28 April 2017

Feline Friday: Binge Watching Nature

Lily loves to go outside on the leash, but she doesn't walk too much. Mostly she just flops down on the patio and rolls around. 

Instead, she sits in front of the TV and waits for nature to come to her!

Finally, if she waits long enough, Meowmy will summon the birds on YouTube.

Ahhhh...birds in the rain!

 Birds in the garden...

 Birds in the garden, episode 97...She's binge watching nature! It's so much easier than actually walking around! :)

Quick Tinsel update: Tinsel is still doing pretty well. Unlike Lily, Tinsel actually WALKS on the leash. This time we went around the house four times, at her request, and down the street! The next day, she was very tired and barely got up or ate at all which really worried Meowmy. But since then, she's been back to her usual energy level and is still very active.

 We are enjoying each day we get to share together.

 But after many years together, Tinsel still doesn't relish her time with Lily (read: kind of hates her). "Heer, Tinsul, let mee show u mi gardin byrds on Meowmy's fone!" As you can see from the tilt of her head, Tinsel was clearly not impressed with her sister's efforts! 
Here's wishing you a happy Feline Friday and hoping you get to enjoy a bit of nature, whether inside or out!

24 April 2017

Scrapbooking 15 Years Later!

 Since I recently finished up my 2001 scrapbooks, I've been motivated to continue on. Strike whilst the iron is hot, as they say! So over the past few days I dug into 2002 and so far, it has proven to be much easier and faster to work through. Even though I'd skipped over several events (such as Bailey's 9th birthday!), it was easy to slip those pictures into pocket pages and finish them up quickly.

You probably know from reading my blog that I have a *TINY* tendency (haha!) to save things, which is why I'm sharing this photo below. Fifteen years ago, at the time of Bailey's party, I bought the tie dye paper and die cuts so I could use them on her pages. And believe it or not, I STILL HAD THEM! I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing that I still had scrapbooking stuff which is that old but I decided to go ahead and use them, even though I probably wouldn't have purchased those same items today!

So I made one "traditional" page and put the remaining photos in pockets. 

I had also kept Bailey's original (scribbled!) party plan and added it to the pages. I know I get carried away saving things but when I can use them as intended, then that's a WIN in my book! And check out the picture on the left of me wearing my mom's old dress! Bailey insisted that her parents dress up in 60's attire for the party and I guess this was the best I could come up with!

 These pocket pages don't look like "normal" pocket pages because the photos are all 3x5.5, too small for the 4x6 pockets. As a result, they have to be adhered to 4x6 cards, which is a little bit of a pain but not too bad.

And since I'm in "catch up" mode here, I'm not spending much time on those pocket pages. Just keeping them very simple -- nothing to write home about. At this point, done is much, MUCH better than perfect!

  I incorporated memorabilia, such as this newspaper article,  by placing items in smaller sleeves. I'm just adding these new pocket pages into the album full of pages I had made years ago. So the albums will have a mixture of old and new pages.

Sometimes I used 5.5x8.5 sleeves for tiny scrapbook pages to feature one photo I especially like. This one shows Bailey eating while either doing homework or one of her many workbooks. This is one of those photos that really captures her personality at that age!

I've also found many, many great photos of Tinsel, which is both wonderful and bittersweet, given her current health situation. She came to live with us on Christmas 2001, so these photos were taken shortly after she arrived. Going back in time to work through these pictures is really a great trip down memory lane and reminds me of why it's so important to capture moments like these in scrapbooks.

 So 2002 is going relatively quickly, 15 years later! My little process is working pretty well so I'm going to keep at it and with luck, I'll be in 2003 before you know it! :) Thanks so much to those who have stopped by to offer encouragement. If you're on your own "scrapbooking catch-up" journey, please share your story and process!

21 April 2017

Feline Friday

Whilst sorting through thousands of photos, I recently ran across a few pictures of Baby Lily. In all the history of Cute Kittens, Lily was surely at the top of the cuteness list.

I mean, look at this:

Be still, my heart! 

Take a look at this old post for a few details about the newly-arrived Lily! 

Nowadays, Lily looks a little more like this! :) Believe it or not, she sits in this position fairly regularly. It's the best way to reach that fluffy belly, I guess! Note the pink tongue!

At other times, Lily can be found like this, enjoying her life of leisure:

Morning naps are spent in this position:

Somehow her stripes sort of disappeared when she got older, and the latte-colored patches became a little more noticeable, especially around her mouth. She looks like she's just finished a Starbucks drink -- on the chin and around the tummy! :)

Back then, Lily loved playing games on the computer screen. 

These days, she prefers a larger screen with real live birds!

 As you can see, Lily is a very special kitty who is loved very much!

20 April 2017

Scrapbooking: Only 16 Years Later...

 Today's a big day because -- only 16 years later -- I'm finally done with scrapbooking the year 2001! I've been working on this year for awhile because things were particularly messed up due to the fact that I changed album styles that year and left a lot of things undone, notably the journaling in the strap-hinge album. I'm happy to put this mess behind me and move on to...2002!  As you can see in the above photo, I ended up with 3 albums for 2001, which is pretty typical for me (I'll make new spine labels one of these days). 

I found quite a few photos I wanted to add and most of them fit into small pocket pages. I also used lots of 8.5x11 page protectors for smaller subjects and memorabilia.

I used several of the 6x12 pockets for stray photos that somehow didn't make the cut the first time around.

The 6x12 open sleeves worked great for many types of memorabilia such as small certificates like this one from summer reading club.

I slipped Bailey's book list into the back of it so it can be pulled out. In addition, I occasionally I found a photo that spoke to me so much that it warranted its own page, so I stopped to make a few.

  I just mixed and matched my way through the year, adding in extra photos and memorabilia. The 3-ring binders make all the difference in the world, as they make it so easy to add things and move pages around.

There were very few pictures of me and my activities in the original albums, so whenever I found some I added them in.

I recycled a lot of the memorabilia I had kept. Sometimes I pulled out the one page I wanted and got rid of the rest. Going forward, I will need to scan or take photos of some memorabilia to reduce the bulk in the albums. In many cases, a smaller image would be just fine but 2001 was such a mess that I honestly didn't want to add in that extra step!

I often found myself reading through memorabilia trying to figure out why in the world I'd kept it! Obviously, most of those mystery items didn't need to be saved!

So now I'm moving on to 2002, which I'm hoping may be a little easier. I'm starting out with one album's worth of pages and will be adding at least one more album for that year. There are lots of events that didn't get scrapbooked back then (the half box of photos below), so I'll be using 12x12 pocket pages for many of them.

 I also have a lot of memorabilia for 2002 which will need to be incorporated into the albums in some fashion. (I should mention that I also have boxes of school papers which I'm not even attempting to work into these albums. These are family albums, not school albums, so I'm planning to make separate binders with Bailey's schoolwork highlights (no photos) over the years. Basically, my thought process is this: If I have photos of a particular event, then I'll add in the certificate or award that goes with it. Things like Bailey's spelling tests or a research papers will be saved in separate 

On the subject of memorabilia, I will say that my little system for saving "scrapbookable" memorabilia has worked really well. It took me awhile to figure out the best way to save and organize this kind of stuff but this method has been great. I have four hanging file folders per calendar year -- one for each quarter, so when I'm ready to work on pages, I just pull out that quarter's folder and see what I find! For this big project, I've been pulling out one year at a time.

Even if I don't use all of the memorabilia I saved, some of it is helpful to jog my memory! I never would have remembered these "record" birthday invitations! Now I can add one into the album when I work on her birthday pages.

 So overall this project is going well, but it is SLOW GOING. No surprise there! I only wish I had finished the 2001 albums back then as it would have been so much easier. FINISH WHAT YOU START! Lesson learned...16 years later! :)

15 April 2017

Scrapbooking: Back in the Day...

I've been scrapbooking for around 17 years. In that time, things have changed A LOT! From albums to products to styles in general, the industry has really evolved.

That evolution is quite (painfully!!!) evident in my early scrapbooks! All of us who have been scrapbooking since those "early days" have old pages that make us cringe. We all would do things differently now. But I vow not to worry TOO MUCH about those pages and I will not take time to re-do them. Part of the process is seeing how you evolve as a memory keeper!

So you may recall that I've been converting my post-bound albums to 3-ring binders. In the process, I had to go back and finish the last of my very old strap-hinge albums, originally produced by Creative Memories and then by Westrim. I have some of both.

Back in the day, Memory Bound, the store where I teach, offered album imprinting on covers and spine labels. In fact, that's where the name "Memory Bound" came from. It's a service that eventually proved too difficult to offer. Luckily, most of my cloth-type albums were imprinted before we stopped this service.

 In this particular album, I had several pages that strangely didn't have journaling, which is very odd because journaling (to me) is the most important part of the page. But after re-visiting those 16-year old pages, I can remember how much I came to dislike those albums (with their side-loading page protectors) and what a pain it was to work with them. So I'm sure that's why I just abandoned the journaling and moved ahead to the post-bound albums, which were such a huge improvement at the time!

Fortunately I had kept (was there any doubt? LOL) the memorabilia for the events in the album, so I was able to use that information to create some journaling. I also added more stuff to this handy pocket page as part of finishing this puppy up!

I went page by page, measuring out the space for journaling then coming up with appropriate text. It's truly amazing how much I have forgotten but I managed to figure things out! I cut up the pieces then adhered them to the spaces I left blank.

I can barely believe I had to go back 16 years and add journaling, of all things. *shaking my head*

As tedious as that process was, it was interesting (and scary!) to see how products and styles have changed. In this album, I must have purchased my square punch (squares are everywhere!) and my first pack of sticker letters.

I was also transitioning from Creative Memories products to those carried at Memory Bound which was newly opened. So through the album, you can see that I gradually added in more stickers, a product I rarely use today. Back in the day, we carried an entire wall of stickers at the store, so of course I could find sombrero stickers!

Paper piecing was very popular back in the day (it's coming back now!) and Bailey loved assembling the little paper dolls like this one. She had her own set of chalks, too, for adding little details. As you can see in these photos so far, everything is very straight on my pages -- that is still my style.

But at some point I started tilting elements and silhouetting photos (cutting away background) as shown in this birthday party page. Tilting photos is still OK in my opinion (although I mentally just can't do it!) but silhouetting photos is something I've always regretted. I think that it tends to draw the eye to the shape and away from the subject, which is contrary to the intent.

There's that handy square punch! I still have it and use it, by the way. You can't go wrong with basic shapes!

 Bailey made this page featuring our fish, Blossom and some of her fish artwork. I found myself adding some journaling,16 years later...

Here's another example of a page I would not make in this way today. It features a silhouetted photo at the top left and lots of tilting as well as awkward and uneven spacing. Border stickers were all the rage back in the day, and I sure made ample use of them! I also drew out many of my own titles, something you'll not see me doing today. I wish I were better at it!

This is a classic way we used to make titles back then, featuring sticker letters and squares on either end.

At some point during this period, I decided to try tearing. The "Tearing Years" (or perhaps we should say "Tearing Weeks", more accurately) are still referenced at Memory Bound. Tearing paper sort of freaked me out back then because I couldn't completely control what it looked like. :) We still laugh about that, as well as my ongoing inability to tilt elements without overthinking the degree of tilt!

 Here we see more tearing and tilting, along with another paper-pieced doll made by Bailey. You'll notice that brads and eyelets started to make an appearance here.  I continued to experiment with tearing and tilting until I realized that they weren't my thing. Both made my head hurt and just didn't yield the results I had in mind.

I still firmly believe that in scrapbooking, you have to make a few (or a lot!) of pages before you figure out your personal style. In the process, you'll probably make a few (or a lot!) of duds, but you'll hone in on the products and styles that best represent you and what you want your memory keeping to be. This is something I always share with beginning scrapbookers and, now that I have this album done, maybe I'll share it with them, too, so they can see how styles have changed over the years, as well as the kinds things I wish I hadn't done! :)

How about you? What do you remember about scrapbooking, back in the day? Have you ever gone back and re-done a page? I'd love to hear your thoughts!