Joining the Scrapbooking Crowd

You couldn’t tell this by looking at me, but lately I’ve been
running with a wild crowd. We stay up all hours of the night, carry
tote bags containing a cache of sharp instruments, and communicate
with words never heard before in the English language.
You couldn’t tell this by looking at me, but lately I’ve been running with a wild crowd. We stay up all hours of the night, carry tote bags containing a cache of sharp instruments, and communicate with words never heard before in the English language.

No, I’m not hanging around with outlaws or members of the counter culture or cultists or anything like that. I’m talking about a group of women who are much more mysterious than that: Scrapbookers.

It’s all my friend Barb’s fault. One day she lured me to what’s called a “crop,” with cheap promises of a good time, great company, and plenty of junk food.

Now, let me just stop right here and say that I’m not against scrapbooking in any way. In fact, one of the beauties of scrapbooking is that just about anyone with opposable thumbs can do it.

You don’t need to be the kind of person who paints or crochets butterfly magnets.

Even a person like me, whose idea of being “crafty” is gluing macaroni onto a Popsicle stick, can crank out a respectable looking scrapbook page given enough time and cute animal stickers.

This brings me to the other beauty of scrapbooking, which is that since you’re doing it all for your family, at least in theory, it qualifies as an Official Guilt-Free Night Out. And who, I ask you, can pass up an opportunity like that?

But I digress.

When I got to Barb’s house, I found an empty seat at the kitchen table and opened my book. First I glued down a fancy border and sampled the homemade cranberry salsa.

Next, I ate a few tortilla chips while I fastened down pictures of my family at the beach. I wandered over to the spinach dip between adding stickers and then, just for good measure, I mounted rivets on each corner – one after every truffle canapé.

This went on and on until suddenly a bizarre thing happened: I couldn’t stop scrapping. Yes, it’s true.

I’m not sure what caused it. Maybe it was all of the junk food. Or perhaps it was the hypnotic quality of the pastel matting paper.

Or maybe, just maybe, it was the effect from the fumes from the acid-free adhesive. Whatever the reason, all I know for sure is that somehow I had crossed a line. Suddenly I was finishing page after page and using terms like “velum,” “Sizzix,” “crop cushion,” and cutting pictures into fun shapes and decorating around the edges with multiple shades of colored chalk.

I was hooked.

And it’s not just me. My friend Suzie, who barely knows how to work a camera, went to her first crop six months ago and now takes pictures of every move her family makes. Trips to the dentist, a visit to the park, eating breakfast and on and on.

And then there’s my friend Melissa, who just finished her son’s seventeenth scrapbook. And he’s only 2 years old.

Oh sure, we all know what’s really going on here. We all know that scrapbooking isn’t really about the great food or the creativity or, in fact, even the pictures.

It’s really about sitting around with a group of women who’ve spent just as much money as you, if not more, on ladybug stickers, colored chalk, and acid free adhesive.

It’s about saying something like, “Does anyone have a Xyron 510 because I need to laminate a W,” and getting a straight answer without being directed to the local mental health facility.

Face it, all of those finished albums are just a perk. The real draw of scrapbooking is the bonding, the friendships, and the camaraderie that comes along with making them.

That and, oh yeah, the homemade cranberry salsa.

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