This isn’t just my story to tell. It’s about my mom and my sister and a special lady named Cindy (who you will get a chance to “meet” in a later post). It’s about dear friends I have met on this creative adventure. And it might be your story too.
I have always loved memory keeping. When my sister and I were little, we kept our own scrapbooks full of little girl’s treasures. We would paste in cards and letters we had received, pictures we had drawn, report cards, and 4-H ribbons earned at the fair. We saved program copies from elementary school performances. We loved to play “school” and took turns being the teacher. We saved many of the written papers and art projects we “assigned” to ourselves. Nothing was spared from being forever attached to a scrapbook page.
When my first son was born, I was introduced to scrapbooking the “acid-free” way. I enjoyed it, but didn’t spend as much time as I would have liked on this hobby. Then a few months after my second son was born, I attended my very first scrapbooking retreat with my mom. Cindy Nalder, who ran a little scrapbook shop in Malad, Idaho, encouraged my mom to attend. Mom shares this about our experience:
“We came with our paper cutters, some scissors, photo tabs and some colored pens and colored paper. I think we spent the first 30 minutes just gazing in awe at the supplies and materials some of the other women had. We learned a lot about scrapbooking techniques from the classes and we worked hard to create some layouts of our own. And then an amazing thing happened – we were hooked!!”
My sister, Heather, joined us at Cindy’s next retreat. My mom writes, “Heather struggled in the beginning. Her first layout took hours to complete, but she found satisfaction in her accomplishment. She enjoyed being with us and associating with the other women. And then an amazing thing happened—she was hooked!!!”
We have attended nearly every retreat Cindy has hosted over the past several years. We have brought old friends with us and gained new ones. As time has passed, I have become passionate about scrapbooking. Not only do I love the creative process, but it’s exciting to look back at all the memories I have documented for my family. I value the friendships that have been built through this hobby. I treasure the laughter and the tears that have been shared. But mostly, I am so grateful for the time I was able to spend together with my mom and sister.
You see, my sister passed away a few months ago and while it’s been a difficult time for our family, I have so many wonderful memories of our time spent together. A retreat is more than just playing with pretty paper and photographs. It’s more than sewing a quilt top or making beautiful jewelry. In a thank you letter to Cindy, my mom described it this way:
“It brings me great joy to create pages about my life, my children, my grandchildren and my ancestors. But my biggest joy was being with my daughters at your conferences and meeting new friends. We all became like family and it was exciting and fun to mingle with one another each time. And all of this came about because one lady, Cindy Nalder, had a vision and wasn’t afraid to pursue it. This is just our story – I am sure every lady who has been at one of your conferences has one to tell, and you are most likely a part of each story. Perhaps they too, would like to share theirs.”
So, dear friends…What is your story? What are you passionate about? What creative process brings you joy? Is it baking, sewing, card making or scrapbooking? Is it quilting, decorating, painting or jewelry making? We would love to hear!