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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Smashing Defined…Sorta

I’ve been getting lots of comments asking and guessing about Smashing/Smash Books.  I am NOT an authority here, but I’m glad to explain my use of the idea!

First a little background. My first acquaintance with Smash books was the video promoting the Smash Book line by K&Company on a blog back in early 2011.  The SMASH line was first released by K&Company in the spring of 2011. That’s the video I saw on my blog post I Want To Get Smashed from the end of last month. I loved the idea from the video, but since I’m a digital scrapbooker, it was an idea I put away in the back of my brain in case I ever wanted to use it.

Both of my Grandmothers had books done in a similar way. Noni’s photo albums included newspaper clippings, invitations and prayer cards mixed in with her photos and they weren’t in the strict chronological order mine are. There were lots of comments and dates and it was obvious what eras the items belonged to. Grandma had a serious smash book of the 1940s with pictures and words cut out of magazines; pictures of things she liked or wanted and inspiring, happy words. They weren’t arranged as elegant pages, just happy pages; things she wanted to see and think about. I didn’t keep that book and now I’m really wishing I had! It’s really not any different than my great-grandmother’s Bible that has passages underlined and photos, cards and clipping in between the pages. All of them are personal books that bring peace and smiles. This past spring, Tori made a similar style book for a friend to the one Grandma had made. It was a remembrance for a friend who was going to a different college.
SMASH Stick is felt tip pen on one end and glue stick on the other

Today’s SMASH Book by K&Company is pretty much the same thing. All right, no, it’s not a Bible, but you can write or paste in Bible verses if that is a part of what makes you feel good. You could make your smash book a bold and full personal devotional book. What a smash book is, is totally custom to the person making it; there is no set way, there are no rules. The book itself can be a theme, for instance there is a wedding themed smash book which can hold planning notes, cards, photos, favors, receipts, personal thoughts jotted down with the SMASH stick; all of your wedding mementos. Or just use your smash book to hold random thoughts, a funny cartoon or drawing, inspirational quotes and some things you’d like to buy in the next year. Google Smash Book and look at the images; endless ideas!

But you don’t have to buy the official SMASH books to Smash. As I said, Noni “smashed” in her old black paper photo album and Grandma “smashed” on very nice writing paper. Mums “smashed” in her most used and treasured Bible. 

Smashing used as a craft verb is something I’ve read on several blogs where people have talked about Smash Books. It’s like one scraps when putting together a scrapbook, one smashes when putting things in a smash book. The actual difference between scrapbooking and smash booking is organization. Scrapbook pages are carefully planned out. They utilize matching papers and embellishments with photos and sometimes ephemera to create the page as a work of art in and of itself bringing a memory to life through the photos and journaling. A smash book relies on the tactile items as they connect to memories with some or a lot of journaling and elements. The pages don’t have to be laid out artistically, as they say “just smash it in.”

Now, most of the visitors at The Chronicles of Nani are the creative types. I think that’s where smash and scrap blur a little. We just can’t glue something into a book without something that makes it unique, artsy. Back to the “no rules” clause. Anything you do with a smash book is right. To me, especially after seeing books that Noni and Grandma kept, in the USA and Italy 50+ years ago, Smash books are “back to basics.” It’s the culmination of scrapbooks, art journals, devotionals and trinket boxes all in one and with the concept of the original scrapbooks long before they were an art form. They’re a great way for someone who is busy to keep their memories, a wonderful book of the most special things and a central place for all the little mementos that are too small for a major presentation but too sweet to dispose of and forget. In a way, smash books are like the Blog Friday Fragments many of us do each week with Half Past Kissin Time!

So Nani and smash books. You’ll remember in that original post I did about smashing, 181 baseball ticket stubs. I’m not throwing out my baseball ticket stubs! But in cleaning through things to unearth my craft room, the woman cave, I realized there were other things, I have concert tickets, jokes I printed, inspirational quotes, cards and little bits of personal ephemera from things I’ve done and places I’ve been. When I dropped that envelope with all my baseball ticket stubs and had to put them back in order, the memory of the smash books hit me. I also had a ton of paper scrapbooking supplies that I’m not using anymore, so it all kind of fell together.

I’d like to share some of the Smash Archive book. It goes to the end of ish2004. I say “ish2004” because while 2004 is the stopping point of this book, the beginning isn’t so defined.  I started in 1966, but I have some photos and mementos from my grandparents. They are things that a part of me and make me smile, even if I couldn’t possibly have been there for them!

For the cover, I used a three-ring binder that I had in a retro-looking aqua. I titled it with some stickers I had in my scrapbooking stash. I think I’m going to use a plastic dust cover on it or replace those stickers with ones that stick better. The cover is a work in progress.

I made a “smash band” for holding the book closed, thereby protecting the pages, by using an extra-long rubber band with a smiley clip from my office supplies.

You see from the first page that I’m not dwelling on layout as much as placement. I want to make sure things fit on the page, its okay if they overlap a little, it’s okay if they don’t. Things don’t have to be related but I have to be able to read and see the pictures. I did add the Best Friends sticker to the picture of me with John, Kelly and Scotty. That written piece in the corner is my personal mission statement from many years ago and my signature. I have a few things I’d handwritten because I want to remember how legible my handwriting and printing used to be now that MS has robbed me of my penmanship

As you can see, it’s a blocked page of special little things; a bookmark, top of an M&M box, photo of Mom, a Cracker Jack prize baseball card, ticket from World Of Coke in Atlanta and a printed on paper photo of Eric Karros in Dodger Blue, purrrr! ;) That photo was from about a decade before I met my husband!

Remember the whole inspiration was the baseball ticket stubs:

SO much better than scattered on the floor!

And this one is M&Ms. I collect M&Ms and bought all kinds of M&Ms scrapbook stuff, but I never had any reason to scrap using M&Ms stuff. Now it doesn’t matter; I can smash the M&Ms in anywhere!

So there’s the peek at what and how I’ve smashed so far. I know me and can already see the desire to do some different things, so I’m sure my style here will change and grow which is why I wanted to smash the older items first, so they are represented by my older smashing style. It’s just like with my scrapbooks; I won’t go back and redo my older digital pages, although my skill level is much better now because the skill level where I started is part of a memory too.


Edna B said...

Thank you for explaining what th smashing is about and showing us photos of your smashbook. From what I can see, they are simply what us old folks always called "scrap books". They've just given it a new name, which of course, will send folks out to buy supplies to continue on with their scrapping. Photo albums used to hold our photos, and scrap books held our mementos along with a few photos. There's an old saying "Nothing is new, things just keep re-cycling". Now I'm off to start the Mrs' breakfast. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

jen @ grown in southern ground said...

love the idea of a smashbook!

Ronalyn Wentz said...

I used to do this with the "old fashion" photo albums that had the sticky backing.

I have all of my concert stubs, flyers & guitar picks in them. I also did something like this for Dan when we were dating.

This was way before scrapbooking of today was popular. It was scrapbooking in the day.

I'm going to check out this smash book product.