I always sit here trying to get the beginning just right. It's like everything else in my life, if you can just get me started, it's normally hard to get me to stop. It's that getting started that always trips me up or postpones the event from beginning. I woke up changed the wax melts in my Scentsy burners to lilacs and violets and hopped in the shower. I wasn't in the best mood this morning, afraid I'd waste a day just wondering what to do with my life instead of actually doing it, but once I got out of the shower and smelled the flowery aroma floating throughout my apartment I knew that today would be different. Today would be a wonderful start to my week and I could toss out any negativity that came about my life from last week.
Yesterday I went to a Creative Memories Premier Event. I'd gone to one last August, so when I got the email from Vicki about another one coming up I definitely wanted to go. You get to hear people's stories about why they became consultants for Creative Memories. While that might sound lame or boring, it's actually pretty cool because you get to hear a snippet of their life story, what motivates and challenges them. The even always includes tips from a photographer (sometimes several) about taking better pictures. I was reminded of some of the basics like zooming in and using natural light to produce more meaningful pictures. I also learned what ISO means and how it can help adjust lighting so that you don't have to use your flash. I'm pretty excited about refocusing me photography (the little that I do) on those three things to display my memories more beautifully.
The convention always gives you a goody bag for registering and coming to the event. Once I got home I curled up on my bed, dumped out my bad and set about organizing my new items and browsing through the newest catalog of supplies. One thing lead to another and all of a sudden I was on the floor digging through old photo boxes finding photos I'd completely forgotten about that haven't made it into an album yet.
Even since Grandma Molly passed away in January, I've been wanting to do something special with the pictures I have of her from Christmas. I know she doesn't look great in them, I know that's probably not the best image to remember her by, but they're very dear and close to my heart. Well last night going through all those photos (which are organized by date and event by the way!) I figured out what to do and started pulling out and labeling an entirely new pile of photos. This morning after my shower and with the scent of new spring in the air I set about writing a little note to go in all the envelopes I addressed last night:
I know I haven’t seen most of you since the funeral in January. As many or most of you know I lost my job just a week before Grandma passed away. I’ve done a lot of thinking, meditating and self-discovery during that time. I’ve also been trying to get a little more caught up on all of my scrapbooking. That included going to a convention with Alan’s mom just yesterday. As usual I got home from the event and felt the need to dig through my boxes of pictures that have yet to be scrapbooked. That’s when I got my next idea: a scrapbook of photos that highlight Grandma Molly. Now I’ve got quite a few, some have already popped up in other albums of mine, but I want this to be anything from family Christmases to birthdays, to just sitting around the house. Here’s where I need you all. If you have any pictures of her that you have copies of, if you don’t mind sending them to me either by mail or email (my email is firstname.lastname@example.org), I could really make this album more complete. If you only have originals and don’t mind me borrowing them, I can make a copy and return the original to you. Please just let me know if it’s a photo I can keep or something I need to return. The album I’ll be making is a 12x12, so every picture should be able to fit just fine. Please help me do something meaningful that will help us all remember her more vividly.
I sent these out to my parents, my remaining grandma, aunts, uncles and cousins. Well, I guess I should say, I'll be sending them out tomorrow once I buy another book of stamps. It's a new project that will put a lot of meaningful memories into a book lots of us can enjoy instead of being stuffed and hidden in a box where they're easily forgotten. I didn't put any kind of deadline on them because I don't want to rush anyone and frankly I have plenty of projects I'm trying to finish up before I need to start another, but it's nice that I have a plan for some of the clutter that needs to be kept and not tossed. I hope I get more photos and responses, maybe even a couple of stories to put in the album from other family members. There are a lot of things I didn't do while she was still alive and I was in college. Instead of piling on regret, I'm going to take all of that energy and turn it into something beautiful. I think it'll be pretty great.
In the meantime I've been crocheting babies as my Grandma called them, meaning stuffed animals. I guess she called them that because I always had at least one with me when I traveled and always a mountain to put on my bed when I made it in the morning. I still have 5 trash sacks full stored away under my bed until I have a little girl of my own when I can cover ceiling kissed shelves with them for her to look at (and maybe one or two to play with as well). While I was informed that I cannot sell anything I make from a bought pattern (who knew?) I've still continued to make them because they're incredibly adorable and I've gotten some great ideas to create some of my own.
Plus they make great gifts whether they're original or not because they are handmade. I'll start making my scarves and hats again soon so that I can have a huge stock for the cold weather. Those I can actually put in my Etsy store, so it'll be exciting to share my artwork with the world. I've also almost finshed my first "nap blanket," which is my favorite size to lay on the couch with or curl up under with a book and cup of tea. I haven't decided if I'll keep it or give it away to a family member. I'm probably leaning towards the second since I can always make myself another one.
While exploring around the Etsy world I found Steampunk Rings and descovered a name for a genre of things that I've always loved.
While I absolutely adored a particular watch and a bizarre little ring from them, I discovered all sorts of other neat little things.
I just love these little dog treat jars. You can get them from WhiteWashSundries with any breed inscripted and it's first initial on the top of the jar too! I really want to get one for my little Edward.
Of course I'm a total bag girl *which is the younger more hip version of a bag lady* and adore all sorts of totes and purses. I found several that I really adore and love the fact that if and when I am finally able to purchase one or two I'm supporting someones love and dream of being creative and doing what you love for a living.