Ever since I went through my old-school scrapbooks from high school and college a year or two ago, I’ve been on an escalating (though quiet) rampage regarding Life-Stuff — in other words, memorabilia and ephemera. I realized I enjoy my old scrapbooks — void of cute papers and embellishments, but packed full of stuff from my life — as much as my current ones, which were heavier on the “cute,” but lighter on the “life.”
Some memorabilia can tell the parts of the stories that our words and photos leave out. Skeptical? You’ll see some examples below.
Life-Stuff Worth Keeping
In addition to the obvious ticket stubs, play bills, and post cards, there are other types of memorabilia/ephemera you might not have considered. Here are five qualities that compel me to save some memorabilia while tossing the others:
1) Tells something about your life.
While the left pocket in the memorabilia protector below holds the common concert memorabilia, the pocket on the right is holding ephemera from my favorite clothing store. Those items say a little something about me right now. Eventually these pieces will move onto a layout or mini-book.
Some items tell a more subtle story about things that are going on in your life. At the end of the school year, Aiden’s teacher sent home a bunch of his first grade schoolwork. As I fished through the pieces, deciding what to toss and what to keep, I found the page below in a Valentines book where Aiden drew a picture of himself handing his great grandmother a heart.
At first I thought it was strange that he depicted Grandma Holt in bed, until I put the clues together and remembered that the month before he drew it, we had been visiting her in hospice. She died a couple weeks before Valentine’s Day. This drawing means that our visits, and Aiden’s relationship with Grandma, had enough of an impact on him to include it in his Valentine’s story two weeks later.
2) Captures handwriting
The handwriting alone doesn’t do it for me, since we’re talking about collecting current ephemera, and there are a lot of possible pieces to save based on the handwriting criteria alone. But coupled with something else on the list, it’s very cool. Below is a story in Blake’s handwriting. He is a natural writer and I noticed that he used story-writing as a way to deal with a frustrating scenario involving a sibling.
Actually, I’ve noticed he’s not the only one in my family to deal with situations this way. I may (or may not) want to combine these stories about various family members into one scrapbook story about family tendencies.
3) Demonstrates learning and progress of a skill or natural talent
Aiden is also a writer — actually all five of us are — and after he wrote the “book” below, he pointed out to me that he included a problem and a solution in his plot-line, something he had recently learned.
4) Demonstrates a person’s interests, natural tendencies, personality
Trinity draws almost every day, and most of what she draws has bright colors, hearts, and rainbows. I want to share her common art subject in a future scrapbook page, and I decided to save one that also included characters from her favorite movie, Hairspray.
5) Shows a relationship
Below is something I saved that my Dad wrote to me, way back in 1980.
When I was around fourteen, I decided to save this playful piece of paper my sister and I occupied our minds with during church. I could just journal something like, “My sister and I loved to play and tease, even during church,” but that doesn’t say it the way this does . . .
And this is something I found in a paper pad. It’s the score sheet kept by one of my kids’ favorite babysitters from a game she played with Trinity. I love that Emily’s teasing personality will be forever implanted in our memories with this one piece of paper.
Are you ready to start USING your memorabilia and need some inspiration? Below are some links to episodes with some layouts and mini-books. Paperclipping Members can watch the corresponding episodes in the Member’s Area, but if you’re not a member, you can see the projects in the blog post. If you want to see the tutorials as well, please click here to learn to learn about membership.
Click here if you need my Cheater’s Guide to Scrapbooking Ephemera to help you get going!