Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mother LOAD 17

Today's thought:
Today is Snack Saturday. At the end of the week you may be feeling a little crunched for time or just plain tired. That's why we'll pull out our snack bags today and help ourselves out with a good dose of chocolate (that's what I put in MY snack bag - forget about buttons and ribbon! Haha!).
Seriously, the weekends are a chance to recover a bit. So on Saturdays I'll have you use your snack bags for an extra helping of inspiration.
Today's prompt:
Are you tired? Sick of yourself? Sick of ME? (Nah, never!!) Well today you are in for a treat. Grab your snack bag and scrap whatever your little heart desires. It's freebie day! Make some room in your own skin.

Not one of my better pages but I'm getting ready to leave for Disney World tomorrow and just wanted to get it done.  I may revisit it when I get back.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mother LOAD 16

Today's thought:
Today is Free-for-All Friday. You just never know what I might throw at you on a Friday! Friday might find a unique color combination, an unusual topic to capture, a weird way to go about creating your page… It's good to keep things fresh and unexpected. Keeps you from getting bored!
For some reason, we can take our scrapbooking quite seriously. It always amazes me when I read scrapbooking blogs (and I read A LOT), and I notice how downright grim some of them sound. I want to stand up and shout, "C'mon, people! This should be one of the most joyful activities of our lives! LET YOUR HAIR DOWN AND DON'T BE SO GOSH-DARNED SERIOUS!" (Kind of like I'm doing now! Hehe!)
That's why I threw "Free-for-All Friday" into our marathon. Think of it as the skipping and blowing bubbles portion of our week. Have fun with it. Even if the page you create is a little "different," just making it will make YOU a little different, too (in a good way!).
Today's prompt:
One of the unwritten laws of scrapbooking that hung around for quite a while when I was first initiated was that you shouldn't scrap the same photo twice.
Maybe this started when it cost approximately $30 to develop a roll of photos (and only about 10 of them would be usable…), but now, it doesn't make sense. If you love a photo and it helps you tell more than one story, why the heck wouldn't you use it again and again?
(And for sub-par photographers like yours truly, your "great" photos may be so few and far between, you want to use them whenever you can!)
So today, use the same photo again. Maybe you already used it this month. Maybe you used it three years ago. I don't care. Just use it again.
Recycling is good for the earth. And good for your soul. :-)

Not the exact same picture but taken at the same time while on a swing!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Halfway done with the month and I'm feeling a little burnt out.  It could also be that we only have 3 more days until we leave for Disney World.  

Anyway, here is layout 15.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mother LOAD 14

Today's thought:
Today is Way Back Wednesday. On Wednesday, we're hopping in the time machine and going back, back, back in time! Maybe we'll revisit an old scrapbook trend, or maybe we'll pull up a color combo popular in, say, 1986 (fluorescence, anyone?). By doing this, we can discover a few things:

1. Most of us have some older stuff in our stash we haven't touched in a while.
2. The "old" stuff is old often only because we say it is.
3. Trends come and go in scrapbooking, just as in fashion and music.
4. There should be a number 4 but I'll be gole-darned if I can think of one! (Old age sucks).
Anyway, often we can make something "old" new again quite easily. This will help us stretch our stash, use what we have, and not feel so guilty about investing in fourteen rolls of Mrs. Grossmans' stickers.
Today's prompt:
About six months ago, I was going through a major purge in preparation for (yet another) move. I eyed my binders full of acrylic stamps and was all ready to say goodbye to them. After all, I hadn't stamped for ages!
Crazy. I started as a stamper in the early '90s before I was even a scrapbooker (at least in the modern sense of the word). I went to stamp shows and mounted my own rubber stamps and made my own stationery. It was cool and fun. And then I started scrapbooking and stopped stamping.
I thought the two were mutually exclusive. After all, why would I want to stamp on a scrapbook page? I did it for a while in the early 2000s, but found it too fussy, complicated, and time-intensive. So it was time to let the stamps go in the interest of simplifying.
…until I took a class with Jennifer McGuire. She re-invigorated my love of stamping, reminding me how fun it was and how easy it could be to use stamps on scrapbook pages. It didn't have to be complicated and fussy. It could be simple, elegant, and creative!
So my new scrapbook room has storage for stamps-a lot of storage-because I have a lot of stamps.
I love that.
Today, you're going to stamp on a scrapbook page. Stamp your title, a border, an embellishment - whatever you like. And when you do it, think about the good ole' days.

I never really got into stamping, but I do have a few alphabet sets so I used some of those.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mother LOAD 13

Today's thought:
Today is Take a Picture Tuesday. On Tuesdays, we'll pull out some of those photos we took during Basic Training and put 'em to use.
Today's prompt:
Ritual. defines it as "an established or prescribed procedure for a religious or other rite." To me, it means something I do that holds more meaning than just the thing I'm doing.
And for me, scrapbooking is a ritual. It means more than just putting photos on the page. It means love, dedication, tradition, enjoyment, gratitude, happiness, respect…all the things I'd like to have more of in my life!
Today, as you scrap your photo of one of your favorite rituals from week four, think about your own rituals for scrapbooking. Share them on the message board if you like.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mother LOAD 12

Today's thought:
Today is Mother May I Monday. On Mondays, you're going to get permission to do things you may have thought were illegal in 47 states! (No, not THAT! Goodness sakes!)
We put a lot of rules and structure around our scrapbooking. In a way, that can be good - it lets us have rails to ride, without getting lost on the journey. But often those rules can stifle instead of inspire us.
If we think we always have to use the latest and greatest products…
If we think we can't use a particular patterned paper on a layout more than once (I actually heard of this one - someone who wouldn't use the same patterned paper twice!)…
If we think we have to mat all of our photos…
If we would never (ever!) scrapbook out of chronological order…
Put it simply, rules work. Until they don't. So on Mondays, we're going to break some rules.
Today's prompt:
Photography is a huge part of our pages, so it's natural that we want to become the best photographer we can. We want to get clear shots that effectively illustrate our stories, and that make our butts look small. Right? ;)
But what about those other photos - the ones we took with our finger covering half the lens, or that we snapped on our iPhones and are hopelessly overexposed? My tendency used to be to toss them in the virtual trash before they even made it to my hard drive.
Not anymore. Sometimes those shots are as good as it gets. Like when I forgot the "good" camera at my daughter's music performance, or when I went all the way to California with nothing other than my iPhone. Sometimes you just have to make do.
Today, use a subpar photo on your layout. Use two if you want to. Ansel Adams will not come back from his grave to haunt you. In fact, he just might applaud.

I took the photo with my phone so it's pretty blurry, but one of my favorites.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mother LOAD 11

Today is Simple Sunday. On Sundays, I want to strip away all the complexities we've been feeling about scrapbooking - the things that are getting in the way of the simple act of us telling our stories. We make it much more complicated than it needs to be!
Today's prompt:
One of the best ways to simplify your scrapbooking is to start with a sketch. If you struggle with design, it gives you a leg up. If you love design, you can create a library of sketches that delight you to have on-hand when you want to scrapbook. Today, use the sketch provided to begin your page.
In my mind, sketches are suggestions, just like recipes. Don't like onions? Leave 'em out. Want more mushrooms? Toss in another handful. It's your recipe, your page, your scrapbook. Adjust it at will! 

This is my memory of the events as they occurred for me 10 years ago today, on September 11, 2001.  I admit that some of the timeline could be wrong as I was extremely distressed, but this is how I remember it. 
I had just moved back from Florida and was living back at home with my parents and my brother.  I was working at WWJ Newsradio 950 and a couple of days ago my brother left on vacation for a self-drive baseball stadium tour, with stops in New York City, Pittsburgh and a few other cities.

September 10, 2001, sometime in the evening after dinner.
            My brother, Scott, called us from his vacation in New York City.  He had a great day.  Did some sightseeing and was headed to Times Square and then back to his hotel near JFK airport.  His plans for tomorrow included waking up early to head to the World Trade Center observation floor and then a Yankees game.

September 11, 2001, approximately 7:30am
            I am at a doctor’s appointment hoping to get done quickly so that I can get to work.  It’s going to be a busy day at and I don’t want to be too late.

8:46am:  Unbeknownst to me, since I am in the car, on my way to work and listening to a CD instead of the radio, a Flight 11 crashes into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

8:55ish am:  I arrive at work still oblivious to what is going on.  I get to my desk and a co-worker asks if I know what happen.  I don’t.  She leads me into the news room where all the televisions are on just in time for me to see…

9:03am:  …Flight 175 crash into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. 
From this moment things just became a blur.  My little brother was there.  He was at the World Trade Center.  He told us last night that he was going to the World Trade Center.
            I fell onto a sofa in the newsroom and just sat there for several minutes.  I didn’t know what to do.  I was frozen.  I couldn’t move, I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t think.  I just sat there. 
Finally I snapped out of it and I ran to my desk and picked up the phone.  I dialed Scott’s cell phone number…nothing.  I tried again and again with the same results.  I was afraid to call my mom because I knew she would be beside herself with worry but I knew I had to call her.  She was frantic.  She had been trying to get a hold of him to no avail.  She tried his cell, she tried the hotel and there was nothing.  I hang up the phone with her and start calling his cell and the hotel.  I keep calling both numbers for about 10 minutes.  I take a break from the phone to run back to the newsroom to see what is happening.  All I see are the images of the planes crashing into the buildings and the smoke billowing out.  I also see people jumping out of the burning buildings and all I can think about is my brother.  Is he there?  Did he get out?  Is he dead?

9:37am:  as I sit and watch the footage, Flight 77 crashes into the side of the Pentagon in Washington, DC.
            I watch for a few minutes and head back to my desk to start making calls again.  At this point I decided to call an old friend who lives in New York to see if he may be able to help me find my brother.  I figure that since he is in New York that maybe phone reception or whatever would be better.  I get him on the phone and he is fine.  I tell him about my brother and give him all of the phone numbers.  He says he will help however he can. 
            I call my mother again and there is still no word and no contact from my brother.  We keep trying.

9:59am:  The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses.
            I honestly, do not remember much after this except that I went into mild shock.  I wanted to go home.  I wanted to me with my parents but I knew that I had access to more information and resources at work.  I return to my desk, robot-like, and start to pick up the phone to start calling again, when the phone rings.  It is my mom, she is crying, she just spoke with my brother!  He slept in.  He was still in the hotel.  He was okay.
            I have never in my life felt such a sense of relief.  I still could not cry, I was still in shock that this was all happening and he was okay.  I had to go back to work.  They needed help in the news room.

10:03am:  Flight 93 crashed into a field in Shanksville, PA killing everyone on board and saving who knows how many others. 

10:28am:  The North Tower of the World Trade Center collapses.

We talk to my brother a few more times throughout the day.  It is difficult to get through the phone lines.  He is essentially stranded in New York City.  He stays one more night and is able to get out of the city the next day and heads to Atlantic City, New Jersey, shortly before the roads are closed.
As the days pass and we wait for him to get home we check in with him often.  My mom at one point remarks, “I’m so glad he’s a lazy butt.  Kelly, if you had still lived there and were with him, I would have lost you both.”  She knows how punctual I am and how anal I am about keeping to a schedule.  We laugh about it, but secretly we both know it is true.
A few days later sometime in the night, around bed time, he walked through the back door.  I am so relieved to see him.  Mom, dad and I rush to him and give him hugs and in true Scott fashion he is calm, cool and collected.  “No big deal”, he seems to say, but I think this is more for my parents’ sake than anything. 
We all retire to our bedrooms to try to get some sleep.  I start to cry.  I can’t stop crying.  It is the first time I have cried since the attacks and I can’t stop.   I don’t know how long I cry for but I know if feels good to let it out.  I think I needed to see him, to talk to him and to hug him before I could accept it.  My brother is home.  He is safe.
That day our lives changed, our world changed and we must never, ever forget.

First Responders Park

I am so proud to live in a city that has such a beautiful park dedicated to the First Responders and victims of 9/11.  The park was opened and dedicated on September 11, 2010 and is a cornerstone of the community.

First Responders Park Memorial

Why First Responders Park Memorial?

Vowing that "we will never forget", the City of Hilliard, Ohio is installing one of the largest memorials in the country to pay tribute to first responders everywhere and to insure the events of 9/11 are remembered forever.  With this theme as a focal point, the city will install the park like setting at the southwest corner of Main and Center Streets in Old Hilliard, an area representing a typical American City.
"We will never forget" is a theme that resonates with so many Americans as the great sacrifice of those who died in the shadow of the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania.  While the Memorial will be located in the Midwestern city of Hilliard, it will be dedicated to the first responders nationwide and carry the message that no matter where one lives, all Americans are stakeholders in the events that unfolded on 9/11.  Features of the memorial will include a reflecting pool, three memorial walls, personalized pavers, and more.  The focal piece will be a unique sculpture combining elements of light and shadow so that images depicting 9/11 will be cast.  A new element will be added to the sculpture each year, making it an ever evolving piece of art that stays fresh in the public's mind.

Who it Honors

The Memorial will honor first responders of every branch who responded to the tragic events on 9/11 and to honor them as individuals who offer up their own safety and security in order to protect our citizens.  The commemorative park is being designed as a destination spot where residents from across the nation will be invited to visit and remember.  First Responders Park will allow every person in every walk of life to view the memorial as his or her own personal tribute to those who defend, protect and display acts of heroism for the people of America.


The City of Hilliard First Responders Park Memorial Fund was established in 2008.  The fund was created to provide financing and generate funding specifically earmarked for the First Responders Park Memorial.  Your donations to the Fund make this project possible.  Please stop by our Municipal Building offices to make a donation.  To purchase a paver or other engravable fixture to be placed in the park, click on the Order Form - Engraved Fixtures in Park link.

I was there for the dedication in 2010 and I visit the park often.  We have taken Bug-A-Boo several times and it serves as a way to open up a discussion with children about the horrible and world-changing events of that day in a way that focus on the bravery of the not only the First Responders but also the victims.

On the 10th anniversary of 9/11 we will be at The First Responders Park to reflect and honor the brave men, women and children who lost their lives on that day.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mother LOAD Day 10

Today is Snack Saturday. At the end of the week you may be feeling a little crunched for time or just plain tired. That's why we'll pull out our snack bags today and help ourselves out with a good dose of chocolate. (That's what I put in MY snack bag - forget about buttons and ribbon! Haha!)
Seriously, the weekends are a chance to recover a bit. So on Saturdays I'll have you use your snack bags for an extra helping of inspiration.

Today's prompt:
Grab your snack bag. Grab a black and white photo. Go to town. :-) Theme: You choose!

My snack bag contained the sticker with the flower border, the white flower, the white brad and the two had brads. I knew I had some black and white photos in my category drawers so I went to the People We Love drawer and found these two great photos of my grandmother in 1941 wearing her "going out" clothes...fur, gloves, stockings and hat.

Mother LOAD Day 9

Today's prompt:
By now you probably have a pile of scraps on your desk (or under it!). Good - because today we're putting them to work. Dig into these little piles of goodness and find some scraps that you can put to work on your page. Maybe some small edges of patterned paper from Tuesday, or the pieces you cropped off your photo yesterday. Use what you find!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Mother LOAD-Day 8

Today's prompt:
In the quote above, Sarah makes it clear what she needs - time to run. What do you need? An hour a day to scrapbook? A decaf soy latte? A backrub? Create a page about what you need. It can be as light or as serious as you want. It can be a want versus a need. A wish, if you like. Don't stress if you don't have photos that exactly "match" your needs - be creative. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mother LOAD

What is LOAD?  Well, it stands for LayOut A Day.  What is Mother LOAD?  A 14 week class that I crazily signed up for at Big Picture Classes.  We have had 10 weeks of Basic Training where we learned several different techniques and methods in order to get up to speed for a full month scrapbooking marathon where we will create 1 LayOut A Day in September.

I have done LOAD's in the past and really enjoyed them so I figured this would be a great way to get some projects done.  Each day we receive a prompt from our coach Lain.  We are in our first week and I have somehow been able to actually keep up and get 7 layouts done.

While the marathon doesn't have an overall theme, there are daily themes:

  • Simple Sunday - where we get back to the basics about scrapbooking.
  • Mother May I Monday - where you are given permission to break some long-held scrapbooking "rules".
  • Take A Picture Tuesday - where we'll use some of the photos we took during basic training.
  • Way-Back Wednesday - where we revisit some of the older scrapbooking products, trends, and even photos, and put a new spin on them.
  • Thoughtful Thursday - where we go a little deeper with our stories and pages.
  • Free-for-all Friday - Where you won't know what to expect until you see it!
  • Snack Saturday - where we'll break out some of those snack bags we made during Basic Training to give ourselves a lift.

We then receive a prompt each day to kind of get us motivated.  These are strictly optional.

Day 1:  Today's prompt:  On Day One of our journey together, scrapbook a goal or an aspiration. It could be a big goal (losing 50 lbs.) or a small goal (getting up early to watch the Royal Wedding). It could be a goal achieved, or a goal yet to come. It could be your goal for the next 26 days, or the story of your son's determination to make the first squad in soccer.

This wasn't really a goal but more like a dream come true to visit Hollywood and all the legendary spots, especially Grauman's Chinese Theater.

Day 2:  Today's prompt:  When was the last time you laughed? A big ole' belly laugh and you thought you were going to pee your pants and snort Diet Coke out your nose? Does just thinking about it right now bring a smile to your face? I hope so, because I'm going to have you tell me all about it!
Now, grab a piece of paper (or open a file on your computer) and write out the who-what-where-when part of the story. You can get as detailed as you want, or just add a few words (sometimes just a word or two can crack you up all over again!).  Find a photo of the person, the place, or something related to the time this happened. If you don't have a photo and know you can get one later, you can just leave it blank for now. If all else fails, just add a picture of you (or someone else) laughing. Or even smiling. Don't worry if it was taken four years before the event you're writing about. We're focusing on the LAUGHTER here. The emotion of happiness!  Now that you have the photo and the words, put 'em together on a page. Add whatever else you want. Then upload it to the gallery to show us what makes you snort and giggle.

Sad, but I couldn't remember the last time I had the big, belly laugh.  So I thought I would find pictures of a really fun time.  Baking Brownies with my Bug-A-Boo.

Day 3:  Today's prompt:  Got your snack bag in hand? Great! Now go find the photo that's been sitting on your scrap space for weeks - or even months. The one you keep saying, "I really need to scrapbook this!" But somehow you never get around to doing it. Today's the day, my friend. Grab it and go - don't think too much. Just get it done. You'll be glad you did. I promise!

The snack bags are 5 ziploc bags that we filled with random embellishments.  Mine bag had the chipboard duck, the heart clip, the chipboard blue and yellow tag and the tiny clothespins.

Day 4:  Today's prompt:  create a layout in which you have stripped it all down to your bare minimum.  For some of us, that might mean a photo and some journaling. For others, it may require a lot more product and a lot more photos. That's completely fine! Today I just want you to be aware of your minimums. I'm not asking you to change anything. Yet. ;)

My bare minimums seemed to be at least 1 photo, a title, journaling and an embellishment.

Day 5:  Today's prompt:  You know that list of minimum requirements you wrote yesterday? Get them out. Take a look at them. Now wad up that paper and throw it away.  Today, you are going to create an "alternative" scrapbook layout. If you've always scrapbooked in 12" x 12", you're going to do a 6" x 12" or an 8" x 8" or even an 8 1/2" x 11" page.  If you always use computer-generated journaling, see what happens when you handwrite it.  If you always use items from the same monthly kit, break 'em apart and mix and match.  At a bare minimum, put away your trimmer and cut everything by hand!

I have been using some new divided page protectors for our California vacation theme album.  It has been difficult getting used to this format but it seems to be working well for this project.

Day 6:  Today's prompt:  Pull out your self-portrait from week three and use it on a page today. Yes, you can mix in photos of other people. Yes, you can crop it down so just your left eyeball or right kneecap is showing. Though why on earth you'd want to do that is beyond me, but go ahead. It's your scrapbook! ;)

This is the first digital scrapbook page I have ever done.  When I signed up for Mother LOAD I didn't realize that I would be on vacation for 9 days.  The only way I could think of not falling behind is to go digital for the time when I am gone.  Here is my first foray into the medium in order to prepare for vacation.

Day 7:  Today's prompt:  Today, we're going to scrapbook like it's 1999, the year I started scrapbooking!  At that time, the trends were:
  • "Sticker Sneeze"
  • Themed papers
  • Die cuts
  • Headers on the scrapbook page
  • Matching colors to photos
  • Matting, double-matting, or even triple-matting photos
  • Cutting photos into cute shapes
  • Deckle-edged scissors
I am sure there are a few more, but that's what I remember! Pick one or more of these trends to incorporate into your page. I can't wait to see!

This was a difficult prompt but fun to go retro.  I cut my photos into ovals, matted them and then used my decorative scissors around the edge.  I also used some old stickers to decorate the page.

Looking forward to the next week.  I will try to update daily so as to avoid the really long post.