Noteworthy 2010 ... My Commonplace Book

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

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If I were to describe myself to someone who didn't know me ... 'scrapbooker' would NOT be one of the words I'd use.  When I hear the word 'scrapbooker' I conjure up an image of a crazy haired, frazzled woman, surrounded by piles and piles of pictures, and paper, and scrapbooks, and pages, and glue, and gunk, and a desk overflowing with ... stuff!  No offense to the scrapbookers out there ... but this is the image that I conjure up! 

I'm a scrapbooker ... but I'm SO NOT the kind of scrapbooker that we generally think of today.  I went to the wikipedia and looked up scrapbooker.  Here is what it said in the first paragraph:

"Scrapbooking is a method for preserving personal and family history in the form of photographs, printed media, and memorabilia contained in decorated albums, or scrapbooks. The idea of keeping printed materials of personal interest probably dates to shortly after the invention of printing. This trend is probably similar for photographs."

I kept reading.  (While highlighting my favorite parts in blue)

"With the advent of affordable paper, precursors to modern scrapbooks became available to a wider array of people. Beginning in the 15th century, commonplace books, popular in England, emerged as a way to compile information that included recipes, quotes, letters, poems and more. Each commonplace book was unique to its creator's particular interests.  Friendship albums became popular in the 16th century. These albums were used much like modern day yearbooks, where friends or patrons would enter their names, titles and short texts or illustrations at the request of the album's owner."

I clicked on the commonplace book link and was taken here (for those of you who like history):

"Commonplace books (or commonplaces) were a way to compile knowledge, usually by writing information into books.

"Commonplace" is a translation of the Latin term locus communis which means "a theme or argument of general application", such as a statement of proverbial wisdom. In this original sense, commonplace books were collections of such sayings, such as John Milton's commonplace book. Scholars have expanded this usage to include any manuscript that collects material along a common theme by an individual.

Such books were essentially scrapbooks filled with items of every kind: medical recipes, quotes, letters, poems, tables of weights and measures, proverbs, prayers, legal formulas. Commonplaces were used by readers, writers, students, and humanists as an aid for remembering useful concepts or facts they had learned. Each commonplace book was unique to its creator's particular interests."

Then I looked for definitions of 'commonplace book':

commonplace book


a book in which noteworthy quotations, comments, etc., are written.


commonplace book  
n.  A personal journal in which quotable passages, literary excerpts, and comments are written.

Main Entry:commonplace book
Part of Speech:noun
Definition:memorabilia notebook


adversaria, diary, journal, memo book, memorandum book

WOW!  This SO describes what I do!  I compile books that are unique to my personal interests.  My books contain quotes, notes, recipes, page clippings, notes from my kids, notes to my kids, and all of that wonderful 'stuff' that I love!  If I had to give my books a theme they would simply be 'everyday life'. 

I'm sharing all of this information with you because I want to share parts of my book on this blog . . . this year.  I want to show you another way to scrapbook . . . another way to capture and celebrate life.  You may even be inspired to jump in and start your own book.

For this project here's what I HAVE to have to start:

1.  3-Ring Binder.  I typically use a Kolo Album (because I love them).  I haven't unpacked these yet from our move last year and I can't find the box so I'm using an American Crafts album instead.  I don't use post albums for this kind of project because I need the freedom to easily move pages around AND to add 'stuff' to the book.

My binder is 8 1/2 x 11.  I'm really not into 12x12.  The albums are WAAAAAY to big for me and I don't enjoy hauling them around.  You can use whatever you wish.  Smaller works well also. 

2.  Page Protectors.  I start with a pack and add as I go. 

3.  Reinforcement Labels.  For pages I create that don't go into page protectors.

Now that I've found my album I'm ready to start my book!  Yes, I HAD to have the album before I could start.  That's how OCD I am!  I knew I wanted to use More Mimi a lot in this album so really I've just been waiting to find the album . . . you know . . .  the one that 'I'll know it when I see it!'. 

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I will be sharing pages I add to my album that's why I wanted to share so much history and information about it.  I think this is something you'd LOVE to do!  Especially if you're NOT a typical scrapbooker ... like me.  So get a book ... and let's get started!

Happy Paper Crafting!


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  1. Holy Cow, who put that "scrapbooker" picture in your head! :) All the scrappers I know are so organized and great planners, they make me feel like the frazzled , fly by the seat of my pants girl!! I love this idea and look forward to see what you do with it! TFS all the history too, I love that kind of stuff! :)

  2. Awesome post! Can't wait to see what you do with it.

  3. I'd love to see what you've done with this this year!!