Scrapbook ideas brighten Grandparents

Monday, August 27, 2001 at 12:00am

A few months ago, I had a blast at the Great American Scrapbook Convention in Arlington, Texas, an annual event held in early summer. One of the highlights was having a scrapbook presented to me by the ME Scrappers, a group of women who live all over the country but share an interest in my art.

What an honor! The scrapbook they created was amazing, with a cover made from fabric covered with a vintage hankie, a quilted heart, a chenille heart, old crochet border trim and other charming touches. It is s-o-o-o cute!

Barb Carmichael, one of the group members, revealed how they met despite the long distances, "We all got together online, since there are these amazing Internet lists in which you can search for anything that interests you. We share our techniques." So each of these enterprising women made her own page and sent it to Barb, who put the book together and sent it on to her cohorts at the convention.

This got me thinking. If women who had never met could create such a wonderful scrapbook, family members could do the same thing as a gift for Grandparents' Day (Sept. 9, but you knew that, right?). Let's say the grandparents live in Oklahoma with grandchildren scattered around the country. No problem: Just designate one person as the scrapbook ringleader and have everyone report to her. Agree on a format size for your scrapbook (nowadays, they come not just in standard sizes, like 8.5-by-11 inches, but in charming smaller sizes such as 5-by-7, which is perfect for a brag book) and have everyone do his own thing. Believe me, it will make a memorable gift.

Carmichael pointed out that your grandparents' scrapbook can be a work in progress. "I've started books for my mom and constantly add to them by sending her more pages. That's a wonderful way to keep in touch."

Another option is for grandchildren to scrapbook with their grandparents. "My own daughters, who are 12 and 9 years old, love to work on their own scrapbooks. When they visit Grandma, they're going to help her scrapbook, too, and bring her a few basic supplies," Carmichael said.

If you're wondering about what sorts of photo ops make a good scrapbook, visit Gracefulbee.com. Cathy Arnold, a partner in the site, agrees that children and scrapbooking are natural partners. "They're already using scissors, markers and rulers in school and are so creative by nature. By journaling in scrapbooks, they'll give grandparents examples of their handwriting at different stages of childhood. Pick a theme, like

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