February 28, 2012 by The Editor
Many years ago, a decade at least, I met someone who was in the midst of planning a party at which she and several of her friends would engage in their new-found hobby: scrapbooking. The form of scrapbooking they engaged in was completely new to me, being unlike the cut and paste variety I had been familiar with. This scrapbooking was more of the ‘buy and stamp’ variety. Let me explain.
Her new hobby consisted of buying the ‘scrapbook’ – ring binders and blank pages – and a complete set of templates that could be pasted onto the pages, in the middle of which rubber stamps, part of a set, were used to create whimsical images in a variety of inky colors. Perhaps an outgrowth of the crafty letterpress printing that became popular in the 1990s, this version of scrapbooking was a ready-made hobby, as innocuous as a hobby could be.
This type of scrapbooking was nevertheless a complete mystery to me. I had a scrapbook in the 1980s into which I dutifully pasted clippings and photos from the Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, and Life Magazine, with occasional flyers and leaflets collected on travels around Northern Michigan. It wasn’t much. But it was more than rubber stamps.
My mother’s scrapbook, on the other hand was massive. A monumental testament to her collecting and saving abilities, Mom’s scrapbook was made from a large wallpaper sample book. The pages were half the fun, ranging from silky florals to felt paisley designs which figure in my earliest memories. To these pages, Mom pasted Christmas cards from relatives near and far, clippings from the local newspaper, and a range of family memorabilia. I can still see its yellowish-green, glossy cover. As a boy I loved flipping through the scrapbook as much as I loved flipping through overstuffed photo albums and the oversize Norman Rockwell Book of Illustrations that sat propped up on the floor, next to the stairs.
Enter Pinterest. I recently joined Pinterest with the intent of collecting images for future household design. I often encounter advertisements and magazine pieces on interesting design elements that might suit our future home. As always with social media, I began somewhat tentatively. How much time do I have to contribute to yet another ‘community?’ Is it worth the time to register? And so on.
After joining I quickly realized that I had chanced upon another version of Goodreads, writ more broadly. With little inherent content, the entire ‘project’ is up to you. Find, cut, paste. Or in the case of Pinterest, find and pin. It couldn’t be easier to share your interests. It is, to paraphrase the words of one Pinner, “a window into her life for her husband who sees her every day.”
It occurs to me that in Pinterest, what the 20 members of the Pinterest team and their entrepreneur backers have created, is another version of what Mom used to do, and what I did back in the 80s. While they call it ‘pinning’ and the pages are called ‘pinboards,’ what you really have is a place for people to collect cutouts and scraps. What they have reinvented, to their credit, is scrapbooking.
And not a moment too soon. As we see from other social media, memories are the currency of the day. And we need a place to store those memories. That place is fast becoming Pinterest.
To that end, I have stored some of my memories there, in the form of a ‘pinboard’ recreating my 9th Grade Scrapbook. I invite you to view it and enjoy!