, and my notes. (Yes, I outline my scrapbooks, too.) I had so much crap spread out on the table that I had to put the photos on the kitchen counter (in stacks, sorted by city).  It's not the sort of thing you can easily pack away and haul out again next time, all neatly organized. Hence, the weekend marathon.

And people take so many pictures now.  It's easy with a digital camera -- you just click away and dump the duds immediately.  My friend and I took upwards of 600 photos in Europe.  Alaska won't be as bad; I only have 240 pictures. Heh -- only 240 pictures. In the old days, I would have shot only two or three 36-exposure rolls, and probably a quarter to a third of them would have been unusable, which I wouldn't know 'til I got the photos back from the drug store a week later.  It's a lot easier to put together a scrapbook from 60 pictures than it is from 600, let me tell you.

An acquaintance who has a home-based business selling scrapbooking supplies recently sent out an e-mail that talked about this.  She says a lot of people have just given up on making scrapbooks -- their pictures are on multiple devices and it's just too hard to organize them.  And she's talking about digital scrapbooks, too, not just the dead-tree ones I keep making because I have all this paper to use up.

It reminded me a little of a post on Laurie Boris's blog this week, in which she talked about the tools she used as a beginning graphic artist and how they're all obsolete now that computer graphics are the thing.  I commented that radio is the same way for me -- I got out of the business just as digital editing was coming in, and I would have to retrain if I wanted to go back into it. Not only are my grease-pencil-and-razor-blade skills rusty, they're obsolete.

Now even my hobbies are becoming obsolete.  Good thing my bucket list is getting shorter.

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