About the Author
Mark Victor Hansen is a co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Hometown:Santa Barbara, California
Date of Birth:August 19, 1944
Place of Birth:Fort Worth, Texas
Education:B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973
Read an Excerpt
CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SCRAPBOOKER'S SOUL
Stories to Remember ...
By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Allison Connors, Debbie Haas
Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2012 Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC
All rights reserved.
The Scrapbook Addict
It is not in doing what you like, but in liking what you do that is the secret of happiness.
Sir James M. Barrie
An Egg-Splosive Hobby
Did you ever stop to think and forget to start again?
Winnie the Pooh
I really should be too embarrassed to admit this ... let alone record it on a scrapbook page. But on the other hand, it just seems fitting to create a layout that only proves the point of the layout itself!
It began one early December afternoon. I decided to make egg salad for Kent for his lunch. I fed little Sam, and while he was eating ... I put the eggs in a pot, covered them with water and turned on the stove. When Sam was finished with his lunch, as per our normal routine, I took him upstairs for his nap. As I left his room, I felt an undeniable pull to my scrap area in the upstairs playroom. It was like a giant magnet pulling me in, and once I got my hands on all those photos, cardstock and my favorite trinkets and gadgets ... well, think kid in a candy store! All reason (not to mention memory) flew out the window. Oh, I scrapped happily ... just a few stolen minutes. I'd get to the laundry in a while. The minutes piled up. They became over an hour.
I remained in my adhesive-coated blissful state until the sound of a sudden and loud popping jarred me to my senses. What was THAT? For a moment I feared Sam had fallen out of bed. I raced to his room. He was sleeping peacefully. Hmm, what could that have been? Oh, well ... very willingly I dismissed it as the "pull" returned and took hold of my consciousness again. I returned to my scrapping. There it was again! This time I began to wonder WHO was throwing rocks at our house!? POP! ... and again I heard it. As I approached the top step of the stairs, I suddenly had a frightening realization ... THE EGGS!!!!!!!
In almost a single step, I landed at the bottom of the stairs and raced to the kitchen. At first I was terrified as I confronted a black-bottomed, smoking pot with eggs that were bursting one at a time ... well, more like blowing up. I quickly turned off the stove, shoved the pot off the heat and stood back to survey the damage. My kitchen was covered with exploded eggs.
After the shock, not to mention the horror at the realization of what COULD have happened, I began to clean up the mess. After finishing the cleaning of the floor, I began to see the humor, and like any scrapbooker worth her glue, I grabbed the camera. Lesson learned. Now when I feel the magnetic pull of all those photos and that yummy cardstock, I ALWAYS go to the kitchen first to check the appliances.
Out of My Way!
One can resist the invasion of armies; one cannot resist the invasion of ideas.
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 scrap-space, "everyone out," she is "at it again!"
Okay, 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 okay 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 had 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 (okay, okay, 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 can I 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 scrapbooking later—it is not every day you are saved by a hunky firefighter. Often I look down at ten A.M. only to look up again at five P.M. wondering where the time went. Since I am the chief cook and bottle washer around these parts, I still have to make dinner. Rachael 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 herself. It offers me a break from "Mommy, he is looking at me" and "The Wiggles." Scrap-booking 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
When a Hobby Is More Than a Hobby
Dare to dream—don't be afraid to aim for the highest peak ... it is there we see all that is possible ... all there is to hope for—dare to dream.
When does a hobby become more than just a hobby?
Perhaps when it becomes a part of you and not just an activity to pass the time? When it fulfills your dreams? Well, I guess scrapbooking is more than just a hobby to me. I remember the day I was introduced to the craft of scrapbooking. At the beginning, it was merely a new craft to try—playing with papers and scissors. I also remember the day I became hooked. It was after my first son Evan was born. A beautiful little baby had entered our lives, and all of a sudden scrapbooking developed new meaning. I wasn't just gluing papers together; I was creating a book filled with Evan's childhood memories.
I quickly became devoted to recording every milestone in my albums. It was also at this time that I came to realize the impact this craft had on my life. It renewed my passion for creating, something I had put on the shelf since childhood. This hobby was now a part of "me." I would stay up until the wee hours poring over my scrapbook layouts. My layouts were no longer just for my young son; they were for me—a part of me that I was convinced would never blossom, the part related to artistic endeavors and dreams. I had always loved creating, whether it was a delicate dessert or a short story. However, I had convinced myself these were just silly childhood fantasies. I would never create a masterpiece or see my creations in a gallery or magazine. But wait, all of a sudden here I was creating works of art. True, they were not created on canvas, but works of art nonetheless. I was using paper, bits of metal, ribbon and—most important—my life to create these layouts.
My heart went into each layout. Each layout became more personal; I had taken the photos and written the words on each page. I was becoming acquainted with a whole new world. My love of scrap-booking gave me the key to this alternate universe. I pored over magazines filled with new products, ideas and passion for this craft. Suddenly, everything I had believed about myself and my dreams had changed. Fellow scrap-bookers were being published every day. These artists were not famous, but ordinary housewives and mothers just like me.
It was at the exact moment that I gave myself the permission to try, that my life changed. I decided I was good enough to be published in a magazine and decided to start submitting. I did so and doubted myself for months. Then one day, I received an e-mail that fulfilled my desire. One of my projects was going to be published in a scrapbooking magazine. It was with shock, disbelief and pride that I shared the news with my family. Suddenly, nothing seemed impossible. All I had to do was believe in myself and put myself out there. The rest would be taken care of. Soon more e-mails poured in from the magazine; they would like to publish more of my work.
Filled with a new confidence, I decided I had other dreams I wanted to see fulfilled. Along the way, I felt a sense of guilt. Here I was spending time pursuing these goals when I should have been simply satisfied with the life that I had. I had immense blessings that already filled my day: a happy marriage, a loving family and the ability to stay home and care for my son. Why should I need more? I ultimately decided that the time I spent on scrap-booking was time reserved for me. The part of the evening after the kids were put to bed, I spent creating and renewing myself. Once I gave myself permission to continue, the road ahead seemed filled with opportunity. The creative world that was so large and far away suddenly became smaller.
I truly believe once you open yourself up to the possibilities, you open yourself to success. Now, almost six years after dabbling with the hobby of scrapbooking, I consider it a part of who I am. I am most certainly a wife, mother, daughter and sister first, but deep down I am also an artist. I find myself amazed at how scrapbooking has enriched my life. I am part of a large, worldwide community that speaks a special language. I am privileged to teach new scrap-bookers and share my excitement with them. These classes and gatherings have created friendships and bonds that didn't exist before. I am lucky enough to have fulfilled many dreams through this hobby.
I think I just answered my own question. When does a hobby become more than just a hobby? The answer is: when it transforms the dreams and ambitions of a person, when it becomes more of an adjective than a verb. I don't just scrapbook, I AM a scrapbook artist. For someone who always dreamed of having the arts become a part of her life, that is a big deal!
Confessions of a Scrapbooker's Husband
From the glow of enthusiasm I let the melody escape. I pursue it. Breathless I catch up with it. It flies again; it disappears; it plunges into a chaos of diverse emotions. I catch it again; I seize it; I embrace it with delight.
Ludwig Von Beethoven
I pulled my truck onto our gravel drive after a long day's work, with the anticipation of being greeted by my lovely bride and our three children—clean, well mannered and ready for bed, awake only because they had begged to stay up long enough to say good night to Daddy. It was a pleasant, wholesome image and made me smile as I grappled with my truck for my briefcase. Successfully freeing the case from the cluttered interior, I made my way to the front door.
All the lights were on, and as I opened the door I was greeted by my two-year-old, who was decidedly not ready for bed, but was, in fact, wrapped rather impressively in embellishments. I bent down and looked at him closely. Yes, that was some Creek Bank Creations Twill E Dee twill tape wrapped around his chest, and a woven label that said "All Yours" was stuck on his forehead. Various other pieces of ribbon, cloth and fibers completed his predicament. This was probably the work of my four-year-old daughter, but it might also be my wife's handiwork, particularly if our son was being meddlesome, which he generally was.
"What's doing, Luke?" I asked.
He paused from licking the filling out of a tiny s'mores cracker, carefully placed the licked cracker halves back in the box and smiled at me. I thought I detected a few photo tabs stuck in his hair.
"Where's Mom?" I asked.
"Scrappin' 'oom," he said, returning to his crackers.
Ah, scrapping room ... of course. I needn't have asked.
"You want me to untangle you?" I asked before I went to the scrapping room, which used to be our bedroom but was now really a products warehouse with a bed in it.
"No. Wan Anna Madada," he said after some thought. Hakuna Matata, words from The Lion King. "Okay, but only for a minute." I fired up the DVD for him and headed down the hall to the scrapping room.
I rounded the corner to our room and paused in the doorway. There was product everywhere. My wife is extremely talented, but she tends to be one of those people who take their creativity from the chaos around them. Our computer, which my wife insisted I upgrade repeatedly to handle her design criteria and is now so powerful that NASA leased it to search for unknown star clusters when my wife isn't working on it, was humming away. Two printers were merrily spitting out pages. The whole setup reminded me of those Bloom County cartoons where Burke Breathed would draw the computer two feet off the desk, bouncing madly around while it worked.
The room had two eight-foot folding tables set up on a fairly permanent basis, and our four-year-old was sitting on one of them amid heaps of my wife's discarded pictures and embellishments. Beka, our daughter, also scraps, rather well actually, and she uses just about anything she finds, but particularly items my wife doesn't need from whatever layout she was currently working on. She was cutting out something with deckle-edged scissors, and her little brow was furrowed in deep concentration. My wife was sitting at the same table, studying a type gauge sheet over a layout.
"Hi, Honey, I'm home."
She turned around, an excited smile on her face. Hmm. This was good.
"Guess what!" she demanded happily.
"I won the Regional Pseudo-County Scraptopia Contest!" Or something like that. Uh-oh. Now was the critical moment. My wife entered a lot of contests, and I didn't even try to keep them straight. However, for the health of my marriage and my own happiness, I always tried to appear to keep them all straight. I thought quickly. I knew she had mentioned this awhile back. That was the problem with these things—sometimes the results were three or four months down the road. I couldn't remember my own stuff for three or four months. The dentist had to continually remind me where his office was for my six-month visits, even though he hadn't changed offices and I'd been his patient for fifteen years.
She'd said something about a ten-thousand-dollar contest. I tried to gauge the look on her face. That was another problem. She tended to get excited easily where scrapbooking was concerned, and it was hard to judge the magnitude of the event from her own reaction. It didn't look like ten grand worth of excitement, though. Crap. I couldn't remember any other contests. I was running out of time. I had to say something, something appropriate, and fast.
Excerpted from CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SCRAPBOOKER'S SOUL by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Allison Connors, Debbie Haas. Copyright © 2012 Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC. Excerpted by permission of Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
1. THE SCRAPBOOK ADDICT,
2. A SISTERHOOD/BROTHERHOOD,
3. CONNECTED TO THE PAST,
4. FROM THE HEART,
5. OVERCOMING OBSTACLES,
6. A SCRAPPER'S PERSPECTIVE,
Who Is Jack Canfield?,
Who Is Mark Victor Hansen?,
Who Is Allison Connors?,
Who Is Debbie Haas?,