Posts tagged ‘scrapbooking’

January 17, 2015

Winter Retreat is Happening Now!

Today, there are 23 folks gathered at Honey Creek to do “something fun” with their photos, to retreat and to relax… There is enough winter in the air to enjoy a fire in the evening, but it is temperate enough to be outdoors to watch the sunrise.


Last night I began to think about the old movie “Same Time, Next Year” with Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn (thanks IMDB). It is a story of two people who have a “once a year” relationship. They meet each year at the same inn on the same weekend. As we watch, they grow older, traveling through the “stuff” of life. My favorite albums are like that. They span a period of time,  showing growth and change, and hopefully transformation of some kind.

Like Alda and Burstyn, at Camp Wanna Crop A Lot & Summer SunSational Retreat we gather at the same time each year. On the weekend of the MLK holiday and the last weekend of August, we meet and catch up on each other’s lives. We eat, we laugh, we listen to each others’ stories, we eat, we make layouts, we organize photos, we shoot photos, we take nature walks and we eat some more. Most of us don’t see each other in between. Usually, we welcome one or two new people and enjoy adding them to our “Crop Circle.”

This winter we are welcoming eight new people, five, thanks to Scrapbook Retreat Directory!

One constant is our group photo, the location of which migrates depending on the season and the sun. Since today was a bit overcast, we took the photo using our crop room as the background. Here is the 2015 photo of this year’s adventurous group.

Group Photo Low Res

Join us this Summer, August 27-30, 2015.

March 24, 2011

New Workshops Posted!

I’ve posted two new extended scrapbook workshops in the scrapbook events tab. The first event is my annual summer retreat, Summer SunSational Scrapbook Retreat 2011, August 26-28 at Honey Creek Episcopal Conference Center in Waverly, Georgia (just south of the Golden Isles and Brunswick.) The second event happens a bit earlier on June 4th – National Scrapbook Day. But first, the retreat… why am I talking about this first? Because, everyone needs a bit more time to plan a weekend away, whether the issue is budget or time or both!

Just so you can see what’s in store for you this summer, I’d like to share a little about my winter retreat. Above is the group photo from this year’s event. We have to take a photo, right? There are some regulars and some new folks in the group which made it incredibly fun. As you can see from how everyone is dressed, the weather was really mild! What a nice break from the cold winter we had!

I loved that folks had a fun AND  productive weekend.

Evaluation comments were really good, here are a few:

  • Thank you, everything was awesome!
  • Great Event, Great Job!
  • [Can’t think of anything I’d change.] Everything was just wonderful and you do a phenomenal job. Thank you!
  • As my first weekend with you all, I thought it was great!
  • This was wonderful! I loved it and will definitely be back!

I love happy customers!

One of the big benefits of the event at Honey Creek is the beautiful surroundings and spacious crop room.

Here is a before photo — before folks arrive that is. This is my typical set up for a group of 4 attendees. Stuart Hall, where my retreats are typically held, is wall to wall windows on two sides of the room, so even though you are inside you feel a part of the fabulous surroundings. And, if you like to get up early, the sunrises are always spectacular! Actually, they are spectacular even if you decide to sleep in! There are no rules!
National Scrapbook Day – Saturday, June 4th
Now, for a few thoughts about National Scrapbook Day (June 4th; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.) – a whole day set aside to work on your photo project, time to tell your story… with lots of support from other attendees and me.  Hope you can join me! Click on the Scrapbook Event Tab for more information.
October 8, 2010

A Picture Could Be Worth A Thousand Words, But…

Probably like you, over the years I’ve seen so many beautiful pictures of the wild horses that live on Cumberland Island. The images include dunes like this, or perhaps the Dungeness ruins on the south end of the island. The photos are romantic and leave you with the feeling that these horses have “the life.” Coming upon wild horses on the island is really quite magical.

However, according to the naturalist who took us on a tour of the island, many of these feral horses are quite ill, riddled with parasites and live shortened lives due to being transplanted to an “non-native” environment. If you are interested in learning more, I liked this short article which talks about the horse’s beauty as well as addressing health and conservation issues.

I’m fairly scared of horses, so no one needed to remind me that they were wild animals and should not be approached. However even at a distance, some of the horses didn’t have a healthy appearance.

And yet, the photos are still stunning and speak of a kind of wildness that many people romanticize.

And it got me thinking about scrapbooking and telling our stories. There are times when the picture does tell the story better than we ever could, but most often I think the photo suggests a story. If our words aren’t there, the viewer fills in the story. If we want to communicate about our lives through our photo albums, we need to write the story.  We need to include the funny things someone said or tell about the disaster that made the day even more memorable. We need to share the feelings we had that day; or if it’s years later, how we feel now as we look at the photos.

No one can tell your story but you. There is no need to get overwhelmed, tell one story. My husband and I were only on Cumberland for about 30 hours, and this is just one story from that time. I have more. This is story that I’m telling this morning.

September 27, 2010

A is for Athlete, Tri & Adidas

Big Picture Classes offers wonderful online classes related to scrapbooking, photography and other crafty adventures.

My absolute favorite blogger, Cathy Zielske is currently teaching a class called Me, The Abridged Version. The idea, taken from a book called “The Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life“, is to create an A to Z book of simple paragraphs that tell about yourself. So, for those of us who think scrapbooks are all about the kiddos, here is one class that is all about the scrapbooker! There’s a little blinkie in my sidebar that will show you more details about the class, although, I believe it is too late to sign up now. The class is two weeks in, and so far I’ve got entries for the letters A & B. Go me!

I’m enjoying the writing, playing with Photoshop Elements and generally thinking about what I like and who I am. I’m making digital pages, cause I love them! I normally use Creative Memories Storybook Plus Digital Software, but the template for this class is based in Photoshop Elements, so I decided to learn something new. My papers are from Creative Memories Day to Day Kit.

If you want to read the entries for A on my page, you can click on it, and see the text a bit bigger.

Oddly, I wrote the Athlete entry before my “tri” partner and I had actually “tri”ed to combine all three in a single workout. As fate would have it, the following day we did all three. Wow! HMMMM! Hope I can complete the race!

It’s just two weeks away and yesterdays “tri” run was challenging to say the least. We did about half of what we will do on October 10th. I learned a few things… ocean water tastes very salty (ok I already knew that, but I’ve never really swam with my head down in the ocean), biking into a headwind does not rock, and I need to make sure I eat enough so that I don’t feel like passing out or puking (my spell check is telling me I’ve got this spelled wrong, maybe it’s really saying I’m being inappropriate! oh well) when I’m done.

OK, enough of the gory details. I”m still proud of myself, and I’m proud to feel like an athlete once more!

September 23, 2010

How do I get started creating a (meaningful) Photo Album?

First, this may be a surprise, but please, don’t start at a store! Starting at the store is very seductive. There are loads of supplies, and they are beautifully displayed. And it feels like you are doing “something”, but you aren’t!

You probably already have purchased “scrapbooking” supplies at one time or other and they are in a closet (maybe still in the bag!) or you sold them in a yard sale. Buying supplies you don’t use, just adds to the guilt we often associate with not doing something with our photos.

Banish the Guilt! Guilt paralyzes, it does not accomplish. Guilt keeps us stuck when we want to move forward. Yup, the first thing you need to do is put aside any guilt you have that your child is 15 and doesn’t have a baby album. (Insert your own guilt story here!)

Once you have vanquished guilt, congratulate yourself and move on to what really matters to you now. Now is probably the perfect time for you to create that special album about your slightly bigger baby!

But, what makes a meaningful photo album? Pictures and your words, c’est tout! Nothing more. Of course, there are so many beautiful albums, papers and embellishments, they can be very enthralling, or overwhelming. If you come down on the side of overwhelming, skip that stuff. If the decorative, crafty stuff is the part that rocks your world, then by all means, have at it. But not yet!

Hopefully, you’ve read the previous article about gathering your photos all in one place.

So, once your photos are gathered, then it is time to look through them and begin to sort. Determine a sorting method, preferably not chronological, and begin. I started making albums after my daughter was born. My husband and I had been married for 8 years already. I’d always been a chronological keeper of photos, but when I decided to make an album about our life before SB was born, I wanted something more general. So I organized by events, vacations, pets, holidays, parties (we like to throw parties!) and family. The only chronology part is about how we met, and decided to marry (which happened pretty quickly!)

Throw out the bad photographs. Throw out the duplicates if you don’t intend to give those away. Everyone orders too many school pictures of their kids with good intentions of sharing them with friends and family, but we often end up with a stack at the end of the year. It is OK to throw all those extras away! If you have a hard time with tossing photos, keep this mantra in mind, “Throwing away photos of loved ones does not equal not loving them.”

Hopefully, as you have sorted your photos, you have begun to imagine the album you most want to create. What would be most meaningful to you? Once you’ve got that in mind, you can begin to think about supplies… but that is a topic for a whole other day!

September 7, 2010

Hooray For Evernote

First, a quick thanks to Ali Edwards for my headline!

Today, I added my 100th note to Evernote. Hooray!

And. I. Love. It.      A. Lot.

Not my 100th note, but Evernote!

If you came upon this post because you already love Evernote, you know that 100 notes is laughable, most people have thousands of notes, but I’m just getting started, and celebrating a bit early!

I downloaded it several months ago at the suggestion of Noell & Izzy Hyman from Paperclipping Roundtable, but I never got around to using it. Recently, they mentioned it again and I remembered I had downloaded it to my iPhone. I sprang into action and completed the process of getting downloaded to all possible machines. It works on my iPhone, my laptop and my desktop (and of course, they all sync!). Their logo is an elephant because it remembers Everything in a completely searchable and organized format. I also just realized I haven’t mentioned that it is FREE! Yes, there is a premium version, but I haven’t needed it yet. If I ever do, I’ll happily fork over some $$ to the folks who have created this great product.

Evernote‘s marketing is way more fun and entertaining than I could ever be, so pop over to their site to check it out.

But, what I can share is how I find it so incredibly helpful:

  • Notes for my girls book club… instead of bookmarking the questions I find online for discussion, I get Evernote to “clip” the info and send it to my Evernote account. That way, I don’t have to print notes and I will have them handy on my phone when I’m away from home. It also means I don’t really need a decent internet connection because once my phone syncs to my account the information is residing on my iPhone, not in the cloud! Hooray!
  • Recipes… Evernote rocks as a searchable database for recipes. If I didn’t use it for anything else, this alone would make it worth having. I’m planning a dinner party with a middle eastern theme and as I’m searching and finding recipes, I send them to Evernote via my little elephant icon in my browser. Once in Evernote, the note goes into my Recipes Notebook with the tag “Middle Eastern Dinner”. I think I can remember that! I also add a few other tags, like chicken or lamb, olives, couscous, you get the idea.
  • Notes from/for Shopping… Another incredible use. I use this folder to store my electronic receipts, in stores, I take pictures of products and their prices (so I can figure out the best place to buy the stuff we use a lot). The camera integration works very smoothly and I have the very oldest iPhone.
  • Oh yes, the point of this blog… I use it to keep track of Scrapbooking & Card ideas… I see a design I like & POOF, I push the Evernote Elephant and WHOOSH, the picture goes to my Holding Notebook. Once I get back into Evernote‘, I tag and move it to my Scrapbooking Ideas notebook. Then, when I’m stumped for an idea later, I’ve got a bunch of ideas to inspire my creativity.

And on a final “note”, after listening to the Evernote podcast today, I decided to switch to Google Chrome. The ‘webclipper’ feature was recently updated and has more functionality than in Firefox which I was using.

What do you use to keep your ideas, notes and other “stuff” organized?

September 5, 2010

Rituals and Scrapbooking… Who Knew?

“Gather in peace, gather in thanks, gather in sympathy now and then.”

These words come from the Unitarian Universalist hymnal and were so appropriate as we came together as a community after taking our regular summer hiatus. We celebrated our first meeting of the new church year with our annual “Water Communion”. Many congregants brought water from places they visited this summer and thankfully, for those who forgot, there was some kitchen tap water provided for “representing” the water they might have brought (if they had remembered). Each person poured their water into a communal bowl.

I grew up Catholic and I love ritual. I believe these are connected, but they may just be random facts.

While ‘Water Communion” only happens once a year, there are other rituals we have which happen every time we meet.  We always share our “joys and concerns”,  lighting candles to mark each one. At the end of the sharing, there is a bowl on the altar filled with lit candles carrying our happiness, hopes, dreams and sorrows.

Today, as I sat participating in both of these rituals [by watching] I wondered why don’t I ever participate by sharing? Fear? Maybe, I’m not sure. But I do know that I love rituals.

I like yearly rituals, daily rituals, all kinds of rituals. [My morning coffee. My family’s way of saying grace. Getting a Christmas Tree. Walking my dogs each morning along the same route.]

When we fully participate (even if we ARE just “watching”) in ritual, we connect to the past, live in the present and in some way reach out to the future.

Now here is the leap, a ritual is kind of like scrapbooking, and by that, really I mean, ritual is a kind of  memory keeping. As we repeat the act, we live in the other times we’ve been a part of the ritual, who we were, where we were as humans.

When we tell our stories in photo albums, we get to live the memory again, in the light of where we are today. Sometimes it’s nice to tell the story right away, but sometimes, it is even better to have some distance, to tell the story years later. Our perspective has changed, we may be kinder to ourselves and maybe to others.

What rituals do you love? What life story to you want to relive in a photo album?

I hope you are gathering in peace, thanks and sympathy (only now and then.)