Friday, February 27, 2009

Show and Tell Friday: The Newest Addition to My Library

Scrapbooks - An American History by Jessica Helfand
Available at

About a week ago, I was surfing my favorite online store, I found this book on scrapbooks. Its called Scrapbooks, An American History by Jessica Helfand. The book isn't an instruction book, but rather a history book on old scrapbooks. The Amazon listing had some related videos to watch as well, and I was instantly drawn in to seeing more. So I bought the book and it arrived today. I've only thumbed through it but on first glance, I can't wait to dive into it and savor it this weekend! The photographs are beautiful too.

I've often thought I needed to start keeping scrapbooks like my grandmother did, which were really more like what we refer to as journals.

Grandma (pictured at left) filled up many scrapbook journals during her long life. I was lucky to have been given one after she died. Reading it gave me such personal closeness and insight to who my grandmother was inside. I knew my grandmother well, but it was seeing this wonderful collection of mementos, clippings and reading her personal thoughts, that made her even more special in my eyes and touched my heart. It showed me that no matter how many things we accumulate during our lifetime--its the heartfelt moments of one's life that make living it and sharing it special.

Coincidentally, my dear aunt sent me a package this week and in it was a blank journal. She said she wanted me to keep one because it was a family "tradition" of sorts and wrote how special reading her recently deceased husband's was to her. In it he referred to my aunt as "the most wonderful and beautiful woman in the world". I know how much it means to her to read those words after he left this world (due to Parkinson's Disease) a few years ago. More proof that the material things in life don't matter, but the deep words from the heart and the memories left behind us, do.


It got to spend some time looking through this fabulous book last night. It's wonderful! In fact I had a difficult time putting it down.

I was delighted to see photos of "ordinary" things people find meaningful and saved between the pages of a scrapbook. I feel that today's scrapbooks have more more emphasis on page design and embellishments than they do putting pieces of their heart into them--or reflecting the story of those moments. This book is giving me more direction into what should go into a scrapbook or journal. If I'm going to spend the time preserving family photos and memorabilia, I should go an extra step and write about the moment for future generations to realize my life was more than simply a series of photographs.

Show and Tell Friday is sponsored by Kelli at There's No Place Like home. Please pay her and other participating blogs here. Thank you to Kelli and all!



  1. Hello dear Shelley:-)

    How wonderful that you have one of your grandmother's scrapbook journals! I can well imagine how you feel every time you look at it:-) That's why I want to start one for Lily so that some day when I'm gone she'll be able to go through it and know that I did it all for her. Have a lovely weekend my friend. xoxo

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  3. I envy you, having a journal that was your grandmothers. All I have is a pie plate that I treasure.

    Good luck to you in starting your own journal. What a beautiful family tradition.

  4. This sounds like an awesome book. I'd be interested to hear what you think about it after you've looked at it a bit. Sounds like a really good find! Thanks for sharing.

    There is always room in The Shadow of the Cross. Feel free to drop in anytime :O).

  5. Fabulous
    Your grandmother was very beautiful indeed.
    Love and hugs

  6. I think it's great that you have your grandmother's scrapbook, I often think of starting one for my grandchildren. I guess I am one of those people who puts more into page design and embellishments than adding my own thoughts. Thank-you for the inspiration to make scrapbooking more of a matter of the heart rather than just a pretty page to look at. This was my first visit to your blog; I've enjoyed my visit.

  7. This is fabulous -- I need to consider getting that book. Scrapbooks have always been a big thing -- I think it's so cool you have your grandma's!

    Share more about this book with us sometime!


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