Fervent scrapbookers are glued to the pages
Serious scrapbookers like Houghtailing often carry their supplies in rolling cases or bags on wheels.
In the past nine years, she has made about 35 albums, most of them detailing her life chronologically. There are pages of a lunar eclipse, a trip to a Seahawks game with her dad, cutting down a Christmas tree with family. She has two scrapbooks devoted to her wedding day and two more on preparing for it.
For Christmas last year, she made her father an album, because he'd lost many of his photos in a house fire.
But it wasn't until recently that the tables were turned. "A friend gave me a scrapbook as a gift this year and it reduced me to tears," she said. "I'd never been on the receiving end before.
"Houghtailing, who lives in Orting, estimates that it costs her about $150 to finish an album. Her friends call her the "do-over queen," a perfectionist who fixes crooked edges or changes a layout she doesn't like.
Scrapbooking has changed the way she looks at the world and how she takes pictures. She sees goofy details that others wouldn't notice -- such as a 1963 Alcatraz menu frozen in time, featuring stewed fruit.
"If a picture's not good, I cut it out. If my hips look too wide, it's out of there," said Houghtailing, who double-mats her photos.
Her husband, Kip, supports her hobby, mainly because he once told her it would never take as much time as his -- hunting and fishing.
Houghtailing buys her albums through a company called Creative Memories, which sells supplies through a sales force much the way Tupperware or Avon products are sold.
Wanda Ficker, a unit leader for Creative Memories, said there are about 1,800 consultants in Washington state alone. Like many, Ficker hosts a weekly "cropping circle" of friends called "crop till you drop.
"Nancy Fredlund, a consultant who works under Ficker, said she started scrapbooking nearly a decade ago when she wanted to mark her 30th wedding anniversary.
"People want to have that connection to the past," she said. "For me, I know when I'm gone, these albums will be there for my kids to pass on.
"It seems that because of that desire for connection between generations, scrapbooking continues to grow steadily.