Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Classwork: Library of Memories

I am so very, very glad I am taking this class on Big Picture Scrapbooking.  When I heard and read that it changed the way so many people scrapbook and organize their memories, I wasn't sure, but finally l thought, well, this old dog probably has a lot more to learn, so why not now. 

I feel so more creative.  I've been doing this a long time, and I guess eventually you start to wear out, or you realize how many more pictures you have that aren't in scrapbooks, or you think of all the digitals still on your camera, your hard drive, DVDs, flash drives, and you start feeling overwhelmed. 

Then you take a fun trip, or your kid graduates or gets married, and you get excited with all the new photos you've taken, and all the old pictures just keep on sitting there.  And you feel a little guilty cropping the new photos for exciting layouts when your child with his cap and gown are still stuck in your camera. 

Oh, yes, it was time for an injection of adrenaline.  And this class does just that. 

I now have all the photos that are printed in my storage album.  I only have one storage album at this point because I don't need more at this point.  I only have 2007-2009 to scrap.  I'm almost finished with sorting, deleting, tagging, editing, and highlighting my 2009 digitals to have printed.  I'll leave a lot of them on the computer and backed up on flash drives for digital layouts, but I still prefer paper scrapbooking more than digital for some reason.  Hybrid scrapping is fun too.

My ScrapMoir, which goes live at 12:01 am tonight on Women's Memoirs, is #9 and titled "Deep Connections."  Our astounding teacher, Stacy, has been talking and showing us a lot about connections, and I can't believe how much this has affected me.  I'm now pulling old albums off my shelves, finding various photos, putting them together with other photos, copying and scanning them, and creating brand new layouts with stories I'd never thought to tell.  This is amazing to a person like me who is all about "story." 

I've been reading The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, a somewhat old book that was recently made into a movie.  It reminded me of things about scrapbooking and telling stories, and so I used some of the quotes in my ScrapMoir for tomorrow.  It's really a great book, and I'm sort of sad that I'll finish it tonight. 

Below are the two layouts I used for #9, Deep Connections.  You can't really read the text on the blog on Women's Memoirs.  Not sure why.  Anyway, the first is about ending my first marriage.  I wanted to do it for my children.  All of the photos had already been scrapped in albums on my shelves by year, so they were easy to find. 

This next layout is aboutt Jeff, the fifth child and youngest.  Also the son of my second husband.  This layout is about two events, Jeff being diagnosed with a brain tumor in 1995 and open heart surgery when he was three months old, in 1989.  The two events, though far apart in time, tell the whole story.
The reason for these two layouts is the ScrapMoir--it's about scrapping and writing about events and times in one's life that were not necessarily the happiest time.  In fact, going through a malignant brant tumor with your child is a horror story.  You feel like the world has gone insane.  You live each moment by itself and try not to think of the next.  When the doctors started talking about chemo after the surgery, I cried to our pediatrician, "I don't think I'm capable of getting up every day and seeing my child suffer that way."  Our neurologist, a real sweetie, said, "Chemo has a bad rap.  It will give him quality of life.  If it doesn't work, we'll stop it." 

At one point I screamed, "How does a mother watch her child die?  I can't do that."  That was because the surgeon said he would not survive.  I should have remembered back to when he was born and the attending pediatrician said he would not survive because he had a defective heart.  But I didn't remember that.  I didn't remember that my child was used to fighting for his life. 

And now, 12 years later, he is still here, our precious, wonderful boy at age 21, who makes our world a better place just because he's in it. 

I love making connections like this by using whatever photos I have, all the thousands of them, in my albums, on my computer all organized neatly, in my storage binder, and in my category drawers.  I did see a storage binder on EBay last week and bid on it and won.  Got it for only $3.99.  Paid $14.95 for the one I have, so that was a real deal.  They're the Pioneer leather 3-up, Bi-Directional books.  They're not beautiful at all, but I love flipping through them now and seeing what I got that I haven't scrapped yet.  When you've got as many albums as I have on the shelves, your mind can get boggled. 

Check back because I'm going to be blogging more about this new adventure. 


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