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JANINE KOCZWARA: It's about taking your photos and taking them beyond just a photo in an album with no meaning, no relevance. It allows you to artwork it, to make it beautiful, to put personal touches into it, give it a part of yourself, a bit of love. Scrapbooking, obviously, has been around for an awful long time. Back in the Victorian era, it was about collecting poems and keeping a journal and throwing interesting pictures or little bits and pieces in it. It began very much with family memories and history. And then the chance to make it archivally safe became very much part of it, because if you're going to go to the work of preserving it in a beautiful way, then you want it to last a long time. And it's really just come ahead in leaps and bounds over the last 10 years. There is no limits on age. I've had five-year-olds come in with their parents and buy scrapbooking supplies, up to 80-year-old women coming through, all doing it for their different reasons, but all in love with what they're doing. People make all sorts of albums and themes. Babies - a big favourite. Your children, obviously. Heritage - people want to preserve the memories before certain people in their family die that, you know, aren't available to tell the stories. Sometimes, it's really healing in cases of loss, and someone wants to record just the emotion and the feeling of events.

LISA HEDGES: The reason I started scrapbooking is because of my daughter, Sarah. She's our firstborn. Once she was born, she only lived for about an hour. I think, you know, out of something as tragic as losing a child, one thing we've wanted to make sure we do is actually remember the happy memories as well. And I think being able to scrapbook the whole journey of the pregnancy and her birth and after, you can sort of map all of that out. Yeah, I guess, for us, she always lives on and will always be part of our family. And having a tangible, hopefully permanent, reminder, you know, will remind other people of that as well.

JANINE KOCZWARA: Journalling is what you need it to be to preserve those memories. So sometimes, the journalling can be as simple as a catchy title or a quote that can sum up exactly what you want to portray for that picture or that moment in time. But on the other side, journalling can become a really wonderful outlet for writing. It's like speaking - there's no right and wrong form of it. What you do, if it's relevant, if it captures what you want and the meaning, then that's all that matters, and getting that onto paper and then it's preserved. I think people get addicted to scrapbooking because it tackles people on a creative level. And if that's the type of person you are, then you will find yourself deeply obsessed with scrapbooking. And it's always going to be personal, it's always going to have your family, which is the most important thing to you, involved in it. And I think that's what takes it beyond a lot of other crafts. The social aspect of scrapbooking is one very big element. It's probably another thing which holds people to the craft, because you develop friends that you enjoy getting together with and sitting down, having coffee and cake, and chatting away while your hands go about creating.

LIANA BRYANT: Well, it's just great for catching up with friends and getting creative, and you get to record your history as you're going. And, you know, your family generations after have got something to look back on.

JANINE KOCZWARA: I get so much out of scrapbooking. I guess, for me, the biggest thing is the creative outlet. As a woman, and being a wife and a mother, you're cooking, you're cleaning, and within five minutes, it's undone. I'm creating a legacy, but not just for my children. I'm creating something that's so me and such a chance to put a little bit about who I am onto that page. And I often think, when I'm working on a project, "What can I show my kids that they might not know about me in 20 to 40 years to come?" It's just such a sense of accomplishment. You always love your last page the most if it's, you know, fairly good, and that just keeps you going to create something better than the last time.
Learn English Spotlight
Are the verbs 'journalling' and 'artwork' in the dictionary?

We look at the tendency of hobbies to invent verbs to suit their needs.

view the spotlight >
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