Entertainment Tonight’s Nancy O’ Dell is one crafty mama! The mom-of-three kids – daughter Ashby, 4 next month, and stepsons Tyler, 15, and Carson, 12 – is launching her new scrapbooking line with Creative Memories. Nancy opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about her love of creating keepsake albums, the inspiration behind her passion, her stepsons who are growing up too fast and her “little tomboy princess.”
CBS: You are so crafty! Tell us about your new scrapbooking line. How do these products make scrapbooking easy – even for the beginners?
NO: “I am so excited about my new line with Creative Memories! If you want to make album-making quick and easy, this is the way. I was bound and determined to make scrapbooking simple as I would always hear from my friends, ‘I, too, want to put those special pictures of my kids in an album, but how do you have time for that?’ Memory keeping is too important in giving children a sense of belonging and importance to miss out on it because you feel it takes too long or you don’t know what to do.
I named my new line, which is a baby line, after my own daughter Ashby. The Ashby Series includes quick and easy products that help you celebrate baby’s first year. Inspired by my mother’s baby book, it is all-in-one, pocket-style photo album that includes pre-decorated pages, stickers and accents that easily turn your memories into an instant treasure. The work is almost done for you.
There are also Simply Said books for when your child starts to speak. You interview them – so cute! I think the album itself is so pretty and timeless, just like our children. This is actually my second line. The first line I did with Creative Memories is the Hummingbird Series, an album for the entire family and again, quick and easy. And yes, the lines are very affordable. They are first class products and all-inclusive so you don’t need to buy anything else for them to be complete.”
CBS: Your mom would be so proud! Last time we chatted, you told us how your mom was scrapbooking long before it was the cool thing to do. Was she your original inspiration in starting this line?
NO: “Yes, my mother was definitely my inspiration and my grandmother as well. I am a fourth generation album maker and I am 100 percent certifiably crazy about documenting memories because it is so important to a family. I have over 100 albums I have made myself. Knowing that I shared the same passion for scrapbooking as my mother, my father gave me her albums when she passed away from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). As I looked through all 53 of them, page by page, I felt so connected to my mom. Through the memories in those albums, I get to re-live our great times all over again. And even as an adult, looking at all the things my mom had saved about me made me feel all over again how much she loved me. Also, I discovered that even though it was so difficult for her to use her hands, because of the way ALS destroys muscles, mom still scrapped EVERYTHING I sent her about my baby girl Ashby from pregnancy to birth. Every ultrasound photo, every post-it note, every article and, of course, every photo of Ashby.
And, while looking at those albums made me miss my mom, they did show me how fortunate I was that she was able to meet Ashby and to see her grow for nearly a full year. I’ll never forget that. And I know Ashby will always know it too thanks to the albums. So bottom line, I love memory keeping and I’m excited to let the world know that it’s not just a hobby for me, it’s much more than that.”
CBS: How’s Ashby Grace? What is she into these days (still sports and boys?)
NO: “I still call her my little tomboy princess and she is definitely just that. She is quite the mixture. One minute she is wanting to go shopping for dresses (all she wants to wear now), then the next minute she wants to go looking for bugs! We have quite the bug collection in a Tupperware container – snails, rollie pollies, and slugs. I laugh sometimes when I see her in her pretty feminine dresses on a bug hunt.”
CBS: Any big plans for Ashby’s upcoming 4th birthday in June?
NO: “We will definitely be having a fun party. Ashby loves parties, especially if there is a bounce house! We haven’t decided on the theme yet, but she is very into Rapunzel right now because of the movie Tangled. It is really the only way I can get her to brush her hair – by telling her that is how to make it grow like Rapunzel’s! So I have a feeling we may have a Tangled-themed party. Ashby keeps telling everyone she will be 18 on her birthday. Why do they want to grow up so quickly when we want them to remain our babies no matter how old they are?!”
CBS: Last time we chatted, you said you were open to having another baby. Any special announcements you’d like to make?
NO: “No big announcements right now, but we never say never. Although, I am no spring chicken [laughs].”
CBS: How are your stepsons doing?
NO: “They are doing great and getting so big. I can’t believe they are 12 and 15 already. When they came into my life, they were just 5 and 8. Now my 15 year old stepson has a voice almost as deep as my husband’s and is as tall as I am. What happened to the little teddy bear I first met?”
CBS: With Mother’s Day that just passed, how did you honor your mother’s spirit? Is it a tough day for you?
NO: “While Mother’s Day is an incredible day for me as a mother myself, there is some sadness that comes along with it because my sweet mom is not around anymore. I used to love to send her the most sentimental cards for Mother’s Day. Every Mother’s Day, I would always send her some sort of gift, so this past Mother’s Day I made a donation in honor of her to Betty’s Battle, a foundation started along with Muscular Dystrophy Association in honor of my mom. It is our hope, through research, that some day other families won’t have to go through what my family did as we saw my mother battle the horrific disease of ALS.
CBS: Any special plans or ways you celebrate Father’s Day?
NO: “Of course, I plan on making some sort of scrapbook for my husband. I think I will make him an Album of Hope. An Album of Hope is typically done for a child but it is just as special and sweet when given to an adult. It is all of your hopes and dreams for them and pictures that reinforce that. For example for my husband, one page may read ‘I hope you will always feel the immense love of your children!’ with photos of him and the kids together on the page. Scrapbooks are always the best gifts you can ever give and I promise you they are the gifts people remember and cherish.”