Seven years ago a co-worker gave me a gift certificate to an “Intro to Scrapbooking” class. She thought, since I had a new baby, scrapbooking might be something I’d enjoy. She had no idea.
My first page was of our first family vacation with our new son. We went to Ft. Morgan, AL, and rented a house on the beach with friends of ours (Jen & Larry) who also had a new baby. Jen actually went to the scrapbooking class with me and did a page of her own.
Jen and I went to the class having absolutely no idea what we were doing. We were overwhelmed by the products – the different kinds of paper (all acid and lingen free), the tools (hammers, heaters, and hole punchers), the embellishments (everything from buttons to micro beads). The instructor set us up with the basics: paper, adhesive, and scissors. We thought our beach vacation pages turned out pretty neat.
As we left the class, we passed some ladies coming in for a “crop,” which is basically a get-together work session for fellow scrappers. They were all carrying huge bags and pulling suitcases full of supplies. We chuckled to ourselves, whispering things like, “Did you see THAT?” I mean, come on – these ladies were taking it a little too far!
Seven years later and I pack up my giant tote, two rolling bags, two 12 x 12 plastic cases, and anything else I can fit into my trunk to go to Karen Collins’ Scrappin’ Retreats in Flowery Branch, Georgia. Karen hosts weekend crops for scrappers like me right in her own home. The retreats start on Friday afternoon and last until Sunday at noon. Her whole basement is set up with 6′ tables (one for each scrapper), a kitchen, and a massage chair. I’ve slept in most of her beds now and I can tell you – they are all comfy. I’ve been to her home retreats 8 or 9 times now. Two weeks ago I went with my friend Keely Suiter (daughter-in-law of September 2010 Cover Girl Judy Suiter). I think it was my favorite weekend there yet.
Being creative is a great way to unwind. I look forward to my scrapbooking weekends. It’s also a great way to preserve family memories. My husband and kids love to look at my pages when I get home.
For more information on Karen’s home retreats (or her special lake house retreats!), visit the Scrappin’ Retreats website. If you are new to scrapbooking, try taking a class. While we don’t have any scrapbooking stores in Fayette County anymore (sniffle), you can drive up to Archiver’s. They have two locations – one in Marietta and one in Buford by the Mall of Georgia. Take your favorite photos with you and have fun!