Spiritual scrapbooking gets to the heart of the matter
A scrapbook should be more than a collection of your prettiest pictures and proudest accomplishments.
It should be a portrait of “the real you” and what you believe, said Courtney Walsh, author of the new book “Scrapbooking Your Faith.”
“At the heart of everybody, there’s a belief system,” said Winnebago resident Walsh, who has degrees in journalism and theater. “I really want people to challenge themselves to find out what they believe.”
Walsh is a licensed minister at Rockford’s Faith Center. As someone who devotes an entire room in her home to this hobby and is a contributing editor for Memory Makers Magazine, she is well aware of the trend of scrapbooking from a faith-based perspective.
“Scrapbooking Your Faith” is a 127-page paperback released in April by Memory Makers Books. Subtitled “Layouts That Celebrate Your Spiritual Beliefs,” the book has color photos of designs, and tips on recreating them.
The chapter called “Blessings” includes photos of her husband’s car, damaged in an accident from which he walked away with no injuries. In “Traditions and Symbols,” there is a close-up of her sister’s tattoo, a butterfly with a Scripture about becoming a new creature. “Lessons of Faith” includes a disposable-camera snapshot of Walsh with a college friend who challenged her to articulate her faith.
“When it comes down to using a less-than-perfect photo or nothing at all, go with the less-than-perfect photo,” she said. “The memory is what’s really important.”
'Quilting for This Generation'
Following a faith-based approach is a logical way to get in to the scrapbooking craze, said Natalie Needham, manager at Memories Ink in Rockford.
“Scrapbooking is really family-oriented, and religion usually is family-oriented,” she said. “People like to think that scrapbooks will be passed on to another generation. It’s really like quilting for this generation.”
Scrapbooking in general is huge, said Christine Stevenson, manager of Lemstone Christian Stores in Rockford. The growing popularity of the spiritual trend follows the growth of inspirational items among mainstream retailers.
“With more people being more open about their faith, more and more stores, not just religious ones like ours, are carrying the products,” Stevenson said.
Don’t Forget the Writing
Sales of scrapbooking products topped $2.5 billion in 2004, according to promotional material for Sharon Sheridan’s new book, “Pages of Faith: The Art of Spiritual Scrapbooking.”
An award-winning journalist and avid scrapbooker based in New Jersey, Sheridan said the writing is just as important as the pictures in “faithbooking,” as spiritual scrapbooking is sometimes called.
“Several people who have bought the book are not scrapbookers, but they are still enjoying the stories,” she said. “I wanted to show people how to use scrapbooking as a faith tool.”
Contact Edith C. Webster at email@example.com.
On spiritual scrapbooking:
- Use scriptures, hymns, liturgies, prayers or devotional writings to organize, inspire or accompany your photos or journal entries.
- Use the alphabet to organize, placing a letter on each page with the appropriate words and photos to illustrate each verse or faith point.
- Organize by religious milestones on a faith journey, including ceremonies, special worship services and celebrations.
- Create an ongoing prayer book, with requests on one page and responses on the facing page.
On layouts and design:
- Try computer programs, such as Photoshop Elements, which allows you to print an entire block of photos as one solid photo.
- Use Velcro to create space for hidden journaling.
- Use a monochromatic color scheme on your pages to make your photos pop by contrast.
- Don’t be afraid to use technically imperfect photos if they have meaning to you.
- Invest in at least the basic tools: photo-safe adhesives and materials, albums, cutting tools, decorative papers and pens.
- In choosing photos, variety is good, but too much breeds chaos. One or two good-size photos tell a story better than six small ones.
- For a more coherent look to your book, pay attention to how you decorate facing pages.
- Simplify. Elaborately decorated pages are fine, but don’t get so fancy that it interferes with your ability to ever finish a project.
Sources: “Pages of Faith” and “Scrapbooking Your Faith”