Tuesday, December 3, 2013


There are lots of words. I like words. I write words. I like to learn new words. I even like to read the dictionary. Some words have similar meanings, some are opposites of each other. Some words are used for a certain situation and time period, then they evolve into another word entirely, for the same type of activity.

That is what I am writing about today. There are three that seem to have switched places over the years. These are....

1. Photo Albums
2. Scrapbooks
3. Smash Books

Take the photo album. For many years it has been thought of as a place to put your snapshots in book form. You buy a book that has blank pages designated for this purpose. There are lots of ways to stick them in and be a bit creative in the layout. In earlier days you would purchase little stick on photo corners to hold the photos in place. Mostly they would be arranged in a row, with maybe a caption underneath saying who was in the picture.

Later on there were the magnetic photo books. You'd peel back a clear film on the page, arrange your pictures on the sticky cardboard, then pull the filmy plastic back over them to protect them.

There were also books that had separate picture sized holders which you just slipped your photo into.

To me, that is a photo album.

Next we have scrapbooks. People have been scrapbooking for many years. It would consist of a purchased blank book, usually large. On these pages people glue in all types of things. These could and did include photos, but also souvenirs, mementos...something you wanted to save to remember. There could be bits of colored paper, cards, ticket stubs, newspaper clippings, and whatever the person felt like including in their book. It was a personal record of their interests and reflected their individual personality.

To me, that is a scrapbook.

Here is where it gets tricky, and the words seem to have switched places.
What people of today are calling 'scrapbooking' is by my reasoning, just a pretty, decorative photo album. Photos arranged on a page with some cute purchased thematic stickers or cutouts pleasing to the creator of the book.

What was once actual scrapbooking is now called a 'smash book'. It's the same as it always was, just using a different word.

When and why they switched, I don't know. I have been doing the traditional scrapbooking since I was a kid. There were a few years that I didn't glue anything into books, but I saved all my bits and pieces of items I would eventually use to fill them. When I did begin to do this, I found the words had changed as to which was which.

All words put aside, though, if you like doing pretty photo albums, or scrapbooks, or smash books, it is a wonderful and creative process. It is fun to look back at the pictures and remembrances that you saved, and for later generations to look at and have more of a sense of who you were at that time in history.

Peace, Love, & Create!

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