Billed as the most complete guide to scrapbooking ever published, Encyclopedia of Scrapbooking, edited by Tracy White, has page after page of eye-appealing photos from actual scrapbooks in addition to step-by-step instructions for creating your own beautiful memory book pages. If you're a beginner, you may want to skip ahead to the chapters on mini books, gift albums and cards. These are smaller, relatively quick projects, but they can get you started working with the materials and techniques described throughout the book and used in more ambitious scrapbooking projects.

Many seemingly difficult techniques are demystified here, such as transferring images to a variety of surfaces including fabric, cardstock, tags and mica and creating dimensional effects with special glues and glazes. Weddings, anniversaries, a summer vacation, prom night and, of course, the early stages of a child's life, can all be chronicled creatively in the pages of a scrapbook, with memorabilia and whimsy complementing the photos. According to the Encyclopedia, the popularity of scrapbooks dates to the 1800s. Author Mark Twain got involved in the trend when he invented a product called Mark Twain's Adhesive Scrapbook, which had prepasted pages. We may live in more hectic times, but we can still capture our special moments by preserving them in scrapbooks.

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