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‘Booking’ A Date With Memories

Saturday, December 22, 2012    

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LEAVING her banking career behind, Kara-Sue Sweeney found quiet joy and “peace of mind” as she puts it, as a scrapbook consultant. Crunching numbers had grown routine for her. She considers herself an analytical person, she told the Observer. “This is one of the things you discover later in life I never would have considered myself a creative person [but scrapbooking] is more pleasing and pleasant on my my mind and it is a hobby that has morphed into a business.”

We made acquaintance with the Jamaican-born Sweeney last Saturday at Chronicles, a gift/stationery/full-service document centre located in Manor Park, where she was conducting an in-store scrapbooking session.

But what exactly is scrapbooking anyway?

“It really is just the art of preserving your photographic memories,” she informed.

Sweeney added: “Everybody takes pictures at graduations, weddings, of new babies or at Christmas. Then you just stick the pictures in a box where they get all yellow or just leave them on your hard drive and then when it crashes, you are reduced to tears.”

Scrapbooking, she explained, is a great help in journalling memories.

Sweeney — a self-professed obsessive-complusive personality who admits to snapping hundreds of pictures of her daughter — discovered scrapbooking while living in Florida, where she was recruited by a representative from Creative Memories, a company that is to scrapbooking what Avon is to make-up.

“I was a consultant for that company so I would host parties and have people over from my church or the parents of my daughter’s friends and they would buy products through me — albums, stickers, papers, all the tools to start scrapbooking,” she explained.

Back home in Jamaica, Sweeney (who is also a fitness trainer) offers her services to persons interested in documenting weddings, anniversaries, christenings, or other life milestones.

What does she see as the usefulness of scrapbooking?

“I know that my memory is not so great and when I look back, for instance, at my daughter's baby book, I remember things that I didn't even remember. So I think that scrapbooking does a good job of bringing to mind the things you want to remember — you want to remember graduation, you want to remember the birth of your child, or how you felt the night before your wedding; those things you might think you are going to remember them, but five, 20 years from now, memory fades,” Sweeney noted. All the more reason to consider scrapbooking those extra special moments.

If you’re interested in having Kara-Sue Sweeney assist in scrapbooking your photo memories (for a possible Christmas gift to a loved one or friend), e-mail her at ksuesweeney@gmail.com or call 791-7533.

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