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"OUT OF MY WAY! I have an idea, move it!"
Off they go scattering like dry leaves on a breezy fall day, four kids, a dog, a cat and a husband—who know those words mean business. Mom is scrapbooking and inspiration has struck! Well, to be honest, inspiration may come at any moment over anything, usually in the shower, which is why I have been known to scrap in a towel, Abandon the computer, don't get near the scrapspace, "everyone out," she is "at it again"!
OK, so I am half nuts—my family would say "more than half," but when inspiration smacks me in the nose, getting out of the way is the best, and safest, idea. Not moving fast enough has been known to cause frustration and grief. There was the time my toddler did not get away from me with all due haste, and I took a pair of scissors to get a lock of his hair. It would have been OK if he hadn't moved. I suppose the bald spot can be combed over till it grows back.
My seven-year-old knows that when I have the camera in hand, he better be on his best behavior or his worst will be caught on film, notated and scrapped. I am certain future generations will want to know all about his fart jokes, really. My poor infant can't crawl yet so he is made the subject of all sorts of odd layouts. All I can say for him is that perhaps he should thank his lucky stars that I have not been motivated to do a layout about a diaper change yet.
My husband has learned that nothing is sacred in this house when it comes to his "obsessed wife." Duct tape, a screen door repair kit, hinges he bought to fix the bathroom door, even playing cards have all been sacrificed to the scrapbook demon living inside me (who I have named "Mo"). My poor husband doesn't even ask anymore when some implement is missing from his toolbox; he just heads to my scrap spot—which is very well organized, I swear. Just because no one else can figure out where anything is does not mean I am not the Queen of Organization.
Anything and everything is fair game when I am on a scrapbooking tear. There is not a store I have been to that has not had items placed on my pages. From the grocery store . . . a scan of a bag containing coffee for an "Addiction Page." From the hardware store . . . easy, practically every aisle is represented (one of these days I am going to do a layout with a carpet remnant, I just need the right "spin"). From the Animal Feed store . . . well, in pages about our pets, of course. The rare store that does not have actual product in my books is represented by photographs; after all, what is a book in relation to our lives without pages regarding an average day?
Fonts are another "problem area" of mine. When complaints started registering in my beleaguered husband's brain about the slowness of my computer, a quick peek (OK, OK, it took three minutes for the file to open, it was so large) into my font folder illuminated the problem. I am not sure why four thousand fonts would slow things down so badly. I think Microsoft Word should be able to handle all those, don't you? I am now limited to one thousand active fonts at a time. Dire warnings about consequences having to do with my ability to journal and print were levied in my general direction from my techie husband, who was trying to look stern. He was so adorable I grabbed the camera and took several photos to scrap later. I can see the title now "Why You Should Not Have 4,000 Fonts" or "Font-O-Holics Anonymous." By the way, limiting fonts is completely unfair! How I can find the perfect look for my journaling with such a small selection to choose from? Perhaps I should start a letter-writing campaign.
Time seems to be another issue. Because we have four small children I am often too busy with them during the week to scrapbook, which means I play "catch up" on the weekends. Translated, that means I go into long scrap sessions that you cannot pull me out of even with the promise of fresh-brewed coffee and Krispy Kremes. I suspect if the house was on fire I would not notice till some hunky firefighter dragged me out, and even then I would have to take notes for later scrapbooking—it is not every day you are saved by a hunky firefighter. Often I look down at 10 a.m. only to look up again at 5 p.m. wondering where the time went. Since I am the chief cook and bottle washer around these parts that means that I still have to make dinner. Rachel Ray and her "30-Minute Meals" have nothing on me. I can prepare a five-course dinner in fifteen minutes, and that includes the time it takes to open the cans and start the microwave!
Why is this so important to me? Why do I get excited on days I plan to attack the local scrap store? Despite the many references to a "midlife crisis" by close friends and family (who all get scrap projects for birthdays and Christmas), it is more than that. Scrapbooking allows me a creative outlet. It gives this forty-one-year-old mother of four, two of whom are in diapers, time to grow and learn something precious about her. It offers me a break from "Mommy, he is looking at me" and "The Wiggles."
Scrapbooking inspires me to reach beyond who I am expected to be and attain something that is simple, special and sacred—creation itself.
-Nancy Ann Liedel