Friday, February 26, 1999    


A Scrapbooking Fairy Tale

By:Carol Colman

Once upon a time there was a woman named Carol who had so many pictures in shoeboxes that she didn't know what to do. Carol grew up without knowing much about her family's history; her parents came of age during the hard times of the depression and never spoke about their childhoods or their pasts. Her mother had given her all of the old family photographs - some from before she was born, some from her own childhood, and some of grandparents and family friends she never knew. She knew that she wanted to do something special with these pictures, but nothing seemed quite right.

Carol had a daughter, a sweet, smart, and charming girl named Zoe. Carol wanted Zoe to know everything about her family history so that she would be able to pass the information along to her own children someday. Then, one day, her fairy godmother (in the form of a Creative Memories Consultant named Sabine) introduced her to scrapbooking, and suddenly everything fell into place.

For Carol, scrapbooking provided a way to tie everything together - preserving photographs, writing, and documenting family history. The idea of cropping photographs demonstrated how she could keep the best parts of things and cut away the mistakes (such as her first husband) and the unimportant parts - an important principle that she is learning to apply to life in general. In addition, by using the tools and design principles of scrapbooking, she discovered talents and creativity that she never knew that she had. Her first scrapbook, an ABC book for her daughter, was so good that her CMC took pictures of it to use as an example. Her husband Steven took pride in her achievement and loved showing everyone the album; this made her feel wonderful.

Her experience with scrapbooking led to her interest in stamping, watercolors, and other art forms - despite her having been told as a child that she had no artistic talent, her own eyes told her otherwise; this gave her strength and confidence. As a result, she found the courage to make a major career change, and found a new job with a better company that makes her happier and keeps her life more in balance.

The other major contribution that scrapbooking made to Carol's life was to introduce her to some of the warmest, wisest, funniest, and most caring women in the world - her online friends at dMarie. Carol lurks more than she participates, but reading the bulletin boards helped her through some hard times, and provided perspectives that helped to enrich her life.

For example, Carol was touched by Sarah Saint's idea that ladybugs brought her comfort after the loss of her son. When Carol's mother died a short time ago, Carol was having a hard time coping with the loss. When she arrived home after the funeral, she saw a ladybug over her door. She smiled through her tears and said, "Hi, Mom." Without being led to the internet through scrapbooking, she never would have found that source of comfort.

Carol is grateful for the many ways that scrapbooking has enriched her life, and will enrich the life of her family. It is helping her to live happily ever after. I know, because I am Carol.

Tomorrow at dMarie Daily: It's because I need to, by Cindy N.

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