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I used to be a scrapbooking maven... but haven't had time in a few years. I hope to get back to it after our move - we shall see.
Great place to start is a kit. Even the WalMart kits will work, but do check places like Hobby Lobby and/or Michaels. Their stuff will be of better quality, and most of us enjoy using materials other than just paper.
Things you need to start:
+ An album, with page protectors
+ A stack of cardstock, plain colors in whatever shades you like
+ A stack of patterned paper, to match the cardstock.
+ Embellishments - kits come with paper ones, or you can make them, and there are all sorts of fun things for purchase to add to your pages
+ Adhesive - try double sided Scotch photo tape to start. It's cheap, easily refillable because it's easy to find, and you can figure out what you like with all the fancy stuff later.
+ A good pair of scissors
+ Really would recommend a paper trimmer, though you can get away with just the scissors and a ruler at first. Even a cheap office supply section trimmer will make the experience more enjoyable though!
+ At least one good quality pen, in black. Colors optional. ZIG is a great brand, available everywhere. This is for writing down the stories that go with the pictures - one of the most important parts of scrapping! Don't forget to write down who's in the pic, where and when it happened, and what was going on. The whole purpose of preserving memories is to know what the pic is about even 20 years from now.
Something fun - google "scrapbook sketch" and see what all sorts of page ideas you can find to help you get started. Pagemaps.com is a popular one with hundreds of drawings to help you lay out your page just right! If you find you enjoy it, since you're obviously interested in online communities, there are lots of scrapbooking boards out there with tons of ideas and even give-aways.
Soon I'll pick this back up! At the moment... I've got to PACK it up!
Much thanks to Alethia for my beautiful siggie and tags!!