A Scrap Over Scrapbooks
By Linda Fantin | NEWSWEEK
Nov 12, 2007 Issue
If scrapbooking conjures up images of kindly suburban women passing pictures around the kitchen table, then you don’t know the modern hobby. Outraged scrapbookers recently forced the industry’s top magazine, Creating Keepsakes, to strip a New York woman of its coveted Hall of Fame title after readers noticed a photo credit on one of her layouts. The rules require all entries to be the “sole work” of contestants. But while Kristina Contes admits that she made a mistake, she blames “petty, jealous women” for bullying contest officials into disqualifying her work. “I mean, it’s not like I stole someone’s boyfriend,” says the 28-year-old restaurateur. “This isn’t high school.”
But it is a cutthroat business. Scrappers spent $2.6 billion on supplies last year, according to the Craft & Hobby Association, and one in four households contains a scrapbooker, making it more popular than golf. The Hall of Fame award can bring celebrity status, TV appearances and teaching jobs. After Contes declined to return her title voluntarily, irate hobbyists smeared her on blogs and threatened to flood her restaurant with fake reservations. “The b–––h doesn’t have a moral bone in her body,” wrote a commenter on the Scrap Smack blog. Over on the Creating Keepsakes Web site, angry readers cried cover-up and threatened boycotts when editors deleted unkind comments about the company from the site’s discussion boards. “I wanted an explanation,” says Noell Hyman, who was among the first to question Contes’s work. She got more than that: Contes and another woman whose work was questioned have been replaced in the 25-member Hall of Fame class for 2007. “Women prove time and again that they are ridiculous, vile creatures,” says Contes. She plans to retreat from the scissors-and-glue game—but she’ll always have the memories.
© Newsweek, Inc.
Note: Article copied unedited from www.newsweek.com; Comments were edited for ease of reading.
Here are just two of the many, many comments left by readers of the article:
Posted By: JAREDHARLEM @ 11/05/2007 1:28:03 PM
Comment: THIS WAS NOT A PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST…
…really that is what needs to be discussed. Without other people’s artwork and photographs, their would be no scrapbooking business. The time and thought and love that goes into adding the buttons and ribbons and gluing the paper and stickers and this and that; that is where the work lies. The least amount of work is the taking of the photo. Without all the other stuff it would just be a photo in a plain old album that nobody looks at. Regardless of who took the photo the work is the final page. We don’t give credit to the guy who made the paint that Michaelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel with but to the finished work. I think that in such a small community, you scrappers, who have only emerged recently, and mostly women, would be more compassionate and supportive of each others work and not be so cut throat and evil.
And on a side note:
ALL PUBLICITY IS GOOD PUBLICITY
So while most of your artwork has never been see you can be sure that Kristi’s piece was seen by everyone.
Posted By: jodie.s @ 11/05/2007 8:25:50 PM
Comment: Whether or not you like the rules, or agree with them, is irrelevent. These scrappers entered the contest, signed affadavits that the work was their own and used the photos of professionals. The quest for subsribers and other contestants to have the rules equally applied is not being jealous, vindictive or vile. It is making the playing field even and making sure everyone has the same advantages.
And, Jared, you are right. Photography is the “least work” in scrapbooking. Especially when you use someone else’s photos.
Here is a LINK TO THE ARTICLE if you would like to read all the comments.
Back when all of this was fresh news, I heard people talking on blogs and mb’s about notifying the major media about the HOF issues. I never dreamed it would rate an article on such a major online site. But then again, with the way it makes the scrapbooking community sound like we all populate Wisteria Lane, I can see the article’s mass appeal. Me! Me! Me! Can I be Bree?!?! I’m kinda uptight like that anyway. What are your thoughts on the article? Which Housewife would you like to be?