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Wednesday, March 4, 2020


Today is International Scrapbooking Industry Day. Never heard of it? Neither had I, but it’s listed on all those sites devoted to holidays and observances. After doing a bit of cyber-sleuthing, I discovered the day is meant to give thanks to the various scrapbooking companies that offer products that help us preserve our cherished memories through the art of scrapbooking when most of us simply store our photos on our phones.

We’re tactile creatures by nature, and there’s something so much more satisfying about turning the pages of a handcrafted scrapbook to relive memories than simply scrolling through our phones. Not only that, but scrapbooks often contain souvenirs of the past, like ticket stubs, handwritten notes, blue ribbons from awards, graduation programs, etc.

Scrapbooking also provides a tangible backup for our memories and family history that might not otherwise be available to our relatives after we’re gone. If they don’t know your passwords, children and grandchildren have no way of accessing photos from password-protected sites.

People have been scrapbooking for generations, but it’s only a decade or so ago that we began to realize that our photos needed to be preserved using acid-free papers to prevent them from aging and deteriorating over time. Thanks to the scrapbooking industry, we now have products that will ensure our scrapbooks will last for generations.

Scrapbooking plays a prominent role in Scrapbook of Murder, the sixth Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery. Here are some scrapbooking tips from Scrapbook of Murder:

1. Decide on the theme for your album. You can create an album to commemorate a specific event, such as a birthday or vacation, or a series of chronological albums that span your family’s history.

2. Choose a focal-point photograph for each page. Create a layout for the page by adding other photos that are part of that page’s “story.”

3. Always keep in mind that “less is more.” Too many snapshots on one page will look cluttered. Choose no more than three or four of the most representational photos to highlight.

4. Whether you’re choosing backgrounds from a digital site or actual scrapbook pages, make sure the printed patterns and colors don’t overpower your photos. The photographs are the stars of your album. Backgrounds are meant to enhance, not steal the show.

5. Use page accents, whether digital artwork or purchased embellishments, sparingly. As with backgrounds, you don’t want the embellishments to take over the page. You want your photos to stand out. One embellishment per page every few pages is sufficient.

6. Create a title for pages that represent special events.

7. Note the names of each person in a photo, the year or date, and where the photo was taken. Even though you recognize the people in the photos, years from now you may not, and your descendents certainly won’t know their names.

8. If you choose to combine photographs with journaling, make certain your spelling is correct.

9. Don’t go overboard adding lots of catchy quotes or song lyrics.

10. Remember that you’re creating a family heirloom that will be viewed by future generations. Don’t editorialize by adding disparaging comments about Aunt Irma or Cousin Tiffany.

Scrapbook of Murder
An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 6

Crafts and murder don’t normally go hand-in-hand, but “normal” deserted crafts editor Anastasia Pollack’s world nearly a year ago. Now, tripping over dead bodies seems to be the “new normal” for this reluctant amateur sleuth.

When the daughter of a murdered neighbor asks Anastasia to create a family scrapbook from old photographs and memorabilia discovered in a battered suitcase, she agrees—not only out of friendship but also from a sense of guilt over the older woman’s death. However, as Anastasia begins sorting through the contents of the suitcase, she discovers a letter revealing a fifty-year-old secret, one that unearths a long-buried scandal and unleashes a killer. Suddenly Anastasia is back in sleuthing mode as she races to prevent a suitcase full of trouble from leading to more deaths.

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