Preserving memories

"Kim Durland’s business caters to a new trend in preserving the past.Scrapbooks have been around for a long time in one form or another, but recently a growing number of people have gotten into “scrapbooking” as a serious hobby.In fact, a 1998 consumer study by the Hobby Industry Association lists scrapbooking as one of the most popular pastimes in the nation and the fastest growing hobby.Durland caught on early in the trend. She started her scrapbook supply store, Patchwork Memories, three years ago in Oak Harbor. Since then, the store has grown so much that she’s had to relocate three times before settling down at the Pioneer Way location.A scrapbook, she said, is essentially a book of memories represented with images. Most books consist of photographs artfully displayed with captions explaining who and what is in the photo. Scrapbook are often about a specific event, like a wedding or a trip, or they can document a family’s lifetime together.“For some people, it becomes a history of their lives,” she said. “They do it so someday their kids, grandkids and future generations can see what they were doing and who they were.”The trend makes sense. Each day nearly 50 million pictures are taken by Americans, according to Creating Keepsakes magazines, and people want to do something with all those photographs.Durland said she’s been making scrapbook for as long as she can remember, but she got into it seriously about eight years. She said she suffered some disappointments with photographs that deteriorated with age, ink bleed-through and baby books that simply fell apart.Apart from telling a story, scrapbooks also help to preserve photographs. Durland said all the supplies at Patchwork Memories — right down to the glue and tape — are photo-safe, which means they don’t contain acids that can discolor and destroy photos over time.But most importantly, Durland said scrapbooks put photographs in a format that is interesting to anyone. Photos in a scrapbook come alive instead of sitting untouched or forgotten in a closet somewhere. “It can be real simple or real elaborate,” she said. “It’s all up to you.”Durland offers scrapbookers an amazing number of artistic options and ideas at her store. There’s over 1,000 different stickers, a rainbow of paper, a wall of scissors that cut in decorative patterns, a die cut machine, adhesives, pens, paper and photo cutters, and of course, scrapbook albums.Most of her customers are women, but Durland said there are also many families, teenagers and some men who are into making scrapbooks. It’s especially popular in Oak Harbor, she said, partly because of the Navy community. She said people often send finished scrapbook pages to family in other parts of the country or to spouses away on deployment.In addition, she said a renewed interest in genealogy has spurred some people to make scrapbooks. Some have compiled ancient family photographs with what information they could find. Others are documenting their own lives for future generations. Scrapbooking can be a social hobby. Durland said she holds several classes on the subject at her shop — including an all day Scrap-a-Thon — or people can stop by and make their scrapbooks at the store.The business also has a Web site, at, and Durland said she’s working on a catalog, which is a request from Navy customers.“Scrapbooking is getting to be more popular across the nation,” she said, “but in some places it’s still hard to find supplies.”"

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