I never really "got" scrapbooking before. I didn't know how to do it (which is why the stuff someone had given me ages ago hasn't been put together), and I didn't really understand why people would do it when they could just put pictures in an album as-is.
Then today I spent this afternoon scrapbooking at a friend's place, and I discovered that it's really fun! I also realized why people would want to put pictures in a scrapbooked album instead of just sticking them somewhere. With a scrapbooked album, each page serves as an artistic framework and can provide context for the picture(s). So instead of just looking at pictures, you can look at pictures in a lovely page. That page might give you some context for the pictures or that evokes the feelings and thoughts the scrapbooker had when looking at the picture.
Today I worked on a kit thingy that my friend provided which included instructions, a picture of the final product, and all the supplies needed to make the pages come out like the picture. I had quite a good time putting the pages together. Using the cutting tools to cut everything to the right shape and size and adding the embellishments was really cool. I was very happy with my finished product and I had a lot of fun putting it together.
My friend also had all of the other things that make scrapbooking easier: more cutting tools, taping tools, embellishments, papers... you name it, she had it. And if she didn't, one of the other people there did. There are lots of specialty tools and embellishments for scrapbooking these days; back in the day there weren't nearly so many. I don't know if having all that choice is good or bad. I think for new people (like me) it's better to not have too much choice, but more experienced people like my friend would probably like to have lots of options.
The most amazing thing my friend had is this cutting tool called Cricut. The main Cricut hardware is a personal electronic cutter: it sort of looks like a like a printer except that it cuts the images out of the cardstock. Different picture sets are available so that you can cut out pictures of sports-related items, letters, holiday things, and more. Each picture set has an overlay, which is sort of like a template, that fits over the matching reader on the cutter. You can set the image to cut small or large, if you want, and then - magically - the machine cuts your image for you! It's so cool!
I thought this technology was amazing and awesome. If a person did a lot of "scrapping" or card-making and liked having unique images - including cutouts - on their pages or cards, this tool would be perfect. I could see scrapbooking clubs (if there are such things... I'd think there would be) purchasing one for club use.
I also got to spend time with my friend's nine-month old son and my other friend's two-month old daughter. The boy isn't quite crawling or talking, but when I would say "braaaaaiiiiiinnnnnssss" to him, he would respond with "aaaaaaiiiiiinnnnnnsss". :) He's very personable and we spent some time playing. The girl is still a big sack of baby but she likes to kick her legs out a lot. She's going to have very strong legs :) Both children were very overtired and not able to sleep because of all the people and excitement.
Overall, I had a great time today seeing people and learning this new skill. Scrapbooking is something that I could definitely see myself doing, especially if we had more printed pictures. I definitely I like the idea of using scrapbooking techniques to do card-making because I send more cards now than I did before.