Thursday, April 24, 2003    



By:Randi Albertsen

Scrapbooking has changed my life. When I was pregnant with my first child, one of the teachers I worked with gave me a gift of scrapbook supplies. This was 6 years ago, and the industry was still new. She gave my an 8.5 x 11 binder, a zig marker, some decorative scissors, paper, sheet protectors, some stickers, and a fiskars booklet. I had no idea what to do with the stuff. I'd never seen it before, but as a Kindergarten teacher, I was used to cutting and pasting. Still, my son was 4 weeks premature, and I wasn't mentally ready to be a mom. Somehow, 36 weeks of preparation wasn't enough! I was overwhelmed with my new role as a mom, so the stuff sat on my dining room table for a few months.

I finally got tired of looking at the stuff, that I still didn't know what to do with. So, what's a perfectionist to do, but go to the local MJDesigns and check out what else was out there. Here, I found a wider array of supplies, and more ideas, and the premiere issue of Creating Keepsakes.I couldn't leave the store empty handed, so I scooped up some more paper, stickers, markers, and the CK, and then all that stuff sat on my dining room table for another month.

Then one day, I decided that I should just jump in, and do something with the dozens of photos I had of my new baby. From the moment I sat down with all my pictures and paper spread out on the table, I knew I was doing the right thing. It was so exciting to coordinate pictures and paper and stickers and stuff. By now, I had put together several pages, and of course, had to go out and get more stuff. A few FM kits, a paper cutter, more scissors, more magazines, and die cuts. It was like I was back in the classroom, only this time, I was doing something for my family, not my students.

It was so fulfilling to record my thoughts about parenthood, my baby, my childhood, and my marriage. I couldn't wait to show my husband and my friends my new creations. My husband was so impressed, he took my scrapbook into work to show his customers and sales team. I was so excited, I took my book back to school when I went to visit my old teammates. I wanted to thank the teacher that gave my the gift of supplies, and ask her what kind of pages she created. When I saw her, she told me she doesn't scrapbook, doesn't know anything about, but saw the stuff and thought it looked neat. I couldn't believe it! Of course, I had to thank her for introducing me to the most addicting, expensive habit!

I now have 3 children, and scapbooking supplies and styles have changed dramatically. My pages are so much more focused then they were 6 years ago. The difference is, I see even more value in my work now than I did when I started. I love watching my kids look through their albums. Seeing the joy on their faces as I read the stories and notes to them is priceless. And being able to have a creative outlet as a mom gives me the satisfaction I had as a teacher to be able to put ideas on paper and share with others. Scrapbooking is so fulfilling on so many different levels, but being able to record for posterity the ups and downs of life is one of the best and most valuable ways I can give something to my children. For this, I am eternally grateful. If not for that first gift of stuff I was given, my life would be a little bit emptier.

Tomorrow at dMarie Daily: Stay At Home Moms, by Tammy T.

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