When I was in college I worked part-time at the Provo Craft Warehouse, pulling and packing orders for craft stores around the country. (My claim to fame was pulling product for more orders in one four hour shift than any other employee ever had! They even bought me an ice cream cake to celebrate. To this day, it remains one of my proudest achievements…) Anyway, way back then (1997), the scrapbooking section only took up a tiny portion of the warehouse and consisted of die cuts, letter stickers, and a few basic paper packs. A couple of my sisters had started scrapbooking by then, and I couldn’t believe how much money they “wasted” on this hobby. In fact, after I got married in 1999 I informed my new sisters-in-law that I would never, ever scrapbook.
Four years later I was living in Memphis, TN, thousands of miles away from my family, and pregnant with monoamniotic twins, which is a rare and extremely high risk situation. (Twins that share an amniotic sac = umbilical cords get tied in knots which can cause a sudden loss of blood to one or both fetuses) Long story short, I found out I would be spending seven weeks in the hospital prior to giving birth so that the babies could be monitored every few hours. Seven weeks in the hospital! Luckily, I love to read (which means I can’t go more than a day or two between books), but even I don’t want to sit around reading all day every day.
So my sisters and my mom sent me some scrapbooking supplies and I found the box that held my wedding pictures and the pictures I had of my oldest son Jack, who was two at the time. I checked into the hospital with my pillow, clothes (I refused to wear a hospital gown and made the most hilarious pair of striped maternity jammies you’ve ever seen), a bunch of books, a box of mix tapes I’d made, and my scrapbooking supplies: some cardstock and patterned paper, two pens, ten packs of letter stickers, glue sticks, and deco scissors of every variety. And I started slapping pages together every morning while I waited for my unbearably awful breakfast and watched reruns of Dawson’s Creek (I didn't get very many channels at the hospital).
This is not my first page, but it is the first one I remember feeling really proud of. I designed that cake and cut that paper frosting out all by myself!
So after the babies and I made it home safe and sound from the hospital, I saw that a scrapbook store had opened up right next to Walmart, where it felt like I was spending half my life buying diapers. I moseyed on in, not sure whether I was even planning to keep scrapbooking. And that’s when I found Cathy Zielske’s first book, Clean and Simple Scrapbooking. I remember dragging my husband back to the store to show it to him, telling him this is what I wanted to be doing.
So I started scraplifting Cathy, and that’s when I started really loving this hobby.
I scraplifted for a while, until I felt like I had a good idea of the style I most enjoyed. I also realized what I liked most was keeping track of and writing down the stories of my family’s life. I used to start with pictures that I thought needed to be down on a page. Now I almost never begin a page until I know what story I want to tell with the pictures I have.
And with the addition of our fourth son last summer, the stories (and pictures) just keep coming. I can't tell you how much fun it is to have baby pictures to scrapbook again!