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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


  1. Wonderful stories, Pamela. Great way for me to start my day! Blessings!

  2. Hey Pamela,
    I really enjoyed this post. After attending a funeral of a 54 yr old friend and mother of a neighbor yesterday, this really hits home. I have been thinking as well for ideas to help my 12 year old daughter who has ADD to survive the summer and be prepared and confident for 7th grade. Low self esteem, shyness, apathy toward school work... you know, middle school stuff. I think your post helped me to get an idea. She loves to see her scrapbook and here stories of her baby years. I am sure she feels the love from the pages. Time to get the scrapbook supplies out and finish that book. Thanks so much for the post.
    Hang in there. I think you have a gift of serving others. A great way to pull yourself up from the slippery slope.