Scrapbooking has gone beyond the catalogue pasting of photos into sticky-backed albums. The artform has taken on a life of its own thanks to growing organizations like the Humboldt Creative Croppers. The group met at the Reid-Thompson Library for one of its creative sessions to share resources and tips. The scrapbooking collective uses its members to share ideas on everything from visual travelogues to family history books. In fact, one of its members has gone so far as to publish her efforts and distribute copies to family members.  

Rosemarie Buttinger had collected countless photos of family dating back decades. She began her project of collating and preparing a scrapbook around 2018, the time when the Collective Croppers got its launch. 

I wanted to do a family history,” Rosemarie explains. “When my mom and dad passed away, I had a whole box full of pictures, and they never got looked at. Some of them, we didn’t even know who they were any more. I wanted to preserve them, and I thought what better way than to put them into a history.” 

Rosemarie started with the family tree on Mom’s side and then on Dad’s side and used all the pictures that she had to reconstruct those trees. She began to augment the photos by journaling with the information she had gathered by tracing the pictures. She compiled the photos of her family, including her two sisters, and completed a volume that represented the family’s history. The ornate designs that accompanied the photos and text all added to the allure of the finished product.  

“Then I started another book that I called the next generation. We started with our wedding pictures through to the grandchildren, and how Mom and Dad were included with our family traditions like Christmas and camping.” 

The project was so well received by Rosemarie’s sisters, who wanted to see the book passed on to their kids, that she approached a local printer about the possibility of reproducing the work in a book form. Colleen Lessmeister and her team at Graphic Ad meticulously reproduced the work and assembled it into the cherished books that could be spread among the family members.  

In an age where photos can be stored and shared in the cloud, many of the Croppers employ a blend of high-tech and traditional to share their memories. Programs and websites exist to accommodate online sharing beyond the conventions of Instagram or Snapchat. Sharen Graf explains the software can also be used to have a company print out a 12x12 inch page to incorporate into a conventional scrapbook. 

The melding of minds and the sharing of tools is what the Creative Croppers is all about. New members with their own histories, along with newcomers exploring the craft, are all part of the mix. If you are interested in membership or just finding out more, check out the Humboldt Creative Croppers Facebook page.  

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