October 4

School Memories Album – Part 1

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Last month, I spent four weeks agonizing over my inability to do anything with my photos.  I came up with a plan to start small and do an 8″ x 8″ album of “School Memories.”  I choose this topic because:

1.  I have a limited amount of pictures and memorabilia.

2.  It has a very distinct timeline.

This week I gathered up my photos and memorabilia.

 

What I kept:

  • School pictures (individual and class)
  • Report cards
  • A few snapshots that have meaning to me
  • Newspaper clippings
  • School programs that I have distinct memories of
  • School papers (my first full length story, poetry, creative writing)
  • Graduation invitation & cards
  • Booklets that have information on the history of the schools I attended

What I got rid of:

  • Duplicate school pictures
  • Snapshots that were blurry or didn’t have any significance to me
  • School programs of events I have no memory of
  • School papers that don’t have any meaning to me (tests, a report on the planet Mercury, drawings that I don’t remember doing)
  • Cards that weren’t important to me

I tried to keep in mind that I want to tell a story.  When I was going through my “treasures” I asked myself, “Does this support or add to the story I’m trying to tell?” 

Daily Inspiration

 

Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.
 
Gilbert K. Chesterton
 

Posted by lori . Filed under If I Die Today | 8 Comments

September 27

Photo Albums – Week 4

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If you’ve read my Thursday posts the last three weeks, you know I’ve been in agony over organizing my photos.  Last week, I decided to pick a topic, write down my stories and create an album.  I chose “School Memories” as my subject because the pictures are easy to identify and the timeline is very clear (Kindergarten-12th Grade).  Here are some of the supplies I’ve gathered to get this project started:

 

Pandigital Photo Scanner

I love the idea of scanning photos.  I can create a digital copy of the photos I’m going to use and, more importantly, copies of photos I don’t want to use and would like to get rid of but…I might want them later. 

8″ x 8″ Album

I decided to go with the smaller 8″ x 8″ album because I don’t have a lot of photos for this project and this size seems more manageable for a first project.

Coordinated Paper

Whenever I look down the paper aisle of my local craft store, I get lightheaded because there are so many choices.  I decided to get a coordinated paper pack from Stampin’ Up! so I wouldn’t have to worry about finding things that go together.  The paper pack I selected is called “Storytime.”

Daily Inspiration

 

The imperfections of a man, his frailties, his faults, are just as important as his virtues.  You can’t separate them.  They’re wedded.

Henry Miller

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September 20

Photo Albums – Week 3

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Last week, in an attempt to  focus myself so I could organize and deal with my photos, I wrote down what I want to accomplish.  Here’s my list:

1.  All of my photos upstairs.  No photos in boxes in the basement.

2.  My photos organized in categories in photo boxes.

3.  Identify photos I’d like to frame/display.  Put them in a separate box.

4.  Stop thinking about photo albums.  Just get the photos in photo boxes.

A pretty good list to get me started, but I couldn’t quit thinking about #4.  If I don’t do “something” with my photos, all I’ve essentially accomplished is moving my photos from plastic boxes in the basement to prettier boxes upstairs.  Maybe a little more organized, but basically the same.

 

While moving things around, I found this book, Scrapbooking Your Family History. It says that it’s “a guided plan for organizing and telling your family stories.”  It hit me that that’s what’s missing in my plan.  I long to record the stories behind the photos, not just preserve the photos.  I thought about all the photos I see in antique stores…they are photos that have lost their stories.  So, I’m going to start gathering my stories and then put photos with them.

 

The book suggests getting started by selecting a topic.  I’m going to start with “School Memories.”  I picked this because the pictures are easy to identify and the timeline is very clear (Kindergarten-12th Grade).

 

If you’d like to join along, gather up your school photos and we’ll tackle this step-by-step.

Daily Inspiration

 

Education is not filling a pail but the lighting of a fire.

William Butler Yeats 

Posted by lori . Filed under If I Die Today | 7 Comments

September 13

Photo Albums – Week 2

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Last week, I wrote down the things that prevent me from resolving my photo mess.  The issue that really stuck out to me was, “I don’t have a clear vision of what I want in the end.”  So, I spent the week thinking about that.  Here’s what I want:

1.  All of my photos upstairs.  No photos in boxes in the basement.

2.  My photos organized in categories in photo boxes.

3.  Identify photos I’d like to frame/display.  Put them in a separate box.

4.  Stop thinking about photo albums.  Just get the photos in photo boxes.

That’s all I’m going to think about for now.  I hope this makes the project a little less HUGE in my mind.

Daily Inspiration

 

The shortest answer is doing.

Lord Herbert 

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September 6

Photo Albums – Week 1

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Hey!  Aren’t there supposed to be photos in this album?

If I could pick a project I wish I would take care of, it would be to organize my photos and put some of them in albums…but, I never do it!  I imagine this is because…

1.  It’s a HUGE project.  Even though I’ve never been one to take a lot of photos, over the years they’ve added up.

2.  I don’t have a clear vision of what I want in the end.

3.  It’s difficult to decide what to keep and what to toss because everything is emotionally-charged.

4.  The look of the albums should be what?  I never can decide.

I’m open for any helpful advice.  I’m going to dig in and get this done…finally.

Daily Inspiration

 

A person is neither whole nor healthy without the memories of photo albums.  They are the storybook of our lives.  They provide a nostalgic escape from the tormented days of the present.

Patrick Garry

Posted by lori . Filed under If I Die Today | 11 Comments

August 30

Great Questions – Part 10

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Back in May, I ran a series of five questions that were meant to get you (and me) thinking about memorabilia and hopefully identifying some of the special treasures.  When I originally posted these questions, I didn’t answer them, but now I am.  Here’s the fifth (and final) question:

Think of 5 favorite people in your life; what is a special thing that represents each person for you?

1.  My Daughter – Toma

Toma was my daughter’s favorite stuffed animal.  She loved Doberman Pinschers and always wanted a stuffie that was sitting in this position.  To me, Toma symbolizes many aspects of her childhood.

2.  Mom – Pinkie & The Blue Boy

My mother kept these in her curio cabinet.  I always thought they were beautiful, and I was proud of my mom for having such good taste.  She gave them to me because I loved them so much.

 

3.  Betty – Jewelry Box

Betty was a family friend who influenced my life in a profound way.  I wrote a tribute to her here.  I don’t have many “things” from Betty, but I do have this jewelry box.  I bought it at our church rummage sale.  I don’t remember if it was Betty’s or if she just sold it to me, but I’ve always associated it with her.

4.  Ellen – ?

I’m still working on this one.  Ellen is my best friend.  We met in kindergarten.  The first thing that came to mind was a little leather souvenir.  When we were in grade school, Ellen and I wanted to trade something.  The little leather souvenir was what Ellen gave me in the trade.  The problem is, I may have given it back to her. Ellen…I think you need to buy me something really fabulous to remember you by.  See me for ideas.

5.  Dorothy – Avon Egg Box

Like Betty, Dorothy was very influential in my life.  I wrote a tribute to her here.  She was an Avon Lady, and I would help her visit customers and sort and package her orders.  This egg is from Avon and one of my favorite things.

Daily Inspiration

 

It is my feeling that Time ripens all things; with Time all things are revealed; Time is the father of truth.
 
Francois Rabelais
 
About the photo (taken on August 26)…I took this photo in the garden of the Oliver Mansion where I volunteer as a docent.  I believe it’s a chain and padlock to secure a garden bench.  I love how old it looks laying on the bricks.
 

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August 23

Great Questions – Part 9

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Back in May, I ran a series of five questions that were meant to get you (and me) thinking about memorabilia and hopefully identifying some of the special treasures.  When I originally posted these questions, I didn’t answer them, but now I am.  Here’s the fourth question:

Think of 5 favorite events or periods in your life; what 5 special things represent those times?

 

1.  Charlotte’s Web

(Becoming a Lifelong Reader) Charlotte’s Web is the book I credit with making me a lifelong reader.  My 3rd grade teacher read aloud a chapter every day, and I was captivated by the story.  I loved it so much, my mom bought me a copy of the book that I still own.

2.  Ardmore Award

(School Years)  I went to a small elementary school and it was a good experience with many happy memories.  The Ardmore Award was given to one girl and one boy of the graduating 6th grade class.  I won and was honored to receive it.  Since I’m allergic to competition, it’s one of my only awards.

3.  Frog Trinket Box

(Motherhood)  My daughter’s dad bought this for me in the hospital gift shop when she was born.  I collect frogs, so it was a perfect little gift.

4.  Kuwait Medal

(Hardest Thing I Ever Did) – Five months after my daughter was born, I was sent to Saudi Arabia for the Persian Gulf War.  Leaving her was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but as is so often true, many good things came from it.  The thing I’m most thankful for, the relationship that was forged between my daughter and her dad.

5.  Mission Bell

(Marriage) – My husband and I met and married in California.  Much of our courtship and honeymoon centered around a portion of the California Mission Trail (El Camino Real – The Royal Road).  The idea of placing the Mission Bell Guideposts as markers along the highway and in front of each Mission came about in 1906.  This is a souvenir and a sweet reminder of a romantic time.

Daily Inspiration

 

There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.

Alfred Wainwright

About the photo (taken August 23)…Last night, I went to the movie theatre to see Singin’ In The Rain.  I’d never seen this movie, let alone on the big screen.  It was a delight.

Posted by lori . Filed under If I Die Today | 9 Comments

August 16

Great Questions – Part 8

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Back in May, I ran a series of five questions that were meant to get you (and me) thinking about memorabilia and hopefully identifying some of the special treasures.  When I originally posted these questions, I didn’t answer them, but now I am.  Here’s the third question:

What 5 things tell the story of your life?

I used these categories when picking my items:  childhood, military, motherhood, marriage and family.

1.  First Frog

I’ve collected frogs all my life.  This was my first frog; a gift from my grandma.

2.  Class A Uniform

A soldier’s dress uniform is a “history” of their military career, and it’s a lesson in humilty when you try it on years after you retire.  “Yes,” I can’t button mine.

3.  Pink Hippo

I don’t even want to think about all the stuffed animals that have passed through our lives during my daughter’s childhood, but only two make “treasured” status for me.  Pink Hippo is one of them.

 

4.  Wedding Band

It’s simple, but the most meaningful symbol of my marriage.

5.  Quilling Picture

I’ve shared many of the wonderful things my mother made.  This is a shadow box picture made with quilling paper.  It’s one of my favorite things.  The details are amazing, and I treasure it.

Daily Inspiration

 

 Life is a long lesson in humility.

James M. Barrie

About the photo (taken August 15) …I spent a little time taking pictures of some of my favorite knickknacks.  My mom picked up this owl secondhand and my daughter and I loved him.  When my mom was ready to get rid of him, she passed him on to us.  I think one day he’ll be an “heirloom.”  He’s perfect for sitting amongst the books.

Posted by lori . Filed under If I Die Today | 11 Comments

August 9

Great Questions – Part 7

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Back in May, I ran a series of five questions that were meant to get you (and me) thinking about memorabilia and hopefully identifying some of the special treasures.  When I originally posted these questions, I didn’t answer them, but now I am.  Here’s the second question:

What 5 special things would you grab in a fire?

I decided to focus on handmade items.  I have many things that are very precious to me, but these things are truly one-of-a-kind.

1.  Raggedy Ann

My mom made this for me when I was little.  I love all the work, craftsmanship and love my mom put into this little doll.

2.  Quilt

My grandmother made this for me and it was on my bed when I was young.  It features sunbonnet girls.  A funny thing…it took me years to see that these were sunbonnet girls.  I thought they were some unusual creatures with the sunbonnet being the two eyes, the arm and hand being the nose and the skirt being the body.  When I look at this, I still see the little creature first.

3.  Oil Painting

You may remember this painting from my July 12 post.  This hung in the hallway of the home I grew up in.  The painting belonged to my Great Aunt Mame.  It was painted by one of her friends.  Unfortunately, it’s not signed.  I’m hoping that my mom or dad will one day remember the name of the artist.

4.  Birch Watercolor Painting

This was a wedding present to me from my uncle and aunt.  It was painted by a friend of my cousin.

5.  Little Wooden Animals

My mom cut out these little shapes for my daughter who painted them when she was 3-years-old.  I realized very early on that my daughter was an artist with a very good eye for detail.

Daily Inspiration

 

The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color. Often at night there is lightning, but it quivers all alone.

Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

About the photo (taken August 9) …From home to work and back again, I drive through miles of farmland.  I love the wide open fields.  They feel like home.

Posted by lori . Filed under If I Die Today | 9 Comments

August 2

Great Questions – Part 6

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Back in May, I ran a series of five questions that were meant to get you (and me) thinking about memorabilia and hopefully identifying some of the special treasures.  When I originally posted these questions, I didn’t answer them, but now I am.  Here’s the first question:

If I died today, what 5 things would you want to keep to remember me by and why?

I asked my daughter this question and here’s what she picked:

1.  Matryoshka Doll

I started collecting Matryoshka dolls for my daughter when she was a young girl.  Her (our) collection is small, but we’ve got some real beauties.  This is the one she would choose because it is the most intricately painted.  She’s really glad she gets to keep them all.

2.  Photograph

Not this picture…this was the runner-up.  The picture that she would keep, she already has.  It’s a snapshot of my face, and I’m laughing really hard.  It’s how she see me.  This picture was the runner-up because I made her sit still and smile while those precious little bunnies were biting her.  We joke that she was made to pose for this picture while the bunnies ate her alive.  If nothing else, I provided my daughter with precious childhood memories.

3.  Frog Bookends

I’ve collected frogs all my life.  If she had to pick one thing, she would pick these bookends because she remembers them being around the house all her life.

4.  Knitted Owl Sweater & Skirt Set

This is a special item from both me and my mother.  Believe it or not, this was my mom’s first knitting project.  She wanted to learn to knit, so she had a friend teach her.  She made me this sweater and skirt set.

I wore the ensemble for my kindergarten Christmas party.  This is a picture of me and my kindergarten teacher. 

My hands are all twisted funny because I was nervous (and excited) about getting to stand so close to my beautiful, young kindergarten teacher, whom I was deeply in love with.

5.  My Favorite/First Painting

My daughter picked this painting because it’s my first and favorite, and she loves this period of my life…so do I.

Daily Inspiration

 

 I travel a lot; I hate to have my life disrupted by routine.

Caskie Stinnett

About the photo (taken on July 30)…This is another photo I took on my way down to visit my daughter at Purdue University.  This is Bethlehem Presbyterian Church just outside of Metea, Indiana, and one of the most beautiful country churches I’ve ever seen.  The photo above is taken from the westside.  If you’d like to see how the church looks from the road, you can look at the Daily Inspiration photo on April 24.  Before my daughter leaves West Lafayette, Indiana, I plan to go to a Sunday service.

Posted by lori . Filed under If I Die Today | 8 Comments