When Scrapbooking Comes Full Circle

I thought I had explored everything about scrapbooking–all the meaningful ways it can be used in our  lives. But it turns out that I hadn’t.

When my mom passed away in December, my sister, daughters, and nieces and I were charged with cleaning out her apartment by the end of the month. We thought it would be easier than what it was. (The subject of another post. Maybe.) But I ended up coming home with bags of paper, photos, and, yes, scrapbooks. One scrapbook is one  I made for my mother, a gift, celebrating her life.



To say several different emotions ran through me at once is not exaggerating. At all.

So, while I been focused in my own scrapbooking on my kids and a wee bit on myself–and on gifts for other people–I hadn’t considered this gift coming back to me. Even though my loss is still fresh, and turning the pages of this book is sometimes more sad than I can bear, sometimes I catch myself smiling. It’s that little impulse I hang on to, as it grows each time I glance through the book.


A lot of other items have come back to me, mostly photos of my kids, but this scrapbook is something that I made with my own hands for my mom, celebrating her life. I want to remember that celebration. I don’t want to dwell on the sadness.



Creating and recording these moments of celebration, of life, is what scrapbookers do. Those happy memories are not constant–at times, we have to work at remembering. Pictures help. When you are grieving, any bit of happiness helps you claw your way back to some semblance of normalcy.


When I’ve told people through the years, as part of promoting my Cumberland Creek books how meaningful scrapbooking can be, this is exactly the kind of thing I meant. As scrapbookers, we are only somewhat aware of the forward ripples we might be creating, right? We think our kids will appreciate these scrapbooks someday. We don’t know.


But my gift scrapbook to my mom that has come back to me?  That’s scrapbooking come full circle, the other way around. It means more to me than you can imagine.

I’m moving forward with the cherished past in my hands–and in my heart.


Five things I thought about during my morning run:

  1. DSCF4415Neighbor has a carpet rolled up sitting by the edge of the road. Hmmm. Dead body inside??? (What is WRONG with me? LOL!)
  2. The day is absolutely perfect for a run. Warm, with a nice breeze. Could not let it get by me without an attempt at running.
  3. This, after another dr. appt. with my daughter.
  4. Everybody is home. Which means my writing schedule is, um, shot.
  5. My contest. Not many entries yet.

Check out my Pages of Thanks contest on Pinterest, Facebook, or send your entry to me at molliebryan@comcast.net

The prize is all five books in the Cumberland Creek series—autographed, of course.

Good luck!


Scrapbook Expo ROCKED!

I was fortunate enough to get to exhibit at the Scrapbook Expo in Chantilly, Va. again this year. Wow! It’s grown. I bet there were almost double the exhibitors from last year.

As you all know, last year, I sold out of books on the first day of the event. This year, I brought more books with me–but I only had 12 books left on Saturday morning. I sold those books within an hour. (Leaving me time to shop!) Scrapbookers and crafters love to read. and they love books that feature their favorite hobby. I am so honored to meet so many fabulous women and men this weekend who had such kind things to say about my books.

One of my long-time readers, Missy.

One of my long-time readers, Missy.

Part of my table.

Part of my table.

The best helper.

The best helper.



There was plenty of excitement in the air as people learned about new techniques and found some fabulous deals. Hats off to the fabulous organizers of Scrapbook Expo! Hope to see you there next year!

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Five Reasons CRAFTY CHRISTMAS is my Favorite of all My Books

Coming in October!

You know how it is. One shouldn’t really play favorites—or at least admit that you have them. But I confess. A CRAFTY CHRISTMAS is my favorite book in the Cumberland Creek series. So far. Okay, so I’ve probably said that about each one of the books at one time or another. Admittedly. But I can honestly say at this time, in this moment, this book is my favorite.

Here’s my top five reasons:

  1. Sheila’s story. In my first three books, the point of view shifts between Vera, Annie, and Beatrice. In this book, it goes between Beatrice, Annie, and Sheila. Never fear—Vera is still a prominent player in the story, but we don’t get her point of view. Sheila is a woman in her 40s. She’s always put her family first—ahead of her own dreams. In this story, Sheila comes into her own.
  2. Randy, Paige’s long-lost son, joins them on the cruise and we get to know him better. He was a joy to write—as was the relationship between Paige and Randy.
  3. The fantasy element. I’ve never been on a cruise. So, I researched a great deal, of course, and much is grounded in hardcore realities of cruising. But I allowed my imagination to run wild in some of the cruise scrapbook cropping scenes. It was so much fun to fantasize. If I were having a Christmas crop and budget was not a concern, just what would I do? What would I serve? What kinds of giveaways would there be? (Hint: there’s a lot of chocolate, sparklies, and servers dressed in elf suits.)
  4. The holiday theme. This kind of relates back to Sheila’s story, but we get a glimpse into an important shifting perspective with some of the Cumberland Creek characters as they gather to celebrate.
  5. My surprise ending. This has nothing to do with the murder mystery. But if you’re a fan of the series, you will delight in the epilogue. And that is all I’m saying. Grin.

I really love these characters, whether they are scrapbooking, cruising, or eating a slice of pie from Pamela’s Pie Palace. If you’ve not met them yet, I hope you do—and I hope you like them as much as I do.

In the mean time, check out my Christmas crafts gift ideas page on Pinterest. Fair warning–there’s HOURS of fun there!

Scrapbook Super Station is a Scrapper’s Delight!

I had a lovely time at the Scrapbook Super Station in Butler, Pa. last weekend. Amy and her staff and customers were all so kind and generous. I signed a lot of books, but more importantly, I made some scrapbooking friends. I took some pictures to share with you. The store is huge! I tried to take a couple of shots to show you how big the place is. But I think you still can’t tell–you really have to be there in person. It’s well worth a trip.




In CRAFTY CHRISTMAS, my scrappers are learning to use doilies in their scrapbooks. Check out these fun colors and patterns.


I love the polk-dots on doilies!


Stickers, anyone?


The Scrapbook Super Station helps to create community by offering a fabulous cropping area. They also have classes here.


One of the croppers was working on a Christmas card project that she learned to make at a class at the store. Card making and scrapbooking can be so similar!


Pre-orders waiting to be signed when I arrived!


Nice display of my books.

Five things I thought about during my morning run:

DSCF44151. It’s a perfect morning for a run. If only my legs agreed. Meh.

2. One foot in front of the other anyhow. Music helps.

3. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender” by Leslye Walton. I’m living in that world in my head.

4. But in the real world: I am finishing the fifth book of my scrapbooking-themed mystery series. Changes ahead for me.

5. Also, personally. Too many changes to count. Friends are moving. My daughters are growing. Change is the only constant in our lives.

Death of an Irish Diva out TODAY!

Today is the day! DEATH OF AN IRISH DIVA  is officially out today!

Death of an Irish Diva Mech.indd

I’ve gotten a couple of wonderful reviews–one from Criminal Element. Another from Celtic Lady, who is the first on my blog tour. Follow along for more fun!

As ever, I love to hear from readers. I’m available for book clubs, libraries, and other events.

Here’s a little about DIVA, followed by my blog tour schedule.

Spring is in the air, but the ladies of the Cumberland Creek Scrapbook Crop hardly have time to stop and smell the roses. Not when famed Irish dancer Emily McGlashen is found murdered in her studio just after the St. Patrick’s Day parade–and one of the Crop’s own members is the prime suspect. Vera’s dance studio may have suffered when Emily waltzed into town, but the croppers know she’s not a vengeful murderer. Lucky for her, co-scrapbooker Annie is a freelance reporter eager to vindicate her friend. What she discovers is a puzzling labyrinth of secrets that only add question marks to Emily’s murder. Just when it seems they’ve run out of clues, an antique scrapbook turns up and points the croppers in the right direction–and brings them face to face with a killer more twisted than a Celtic knot. . .



Blog tour Schedule:

February 4 – Celticlady’s Reviews – Review
February 5 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
February 6 – Books-n-Kisses – Review
February 7-  Queen of All She Reads – Guest Post, Giveaway
February 8 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review, Interview, Giveaway
February 9 – Dr. Pepper Diva – Review, Giveaway
February 10 – dru’s book musingGuest Post, Giveaway
February 11 – Jane Reads – Review, Giveaway
February 12-   Thoughts in Progress – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway   
February 13 –<Books Are Life – Vita Libri – Review, Giveaway

Guest posting today on the Michigan Scrapbooker blog!

Check out my guest post today at Michigan Scrapbooker Blog!

This FABULOUS magazine offers educational articles, a calendar of events, ads from many local scrapbooking businesses, giveaways ,and more. It’s FREE when picked up at one of the many locations listed on thier website and subscriptions are available.  They also have a FREE e-newsletter– you can subscribe to at their website. (I already have!)


Here are their websites and FB info. enjoy!