Saturday, January 16, 2010

Scrap Memory #6. Is it More Memoir?

Jut to let you know my ScrapMoir went up Thusday morning at Women's Memoirs.  The article is about "Simple Stories," the subject I've been writing about here. 

The digital layouts at this week's Women's Memoirs site are truly simple.  If you tell yourself you're not creative enough and can never do anything as beautiful as the famous scrapbook artists, don't despair.  Keep at it certainly if that's your goal.  Click on the links here and study some of the pages.  I believe you'll see a degree of siimplicity in quite a few that you might not have seen at first view. 

If it's about the story you want to tell, the chronology or nonchronology of your precious children's travels through the days that amaze you, don't worry as much about the layout.  The photo(s) will probably say it all.  But, then, I've also created scrapbook pages where I had no photos, just a memory I felt the need to write about. 

One of the layouts on Women's Memoirs, this week shows a rather dark picture of the old bowling alley my father managed in the basement of St. George Elementary School where I attened grades 1 through 8, along with my siblings.  That photo and write-up doesn't tell the whole story of that slice of my life, but it's an important one because most of our life back then revolved around St. George Church and School, and my dad's job. 

I don't think I have some sort of super memory; I just believe it's the pictures that inspire me.  For those of you who say, "I don't remember anything from my childhood," do you have photos?  Do you look at them?  Are they in albums of some sort?  Do you share them with your family, especially your kids or grandchildren? 

Or do you truly want to forget?  I can understand that.  Seriously.  Because not all good things happened to me growing up.  Our lives were dysfunctional in so many ways.

But we grow up and look at who we are now--what kind of person we've become.  Are we loving?  Generous?  Have we built our lives around the good and worthy elements we so longed for when we were children? 

Is there a hidden message in the pictures, eiither good or bad?  You need to tell it.

I can honestly say I came to terms with my childhood through scrapbooking .  Not all at once.  Not quickly.  It took some years.  Then a gentle breeze of moments and scenes began replacing the dark times until I knew the answers I'd been seeking all of my life.  Why.  It had nothing to do with me.  The things that happened did not define me as a person, though I'd always lived like they did. 

"The truth will set you free."  John 8:32

It's available to anyone who wants to remember--either to recover the good stories so they can pass them on, relive the fun memories, or to make their way down the dark corridors to the light that was always there, waiting for you to acknowledge it. 

One bit of warning here.  While I got through the not-always-healthy family environment on my own, and it was difficult, if you experienced trauma of the type that may harm your reliving it, you may need to seek help dealing with it.  I'm the oldest of six children, and I remember events non of the others are conscious of.  My sister four years younger than me died, and some of her memories as well died with her.  Things change in families over time.  Lives smooth out as people grow older. 

By the time I was old enough to understand, however, I loved to hear family stories that the adults told whenever they gathered together.  Mom had a big box of loose pictures in a drawer.  We looked at them when we were kids.  As I grew older, she'd tell me who the people were in the photos and some stories to go with them.  My paternal grandmother did the same thing.  So many stories.  They began crowding each other inside my brain, trying to get out.  I started writing some when I was about ten years old, but I never showed them to anybody.  I'd fill a diary or notebook and thenn throw it away.

I firmly believe I was born to tell stories. 

Someday, somewherre, somehow, these stories are going to go on being told.  That's why I do it. 
Keep the memorries alive.

Monday, January 11, 2010

My Finds of the Day

Do you love dictionaries?  Well, that might be odd for a lot of people, but I love them.  Jenni Bick has one on her site I found today that rocked me.

Pictorial Webster's: A Visual Dictionary of Curiosities  $35

Personalization ($12.00):

Here's just part of the write-up on this beautiful book: 

Featuring over 1,500 engravings that originally graced the pages of Webster's dictionaries in the 19th century, this chunky volume is an irresistible treasure trove for art lovers, designers, and anyone with an interest in visual history. Meticulously cleaned and restored by fine-press bookmaker Johnny Carrera, the engravings in Pictorial Webster's have been compiled into an alluring and unusual visual reference guide for the modern day. Images range from the entirely mysterious to the classically iconic.

Click here to go to Jenni Bick    

There is a sale of course!  She has planners, calendars, journals and just wonderful stuff. 

Another site that's having a big sale is Roberts Crafts.  I like this online store because they also have needlecrafts and my favorite brand of yarn for knitting baby blankes.  I have a new great nephew on the way, so I just stopped by Roberts to look at the yarn.  Click here to visit.   Thermal Book Binder / Laminator  I also like this siste because of her "Your Story" icon. 

Friday, January 8, 2010

Banana Paper for Scrapbooking?

Don't you love it when you come across something great you weren't expecting?  That happened to me today.  Eco Paper.  Incredible.  Sure, it costs more than a ream of cheap printer paper from WalMart, but think of it.  It's acid-free, lignin-free, and chlorine-free which I hadn't even known about. 

When I saw the Banana Cover Stock Paper, I thought, wow, this would be good for scrapping.  Then I saw the Mango.  This looks awesome.   

Coffee?  Cigar Paper, Lemon?
The journals are too cute.  I fell in love with the Gorilla Banana-Paper Notebook.

You can read how the paper is made on the site.  Go hug a tree. 

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Simple Stories

The best stories are simple.  Memory Works knows this, and that's why they've created something BIG -- "Simple Stories."  It will be available soon, and I know I'll be getting one as quick as I can.  I'm all about story and simple. 

I've been working on memoir a lot.  Be sure to check my guest blogs over at Women's Memoirs, the latest one Life in Ordinary Time.  I'm merging scrapbooking and memoir, meaning using a lot more writing.  Because it's about the stories.  It's always been about the stories.  Using the beautiful scrapbook products available makes it more fun and gives us nudges in the right direction sometimes when we become uninspired. 

The number one rule is to use the products to bring out the photos and the story.  In other words, you don't want the products to take center stage.  This is hard to keep from doing for some of us, but be forewarned that if you let this happen to you, it will be difficult to get back to focusing on your memories. 

It's About Your Memories

Getting back to Memory Works and Simple Stories, I love all of the products available at the site, all the best of the popular names on the market, and you only have to go to one site.  I find myself becoming more and more interested in this option. 

It's Official Now

I registered New Year's Eve for Stacy Julian's LOM (Library of Memories) class on Big Picture Scrapbooking.  I have read and heard so many people say, "This class changed my life."  Some even said, "And I really mean it."  I read one girl's entire year's blog of her journey with LOM, and wished I could sign up immediately.  The problem is you can only sign up once a year in December to January.  It starts this year on February 4th.  I'm presently doing the first pre-class exercise, starting the photo organization.

Now, of course, I have to admit I don't have the problem like a lot of people who have hundreds and hundreds and years and years of photos.  When I began Creative Memories 11 years ago, that's something I tackled early on.  I also have to admit I am not as completely organized right now as I should be.  Life.  What more can I say?  And now with the digital, I do have more than I should on my flashdrive that need to be printed. 

But with the organizing I'm doing now, I've already seen changes.  Thisi class changes the way you scrapbook.  I already see that, and I haven't even had my first real class.

 I will be substituting some of the products used because I already have them, and Stacy suggests we do that to save bucks in this economy.  For instance, I will use my Mini Power Sort boxes instead of the steel drawers Stacy uses.  I'll use the big Power Sort for "cold storage."  And I will continue to use my CM albums. 

My Word

When I read Ali Edwards' blog this week, I loved her "One Little Word 2010" and decided I wanted one little word too. The word she chose was "story," and she showed a necklace on her blog with her word on it to remind her all year.  The necklack comes from  I love everything about STORY.  I love to write stories, read stories, watch stories.  All of life is a story.  My word is story.  Which goes together with scrapbooking and writing--especially memoir writing--really well.  What is your one word for 2010?

Ali used Wordle to creat a cool collage of all the words her fans sent in.  Go to her site to see it. 

Here is my Wordle
Wordle: Story

Cricut Vinyl | T-shirt Iron-on Transfer Paper | Specialty Inkjet Paper | Computer Crafting | Glass Etching

Cricut Vinyl | T-shirt Iron-on Transfer Paper | Specialty Inkjet Paper | Computer Crafting | Glass Etching


Not long before the New Year, when I read Stacy Julian's book, The Big Picture, I visited one of the sites she suggested.  Knowing what an awesome human Stacy is, even beyond her scrapbook genius, I was so very touched by the site she led to, Values: Your Everyday Heroes (  On this site you can write about your own heroes, either throughout the world or in your family.  You can read remarkable quotes by great heroes.  I love  best the "Good News" section which plays up all the good things people are doing in the world.  I read this one yesterday:

The Making of a Hero:  In the wake of a thwarted terrorist attack on a Northwest flight to Detroit, a renowned psychologist talks about what makes ordinary people do heroic things.  News Week

You can follow the Newsweek link at to read the rest of the story, but it does my heart--and my mind--good to dwell on the positive, not just all the negative junk coming at us on a daily basis, on TV, the radio, in the newspapers, frightening gossip spread by people.

Maybe that's one reason we scrapbook.  Isn't that a way powerful statement of how we value those we love as well as our love of life?  It's also our solace, our distraction from everyday worldly worries.  When I'm working in my scrapbook, I'm thinking only good thoughts...well, maybe also thinking about running out of white cardstock again.

Women's Memoirs

Women's Memoirs
Women's Memoirs