Deiha Torin

Memory Keeper

    A full family photo album is a nice way to preserve memories, but what about the stories behind the snapshots? How old was she when she blew out the candles on that pink ballerina cake? Just why was he making that funny face? And whose brilliant idea was it to go camping out in the middle of nowhere anyway?
    Scrapbooking was born out of a desire to bring photos to life by making them multi-dimensional - combining them with words, texture, and mementos that help complete the scene. Deiha Torin has been scrapbooking for more than 10 years, a hobby she began when her first daughter was born.
    "I went to Michael's with a friend one day and we just happened to stumble on all the supplies," said Deiha, whose imagination was immediately sparked. "I thought it would be a very creative outlet so we started looking at the magazines and visiting all the local stores that were popping up as the hobby began to grow."
    In addition to the "embellishments" that are sold specifically for scrapbooking - special papers, ribbons, buttons, beads, stickers, brads, stamps, etc.- Deiha also includes memorabilia such as newspaper clippings and movie stubs. The pages of her albums illustrate everything from the mundane (like when the dogs chewed through the wall) to the novel (like that February day when it was warm enough for the kids to play in the sprinklers) to the inspiring (like when her son received the Governor's award and went to Columbia to meet the governor). Vacations, holidays, milestones and everyday events are all recorded, as well as more personal insights and reflections.
    "Scrapbooking can be a good therapy, a way to deal with different issues," said Deiha, who says she will often hide her most intimate journal entries behind photos. "My daughter has MS, so there are pages about her struggle. You can get those feelings out on paper; even if it's hard for you to say, it's there for the person to read."
    Deiha eventually found scrapbooking such a rewarding practice that she formed a group with several other women who had this interest in common. Jamie Danford, Kristine Seinz and Jill Raines have been getting together with Deiha for several years now, in particular during their periodic getaways to a cabin at Big Water on the Santee.
    "We said 'Let's go away for the weekend,' because you know, 12 hours of scrapbooking wasn't enough; we had to do 56 hours straight," jokes Deiha. But the trip was an instant hit, and now they can't wait to get away and spend a weekend scrapbooking, eating, talking, sitting on the beach and watching the complete set of Sex and the City DVDs.
    "You share your personal problems and struggles as well as your happy moments," said Deiha of the close-knit group. "We noticed last time we got together that each of us had gone through a major life change-moving or having surgery or getting married-so it's neat to see how we grow. But every time we get together it's like we'd seen each other only yesterday."

Up Close

Hometown: Hanover, PA Profession: director of Island Lutheran Preschool for eight years Family includes: husband, Marc and kids Contessa, 13 and Winston, 9 Hobbies: gardening, maintaining her scrapbooking blogs and being a Girl Scout troop leader Average amount of time it takes her to complete one page: 1-2 hours Guilty pleasure: brownies Wish: to take some classes and become a better photographer How she's passing on knowledge of her craft: besides getting her own kids involved, she also ran a scrapbooking and photography camp attended by 75 Girl Scouts last summer