Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What Matters to You

Do you keep a scrapbook?  I've always loved the idea of scrapbooking (funny that this word can be a verb now as well) but never really had the gumption to get started.

Ironically, it was a trip to a scrapbook store in Green Bay that set forth my collage journey!  My friend Kim had just had her third child and was excited about making scrapbooks for each of them.  The place seemed foreign and odd to me and frankly, more than a little overwhelming.  There were a lot of tools and items for which I had no clue how they'd be used.  It all seemed like a lot of...work.  But then I discovered the loose paper section and that all changed!  :D

In the days before matching papers and inks and chalks and stencils and brads and ribbons and punches and special scissors and adhesives and Copic markers and even rubber stamps, there were construction paper-made "journals" with newspaper clippings adhered with rubber cement or cellophane tape (isn't the yellowed tape so lovely?).  I love this type of scrapbook, especially ones like this:

The owner of the book, one Miss Inez Smith of Madison, Wisconsin, began the book in 1949.  She even titled it:  "Helpful Hints to Health and Happyness" (sic).  The first part of the book is mostly articles about diet and getting rid of a double chin; exercise and hand creams and hairstyles.  Then, rather abruptly, we see the book taking a different turn - articles appear about "sick rooms" and laxatives and Asia Flu shots.  The date also changes around this time, to 1957.  Did someone else continue this book or is it still Inez?

After those articles, the new entries take another turn - now there are clippings about cancer prevention, pain management, sprains, and many articles from a column called "Uncle Ray's Corner", which appears to have been a syndicated column.

The end of the book, which dates to 1977, deals mainly with hearing and eyesight - there is even a hearing aid ad affixed to the last page.  From start to finish, the book covers 28 years!  It's a veritable diary of what was important to Miss Inez Smith as she aged - from a "Lovelier You" to hearing aids.  If she was 25 when she started the book that would've made her 53 when she finished - a little too young for a hearing aid, perhaps.  I wonder if she ever got married?  The book gives no hints about her personal life (marital status, kids, friends, etc.).

Once again I have to give a huge thank you to my friend Robin, who included this scrapbook in a huge pile of ephemera last September.  What a find!


  1. I love this kind of scrapbook too! So delicious.

    1. It's true, Susan! There's something so wonderful about finding others' scrapbooks - it's history, voyeurism and ephemera all in one! :D

  2. My mom used to have a dog scrapbook. So many lovely vintage magazine pics of dogs...I just loved it. It was lost sometime through the years. I so wish I still had it!