Everyone Has A Story To Tell

Scrapbooking an exercise in preserving memories

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— If a picture is worth a thousand words, then pictures and words together must be priceless.

Together they tell countless stories that make up our lives. They tell the stories that are important to us and to the people who love us.

Everyone has a story to tell, and mine began when I was seven months pregnant and my husband died of cancer. How could I pass on the wonderful person my husband was or how much he loved his son?

Shortly after my husband died nine years ago, I was invited to a scrapbooking class. I had no idea what a scrapbooking party was all about, but I needed to get out of the house and be with friends. As I listened to the presentation, I found myself thinking back on all the wonderful events that had happened in my life: meeting and marrying my husband, vacations we had taken together, and the birth of our son. I realized that as short as his life was, my husband lived a wonderful, full life and it was up to me to make sure those stories were never lost.

That's how I became an avid "scrapbooker."

Nine years later, I now show others how they can organize all those boxes of photographs and find time to put them into meaningful and safe scrapbook albums.

If asked what you would grab if your house caught fire, almost everyone would proffer the same answer: their family, their pets and their photographs. According to the New York Times, 14 billion photographs are taken each year. Most of these are left unlabeled in boxes or thrown in cupboards ... yet they are among our most priceless possessions.

Thousands have learned when they take their photographs and put them into meaningful albums that they are not only preserving their investment, but creating something that will enable them to share their lives with those they love.

Over the last 15 years, scrapbooking has become the nation's No. 1 pastime. Why do so many women, and even some men, take the time to preserve their memories? For many it is a way to savor the wonderful moments in life. Some have a need to heal from painful losses. Others want to have a legacy to pass on to their children.

Whatever their reasons, many have learned the power and value of making and keeping family scrapbooks. According to Cheryl Lightle and Rhonda Anderson, authors of the new book, "The Creative Memories Way," "No matter how much time you have or how you express your creativity, you too can bless your loved ones and future generations by simply and joyfully capturing your personal and family stories."

Every day, history is being made. Newspapers report it, television shows it and books document the great events of our day. What is recorded about our present day society is left up to journalists, news reporters and biographers who too often focus on the outrageous and mostly negative aspects of our lives.

The biographies written are not often about the common struggles and joys of everyday families, but of individuals who have achieved some degree of success.

Will future generations have a true understanding of our society when they read these small glimpses of our history.

Over 150 years ago, thousands of immigrants walked across this great land and left a great legacy of how their lives were lived through the settlements they organized. But it is in their personal journals that we gain an understanding of the trials and joys these families lived.

The power that scrapbooks have to heal, inspire and encourage those we love will keep this wonderful hobby at the forefront for many years.

Anyone can learn to create simple, priceless scrapbook albums.

Everyone has a story to tell; who is telling yours?

If you would like more information on how you can organize your photographs, attend classes or workshops or have a presentation given for the members of your organization, contact Kristi Kisler at 468-6679.

Books to help with your scrapbooks

by Teresa McQuerrey, Roundup Staff Reporter

Creative Memories consultants like Kristi Kisler have introduced untold numbers of people to the scrapbooking craze.

The company has a fine line of products, which includes albums, papers, die cuts, cutting tools, adhesives and both letters and journaling tools. It also has some excellent idea books. One of the best is a guide to building fast pages, Fast Formulas.

But there are other excellent sources of inspiration and materials on the market.

Scrapbook stores, like Homespun Memories in Payson's Bonanza Square, offer some wonderful materials, and owner, Connie Smith, also provides instruction.

There are several regular publications available for scrapbook enthusiasts as well, Creating Keepsakes and Memory Makers are two.

There are also publishers that have several books on making memory albums, which scrapbooks are sometimes called. Leisure Arts and Sterling Publishing are among them.

There are also websites to visit. Just do a general search on "scrapbooking" or check your search engine's hobby, leisure or living sites.

The variety of supplies available is really astounding and extremely tempting with their sense of whimsy and beauty.

Before jumping in with both feet, pick up one of the regular publications, stop by the scrapbook store and visit with Connie between 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. any day except Sunday, or give Kristi a call at 468-6679.

Learn about scrapbooking before opening your checkbook too much because it is very easy to get carried away. Look at what others have done, make a plan, then have fun.

Teresa McQuerrey has been scrapbooking since 1997.

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