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Friday, May 18, 2012

"De-Frag" by Scrapbooking

"De-fragging" is my word for allowing myself to dump all the cares and worries of my normal routine and create something.  It is my non-medicated stress reliever.  I think everyone should have a hobby that they enjoy that brings them pleasure, a sense of accomplishment, and relieves them of the day-to-day stresses of life.  If I want to remain sane, I have to de-frag often.  One of those ways is by scrapbooking or being creative.

The beginning of the week was horrific for me.  It seemed that everything that could go wrong at the house, went wrong.  One thing after another happened all on one day and I was about to lose my mind!  It is extremely stressful to me when Rennie is away and things happen at the house that he would normally take care of.  Once things settled down a bit, I treated myself to several hours of scrapbooking time yesterday.

With only four photos in hand and my basic scrapbook supplies, I headed to my favorite scrapbook store, Scrappy Boutique.  I knew that I would find inspiration there - I always do!  I had two 12x12 page layouts in mind to add to my shadow box collections.  All the photos have great meaning and fond memories attached to them.

The Story Behind Photo #1:
My mother was a very good artist and crafter.  She had the most awesome art room in the basement of our home when we lived in Alabama.  Equipped with a huge drafting table, easels, oil paints, and much more, it was an artist dream room.  I LOVED being in that room and wanted to touch everything.  Of course you can imagine, that this was the room that was pretty much off limits to me.

I enjoyed watching her paint - she created beautiful oil paintings on canvas.  One year when decoupage had become very popular, she decoupaged a lot of boxes and plaques to give away as Christmas gifts.  I think that same year she made jewelry for everyone.  She and my dad created beautiful leather work together - making belts, wallets, purses, etc.  She was always doing something crafty.

The first photo is a Polaroid of my mother and I sitting on our living room couch - I was about five years old here.  I think I blogged about it in an earlier post, but I cannot find it, so here goes the story...  She was taking an art class through the mail.  We would watch TV in the evenings and she would always sit crossed legged on the couch and practice drawing or sketching (actually, the painting that is in the photo behind us on the wall was one of her many canvas paintings).  I was usually coloring or drawing something, and in this photo, I was cutting out paper dolls.  Even though my mom did not actually "craft" with me until I was an adult, this was my time with her, sitting next to her and working on some sort of art project.

I love this photo - a time when I was allowed to be a child.  I see so much innocence in this little girl and remember being happy then.  I had such a vivid imagination as a child.  I had to have and God equipped me well - I was the only child at the time and lived in the country with no one to play with.  I could spend hours upon hours setting up Barbie doll houses or playing school or office with my imaginary friend, Sally.  (Sally is an entirely different post, ha!).  Strangely enough, the greatest pleasure to me was coloring, painting with finger paints or watercolors, and cutting out paper dolls.  I think I liked the "cutting out" part much better than the "dressing the dolls up" part.  Go figure!  Anyway...

All this leads me to the journal entry on the page I created.  When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up my answer was, "I want to be an artist, just like my mom."  This is why this particular photo is special to me.  Capturing a sweet memory of her and myself enjoying what we liked to do best.

The Story Behind Photo #2:
It was a prosperous year for Rennie and I and we LOVED doing things for others.  As a birthday gift to my mom and sister, I paid for them, Stephanie and I to travel to New York City for a five day shopping trip at Christmas time.  This trip was so much fun and we had such hilarious moments!  We went to see the Lion King, the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, shopped, froze our butts off on a bus tour of the city, stood in line forever in the freezing cold to be on the Today Show, and ate our way around the city.  It was a trip I will never forget.

Little did I know it would be the last trip with my mother.  She passed away eight months after these photos were taken.  Had we known, we may have laughed more, shared more, loved on her more...  I strongly believe you should enjoy each and every moment to its fullest, especially when you are with family and friends.  You never know if that will be your last time with them.  This is another reason I believe you should take photos, put them in an album and journal about the event.  Even if you hate to have your photo taken like I do, take them anyway.  These photos are not necessarily for you - they are for your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.  I am extremely glad I have these photos with her.  How very precious they are to me!

I hope you have enjoyed today's post.  Please let me know if you did!  I really want to see your comments.  Maybe this post has encouraged you to do something crafty and fun, maybe it caused you to reflect about good times with a loved one, maybe it made you think about what you want to do with all those stacks of photos you have in a box somewhere...maybe...

Enjoy your life, enjoy special moments and take photos of those times...
Until next time... ~Pamela

Thursday, May 10, 2012

And The Fun Continues

As promised, I am posting more photos of my scrapbook pages that I made while attending National Scrapbook Day.  Slowly but surely I will add these pages to the 12x12 shadowbox frames and they will be hung on a living room wall.  It is one of the many jobs I have on my "to-do" list for the summer.
My sweet grandson, Peyton.  He is the clown of the family for sure and makes a million funny faces.  Of course, here, he is smiling with his mama.

An extremely simple layout but I love it.  Banners and flags are extremely popular these days in the scrapbooking world.  I love the new Fiskars banner punch! You can find it here and Scrappy Boutique sells it!

Ahhhh, the many faces of Julia Rae.  In an earlier post I had shared with you that we have a family tradition of trying on hats at any theme park or shopping area.  These were taken last year when the family was here for a visit.  I love how she is making a face that "fits" the hat.  Such a funny, funny girl!

Thank you Scrappy Boutique for the wonderful layout idea.  These photos were taken this very time last year.  Stephanie surprised me on Mother's Day and we spent the day at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Epcot.  It was a WONDERFUL day - but of course any day with my daughter is wonderful.

We were queens for the day - fully equipped with tiaras and flowers!  No, of course we didn't wear the tiaras on our heads all day...but we should have!

More later...I hope everyone has a great day today!  

Until next time...~Pamela

Monday, May 7, 2012

Life's Memorable Moments

As a child and even now as an adult, I find great pleasure when looking though family photos.  Every time I would visit my Grandmother Parks' home, I would drag out boxes and boxes of precious photos and spend hours upon hours looking at them.  I would sit on the bed and spread out the piles of black and white photos, looking at each one carefully, and smile when I would find a photo of my mother or dad, or a snapshot of my grandmother and grandfather when they were young.  It didn't matter how many times I looked at these photos, they made me happy.  It was one of my favorite activities to do when I was there.

My Grandmother Wright had some boxes of photos but my "go to" item while visiting her home was a tapestry covered scrapbook with lavender colored pages, filled to its capacity of Kodak moments.  It is sad to say that nothing was written in it - there were no notations of who was in the picture, what event was taking place, or when the photographs were taken.  Carefully, I would lift each page and look at each photo, as if it were my first time ever seeing these photographs, even though I had seen them a bazillion times before.  That very scrapbook was given to me when my grandmother passed away.  Something I will cherish forever.  

I guess being the artsy person I am, photographs and scrapbooks are especially meaningful to me.  Capturing the perfect moment in a photo is priceless.  When we look at photographs, our minds revert back to that day or event and bring us happiness, for the most part.  Some photographs can give us a sense of accomplishment or achievement.  Some photos can remind us of a painful time in our life but looking at them can encourage us that we have moved forward to something better or that we are in a happier place in our lives now.  Fond memories of places and times are replayed and we can remember and reflect...  There have been times that I would not have remembered an event unless it was captured in time through a photograph.  That is why I find scrapbooking these moments so extremely important.  They are captured images of who we were and who we are. Our legacy - our imprint - of family, friends, and events.  People that matter to you.  

If you have boxes and boxes of snapshots that you have taken and spent money on developing and have not placed them in a scrapbook or put them in some sort of photo album (and more importantly journaled about the events) for your loved ones, please consider it.  Imagine if your great grandparent, grandparent, or parent put together an album of precious family photos along with handwritten stories of what was happening in each photo - would you not cherish that forever?  No one could EVER put a price on that.  I feel it is so extremely important to document our family photos so that MY grandchildren and great grandchildren will have these to enjoy for many, many years.

As I've said before, I am the happiest when I am creating.  I do not necessarily have to be scrapbooking, painting, or crafting.  Believe it or not, I am happy when creating a lesson plan for one of my science classes.  As long as my mind is working through a creative process, I am a happy camper!  Although, putting together a scrapbook page does fuel my creative juices the most and I get somewhat of an adrenaline rush out of it during the process!  This past weekend was no exception.

Every year, the scrapbook world celebrates National Scrapbook Day.  Usually this day turns into a full blown weekend event - not just a day.  Scrapbookers from all around the world are scouring the Internet or scrapbook magazines, looking for the perfect page layout for their memorable moments.  They spend hours upon hours deciding what photos to crop, what paper to use and what embellishments to use (or maybe it is just me...I think NOT!).  I have spent days looking at page layout ideas and often get "brain fried" over it...too many ideas...not enough time to scrapbook them all!  I think if I scrapbooked every photo I have, it would take me 24/7-365 days for several years to get that accomplished.  If only I could win the lottery and no longer had to work for a living could that task get complete.

My favorite scrapbook store here in Orlando, Scrappy Boutique, held a weekend crop at the Florida Hotel, which is attached to the Florida Mall.  The registration fee included our crop space, lunch on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday, snacks, and door prizes.  I registered to participate about four weeks ago and asked my daughter if she would like to join me.  It worked out that she could be here, and needless to say, I was thrilled!  Scarpbooking all weekend AND getting to spend two days with her was a huge blessing to me.  We had a blast!

The event began early Saturday at 8:00am and ended on Sunday at 5:00pm.  Thirty-three hours of scrapbooking bliss!  Some scrapbookers worked on their pages all day and night.  Others, came and cropped all day into the night then went home or stayed in the hotel, to return the next day and continue creating their masterpieces. The store had reserved a large conference room and it was decorated beautifully using a hot air balloon theme.  
These adorable hot air balloons were at each place setting.  I know this had to take so much time to make.  They were just too cute!

A section was dedicated to scrapbook items that we could purchase, which included patterned paper, card stock, sticker letters, new fangled gadgets, adhesive, ribbon, page kits, and more.  In another section of the room they had decorated a photo booth so we could take photos of ourselves in what looked like a hot air balloon.  It was too cute!  A huge THANK YOU goes out to the wonderful staff of Scrappy Boutique for planning this amazing event for us - you did a FANTASTIC job!!!

We were at table 11 - one for me and one for Stef, ha!
An overview of the room - these ladies came prepared!!!

These were samples of pre-prepared page kits that we could purchase.

Supplies, supplies, and more supplies to purchase...and I did!

Ribbon that could be purchased by the yard.

This station was available if you wanted to print a photo - you could even print your photo in a 12x12 size!

More page kits

More supplies - you can NEVER have too much supplies! Ask any hoarder scrapbooker!

An array of more smaller items...

More stuff...  They wanted to make sure we did not go without any embellishments!

These bags contained scrapbook supplies that were given away by a random drawing at the end of the weekend and I won one!!! Yay me!!
Now, if you have never attended a scrapbook weekend have not lived (as far as I'm concerned)!  Each lady that attended was encased by mounds of scrapbooking things.  As far as the eye could see were cases, bags, and plastic bins of scrapbook material.  Supplies galore, jammed into suitcases, carts, and crates - oh my!  The valets were making tons of tips by carting up all our things from the cars and bringing them to the room.  For some, it looked as though they had run away from home and moved to the hotel!  Below are some photos I took of just a few of our things we brought to work with.  
One of the many cases Stephanie brought...
Some of my crap stuff!

More "stuff"
Our cropping station - equipped with my computer (which had pics of the ideas I had saved)
 The problem that we all worry over is, "Did we bring enough????"  We often sigh and say, "Man, I should have packed that item", or "I didn't bring that item and need it for this page!"  Of course, there is always the opposite of those statements like, "I brought so much crap and haven't even used it this time'' or "I have so much stuff, I don't remember where I put that item!"  All in all, we do manage to get several layouts accomplished and are pleased with how they look.  One can never fail by bringing too much scrapbook material!

Everyone has their own scrapbook style.  I tend to scrapbook using a symmetrical look.  I really like the collage look, but don't necessarily enjoy putting it together because I am not creative enough.  Being the perfectionist that I am, I worry that my collage is not good enough, that is looks too plain, or needs that "something extra" added to it.  The trend now is to use one photo on a 12x12 page with a lot of accessories.  Most often on those type of pages, journaling about the event is left out because the page itself is a masterpiece/work of art - one that I would want to frame and look at everyday and not add to a scrapbook.  I did that this weekend with several of my photos.  

There are photos that I really love and want to see all the time, so I decided to design a layout for each particular photo on a 12 x 12 page.  Instead of putting them in a photo album, I am framing them in a shadowbox type of frame and will arrange them on a large wall in my living room.  Of course, it will take me a while to complete all the pages and purchase all the frames, which is one of my summer goals.  I want to have the wall complete before Rennie returns from working in Alaska in late September.

Here are a few of my pages that will eventually be encased in a shadowbox.  I cannot take any credit for the layout idea.  Most were "cased or scraplifted" (scrapbook lingo) from other scrapbookers who are much better at designing than I am.  Of course, some of the ideas I used turned into something completely different once the page was complete.  I am happy about the final product and had fun creating them this weekend. 
I love this photo of Rennie and I.  This was taken last fall when Stephanie was visiting.

A closer look at the bottom of the page.  I really like the "banner look" design that is so popular right now.

I think this photo of Joshua and Stephanie is really good.  I love Josh's hat!

This is one of my favorite photos of Adam and Lindsey.  It was taken on Christmas day right after he asked her to marry him.  The look on both of their faces is priceless!

A closer look at some embellishments.
I will post more about the weekend and more layouts as this week goes by.  I hope you enjoyed my small "book" for a post today and liked looking at my photos.  I want to encourage you to take a lot of pictures - scrapbook them and tell the story behind the event.  Everyone has a story and every story matters!

Until next time... ~Pamela