Saturday, May 31, 2003    


Love At First Crop

By:by Lisa Weidknecht

When I first discovered scrapbooking, it was love at first crop. I had never even heard of scrapbooking in its current form. I had seen my father's old scrapbook, simple and plain, from his childhood. The black pages held treasured old photos attached with rubber cement, and inked names right on the photos. There were no stories, no dates or places, and no personality. As I sat at my dining room table that day with my sister in law, she showed me what she had created. I was awed at the color, the beautiful journaling and the harmony on the page. She was going to teach me to do it.

In front of me were the photos of my son's preschool graduation, some red paper and some stickers. I dove right in and by the time I was finished with a fabulous first two-page layout, I was in love. It was everything I already loved to do! Scrapbooking allowed me to be creative. It allowed me to spotlight and enhance all those photos I had taken of my children for years. It also allowed me a creative outlet for my writing. Over the next two years, the pages poured passionately out of me. To date I have nearly twenty albums completed.

The deeper my love affair with scrapbooking, the more apparent the benefits became. I have always been mostly a loner, but I decided to venture out for a crop at a church. I discovered the joy of meeting with other scrapbookers. There is an instant bond between people who have such a strong love for their craft. They willingly share ideas, teach each other, share stories of their photos, and laugh and cry together. Before scrapbooking, my life was so centered on my family that I had very few friends. I had no time nor desire to venture out to make friends. Making friends now comes easily and I have discovered that even a simple scrapping bumper sticker can forge a friendship with someone who was previously just an acquaintance. I introduced a friend to scrapbooking not long ago, who is now the best friend I have ever had. She and I have discovered, through scrapbooking together, that we have many parallels in our lives. Our time spent together is guilt-free because we are carrying on our stories for the future. I also joined a scrapbooking club that meets often for crops.

My biggest challenge as a scrapbooker has been my family heritage album. No one in my family has ever created one, so I set out to complete one. I interviewed many people in my family for stories and photos from our past. Stories came in by email, by telephone and by mail. I was sent treasured childhood photos of my deceased dad, grandparents, and great-grandparents. Although I didn't have a lot of material with which to work, I knew it was the journaling that was important. I was intimidated at the importance of this scrapbook but my growing love for preserving memories was more important. I first created a sketch of my family tree and a timeline from which to start. I gathered the stories sent by my relatives and sorted through the ones I knew I would use. I made sure everything used in my heritage scrapbook would preserve our family story for generations, rather than black acidic pages and rubber cement as my father's parents had. Beginning with my baby photo, I worked backwards through my mother's and father's families, filling the pages with their struggles and their joys, and the beautiful photographs of those who went before me. It took me several agonizing months to finally finish, working diligently every day. I finished my masterpiece just in time to take the scrapbook to a family reunion. As my mom and my sisters weeped over the pages, I knew I would never quit scrapbooking.

As with all loves, scrapbooking and I have had ups and downs. There have been times when my creative juices would not flow, when I spent more time buying supplies than using them, and when I spent more time talking at crops than completing pages. I also quickly outgrew my dining room table and my little crate of supplies. But as all true loves do, I have come to a place in my scrapbooking relationship of deep sincerity, complete commitment, and comfortable acceptance of whatever may come. Scrapbooking is my stress-reliever, my memory bank, and my creative outlet. It has brought strong friendships into my life and touched the members of my family. Preserving my past and present for my future is truly my life's mission.

Tomorrow at dMarie Daily: What dMarie Does for Me, by k

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