Day 20 was to scrap emotion. I could have gone with a rehash of this, but instead, I chose this ...
... not your obvious shot of emotion, I know. But when I look at this photo I see contentment and patience from DS and I remember the thankfulness I felt while standing in a supermarket queue. The design is based on this ...
... Shimelle's current starting point challenge.
Day 21 was to use a shaped photo. Ah, those heady days back when I was new to the idea of scrapbooking and 'advice' suggested cropping perfectly good photos into daft shapes ...
... and here's my response. They're not three colours that I would normally put together, but adding the red and small strips of patterned paper helps it to work, I think. Another page for my New York album, a work in progress.
Day 19 was to choose any photo at all. So, while the New York pile of photos was on my desk, I went with one of those.
Out of interest, my next planned visit to New York City is in the autumn of 2013, when my mum celebrates a significant birthday. She would like her present to be a few days in NYC with me and my sister. Who are we to say no? I'd also like to think that DH will take me for our 10th wedding anniversary, given that we were there the week before we got married.
And I'm very much hoping that this lady will meet me when we're there.
These last few weeks, I've been extremely thankful for the way DS has embraced starting full-time school and all the new adventures that come with it.
** This post is brought to you in association with Ali Edwards and her semi-regular Thankful Thought series. **
Week 24 ~ the week we went to Henley Show, the week Grandad came to stay and the week I received a lovely thank-you card.
The week where I drove to the supermarket, the week where I enjoyed coffee and croissant after school drop-off, the week where DS wore his PE kit for the first time, the week where I called Deb in the hospital and the week my FiL gave me flowers, just because.
Week 25 ~ the week when DH booked tickets for his university's Christmas Ball (the uni where he was an under-graduate, not a post-graduate ~ check out the venue here), the week where DS continued to take full-time school in his stride, the week where DS somehow managed to chew his tie to pieces and not be noticed, the week where there was a face at the window.
The week I went to see Adele, the week where I counted up all the small change I had saved (20p and 5p pieces = £350), the week where I noticed just how many cranes occupy the sky in our area and the week DS received Happy Mail from Granny.
Day 15 was a biggie for me ~ scrap the 'bad stuff'. Lain showcased a page she'd made about her parents and her mother's Alzheimer's and it really reached out to me. The layout below is one that I've had in my mind since April, I just didn't know where to go with it or how to set about it. Shimelle's current sketch of the week provided the answer. A simple design , with space to tell the story.
My mother-in-law passed away in late April after a short illness and a long battle with Alzheimer's. I don't want that illness to be her legacy. She was so much more than that.
She was an adored wife of almost 60 years standing.
She was a cherished mum of two.
She was a loved mother-in-law of two.
She was a treasured Grandma of three.
She was a career woman back in the day of married women not having careers.
She was the driving force in her family.
She was loved and admired by many.
Dementia. It did not define her. It does not define us. It was part of her story. It is part of our story. It was not her whole story. It is not our whole story.
Day 14 and it's on to stamping. Something that I very rarely do, probably because 9 times out of 10, I cock it up. In order to keep things simple, and therefore less chance of the aforementioned cock up, I stamped just the title and a few sentiments.
This month ... eight. Yes, that's correct, eight 6x4 photos on a 12x12 layout. All very clever, but actually much simpler to produce than expected. However, the doctoring of a page protector to allow the flap to be lifted is another matter ...
The title refers to Adele talking about how chuffed she was last week when she heard that her album 21 had just passed the 10,000,000 album sales mark. Erm, Adele, make that 10,000,000 and one, because yours truly has just ordered a copy.
The patterned paper is by PaperTrunk's range 1974 and I thought it perfect for these dark photos. Plus, Adele comes across as a funky kind of rock chick!
Day 12 was to use a dodgy photo on a layout.
Here you have me, almost cut out of the shot, DS looking away and another mother captured mid-gesticulation.
Day 13 was to think about any rituals used when scrapping.
Here's what I do: the photo is always first; one that tells a story, obvious or otherwise. Then it's on to patterned paper; for the last few months, my first port of call has been my 12x12 RUB box of scraps. It's close to overflowing and is in definite need of a cull. Also, given my self-imposed stash buying ban, it's a way of making me re-look at offcuts.
See that circular material embellie? Deb sent me that, along with some other stuff, and as it reminded me of lines on hospital monitors, it was perfect for the layout.
In relation to scrapbooking, I like a sketch. I particularly like the short how-to videos Shimelle puts up on her blog when she hosts a sketch challenge. What about you you? Do sketches do it for you?
Shimelle's current sketch challenge:
Yesterday, Stephanie Howell blogged about being more open in blog posts, sharing more of the difficult stuff of our lives. Something I think she was inspired to do by this post from Ali Edwards. And I've been thinking about both posts since last night.
How to find a happy medium? This is my blog. It should be what I want it to be. Tales of motherhood and the trials that it brings. Stuff about scrapbooking, layouts, projects. Those that are pretty good, those that fall below par and those that are somewhere in between.
It's all about balance.
And in response to Stephanie, here's what's been in my heart this last week.
DS has started full-time school. He's only 4 years and 8 months old. How will he manage? How will I?
~ DS saying goodbye to Mrs H. Love that his shirt is hanging out ~
But you know what? I am now more than certain that we chose the right school for DS. The Headteacher is at the gate every morning and greets each and every child by name. Mrs H is so motherly to her charges that I'm sure they are all in love with her. Example: 06.37 this morning. DS comes into our bedroom and the first words out of his mouth are, "Can I go to school and see Mrs H?"
DS is proud that he looks so smart, that he has a school bag, he knows that I will always be there to collect him at the end of the school day. The transition for him appears to have been smoother than for me. But my heart is glad. He's in the right place, a place where differences are encouraged and not stifled, a place where respect is shown for each other and the surrounding environment, a place where DS is happy to go and reluctant to leave.
Week 23: Weeding the garden required a sunhat and shades. The latest C.J. Samson was released in paperback. I finished the Times2 crossword (general knowledge) for only the second time since April. We were able to eat supper outside. We went to Heathrow to wave DH off on a business trip.
Granny arrived for a stay. DS had a pre-starting school haircut and tried on his new uniform. The big day arrived: DS started in Reception on 7 September. An airship flew directly over our house ~ we stood and watched in wonderment.
Shimelle's starting point challenge looked like this ...
My response looks like this ...
This also qualifies for day 10 of The MotherLOAD ~ scrap a black & white photo.
Funny how things work out.
This morning brought Happy Mail in the form of a change of address postcard from Deb. How did she know that I have something ready to send her?
(At first glance, I thought Whisky Jay was sitting in an empty Viagra carton ...)
And then Carrie posts on her mum's blog. Deb is poorly and, to be honest, not looking at her best right now. So there I am pottering around the house and thinking about Deb. If only she were nearer, I could visit. Hang on, I can't visit, but I can phone ... ah, maybe not. 1.30pm in London is 5.30am in Arizona. Can't imagine Doug being too happy to be woken at that time by a Brit lady asking about his wife ...
I settle on emailing Carrie and she replies with Deb's mobile number. Wonder how much it is to call a mobile in the US? Mention to DH that I'd like call the States, but omit the fact that it's a mobile number ...
Six minutes. That was all I needed to have a fabulous chat to Deb. I'll let you know how much BT charge ...
Dearest Deb ~ all of us here in suburbia are wishing you the speediest of recoveries and I look forward to chatting again very soon. Or maybe I'll settle for texting ...
ETA ~ Deb sounded in good spirits and astonished to find me on the other end of the line. Carrie was there, too, listening in.