Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Recycle...upcycled Card

I love getting pictures in the mail on save the date cards and wedding invitations.  Here is a card I made using the Save the Date.  I was pressed for time but wanted a special card for the daughter of a dear (my oldest girlfriend from childhood) friend.

My card making began when I purchased that first rubber stamp to decorate the envelopes I would mail to Hong Kong...where this young lady would be born.  I HAD to make this card.  A store purchased would not do. :)  Ashley's mother - Lana- and I mailed letters every week for a long time. A Hero Arts bear stamp on the envelope to make it cheery
lead to a tin filled with rubber stamps. We all have a story of how one little stamp seems to reproduce and multiply until we have two containers...and then three...and so on and so on...until many of us find we have a whole room dedicated to our creative paper endeavors :)

Here is what I did...I used my Sizzix framelits to cut the picture into a heart from the "Save the Date" card.  I cut an additional heart and embossed with petite flowers...running it through the Big Kick.  A complimentary piece of gray card stock embossed with my favorite swirls seemed to add interest.  A ribbon for sweet glamour and a gold initial with her new last name embellished with gemstones from my stock.  Cutting their name from card, too, added a more personal touch.

Time to get back to my little blog.  I've taken a bit of a break to attend to other things. Hope you enjoy the card.  Aren't they cute?   Her mother and I share 40 years of friendship! When I received a wedding thank you - I was thrilled that she commented on the card. :) She- like her mother- appreciated the "made with love".

Monday, June 2, 2014

Welcome to Valerie's Point of View

If you are here because of Debbie Piercey or Danielle Hunter ...welcome.  I can't help smiling thinking these savvy scrappers think my blog worthy of a shout out.

I started this scrapbook journey many years ago but I have finally found my niche.  You will see my pages vary in style and design.  I enjoy trends - but I wouldn't say I am a trendy scrapbooker.  For me - it is the combination of the right photo with the right words - I call it "Photojournalistic" scrapbooking- that is my passion.

I have some old photos from grandparents collections - but my mom rarely pulled out the camera without Dad's direction. They thought it was too costly to take a picture for no reason. Now...looking is some of the photos they took when "finishing a roll" to get it developed that captured the real slice of life. that matters most.

God blessed me with way to many words.  I try to use them for good and not evil.  Saving our stories and taking a snapshot of right now makes me smile.  Here is a recent layout made during  LOAD514 with the amazing Lain Ehmann   and crew.

Glad you came to visit.  Please come back soon.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Kiss me in the rain...

Remember that amazing moment in Sweet Home Alabama at the very beginning of the movie...where it is a flashback to childhood...and she says; "What you wanna marry me for anyhow?" He never misses a beat with his brutally honest and equally sweet reply..."So I can kiss you anytime I want." I just adore the way the movie brings that scene back as adults with a total role reversal.

May and June...weddings abound. Romance is in the air.  I am actually shooting a wedding in June - something I rarely do (as I am not sure I feel qualified) but the couple likes my style and I can't wait to capture more of them.  We did a trial run with the engagement shoot. Here is a shot I loved that embraced my movie quote:
 Seriously...can you feel the love?  I can.  Becca and Shane are so in love and the sweetest thing I see is that they seem to really KNOW each other...a bit like Melanie and Jake.  They dated  and have been engaged long enough to really, truly know each others strengths, buttons and joys.  They are precious. I pray they treasure the gift they have found in each other.

The bottom layout - my Claire (a ScrapHappy pal) had asked about. She wanted to know how I caught the photo...did I send them out in the rain?  Truth is...I might long as I had covered shelter for my camera- but the day was full sun.  I am shy of any full sun shots - but we got some great ones that day. (Hit those manual settings just right) As I was reviewing the shoot - I had come upon the quote below:
For what it's worth, you can drag me outside just to kiss me in the rain, anyday! I had to use that quote and make the photos worth.  TO THE RESCUE: the DailyDigi, I believe had this rain overlay in one of the monthly downloads.  I used  dark vignette around the edges to give the stormy feel to the sunny day.  Seriously - in Illinois where the weather changes almost instantly - sun and rain happen.  Rainbows are not that uncommon but always savored.  I really enjoyed making these layouts. I hope you enjoy them, too.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

My Side of the Story

I pulled this old story out of my Kindergarten days. I never thought to write it down until Lain challenged us to talk about our memories from school days.  I took me awhile and then when it hit was a fast layout. 

Telling the old stories is a part of why I love scrapbooking.  It is a way to package up our memories and pass them down.  

I still see most of my Kindergarten boys every now and then.  I love that small towns are tight knit.  Even though I no longer live near them...they are there...except Marty who lives near me. :)

Another fun LOAD tale told.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

525,200 Minutes...

It is nearly graduation and what I get done for Ciara's book will have to be complete.  I have savored every moment of shooting her photos, reflecting on her lift this first 18 years and savoring the young woman she has become. The LOAD challenge for Day 8 was "The Soundtrack of your Life" - Easy!  Music is such an important part of my life that choosing just one was the hard part.  Then I realized I hadn't scrapped this particular photo for Ciara (my niece) and she graduates from High School this month.

Seasons of Love from Rent has long been a "soul song" for me.  I didn't expect to make another page for Ciara's  Sr. Album - but here it is. We have lived this year in a season of grief and loss. Her grandfather(my Dad) died in April 2013, then a 14 year old cousin who attends school with her was hit by a semi and killed in June 2013... and in October 2013 (on her 18th birthday) I watched her stand holding my brother's hand as he buried his best friend, business partner and "brother from another mother" after he was killed in a combine accident. Her senior year has not been all magical memories and dances.  She is one tough cookie despite her tiny frame (she did not get the tiny frame from me). This prompt has been  good for my soul...and I hope she loves the page. The background of the photo is a grain bin on our "homeplace" ...the phrase my dad and uncle called their parents farm.

Today - two lovely ladies who matter to me will graduate.  Devon Elliot (my cousin's daughter) and Anna Leander (the new wife of my Jill's son Ryan) will graduate from Olivet Nazarene University - It seems not that long ago, I was where they are today- college diploma in hand and not sure what this new grown up life will mean. They are both smart, sweet and will make a big difference wherever they choose to plant their seeds of kindness and hope. My advice to them the same as it is to Ciara...and my other cousin's son, Nick Wheeler, who will also graduate from High School this month...

"Measure you life in love!"

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Double Ditto...X...Y & Z

The prompt was misheard lyrics...or Mondegreen.  I struggled all day and then someone mentioned Walker in his constant fashion forward trend sitting style of cowboy boots and shorts when he was little.   Then I remembered his ABC song with "Double Ditto" instead of "W".  It was such a fun memory to scrap and I knew just where the photo was that I needed to use.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

You Better Take Notes:

The prompt for this day was "When does life really begin?" When do dreams for the future become our real stories in the here and now?  I found this poem and it captured my heart.  It is a young spoken word poet, Sarah Kay's, "Point B" or "If I have a daughter".  I had already done one layout for this LOAD prompt but this one might be my favorite. No photo - just Sarah's wisdom.  It might become a page in my niece's Sr. Album. I so relate to her words.

I love the line "Find the boy who set the fire and try to change him". Ha!  I really could have been that girl. Sure my love could rescue the boy who wasn't "bad" just misguided. :)  I believe in rain boots and chocolate. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did putting it together.

Monday, May 5, 2014

My Cinderella Watch...

These photos were recently shared by my cousins.  They were found in an old suitcase and are now a great treasure. My parents were NOT big picture takers and most of the photos we have are of cars, tractors and visiting guest.  I have very few snapshots of our daily life or even holidays.  Yes, I credit that with my photo obsession.  The first thing I purchased of any real value as a young adult was a Vivitar 35mm film camera.  It was $89 and it was my pride and joy. It took great pictures, too.

Back to today's tells the story of the Cinderella watch with figurine that I wanted the way Ralphie wanted his Red Ryder Shot Gun.  My watch was not under the tree.  I didn't know Santa had a helper in my Aunt Mary Ann.  This is the one gift I remember from childhood. I can't believe it was in these found photos.  I am feeling very blessed. :)

Friday, May 2, 2014

If These Walls Could Talk...

This LOAD challenge takes me back to my childhood bedroom...and the room I shared with my sister until home improvements gave us rooms of our own.  I made a quick page - due to time restrictions - but at least I got a bit of the story down.

In truth - it wasn't until recently I realized how great sharing a room really was and how much I learned from the experience.  Co-habitation with a sibling is great preparation for marriage.  You can love someone with your whole heart - and they can still make you crazy at times.

I like to think that I first learned about sharing space because I had a sister. I learned to pick my battles because I had a "baby" brother. Sibling are such a gift.

I re-used some photos - I have so few from childhood...but way differently than I had used them before.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

So Past Perfect...time to get it done

This month...I am savoring life as a guest artist at LayOut A Day (LOAD) with Lain Ehmann and my girls over at Scrap Happy. It is an honor and a rush to "hang out" with some of the most fabulous scrapbookers on the planet.  I cannot wait for another month of creating a new layout every day based on the prompts given daily...even though May is insanely goal is one layout or more a day.

My friend Michelle Beeby challenged me to do a mix of digi and traditional.  I love a challenge.  Today is a digi day.  

My first layout - not my greatest ever- but photos that have not been given a place in my album finally were placed on a scrapbook layout.  Our prompt was "in the news" so I figured Walker "getting braces on" was newsworthy.

Live is really in the details...the small stuff...and the little memories that collectively make up the story of our lives.  My Walker looks so little in this photo.  I hope to get past my desire for the "perfect pages" and really get some memories down this month.  Happy May.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Remembering Dad...

It's been a year. Today, my scrapbook page is a way to remember one of the things about Dad that I don't want to forget...his joyful singing in church...loud and off key.  As a child - I was so conscious of him. As an adult...I learned to embrace it and smile.  Today...I'd love to hear it one more time.

I scrapbook to remember...and to capture the details I don't want to forget.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Value of Gratitude

I am grateful for this devotional from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. It speaks to the heart of why I have come to passionately believe that gratitude changes everything for the one who offers it up from a thankful soul. Gratitude is a magical place (thanks for that thought Roxanne Chamness-Harling) Here is the devotional: 

"LET THANKFULNESS TEMPER ALL YOUR THOUGHTS. A thankful mind-set keeps you in touch with Me. I hate it when My children grumble, casually despising My sovereignty. Thankfulness is a safeguard against this deadly sin. Furthermore, a grateful attitude becomes a grid through which you perceive your life. Gratitude enables you to see the Light of My Presence shining on all your circumstances. Cultivate a thankful heart, for this glorifies Me and fills you with Joy."

*HEBREWS 12:28-29 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”

Oh I ever grumble sometimes! I don't mean to despise His sovereignty...but frankly...either HE is KING or he is not! I either submit or attempt to control. Gratitude lets His light shine through the circumstance. Love that thought. It acts as a filter...helping me see his love that covers every trial, trouble...and our joys and celebrations, too. Let Gratitude shine!

This Scrapbook page is from the February LOAD214: Scrapbooking Mythbusters. Not every scrapbook page needs a picture.  This layout summarized my first year of living gratefully. The text of the layout was from one of my LAST posts of 2013...just before I decided to do another year - with so much encouragement from family and friends around the world. I thought capturing it for my albums would be good. Not picture needed.  

Sunday, March 2, 2014

I love my guy...

I do love my guy.  This layout was a challenge to not do a title.  Of course...I can still journal and I did.  This photo was taken at a recent wedding.  I thought it perfect for a layout about his birthday and our relationship...28 years later.

If you are a do you journal. My grandpa kept a daily diary but it had more weather information in it than anything else.  My grandmother would add a few occasional tidbits like "the little girls stayed tonight, Ina went to have the baby". I wanted more!  I was one of those little girls and the baby is my brother Matt.

What did they think about keeping us? What did they have planned.  Did they wish for a boy or a girl?  Were we well behaved?  These details matter to me.  Finding their journals with excitement and then with some disappointment...was another reason I choose to fill my time with scrapbooking.  Our history is so much a part of us.  It can define us...break us...or load us up with hope and inspiration.  Journaling matters...not just the event...but the feelings.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Picture Perfect? Perfect Picture?

Life really is much about perspective.  How we view what happens is far more powerful than the event itself.  This page tells of the "Happy Accident" that gave us the last pictures of Mom and Dad before his unexpected death last April.  I love the personality in the photo.  He was being ornery and she loved him to pieces. I love that I can remember the moment and not just the photo.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

less than perfect...

LOAD has begun.  I should have many posts this month...if time permits.  The prompt was the first of our mythbusters. "You can only choose the best pictures for scrapbooking!" The photographer in me cries "YES" and "Amen", but in my scrapbooker's heart- I know  that sometimes a less that perfect picture can tell the story.  One of my favorite layouts ever is a picture my cousins found when cleaning.  One nearly pitched it - but the other knew more of my passion for photos and said "Valerie might be able to do something with that."  I love my cousins!

I am not sure if I have posted this before...if I have- it has been a while back and is a wonderful reminder that the "less than perfect" can still tell a story.  Grandpa and my little brother were best of buddies.  This photo captures it - even over exposed - it took on an almost ghostly glow that reflects how I still feel Grandpa's love for us - even though he has been gone nearly 20 years.  This may be one of my all time favorite pages and the photo is awful.

Do you have a "bad" photo that tells at great story? Is it time to use it?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fairygodmother Fashion Sense...

Fashion sense..."Fairy Godmother" to my oldest niece on the eve of her graduation from High School.  This page was from our LOAD in Vogue 10/13.  I love the photo.  Truly a classic look.  I was going for Hepburn. Ciara is a classic. She has great fashion sense.

She didn't love this dress but I bet after a few years and a few kids...she will love this portion of her Senior photo shoot.  She is fresh faced with just mascara and a little lip gloss. She does shine from within. The Layout a Day prompt was about fashion and I turned the page into fashion/life advice.

I hoped to capture the fun and the flavor of the journaling. It is a bit more embellishment than my usual style- but I wanted to go outside of the box. Life is a grand adventure.

Monday, January 27, 2014

A Long Time Coming..."The Last to Let You Down"

This is the page I have been holding back.  When my brother lost a friend who was closer than a brother and  a business partner in October - it was our 4th close/family death in less than 12 months - I finally found the desire to tell this 18 year old story. Part of my reluctance was not so much that it was sad - but that once I told it - it was finished...the end of the story. I was hesitant to "let it go". that song from Frozen is being sung by my resident "earworm". Fellow Scrapbookers...there are no rules!  We can tell it again if another avenue comes along or another medium to try. Our stories are just that...ours!

I want my boys to know that life here is just a blink in the face of eternity but every day counts. I want them to know a little about their Aunt April and how we said "until we meet again". I want them to have respect for the men and women who serve and tender hearts toward anyone walking the path of loss and grief.

Not all pages are happy...because life hurts sometimes.  I think telling the story is a way of healing and holding on to the sweetness of even the saddest moments.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

...because every day is a gift!

People ask if I think "Scrapbooking" is dying out. My answer is a passionate "NO"! Why? Because we are all have a story to tell.  Does it matter? Perhaps only to our own loved ones, but it does matter!

I was born to a family of story tellers on both sides of my family tree.  How I loved to sit on Great Grandpa Bess's lap and listen to him talk of days gone by trying to see with my imagination what he saw and experienced. The same with my Grandpa Lindgren.  Every sleep over came with ice cream and bear stories.  Then, as we grew older- it was the stories of his childhood in a family of Swedish immigrants that captured my ear and my heart.  I was born to people that chased down fears...worked through failures...and never let their spirits be broken by hard stuff.  I want my children to know some of their stories.

My Dad loved to tell stories, too.  As a young adult I realized that a county grain elevator was the hub of as much gossip as any beauty parlor! Stories new and old were told and re-told.  Without stories...fiction or true life would have no flavor.

I am hoping that my little break from blogging to grieve, gather and recharge has me ready for LOAD214 with Lain, Dani and the crew. Life is short!  We have to tell our stories now. I believe our kids and grand kids..and even the great grandkids will be glad we did!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Fond of YOU

This layout was a LOAD challenge.  The LOAD (layout a day) assignment was to create a layout inspired by "fondue".  Now, as LOADsters know - there are no rules and we can take and twist it anyway we want...I used "FOND of U" . I decided today was the day to step back into the creative blog universe.  After another death in October that closely impacted our family and the holidays...and a special wedding ...I just haven't had the time or energy.

Today, I will begin again.  I love that we can always start fresh. A New stories to tell and some old ones, too.   Happy 2014!