Tag Archives: scrapbooking

Do Over

Hiddey – ho ~ J Monkeys here.  We had a crazy blizzard here in CT about a month ago.  I was supposed to spend the weekend at a scrapbooking retreat, but got stuck indoors at my parents house instead.  This weekend is a do over.  I’m off to live my postponed scrapbooking retreat.

So to celebrate my do over – I’m giving you a do over too.  You know, in case you missed my post due to all the time you spent shoveling 3+ feet of snow a month ago.

I love a good story and to me, no story is more interesting that the story of our lives.  I can’t tell you how much I wish my grandmother had kept a journal during her life.  She was born in 1909, the 7th of 8 children and she died in 2006, just a couple of weeks short of her 95th birthday.  She lived through so much of what I view as “history”.  WWI, The Great Depression, WWII, the really icy bits of the Cold War, the advent of electricity, the phone, the radio, the TV – all of those were things were new at some point in her life time.  She used to tell us how when she was a child, the ice-man would drive his horse and buggy to their house in East Hartford, CT to deliver blocks of ice for the ice-box.  To her dying day, she called the refrigerator an ice-box.

Now, my grandmother and I had issues.  I’ve probably alluded to them in the past; she wasn’t a happy woman and like to be sure that many of the people around her were unhappy, too.  But I bet, if she had kept a diary of some kind, I might be able to figure out why she was so unhappy.  And that would mean a lot to me.  Her siblings weren’t unhappy.  My aunt Grace (my g-mom’s next oldest sibling) was a very upbeat lady, with a ho-ho-ho belly laugh.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen Auntie died (that’s what we all called Aunt Grace, now I’m Auntie to a new generation, which is really cool) I helped clean out her house.  In her basement, I found an old photo-album.  The pictures were likely taken in the 30′s or 40′s or something.  They are glued onto black construction paper-like stuff and the whole thing is tied together with twine.  The worst thing is this: there are no notes or captions for the pictures.  Clearly, the pictures, people and events were importOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAant enough to her to go to the expense and effort of making the book, but she’s gone now and those stories can’t carry on.

So one of the things that I do when I scrapbook is to write notes of what the picture is about or why I liked it.  Those in the Scrapbooking trade (and if you don’t know about the scrapbooking trade you are missing out on a billion dollar business!) call that “journaling.”  I do some journaling, but I’m more of a snarky-caption kind of girl.  I think that my boys and even my grandchildren will (hopefully!) realize that those captions say as much about me as they do about the photo.

And one other thing about scrappin’ before I leave you and go do it – I don’t have any photos of my life before college, which is when I started my very first photo-album.  My mom has some albums of my childhood which I’ll likely inherit someday, but I don’t have anything now, when I think my kids might find them interesting.  My mom doesn’t have them handy, they’re packed away from her last house move before the kids were born.  So in addition to making albums for me, I’m making albums for my kids to have when they are older.  Each kid has an album.  When they get old enough to be interested in doing the crafty part of it, I’ll have him or her help me.  Yes it means I’m printing 4 copies of a few hundred pictures each year (this year I’ve printed 4 copies of more than 500 pictures) but I think it’s a small price to pay.  Pictures are cheap these days.  I think I’ve paid something in the neighbor hood of $125 for all the 2012 pictures.  If I hadn’t left it for the last minute, I probably could have gotten them even cheaper online somewhere.

Today’s secret: take the time to print off some of those zillion photos you have on your digital camera and phone.  Stick them in an album and write a few notes so that when you are gone, your descendents will be able to know you a little.

Today’s question: what do you do with your extra photos?  I invariably print more than I use and the extras are sitting in boxes in my office.

Bonus Secret: I almost forgot to tell you what the title of this post (The Mother of all BLTs) has to do with scrapbooking!  YIKES.  My annual scrap-retreat is down in Westbrook CT.  And every year, when I get there a moment or two after the places opens (Papercraft Clubhouse – it’s awesome!) on Friday, I go over to the Westbrook Deli and order a sandwich that is good enough to wait a year for: The Mother of all BLTs.  It’s a grinder with like a pound of bacon on it!  YUM.

The Mother of All BLTs

Hiddey Ho Scribblers!  J Monkeys here.  Sadly, I won’t be able to respond to your comments until Monday because I’m at my annual Scrapbooking Retreat this weekend!  Yay!  Let’s just pretend that whole Blizzard thing isn’t looming.

I love a good story and to me, no story is more interesting that the story of our lives.  I can’t tell you how much I wish my grandmother had kept a journal during her life.  She was born in 1909, the 7th of 8 children and she died in 2006, just a couple of weeks short of her 95th birthday.  She lived through so much of what I view as “history”.  WWI, The Great Depression, WWII, the really icy bits of the Cold War, the advent of electricity, the phone, the radio, the TV – all of those were things were new at some point in her life time.  She used to tell us how when she was a child, the ice-man would drive his horse and buggy to their house in East Hartford, CT to deliver blocks of ice for the ice-box.  To her dying day, she called the refrigerator an ice-box.

Now, my grandmother and I had issues.  I’ve probably alluded to them in the past; she wasn’t a happy woman and like to be sure that many of the people around her were unhappy, too.  But I bet, if she had kept a diary of some kind, I might be able to figure out why she was so unhappy.  And that would mean a lot to me.  Her siblings weren’t unhappy.  My aunt Grace (my g-mom’s next oldest sibling) was a very upbeat lady, with a ho-ho-ho belly laugh.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen Auntie died (that’s what we all called Aunt Grace, now I’m Auntie to a new generation, which is really cool) I helped clean out her house.  In her basement, I found an old photo-album.  The pictures were likely taken in the 30′s or 40′s or something.  They are glued onto black construction paper-like stuff and the whole thing is tied together with twine.  The worst thing is this: there are no notes or captions for the pictures.  Clearly, the pictures, people and events were importOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAant enough to her to go to the expense and effort of making the book, but she’s gone now and those stories can’t carry on.

So one of the things that I do when I scrapbook is to write notes of what the picture is about or why I liked it.  Those in the Scrapbooking trade (and if you don’t know about the scrapbooking trade you are missing out on a billion dollar business!) call that “journaling.”  I do some journaling, but I’m more of a snarky-caption kind of girl.  I think that my boys and even my grandchildren will (hopefully!) realize that those captions say as much about me as they do about the photo.

And one other thing about scrappin’ before I leave you and go do it – I don’t have any photos of my life before college, which is when I started my very first photo-album.  My mom has some albums of my childhood which I’ll likely inherit someday, but I don’t have anything now, when I think my kids might find them interesting.  My mom doesn’t have them handy, they’re packed away from her last house move before the kids were born.  So in addition to making albums for me, I’m making albums for my kids to have when they are older.  Each kid has an album.  When they get old enough to be interested in doing the crafty part of it, I’ll have him or her help me.  Yes it means I’m printing 4 copies of a few hundred pictures each year (this year I’ve printed 4 copies of more than 500 pictures) but I think it’s a small price to pay.  Pictures are cheap these days.  I think I’ve paid something in the neighbor hood of $125 for all the 2012 pictures.  If I hadn’t left for the last minute, I probably could have gotten them even cheaper online somewhere.

Today’s secret: take the time to print off some of those zillion photos you have on your digital camera and phone.  Stick them in an album and write a few notes so that when you are gone, your descendents will be able to know you a little.

Today’s question: what do you do with your extra photos?  I invariably print more than I use and the extras are sitting in boxes in my office.

Bonus Secret: I almost forgot to tell you what the title of this post has to do with scrapbooking!  YIKES.  My annual scrap-retreat is down in Westbrook CT.  And every year, when I get there a moment or two after the places opens (Papercraft Clubhouse - it’s awesome!) on Friday, I go over to the Westbrook Deli and order a sandwich that is good enough to wait a year for: The Mother of all BLTs.  It’s a grinder with like a pound of bacon on it!  YUM.  Sadly, they aren’t open on the weekend and I won’t get one this year because of the stinky blizzard.  But there’s always next year!

 

Get Your R & R

Hello Scribblers, J here.  Happy Saturday to you all.  I’m going to ask Casey or Susannah to reply to your comments on my behalf because….dum da da daaaaaaa…I’m away today.  Yes, this is the weekend when I abandon all of my other hats, and just be me.

Are you unfamiliar with my hats?  Check out this post from November when they all fell off.  Basically, I’m a mom/wife first, author second and everything else falls to a distant third place.  The woman that I was before I acquired all those other hats is in there somewhere, but often buried under the hat tree.

I was lucky enough to have a few years (back in my mid-twenties) to do whatever I wanted.  I had no responsibilities other than to pay my bills, small as they were.  I would lounge around all day (on weekends) and read, or go to a movie or do crafty things.  That’s me, that’s what I like to do.  Of course I love all of my other responsibilities too, but sometimes those hats get heavy.  Do you ever wish you could shake them off, just for a few minutes?

Six years ago, I started going to an annual scrapbooking weekend retreat in January.  I love it.  I leave early Friday morning and come home late Sunday night.  No kids, no dishes, no cooking, no diapers, no housework.  Just 3 days of crafting.  I look forward to this event all year.  I’ve made some friends that I see just at this event.  I love it.

I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for two and a half years now.  I knew that I wouldn’t be sitting around eating bon bons all day, but I didn’t know that this would be the toughest job I ever had.  And in addition to the lack of pay check, there’s no annual review or bonus to tell me how well I’m doing.  Just the same routine every day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.  I think that might be the definition of drudgery.  

But the thing I’ve learned over the last couple of years is that it is VERY important to take some time for myself, separate from writing time.  Writing is my part-time job that hopefully is going to pay financial rewards some day.  It’s a good thing for me to take time to make myself happy, to refill myself with patience and creativity.  It’s good for me, it’s good for my kids and it’s good for my husband.

I’m not abandoning my boys when I take one weekend off a year, and a day a month, too.  I’m teaching them that Mom is a person who has hopes and dreams and works to find the time to make those dreams come true.  That it’s important to do so.  And I’m giving them a tremendous gift: time just with Daddy.  Daddy works hard all week and only gets to spend an hour with them each day before it’s their bedtime.  More on the weekends, of course, but still.  Other moms at the retreat call home every few hours to see what the kids are doing with dad.  Are they eating healthy?  Staying away from the TV?  That’s not for me.  I call at bedtime to say goodnight and that’s it.  It’s not Daddy’s first rodeo.  If he wants to feed them McDonald’s 3 times a day (he doesn’t) for 3 days once a year, it won’t hurt ‘em.  If he wants to get them all sugared up right before bed, well, it’s his funeral – what do I care?  I’m not there to worry about it.

Today’s secret: It’s important for you to take time for yourself, doing something you want to do.  It’s good for you and those who depend on you.

Today’s question: How do you pamper yourself?