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Archive | June 18, 2009

On Princess Diana, CHA and Scrapbooking

First, I’m going to start off by telling you about how I got started scrapbooking – about the first scrapbook that I ever made. Then, I’ll tell you how it relates to CHA.

When I was in elementary school, my father took an overseas job transfer that sent our family to live in Wales. Yes, I mean that Wales – the one made famous by the heir to the British throne and his bride Diana Spencer. We lived there from 1979 until 1983.

So in July 1981, when the royal wedding of the 20th century took place, I was a starry-eyed 10-year-old girl living at the very epicenter of it all, believing that I was seeing that fairytales really did come true. Diana was my role model, my fairytale princess. I watched every minute of the BBC’s royal wedding coverage from early in the morning, and devoured the newspaper stories about Diana and her big day.

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I couldn’t bear to just throw out the beautiful pictures and stories chronicling this important event that were in the newspaper! (Although looking back now, their print quality was horrible compared to newspapers today.) I carefully and painstakingly clipped and cut…and glued…and put them into three construction paper page scrapbooks. Later, when Prince William was born, more carefully clipped pictures and articles were added to my scrapbook.

They weren’t artistic, and they certainly weren’t archivally safe. But because of a little girl’s adoration of a fairytale princess who turned out to not live so happily ever after, they were my introduction to scrapbooking.

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In later years my introduction to the hobby that we know as modern scrapbooking was prompted by my love of photography (which started during my family’s European travels) and the desire to do something with my photographs.

People come to scrapbooking because of a desire to preserve or record something, and what that is is different for each person. We should never forget that as we try to figure out how to bring more people into scrapbooking. Too often the scrapbook industry tries to pigeonhole or categorize people into narrow definitions of who scrapbookers are. Instead we should be broadening our vision of what scrapbooking is and who scrapbookers are.

If we focus too hard on our “typical” customers, it won’t be long before those people are our only customers.

(How fitting that I’m using my Diana scrapbook as part of an article that calls for more inclusion in the scrapbook industry, since she spent so much of her life reaching out to people excluded by society.)

And where does CHA fit into this? If you are attending CHA next month and are a fan of Princess Diana’s like me, I have something to add to your sightseeing list while you are in Orlando. It’s just been announced that “Diana – The People’s Princess,” an exhibit of royal artifacts, will be opening in early July at Downtown Disney West Side in the former Virgin Records Megastore building. (Diana fans may remember that Virgin owner Richard Branson was a close friend of hers, but I’m not sure if that is coincidence with the housing of the exhibition or not.)

The exhibit includes one of the largest collections ever assembled of Diana’s dresses, and a large collection of memorabilia. It benefits The People’s Princess Charitable Foundation. Admission is $14.50 for adults and the hours will be 11am-11pm daily. For more information, visit The Disney Blog.

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