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For week ended February 06, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Summarized by Joyce H Feustel

Scrapbook Craze Seen As Mormon
Sacramento CA Bee 1Feb00 D6
By Carlos Alcala: Bee Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA -- Fans say "It's a cult. It's an addiction. It's a drain on family budgets." Scrapbooking has come from nowhere to be one of the biggest hobbies in America since 1997 when it made its first appearance at an industry trade show.

Scrapbooking is more than putting photos on scrapbook pages. Its practitioners, take photo pages and embellish them with stickers, paper lettering, construction paper frames, stencils, cut-outs, glitter paper, textured edges -- and a lot more. Scrapbookers transform snapshots into something that, at times, approaches art.

"I thought, 'This is the stupidest thing in the world,'" said Robin Greenslade, 18 months after she attended her first party. "The next thing I knew, I was addicted. She calls it "the new age version of Tupperware." Parties are held at the home of a "consultant" who sells supplies.

"Most scrapbooks reflect family milestones -- weddings, births, vacations, graduations, sports accomplishments -- but they can be about anything. Scrapbookers see themselves as heirloom creators and keepers of memories. Most work with acid-free paper to make sure the books will last generations.

Because it is also important to members of the Mormon Church, many tie scrapbooking to the church and to Utah, according to a Hobby Industry Association official.

"It's not an official program of the church, but it's an understandable outgrowth of our beliefs in maintaining family history," said Dale Bills, a church spokesman in Salt Lake City

"It's an addiction. It's like a high. It's a rush," said Tamara Sortman, who started a business, Scrapramento, which is now exclusively online. Sortman's high comes from the equipment: She's the one with 389 punches, "and more to come."

About 20 percent of American households had someone scrapbooking in 1998, says Susan Brandt, spokeswoman for the Hobby Industry Association. The industry has grown by $50 million a year. "Hot!" she said. "It's very hot!"


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