After a warm and snowless Christmas, it's gotten cold cold cold and the snow has arrived.
A recordbreaking fall brought our town 27" (according to the official records). And then we got more. And more. At this point we're at 47" in the last two weeks. Yay! I can say that because we haven't lost power, we have a great snowblower, and the stuff is light and fluffy--easily shoveled.
Photos of the big storm.
Meow, Don't Do That by Debbie Hodge | Supplies: Start Here by Sara Gleason; Cozy Up by Forever Joy; Lined Journalers by Sahlin Studio; IQ by Lynne-Marie; Glitter Thread Stitches by Lynne Grieveson; Basic Paper Alpha Orange by Katie Pertiet; Wild One Alpha by Forever Joy; Brave by Mye De Leon; Smart Aleck by Sweet Shoppe Designs; Bohemian Typewriter fonts
Storm Ready by Debbie Hodge | Handcut Snowflakes by Valerie Wibbens; Loverly by Pixels & Co; ViFi Tags by Jen Allyson; Hello Friend by Amber LaBau; Multimedia Snowman, Artplay SnowFun by Anna Aspnes; Doily Edgeres by Katie Pertiet; Peppermint Winter by Mye de Leon; Hometown by Lauren Reid; Cozy Up by Forever Joy; Winter Sont by One Little Bird; Very Berry, Bohemian Typewriter fonts
Staying Warm by Debbie Hodge | Halcyon by One Little Bird; Cork Frames by Little Butterfly Wings; You and Me by Laurie Ann; Worn Pages 1 by Lynn Grieveson; Mod Alpha by Gina Cabrera; Hello Friend Vellum by Amber LaBau; A Little Bit of Worn by Valerie Wibbens; Surprised by Dawn by Design; In Stitches by Robyn Meierotto; Bohemian Typewriter, Scribble Box fonts
So far we're at 3 snowdays and 2 delayed openings. Here's the gang at the bus stop last week on a delayed opening day.
There's so much snow, Neil's even started letting me run our awesome snowblower. Check out the line of snow on the trees and the house from where the blower has put it.
Love love loved having Josh home for January break.
Got to see him and some of his friends. Gabby was here.
Steven stayed for a few days. A delight. He told me he was worried about Josh working through his breakup. So glad to hear all the laughing when he was here.
Zephyr Stitches by Karla Dudley; All About Me by Little Butterfly Wings; Scissored Scallops by Anna Aspnes; Elastic Ribbon, Dictionary Edges by Katie Pertiet; Ephemera Stacks by Sahlin Studio; Brad Bonanza by Pattie Knox; Gearhead by Viva Artistry; Bohemian Typewriter, The Maple Origins, Rockwell fonts
Now he's back at school. And really excited about his classes. He's taking
The first week, lots of books were arriving, and we often dropped them off after I picked up Isaac. We'd text Josh, and he'd come down to the back door of his dorm. We even gave him some boots on one day--and I was silly enough to think that I didn't need to tell him not to come down in his socks. Nope!
Josh is at college.
Neil has a new job and is here less.
Isaac is back to school.
And so here I am working at home alone for lots of hours.
And it's the season to evaluate business progress and goals and ways of doing things--esp since my husband has this new job and is making more money and here I am working 60+ hours per week for the love of it more than the income and I'm tired and pudgy and antsy to move forward.
I do love this latest ebook . . .
So the new normal includes:
a new plan for the blog and membership production
exersize -- i was out on the river every day the week after labor day, by myself, with Neil, with Elaine. It was a little cray-cray
I swam I paddled I canoed and I'm also loving every minute of Isaac -- cause he's still here and he's a delight, willing to hit the coffee shop after school and check out the supermoon and just be.
So the new normal has me thinking a lot about what I'm doing and why I'm doing it and how I need to be doing it all if it's going to continue this way.
The first thing I want to get recorded is that Isaac said the following:
"When I go to college, you can call me any time AND you can buy me fun stuff to decorate my dorm room."
"Even fairy lights?"
"I'm not sure what those are, but sure."
That's apropos of how much we all miss Josh -- but of how I want us all to give him his space. To my annoyance, Neil, Isaac, and Elaine have all been guilty of telling him why don't you come home and visit already -- your mom misses you.
Here I am, the only one who went to parent orientation and who is trying to give him space being the reason everyone else is using to tell him to come home already. I've done some major chewing out around here. You'd think at least Neil would get it---he came home Friday and told me that Josh came by his office to get a clock and Neil told him his mom missed him and maybe he could come have dinner next weekend. NUTS! If Josh wants to come home for dinner, that's great, but right now I want him to have the space to do this college thing the way he wants to.
And, I want the freedom to tell friends and family I miss Josh without them calling him and telling him that and trying to lure him home --- thing is THEY all miss him too.
And in the midst of this missing is a tradition. The first weekend after school starts, we usually go to the church yard sales and the Lee Fair. The Lee Fair's venue moved a couple of years ago and it's lost its allure. But the church yard sales seem to get bigger and better every year.
I was so happy when I asked Isaac if he wanted to come and he said YES - even though that meant getting up early-ish for him on a Saturday. We picked up E and L -- and L was just advocating we get to the Lee Fair asap and skip the yard sales. E said I needed to rescheduled Isaac's haircut so that we could do everything and ---surprisingly, it was Isaac who said he just wanted to go to the yard sales and then get his haircut---and, of course, have lunch with me. Love my boy.
I found a beautiful silver arc/music box for a dollar and Isaac is adding it to his collection of pretty and cute and memory-packed knick-knacks.
We also got a heavy-duty bundt pan, a milk-glass bowl, and a water pitcher. Lily got a box of piano music and old sheet music. Elaine got eyeglasses for 10 cents that she thinks are 14K gold and that she can melt down for making jewelry.
And we had lunch at Youngs. That's when Isaac told me I could call him anytime at college. We'll see how that goes when the time comes. Today I'm grateful for his company.
Oh, yeah, and he got a great haircut that I haven't gotten a photo of . . . yet! Tomorrow is school photos day.
Church Sale Weekend by Debbie Hodge | Supplies: Homecoming by Forever Joy; Not a Zoo by Scotty Girl; One for the Album by One Little Bird; Gold Confetti by Mommyish; Reverie by Gina Miller; Get Happy by Allison Pennington; Storyteller Sept Foam Alpha by Just Jaimee; Flossy Stitches by Katie Pertiet; Documentary by Sahlin Studio; Bohemian typewriter, Pastiche Script fonts.
Oh, how I wanted a Labor Day party.
Sharon and John were going to be in town and so I thought it would be especially fun.
But then Neil got a new job. (Congrats, Neil!) Neil is the Associate Dean of Academics for Paul College at UNH now. Woot. And that means he had to attend move-in-for-freshmen-weekend events.
And Elaine's sister was in town. So we cobbled together a little celebration with Elaine's family, Sharon and John, and our neighbors.
The next-day happy ending was that they made the offer . . . and it was accepted!! Here's a photo I took the day I Neil and I first scoped out the condo John and Sharon fell in love with.
Boo-freaking-hoo! I often feel this way, but this year it was even stronger. Even though it seemed we were all making the most of the summer, things are different. With Josh going to college, this is a day of sending only Isaac off to Oyster River. Boo hoo. The end of summer marks the end of calendar years in my mind. And it ages us all and puts us farther along our life paths. It's a marker that's clear-cut and that makes me sad.
Isaac came home pretty happy -- optimistic about his classes -- and Josh was here to great him and get all those details about teachers and classes he's done with for good. Isaac's happy that Russian Studies isn't going to be rigorous, he's got his favorite Spanish teacher again (with a couple of friends), he REALLY likes his Expository Writing teacher even though he usually very much dislikes writing. Loves his A2Trig teacher. Going to work with the science situation.
As the week went on, he was a little less excited about some things -- but he continues to very much enjoy Expository Writing . . . oh, please, let this work!
Here are Josh and Emily NOT going back to high school . . . just about to head to UNH. Oh, how we're going to miss them lying on the sofa in the evening and watching cooking shows--here it was Beat Bobby Flay.
Elaine and Lily and Anna came over one day after school . . . like an old playdate . . . but not . . . and we all yakked. It recalled to me how after-school playdating used take place on a jungle gym.
After School Now Playdates by Debbie Hodge | Supplies: Me-ology by Fancy Pants; Alphabetically by Lynn Grieveson; Krafty Ledger; Woven Ribbons by Katie Pertiet; I'm so Fancy by Mommyish; Storyteller September by Just Jaimee; Rockwell; Bohemian Typewriter; Pastiche Script fonts; After School Now Playdates by Debbie Hodge | Supplies: Me-ology;
This was way easier logistically than I'd imagined it would be. I did almost every bit of the packing. Yep. That's how things work here. He did pull out the clothes he wanted to take but I did the rest. And Neil did pre-shopping for the bedding and school supplies. I did a couple of runs for lamp, rug, toiletries, nice little bits.
And I was able to get three prints framed for his room that he's been waiting on me to take care of for a while.
We expected to sit in line for a while to get unpacked at the dorm . . . but . . . it was super easy. In fact, there were students who helped us carry everything up to the room.
His room and his dorm are pretty awesome. On the UNH website, it says of his dorm, "Scott Hall is located in the heart of the campus and is arguably the most picturesque, with its classic design and sprawling lawn. Living here, you’re just minutes from Paul College, the field house and Whittemore Center."
And Josh was set!
Here's a final photo -- Isaac and I came back from getting him some picture hangers and Josh and Emily had the room done and the chair set up this way in front of the bed -- to look out the window. But the arrangement cracked me up --- and seeing him in the chair -- we joked he looked like we'd just settled him into his nursing home with such tidiness and the chair by the window.
We left. John and Sharon came over for dinner. Isaac went to Caldwell's -- where he stayed up all night for a "LAN" party, making coffee at 5:30am and hiking to see the sun rise. I just didn't want to get out of bed this a.m. and when I did Neil asked when we could call Josh. Because I went to orientation, I knew the answer was that we shouldn't. Josh called us, though, to figure out how to connect his speakers. Whoohoo. Sounds like he's doing well.
Amazing. Seriously. I remember when we brought him home from the hospital and how easily he cried. His room was in the back half of the loft in our Barrington house -- with French Doors, and a glider rocker, and the minute he cried we tried to get him to stop crying.
And he was so beautiful and had big hands and feet. And I spent hours and hours on the floor with him. He loved farm animals and then toy trucks and eventually toy swords and guns. He had an amazing vocabulary and spoke quite articulately on his favorite topics. He loved dressing up and made friends at the park and alternately tortured and hugged his little brother.
Here are his school books. He's majoring in history, and, in addition to taking a history class with the professor he loved last semester, he'll take Latin, Composition, and Art History.
This is the night before he moves in, and we went out to Newicks for dinner. John and Sharon are in town and looking for a place to live in Portsmouth --whoohooo!
We spent way too much time not talking about Josh unfortunately, but he is an awesome kid. We picked up ice cream on the way home and had sundaes. Can't believe he's leaving tomorrow.
Because there are never enough parties for Isaac and his friends within just a few days they had: a party on the river starting at 1pm and running to after 10pm, a dress-up spy-themed party at Caldwell's, Tom's medieveal birthday party, Daniel's beach party, then another all day into the night river party, and then on labor day weekend an all night-long "LAN" party at Caldwell's.
Friday, August 15 on the river.
"Texas Roadtrip 2017!" That's what the gang was yelling as they headed down to the river on a chilly late afternoon, many of them wearing one of Isaac's hoodies.
Saturday, August 16 at Caldwell's
Monday, August 18, Tom's Medieval Party
Thurs, Aug, 21, Daniel's Beach Party
Mon, August, 25
Emily's Senior Recital -- and her first solo recital -- was at the Exeter Public Library. I went with Josh and Robin met us here. I don't know how to talk about music except to say that it was quite beautiful. Emily played. And then her teacher played. Both played movements from a Mozart piece. And then they played together - something more like a hunting song. And Kathy Fink played, too (we've seen her direct the orchestra for several of Linette's performances--and Spamalot just a couple of weeks ago).
Here's the announcment for the event:
Visit Exeter Public Library Tuesday, August 26 th at 3:00 pm for a special half-hour concert presentation of recital music for Horn and Piano with musicians Jennifer Larson and Emily Sagnella on French Horn and Kathy Fink on piano. The program will feature works by Mozart, Corelli, and more! This is the final concert in the library’s sixth annual Summer Music Series.
Robin met us there. She lives just across the street from the Exeter Library now, and she's a Trustee there. She and Emily had a happenstance meeting earlier that day. Robin was at the Academy library and Emily was their first looking for the performance spot and Robin was the person she asked for directions to the public library. Robin told Josh his graduation thank you note got her and Don teary-eyed.
More performance pics.
Who knew there would be this much action at the mall on a summer morning? Actually -- what I didn't know what that one needs to be in the company of young people to run into friends and news all over the mall.
Josh and I were going to meet Elaine and get the new watch she and her family gave him for graduation resized.
Lily came, too. And then there was a friend of hers and Isaac's.
And Emily joined us, too. And then there was Alex E working at the Pretzel shop.
I wanted to pick blueberries one more time this summer -- and I did think this would be a good day for it, though I found when I got there, the season was finishing. While I told her I was going alone, she said she wanted to come . . . and she did eventually come with Mike driving. We got me some bucks (it's a cash-short month for my business) and her some coffee and doughnuts and then we finally got to the farm--and continued to do everything Elaine style.
Here's the journaling for the scrapbook page I'll make with these photos:
My Elaine takes life on her terms. No MAKES life. We pull into the private drive of the Blueberry Farm . . . for too long and then she asks them to hold her crochet and then sprays bug spray in their little hut and gets “slapped” . . . and isn’t bothered. While I am and tiptoe away with my bucket. We pick what we can. Because, really, the berries are on the other side of juicy and plentiful. and I am so happy to be here with my bold friend who picks veggies, too -- making sure that the folks at the counter hold her berries not just on the counter but behind it.
Isaac's been hearing about Spamalot songs and jokes from Daniel and Caldwell the last few years. It was performed this summer at the Hackamatack Theater where we've got past summers to see Linette (last summber she was Fantine in Les Mis and a couple of years ago she played Lina Lamont--the silent movie star with a harsh voice--in Singing In the Rain).
And so we went with Leslie and Daniel on a rainy night to this quintessential New England Summer Theater location.
Here's a photo from Spam-a-lot this year.
And here's Linette in Les Mis last year.
While Dawn wasn't able to move farther "downeast" with us, Stephanie and I pushed on the next morning.
And we were wonderfully rewarded. The view and the company and the food were fabulous.
We started on the ocean side with Martha and the history of the site. It's really beautiful.
We spent time on the deck. Sandy was way too funny -- joking that Pablo Neruda played 2nd base for the Giants and then when Stephanie apologized for not having recently read Homer (as we talked about ekphrastic art), Sandly patted her on the keen and assured her she was among friends.
Martha had just written her first guest blog post -- combining her thoughts with Sandy's photos from their trip to the South Pole.
Sandy's workshop (which she and Martha built) is incredible. They also built the extension on their house.
So lovely. And then we started our 5 hour drives home, stopping to get gas and have dinner together. When I spied all these blue gloves, I dragged Stef back into the gas station to help clarify why . . . of course, when you're in a fishing town you'll need fishing gloves.
In the last year -- since Stephanie's husband Walter died-- I've reconnected with her and with Dawn. We saw each other in the winter at Martha's reading (layout just below) and Steph suggested we all go up to Maine this summer and visit Martha and Sandy.
While we all had way to many complications in our schedule we did pull it off -- together for a little more than 24 hours but packing so much in.
Here's a photo of when we first met--in 1990. I was just starting to get my MBA. Dawn was working at Heinneman, and Stephanie was a nurse. This was at the Molasses Pond Writers Retreat. It was wonderful. They were my first New England friends and I'd already been living here for 2 years but just no one else was warming to me. Here's where you can find Steph's new online poetry home. Here's where you can find Dawn painting online.
We started this weekend at the Bar Harbor Fine Arts Festival where the super-talented Dawn Boyer had a booth! Her paintings are gorgeous.
After the show we helped her break down and pack up. It was great to see Brett, too!
And then hit Bar Harbor for a while
And stayed up late on our deck on the ocean, talking, drinking and even hearing some of Steph's poetry.
Lots of sharing. We shared so much so regularly for years and years -- and then lost each other. They've both been through challenging times. And still it felt so easy to be together.
I've got lots more to post from the next day. Will be back soon.
Now that I'm a Boston driver (that happened in March when I came down for Isaac's First Robotics event and things just forced me into driving and I found I can!) I brought Isaac and friends down for Comic Con. Whoohoo. (Josh preferred to take trains with Rue.)
I dropped the guys and parked and came over to the venue to see if they'd gotten in and found Howie Green waiting for a bunch of Josh's friends who he was attending with. We hung out for about 45 mins watching the line (Howie already had the wristbands for himself and Aidan) ---
we saw Isaac and friends roll through
and then Aidan, Connor, Adam and Sean came through!
I'm so happy I got a shot of them with Howie. The first time Josh came to Comic Con, he was . . . a high school freshman and took the train down with Adam, Zach, and Aidan -- and Howie, who is a family friend of Aidan's and lives in Boston, met them for the day. They've been conning together ever since -- even to NYC.
Isaac's gang tracked me down for drinks and money and to put stuff in the car midway--and to show me their purchases and yak! As they were returning to the show we saw Josh and Rue--who weren't too excited at this point (I think they missed their first bus).
We hung around longer than planned in case Josh and Rue wanted a ride, but they found their groove, and decided to ride home with the guys we'd seen earlier.
We got a final shot for Caldwell's Tumblr .
and came happily on home.
Some more sights from the day.
Here's a scrapbook page from 2011 -- Josh's first Comic Con. I took these photos at the train station.
Here's a page from last year's Comic Con when Elaine and I brought Isaac, Lily & friends -- Josh came with Rue and I didn't get any photos of them.
The boys and I had a beach day planned for today -- going in the afternoon when Emily was off work. Josh opted to drive separately--and, boo hoo, by the time he got to the beach couldn't find parking. And we kept crossing messages and missing messages. We were all bummed.
Isaac boogie boarded alone and I walked. We did puzzles together. Josh & Emily went to a different beach -- while we had all the chairs and towels and food . . .
And then we called Josh and decided to meet for dinner together at The Beach Plum. Unfortunately . . . there are two Beach Plums and we each went to a different one . . . but eventually we were
all together . . .
and that's when I tried to call Neil--who put his back out badly but insisted he'd be fine home alone. Neil didn't answer . . . and he hadn't answered the hour before either and I started to panic. I called my neighbor Sara. Thank you thank you Sara for going by and texting me this photo with the message: He's Alive!!!
And now Josh just got home -- and I'd locked him out! So we're all home. Together and safe. And looking forward to tomorrow because . . . it's Boston Comic Con. . . Wish Josh and Rue would ride with Isaac and friends who I'm driving down, but he's got his mind set on taking a bus.
This is the first summer in a while that we're not traveling as a family for a couple of weeks -- the result is the summer feels a little longer. At summer's end, I usually take the summer's measure by going through a checklist of all the things I think we should have done.
Have friends over many times to hang out on the river is one of those things I think we should do. And this year we are getting it done!
Yesterday, Isaac's friends came over. Isaac got them doing a variation on his favorite river expedition: getting from our house to Packer's Falls via the river and woods. A few weeks ago, he and two friends actually swam up all the rapids to the falls. Yesterday they used the woods more -- the approach he took when my friend Katie Scott was here with her daughter and he took us out.
Here they are floating before the big ex-po-tition
When I saw the float empty, I went down to hang out on it myself. My neighbor Janet came by in her kayak and it was great to get updated on her kids.
The river outing turned into an overnight. The boys loved having Josh and Emily hang with them for a while --- and I think this is the first photo of eating in our new kitchen with that beautiful built-in showing. (Thanks Drew!)
I was working late on the final video lessons for then newest Scrapbook Coach class and went down after midnight to find . . . what? . . . is that Josh hanging out with Isaac and his friends? He isn't all grown up, after all. And that warms my heart.
I've diagonsed myself with pre empty nest syndrome.
Josh will go to college soon. But he's already left us in many ways. His days, his schedule, his ideas are all his own and we don't know if he'll be here most days are not. When he is here and comes out of his room we're soooo happy to see him. And sometimes he's happy to see us.
Yesterday we all went out to lunch, to Neil's fave Chinese restaurant in Exeter and then to pick blueberries at Blueberry Bay Farm in Stratham. Isaac and I were the only ones really excited about the outing. I think Neil came because he thought he should and he made Josh come because, damned if he was going to do family time without his boy (that one who has already almost left us).
Once we got Josh out of bed and showered and out the door and into the car and then finally awake enough to talk to us, he just wanted to talk NH Senate elections and libertarian politics. Yep. He's that much fun.
There was a point where Isaac asked me just why we'd invited them along because at the blueberry farm we were the only ones with buckets. Here's Josh's blueberry pose.
I think we've become a divided family: Neil + Josh and Isaac + me. The harder I try to change this the more ridiculous the endeavor seems. And so that's how it is right now.
The blueberries are yummy.
I miss having blogged.
Which means I need to blog.
Last night Elaine came over with her young charge and we crocheted. Isaac even spent time with us.
Elaine is learning -- she wants to make crocheted bags.
Here are the two bags I made last year. This first one I gave to Emma. I bought the pattern from Vendulka M on Etsy.
This one I gave to Lily. It is Swirling Baby by Kathy Merrick and the pattern is on crochetme.com.
Isaac is working on tank slippers right now. He got the pattern on Etsy from miligurumis and here's what they will look like.
Elaine brought corn -- our first corn on the cob this year and it was awesome. We had chicken, too. And whipped up a cake variation from my favorite cheat The Cake Doctor (Charleston Poppy Seed) with fresh eggs from our neighbors.
Friday by Debbie Hodge | Supplies: Friday by Debbie Hodge | Supplies: For the Birds Elements and Papers by Nancie Rowe Janitz; Typeset Alpha, Flashback by Sahlin Studio; Sprinkles 26 by Valerie Wibbens; Chin Up by Allison Pennington; Hey You by Basic Grey; Bohemian Typewriter font
Isaac just finished up two weeks of camp put on by the Engineering department at the University of New Hampshire. It's his 4th year and friends Caldwell and Daniel have been along for the ride---including a three family carpool. I've done lots of after camp rides this round and love love love the way they are with each other --- and with me. They are awesome smart funny kind boys. The first week they were all in a Robotics module together -- along with a friend Michael from Amesbury that they've gotten to know in past years. They had a fabulous time. The second week Isaac was in the IOL (interoperability lab) with Michael and Daniel and Caldwell were in Advanced Mfg.
And here are some scrapbook pages from past camp years.
Happy Campers by Debbie Hodge | Supplies: Vellum Ellies, Vellum Doilies by Snips and Snails; Ephemera Stacks, Autumn Moon, Typeset ALpha by Sahlin Studio; Vintage Black and Cream, Mercantile Mix 4 by Jenni Bowlin Studio; Stitched by Anna White, Stitched by Anna Circles by Anna Aspnes; Mad About Paper, Worn Edges 2, Worn Edges 8.5 x 11 by Lynn Grieveson; Oiselet Rouge Elements, Collagables No 1 by Katie Pertiet; Smart Aleck by Heather Roselli; You are Here by Allison Pennington; Folded Ribbon Bits 3 by Pattie Knox; Bebas Neue, Bohemian Typewriter fonts.
3D Printing by Debbie Hodge | Supplies: Beech Tree by Sara Gleason; At this Moment by One Little Bird; Snail Mail by Valerie Wibbens
Hey Summer Campers by Debbie Hodge | Supplies: Happiness Within, Puzzled, The Good Stuff This Week Alpha by Mye de Leon; Fine Line Frames by Sugarplum Paperie; Happy Hipster by Amy Wolff; Defined Clilppings 4 by Katie Pertiet; Borders by Sahlin Studio; Coconut by Sara Gleason; Bohemian Typewriter font
First full week of school for the boys this week (crossing fingers since Isaac looked like he had a cold this morning . . . but it could be allergies . . right? . . . probably not . . . let's see if he can soldier through it . . . Isaac? . . . one can dream).
Biggest hurdle is our new bus (district cut 2.5 buses . . . yep. . . 2.5) and the boys are now on a bus that is really over capacity for high schoolers and middle schoolers . . . unless everyone is the size of a young middle schooler. And our neighborhood is first on and last off.
And then the next hurdle is Isaac worrying everything. He finished this project laaaate last night, held up by concerns that he didn't have a "favorite" book -- he loved many of them equally. And that he had nothing to say in a rambling autobiography -- and then that he was still writing his rambling autobiography because he had so much to say. And then . . . oh, yeah, he could get extra credit if we tracked down a really old piece of his writing and scanned it. Yep: *we* --- and THEN . . . he needed to make a pixelated image of the dog from Phantom of the Tollbooth for the border.
The newest issue of Masterful Scrapbook Design went up last Wednesday. Tami and I are both upgraded to InDesign CS6 and we're launching our 3rd year with an interactive pdf that has ALL the materials (except for the interviews) and you get it the first Weds of the month. So proud of this first issue (our members are reading it on ipads and android tablets happily). Check out the table of contents
We also launched a new "Guided Study Critique Workshop" at Get It Scrapped -- with *just* 32 seats . . . and there's only 1 seat left.
I loved watching both of the conventions and am looking forward to the debates. Last Friday, Elaine and I took Lily and Isaac out of school and spent a long hot day at Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth . . . and we got to see President and Michelle Obama with Vice President and Jill Biden. Obama and Biden both spoke. It was pretty darned cool. I am supporting President Obama --- and working on my husband who right now is not :( Actually, I don't think there's any working on him just as there's no working on me. Though, I've actually thought about talking to his brother about it. If anyone could sway him, it would be Grant.
Now all we need are Rabbit and Duck Seasons :)
right after the oil change and tire rotation. this is what happens when there's no time to dry my hair after a morning of work and before an afternoon of beach -- I meant to get home in time for a shower before going out with Neil . . . but Route 4 traffic at 5 on a Friday kept that from happening.
And the beach was lovely
Journaling: Sweet impromptu river gathering - Elaine said she’d come over after work; I texted Linette who said she’d send Russ & boys & come after her haircut. Then Daniel called & we told him to come. Elaine brought Kyler. Lily got here amidst all the boys and called Rachel to join us. As it got dark and thundered, we started packing up. Isaac ended up heading over to the Miles’’ and staying over night. A perfect time in the sun and water on a hot, hot day. August 2012.
Design inspired by: http://shirotokuro.com/the-rules-of-typography/ I know it doesn't really look like it -- but I started by rotating the inspiration 90 degrees clock wise and arranging my photos in strips - as in this piece . . . and then it morphed.
Using inspiration to create scrapbook pages is an efficient way to get more pages made and it's the best tool around for finding and refining your design style. At MSD this month:
- Understand 10 sources of inspiration for scrapbook pages and use 80+ links to websites and curated boards to find the best inspiration for your pages.
- Identify the design elements of your inspiration pieces and use those color, texture, pattern, shape, line, space, and value approaches on your own projects.
- Apply inspiration to composition, photos, titlework, journaling, subject, motif, and technique.
Guest teachers Summer Fullerton, Betsy Sammarco, Dina Wakley, Erin Clayton and Lynnette Penacho break down their creative process so you can immediately start applying proven approaches to your own pages. Click here and prepare to start USING all that inspiration you've been stacking up.
You're telling stories every day
Making sense of and recording your life through story is compelling and satisfying. I see my friends and family doing this more and more now that we don't have to be in the same room to tell a story. You're doing it on facebook and with instagram photos and with texts to one another.
Why not put those stories into some kind of "scrapbook?"
By "scrapbook," I mean some central place where you collect those stories that you're generating all over the interwebs? (You really don't want to find out that your preferred yakking spot has gone out of business before you've gotten things into a central spot that you own). For me that central place is my collection of "scrapbook pages" -- digital images that usually include photos and a written story. I keep these in folders on my computer -- and at flickr where anyone in my family can get to them. (And . . . at long last I am working on getting them printed, too).
Where to start?
First: just keep telling stories -- with an eye toward selecting a method or spot for collecting them. Find a central place to collect those stories and photos. (I will write more about this in coming weeks).
Learn to find even more stories and to tell them well.
This month's focus at Masterful Scrapbook Design is "Telling Stories," and there have been both tears and laughs in the webinars--interviews with scrapbookers Emily Pitts, Celeste Smith, Noell Hyman, Audrey Neal and Karen Grunberg.
Here are just a few of the things I've learned and been inspired by this month.
1. Give more space to journaling
Emily Pitts wrote a focus lesson with several ideas for getting more journaling on the page and one of her points is to use a mockup to get your journaling fitting. I made this page as a result of that suggestion.
2. Tell everyday stories
During the webinar with Karen Grunberg, we talking a lot about her "Savor" project and getting all those little stories onto a different kind of page (something kind of like Project Life). It inspired me to scrapbook this little moment from Isaac's birthday party on a page all its own.
3. Paint your characters richly
Celeste Smith's pages often feature her sons and she incorporates photos and journaling and dialogue that create a rich portrait of them and their thoughts and relationships. She inspired me to delve into just where my own sons are coming from in the photos I've taken and to get those stories on the page.
She inspired this page of my youngest son.
4. Find multiple stories in a photo
Audrey Neal's focus lesson showed us that every photo can contain a multitude of stories. She teaches writing and she included a process and tools for finding stories you might not otherwise.
I made this page about Isaac's full-out laughing -- and my discovery that he's well known for it by his friends.
5. Go wider than 12"
Many of Noell Hyman's pages were sized like the one shown here. When I asked what the size was, she shared that this is a 12" x 12" page with a 6" x 12" journaling strip. It lets her design a 12 X 12 and get lots of journaling in --- and also design in a rectangular (18" x 12") format.
I've made several pages inspired by this layout approach. (So I haven't yet ended up going JUST 6x12 on the right side-- but it's taking me back to my 2-page roots and I'm getting a lot more journaling on the page.)
(and if you look back at recent posts, you'll see Greek Festival and Welcome Home were also inspired by this approach).
So, seriously, keep telling those stories in whatever format you love -- and start thinking about how to collect them in one spot -- and I promise I will come back with more specifics on this.
Want to get inspired and learn to tell stories even better?
Grab the Telling Stories issue of Masterful Scrapbook Design -- it's $16 right now -- after August 1st, it's only available as a part of the big $122 bundle.
After my post about all the tv I've watched the last couple of years via streaming, I thought I should get down the books I'm reading -- though there is a difference now days. Now it seems I'm reading more non-fiction -- and I'm reading them in the kindle version. Never thought that would happen!
On my kindle-shelf unfinished right now are:
Joshua, We are all so happy to have you home from 2 weeks at Video Game Design Camp at Bentley Universtity-- and each in our own way just as we each missed you in our own way.
As I look at these photos I realize I don’t know what’s being said. I dropped you at home and went to get Isaac from Tech Camp. I know we came how to find you and Dad on the sofa looking at his new tablet. I know Isaac was disappointed about the assignments he’d drawn for tech camp next week (he’d hoped for prototyping but was assigned “the science of ‘stuff’) and I see Isaac rubbing your head in the way I’ve always seen YOU do to him -- the big brother embracing the younger.
You are tired. He’s so happy to see you. Oh, how we missed you.
I think of my own preparations for your return (cleaning your room this morning and then driving to Waltham, the traffic backed up for 15+ miles on either side approaching Route 93) and the happiness I felt to see you once the campers in your hall helped me find you.
I could feel it spreading out in a smile and I know I stopped myself from hugging you. On the way home, you gave me the details I really needed -- who you spent time with and how you felt about your work and what the daily logistics were -- while demurring when it came to the details you were too tired to deal with (you said you’d give me the script to the game your team wrote when I asked about your project). We connected over my discovery of the zombie apocalypse TV series “The Walking Dead” and you cracked me up with the details of Red Dead Redemption’s “western” genre take on a zombie story and we listened to Cowboy Bebop music and the 40s songs from another video game, Fall Out.
I do know that you are “oh-so-tired” and wanting to go to your own bed and, yet, I see you understanding that this is the time to be with family just a big longer.
A half-hour later, Dad took a bike ride and I went upstairs to check on work and when I came back out you were in your own bed, drowsy, insisting you didn’t want dinner, that you’d been eating “3 meals a day for way too many days” and telling me you were “tired of eating.” I urged you to put on pajamas. I found Isaac asleep on the sofa in the den and woke him to take off his damp swim clothes and put on pajamas, too.
Everyone is home and everyone is tired and tomorrow is a new day together again.
My mom hosted a memorial service on a warm Sunday summer afternoon in the front yard of their home on June 30th, 2012.
My Dad became fond Reverand Donna Steckline, the hospice chaplain, and someone who grew up on a farm herself, and even showed cows along side my brothers and cousins. Here she is with Matt's dog Daisy. Matt had a very hard time before and during the service.
By the time the service began, we'd fetched 40+ more chairs as people kept pulling in and filling up the field next to the house.
While most of us go daily out into the world, my Dad lived a kind of life in which the world, including all of you, came daily here to him. This driveway has always been a busy place, and over the years you came here to gather in friendship and family, to hunt, to buy milk, to chat during chores, following him and his brother down the center of the barn as they moved from cow to cow, or just to have a cup of coffee at the kitchen table.
Each of you has a different sense of my Dad than I do. I don't know what it was to be a brother to him, a high-school teammate and fellow carouser, an in-law, a niece or a nephew, a wife, a son, or a grandchild. I don't know what it was to be a 16-year-old girl getting a ride with her brother's girlfriend down McCall Road to see where this Jimmy Hodge lived.
And this is because Jim Hodge welcomed each of us into his life as distinct individuals, meeting our eyes, seeing us for who we were, and relating to each of us personally. I can talk about him as I know him -- as a daughter.
For so many years I tried to figure my dad out. I like knowing "why" and when it came to my Dad, I wanted to understand why he lived in a way that was so hard on him physically, in a way that I saw as limiting to my family: he wouldn't just hop in the car and go over to Amblerville for a Sunday afternoon with my Mom's family. He didn't look forward to vacations --and we often took them a few miles away at Bowman Lake with Dad driving back and forth, still doing chores.
It was only as I grew older, as I became obsessed with my own particular endeavors that others couldn't understand, and as I was able to share the gift of this home and land and family with my own children that I understood -- What was it I understood? Did I finally understand why he'd lived this way? No. What I finally understood was that it really wasn't my place to try and figure him out. It was my place to love and accept my dad as he'd always loved and accepted me.
Because, love and accept me he surely did -- I am a strong, opinionated woman who has always felt a great confidence. From the time I was a young girl I took it for granted that I would live any kind of life I wanted to --- and that had to come from someplace, from the place in which I was raised by a dad and mom who believed the same.
How lucky I count myself to have had a father in my life for 50 years, while my Dad, himself, only had a father for the first 19 years of his life. I cannot imagine how he dealt with the loss of his dad, Grant Hodge, a man spoken of with great affection and respect by those here who knew him.
At 19, my dad and my Uncle Donny took on new and huge responsibilities as the farm became their business.
My dad was newly married. His first child was on the way. He was a farmer responsible for a business affected by so many things out his own control: weather, regulations, the health of an animal. For 45 more years, he actively farmed, often under stress, and yet never in despair. Tried by worries but never frustrated. Jim Hodge had a faith that this was the work he was meant to do -- a faith I hope my own children and my nieces and nephew can find in their own work.
I look forward to talking with you all today and hearing your stories about Jim Hodge. I know I will hear about the twinkle in his eye, about how stubborn he could be, of the fun he liked to have, of how he loved to dance, pull a practical joke, spend time with his family, and, always, return to work. And, surely, there will be stories you tell that are new to me -- because I do now my Dad had a life rich in relationships.
Jim Hodge's legacy is large and far reaching including a well-loved family, an attitude of kindness and confidence, a commitment to hard work, and, always, the land.
I miss him. There are so many times I do something and wonder what his reaction will be when he finds out--and then I remember. I know there many of you here today who miss him to the point of pain, and so I share this by Kahlil Gibran
When you are sorrowful
look into your heart
and you shall see that
you are weeping
for that which has been your delight
And then my 10-year-old niece Hannah, came to the front of the group and invited her Great Aunts Pat and Jean (Mom's sisters) to come sing with her. They made us smile and remember Dad's fun and playful nature. They sang "Hey, Hey, Good Lookin'." My Dad loved to dance and this was a great song for it -- there's a layout below about this.
Looking through photos yesterday, I saw in this one of the crowd afterward that my mom and the chaplain were walking off with their arms around each other.
This is the only scrapbook page I've made from the day so far, but I have so many beautiful photos of friends and family, I will make more. The day was definitely a celebration.
The journaling on "Grandpa's Girl"
“Look,” said Hannah. She pointed at photos in the album I’d made for Dad‘s memorial service.
“I was Grandpas’ girl. There I am next to him. And there I am, too.”
It was true. It had become quickly apparent to me as I gathered photos from Dad’s life for this album. Hannah was indeed next to him in photos from the last ten years. I’d known she was solicitous of him. calling, though she lived next door, checking on him whenever she came in, and ALWAYS insisting on sitting next to him at meals.
“Yep. You were his girl,” I said and showed her the 2-page spread of just her and Grandpa.
At the memorial service, the chaplain spoke--and I think she brought comfort to some. I spoke, and I believe I helped some recall personal times with my Dad. Uncle Donny, who knew him longest spoke and shared a joke.
And then Grandpa’s Girl, ten-year-old Hannah, stood and came come confidently to the front of a crowd of over one hundred friends and relatives. She invited her great-aunts Jean and Pat, my Dad’s sister-in-laws to join her. The three of them sang a song: “Hey, Hey, Good Lookin’” We joined them on the chorus.
I remembered a night when I was in my twenties, going dancing with my parents and aunts and uncles and a brawl breaking out during just this song and we all kept dancing, avoiding the fray. We all loved dancing with my Dad.
There was no brawl today. There was music and remembrance and a great appreciation for how Grandpa’s girl reminded us of his playful and loving spirit on this day.
When you come to Get It Scrapped now, you'll see that our blog isn't on the home page anymore, and that's because we've got a family of websites we want to make sure you can find.
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We've got a podcast! Everyone has a story. Hear how people passionate about memory keeping record those stories through scrapbooking, blogging, journals and more. We dig into the motivations for memory-keeping, the rewards of it, as well as those little details like where, when, and how memory keepers present and preverve their life stories. Subscribe in itunes. http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/this-memory-keepers-life/id523209931
This is the complete album of photos in the bound albums we shared at the service. It contains photos from throughout my dad's life.
This is the complete album of photos from Dad's memorial service, including the picnic afterward.
I used to love watching a couple of soap operas -- Guiding Light, especially. And I rarely watched nighttime TV (though I did love Twin Peaks back in the day) because I'm not patient and I'm not steady. Meaning: 1) I don't like waiting and 2) I never could remember just when I should tune in for an ongoing "serial" show.
And then came Netflix, and Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu, and Itunes and a whole bunch of ways to watch TV shows---and not just in bits, but in whole big piece -- multiple seasons.
In addition to being impatient and unsteady, I'm a binger.
It started with Dexter.
And then Monk.
And then Bones, and Parenthood, and Brothers and Sisters and Drop Dead Diva and The Riches and 30 Rock and The Office and Mad Men and The Tudors and Downton Abbey and United States of Tara and Harpers Island and The Medium and Being Human and The Gates and Life on Mars and Tin Man and Big Love and The Big C and Firefly and Psych and Lost and White Collar and Heroes and Rome and The Killing and Deadwood and surely several I've forgotten.
A couple of weeks ago I decided to giv Breaking Bad a try -- and, yep, I was hooked. Which led Neil to suggest Walking Dead. Really?
Yep. I'm hooked.
With most of these series, I've loved the characters, their development, the plot, the twists, the dialogue and the funny moments. I've loved being transported into other worlds and I've loved being consumed thinking about the characters and their predictaments.
Does this mean I don't read? Nope. Though it does seem I'm reading nonfiction rather than fiction -- will post about it soon.
And I find that the more story infuses my playtime, the more I want to get more than photos and awesome looks onto my scrapbook pages -- I want story on those pages, too. And I'll post about that soon, too.
The focus topic at Masterful Scrapbook Design this month is "Telling Stories" and I'm learning and getting ideas from the guest teachers.
After Isaac spent the day with the Mangan’s at Mike’s band’s party at Lauren’s house, we all met at the Greek Festival in Portsmouth.
Lily danced with her classmates, and then the band started playing and everyone danced. Elaine headed into the group, and then Lily. Isaac stood up - he wanted to go . . . Lauren said she wasn’t going to, but then Isaac headed in and so did she.
It was hot and humid and even after the girls left the circle, Isaac kept dancing. He was next to an older boy who was leading the group in loops and jumps and Isaac was loving it, watching his feet and trying his best to keep up.
We had a delicious dinner and treats afterward. June, 2012.
We've added a creative team of 25 paper and digital scrapbookers who are making pages for our articles. Check out the full roster here.
The team has only been on board for a few week and yet have helped us get the firstarticles incorporating their pages and ideas:
You can make sure you're reading the pieces in a few ways
Josh is at camp right now. We miss him big time . . . and, while he's at game design camp and has email, texting, skype, and steam communications pretty much at his fingertips all the time, we've only heard this snippett from him.
Hey I'm finally emailing you because I've been working since Monday afternoon without a real break and my group has cut me off because it's "unsafe" or something like that. I've got a great group, they decided to put all of the veterans in one group and we have a four day head start. The game is going well and I'm having fun even though the dorms are terrible-Josh
Here's a scrapbook page I made last year with the minimal communications we got from him.
And here's a photo of Joshua that I took recently. Love this look at him.
Aunt Pat and Uncle John were in Oxford when we were there - they made the drive from NC and dug in and helped prepare for Dad's memorial service.
Here's a shot of Mom and Aunt Pat during the setup of the event. I love her attention to detail and positive attitude about everything. Mom worked hard and--while tearful at times, she was also joyful, I think, to be putting together this celebration of Dad, to be anticipating so many friends and family. She was cooking for days before, tending to the yard and the garden and setting up. Mark & Pepper and Kids and Matt and Julie were, of course, working hard, too.
While visiting, Aunt Pat and Uncle John stayed in my childhood room and I love the blog post Aunt Pat did about the view out my bedroom window. (Of course, on the morning of the memorial service, that view included Julie mowing Grandma Hodge's ditch. It definitely brought back memories of how much Grandma liked everything to be just so -- seems she's passed this desire on.
And here's a look at the energy and love that went into welcoming Dad's friends and family the morning before the service.
Listen to it here: http://www.paperclipping.com/prt121-your-personal-style/
Claudine is an artist with a distinctive and appealing style, and she designs print images as much as she makes scrapbook pages. The two of us are pretty much on different ends of a style spectrum.
I'm more practical.
These two pages are a couple of my favorite recent pages and I love the visual style.
The layouts below, though, are more representative of what I'm making daily -- they accomodate more photos and/or more journaling -- they are more practical for getting stories onto the page for "all time."
When I make scrapbook pages I usually start spurred by one or more of the following
- photos I’m anxious to get onto the page
- new product I’m inspired to use
- a design task or challenge I’ve set for myself -- like solving a puzzle, it's a fun approach for me.
This is a page inspired by a design challenge. My class “Scrapbook Page Layers” starts next Tuesday, and in the 3rd week of class I’ll be covering layering techniques and ideas for canvases as well as how combining favorite foundations offers great layering opportunities. Thus this page – a combo of grid and band foundations.
As I laid out the design, I started selecting papers without knowing what the subject would be. As things came together, I saw that this was a page that demanded just one (or maybe two) photos I loved for their look and the feeling they evoked. It wasn’t a design that was going to work for event photos or any of my messier everyday life photos.
So . . . I chose a photo I love and repeated it in black and white --- but what was my message? Well . . . that I love Isaac and our relationship. A poem I’ve loved for a long time came to mind and I used it to drive my embellishment and title choices.
SILLY SONG by Federico Garcia Lorca
I wish I were silver.
You’d be very cold.
I wish I were water.
You’d be very cold.
Embroider me on your pillow.
I forget why Neil did a “quick” clean on this when the first snow fell over a week ago. Maybe it was that we thought it would melt. It didn’t. And it’s a glare of ice – until today. Now it’s a glare of ice under fluffy snow that we’re hoping will melt a little and be a bumpy mess that will give us some traction.
Only stuck once though – and I got out with a bunch of cardboard under my tires.
Because we all spend too much time looking for chargers – for phones, cameras, nintendo ds, geocache gps, rechargable batteries. I’ve had my eye on it at Barnes & Noble since Christmas—and I see it’s marked down today. I've liked the functionality of many I've seen, but not the faux wood or the finish -- love this bamboo, though.
I’d like to order it, but I gave my membership card to Josh last week and he’s not here and I can’t find his wallet and it seems a shame not to grab that additional discount.
What is it? That’s a good question. It came with my “Beach Body” kit. Right. Enough said.
It’s a dammit doll – I didn’t know what it was as he opened it or why he looked so upset. He got rid of the instructions to bang the doll when you’re angry and handed the tender care of it over to me. And now it’s in my “basket.”
In less than one week, Joshua has lost 2 hot mugs – one of them is a really expensive one. He keeps telling me he’ll find them but it’s hard because this is finals/midterms week and he rode a different bus Monday and he’s only at school in the morning and only in one or two classrooms each day. . . . and so it goes on and so I nag.
These are for fun stuff going on in March.
An image to promote my class that starts on Tuesday. (Registration closes Monday 1/23).
My Dad died two weeks ago today. It's hard to say much about it right now. Thanks so much to those who have sent cards and emails. I haven't responded well but I am so very grateful. D
OXFORD – James Oby “Jim” Hodge, 70, of Oxford passed away Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011, at his home.
He was the husband of Barbara C. (Hendrickson) Hodge for 51 years. Born Feb. 23, 1941, in Norwich, he was the son of the late Grant and Louise (Spicer) Hodge.
The land that comprises Oxpres Farms, a dairy farm with barns and land in both Oxford and Preston, has been an ever-present part of Jim’s life. At 7 years old, he walked alongside his father and brother, E. Donald Hodge, herding their dairy cows from downtown Oxford to this newly purchased land. When their father died in 1960, 19- year-old Jim and 23-year old Donald became partners in operating the family farm they came to call “Oxpres Farms.”
After retiring from farming in 2005, though lung and heart disease confined Jim’s movements, he still got around the farm on a four-wheeler rigged to hold and oxygen tank, riding through fields and pastures to visit his brother, his sons and his grandchildren, all living on the land he’d known since childhood. He loved the Atlanta Braves, watching the birds, evening chats with his sons, the regular traffic that a farm brings even after retirement, talking politics and pulling a good prank.
In addition to his wife, Barbara, Jim is survived by one daughter, Deborah A. Hodge and husband Neil Niman of Durham, N.H., two sons, Mark G. Hodge and wife Pepper of Oxford, Matthew J. Hodge and partner Julie Micha of Oxford; eight grandchildren, Joshua and Isaac Niman, Sara, Hannah, Emma and Ethan Hodge, Kassidy and Jenna Hodge, one brother E. Donald Hodge and wife Barbara J. Hodge; four sisters-in-law, four brothers-in-law and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his nephew Terry S. Hodge.
A memorial service for Jim will be held on Jim’s farm in the spring. There will be no calling hours.
Memorial contributions in Jim’s memory may be sent to the Oxford Fire Dept. Emergency Squad, PO Box 172, Oxford, NY 13830 or to Hospice and Palliative Care of Chenango County, 21 Hayes St., Norwich, NY 13815
I took this photo on November 1st when my Dad came home from the hospital in one more of his incredible turnarounds. He was so very tough -- as is my mom. I love them both immensely, and I am committed to making important changes in my own life so I can be just as tough and live just as productive and rich a life.
Week in the Life – Friday, July 29
Work. Neil took Isaac to camp and I started working on editing and rendering the August webinars. I messed up the video recording on one July webinar and one August webinar (seems when I record back to back computers need rebooting!) so I started on one – listening and plugging in every image.
Then off to have lunch with Isaac at tech camp. Neil left this note on the door.
Picked up Lily since Elaine was working
And had a fun fun fun lunch with this gang at Holloway Commons. Who happily let Neil, Linnette, Ian, Lily and me join them.
And then we settled in for presentations. What I discovered on this afternoon was how much FUN these kids were having at Tech Camp. That’s Daniel in picture on the screen with a mad-scientist pose.
That’s Isaac and Caldwell in the photo on the left on the screen (and Isaac came home with a bunch of fun photos like this – and even video that I need to share). The engineer who introduced them said they often broke out in show tunes during the project. Isaac ROCKED his presentation. Don’t have a good shot of him but he was really fun and smart. (That is him under the screen looking up – with his “geek on” shirt.)
We went back to Kingsbury to pick up the Sea Perch – Isaac and Caldwell will have joint custody. Love how even here Daniel was sneaking into the sot and making a goofy face.
So . . . I mostly paid attention to the presentations . . . but I also installed the Hipstamatic app for my phone – and the rest of the photos here include some of my (mis)adventures with it.
Though it looked like rain, we took off for Portsmouth to see Tom perform (he was just finishing up Rock Band Camp at the Seacoast Rep). – Dropped Isaac and Lily at the gate and went to park. And they did get there in time to hear/see Tom! And we watched Adam’s group, too. Met Dawn’s sister & cousin, too. So glad we got there and that the rain held off a bit.
Elaine got off work and met us for dinner.
Came home to see that not only had the new flooring arrived but so had Josh’s friend. Isaac sank in to hang out with them for as long as he could (i.e., until Josh kicked him out).
Ever since I saw Shimelle Laine's post on taking, printing and scrapbooking hipstamatic photos, the thought of trying it has been niggling at the back of my mind.
Yesterday I tried it out :) And I really love it -- not going to use it for everything, but I love what it did for these photos at Prescott Park in Portsmouth last night.
The minute I got these pre-framed photos onto my canvas I thought of a page Cindy Liebel (turn off the volume on your computer before you click that link if anyone is sleeping nearby!) shared in a Masterful Scrapbook Design webinar on Wednesday (it'll be availalble for members this week). And then I remembered that during the Hybrid webinar (coming out this week, too) someone in the audience told me that Cosmo Cricket papers were availalbe in digi. I grabbed the Salt Air papers and made this page. Really shouldn't be sharing it because I'm working on 2 new classes and it would be perfect for one of them . . . but I'm impatient.
Supplies: Patterned papers by Cosmo Cricket (Salt Air). Solid papers by Maplebrook Studios (Just Linens 2) and Anna Aspnes (Layered tissue neutrals). Ribbon (Woven Ribbons 1) and borders (Oiselet Rouge Elements) and chipboard (King Me - no longer available) and alpas (Kraft Little Bits) by Katie Pertiet. Font is Pea Stacy Elizabeth.
This could be addicting. But not this weekend because I've got MANY hours of video to edit and render as well as notes to send to Jana Morton in preparation for this!
Week in the Life: Thursday, July 28
8am - Out the door and taking Isaac to camp. The signs at the end of our street.
Stopped to get milk & a watermelon for Neil's guest tonight.
8:45am Sitting down with high hopes . . .
But then I saw the ladder set up on this old end table and moved my work to the laptop so I could be nearby.
11:45am - Woke Josh & Zak and took Zak home so he could take care of their new puppy.
Neil and Josh are becoming better and better friends -- here Josh is indulging Neil in figuring out what strategy to take with a new watch purchase. (I stink at this kind of conversation -- so glad Josh doesn't.)
2:00pm Josh to Sean's house for airsoft and swimming.
So happy to have this shot from Isaac's camp (his counselors sent him home with a data stick full of photos & even video). They were on floats at a 20-foot-deep tank/pool running their remote control sea perches through tests -- there were Navy divers there taking care of anything that got stuck at the bottom -- there's a diver in the water here.
4pm - Jenna arrives. She & Neil go for a swim before working on her independent study and having dinner.
5pm - Picked up Isaac and headed to the pool. Confirmed Sean's mom will bring Josh home for dinner with Neil and Jenna.
Where we found Lily & Elaine, Daniel, Joseph, and Caldwell.
Elaine went home to feed Babooshki and I waited while Lily & Iz got dressed.
Finished off with ice cream.
Week in the Life: Wednesday, July 27
This was a huge work day for Masterful Scrapbook Design. Neil took Isaac to camp and I settled in here from 7:45 am until about 2:30pm for 3 back to back to back webinars.
Amy and I, along with 9 other scrapbookers, recorded 3+ hours of talk about making scrapbook pages. 1 hour before webinar time, I make sure I have bios & notes. I reboot 3 computers. On each of the laptops I register for and attend the webinars as a participant and load up Camtasia to make 2 recordings of the event. On the desktop, I get the slideshow set up and then login to gotowebinar and get the webinar pre-started and a recording going. Guests arrive about 20 mins before the start time and we take care of any connection and sound glitches, set things up so they can see attendees and questions and chat.
If all goes well, at 1 minute past the hour we begin recording and talk for about an hour, working in audience questions. We usually finish by 10 past the hour and then . . . . I save the recordings on the 3 machines . . . and I reboot everything and get set up for the next webinar.
We recorded 12 webinars this month with 30 scrapbooker page designers – every single designer prepared fabulous layouts and comments. Every single scrapbooker arrived prepared and excited to chat. I am so grateful for their enthusiasm and insights. Now I just need to edit all those videos!
As soon as the webinars were done, Josh and I cleaned up the den a bit and then went to pick up his friend Zak. We came back and I crashed for 40 minutes and then left to pick up Isaac from camp.
And there was Neil on Academic Way when I pulled in. He’d just gone riding with one of the book reps – 20 hilly miles. The campers had traveled to western NH to tour Whelen Industries and weren’t back yet so Neil hung out with me in the pickup line.
We talked about his proposal, about how lucky each of us is to be doing interesting work, about my realization earlier in the day that we’d been together almost 20 years now – both of us immediately saying it was longer than we’d lived with our parents.
The campers pulled in after 5 in a gorgeous UNH team bus, and Isaac got off yakking about the one building at the plant that was completely run by robots and that could run unattended all weekend.
We realized he wasn’t going to make it to bowling on time . . . and then we coaxed Neil into coming out to dinner with us. (As I noted on day 1 of this week, it’s a really busy work week for me and I’m not cooking).
Early in the week before 6pm you can get a small dinner with a salad for $7.99 at Texas Roadhouse. Yay!
While, we’d offered to pick up Josh and Zac, they didn’t want to come so we got them meals to go.
And I was asleep by 7:30pm. The late Monday webinars plus preps for this day’s webinars and the actually running of them had worn me out.
Tuesday, July 26 – Week In the Life.
Isaac going to tech camp. Today he was wiring his SeaPerch with Caldwell.
Yes, I do need to stop. But at least I’m buying it by the 12s now.
Neil and Josh were both looking forward to an afternoon together: dentist, Yummy Garden, range, orthodontist.
We didn’t get here until almost 6 and it should have stormed big time – but the storms went to our north & south. Russ left Russell & Ian with us (as I mentioned, we were late) and Caldwell and Nick were there, too.
We closed the place down.
Elaine wanted us to stop by so she could give us our gifts from Greece. She and Lily and Babooshki greeted us with a fresh cucumber and gifts: candy, a slingshot, and an awesome ring for me. Need to get a photo of it!
Came home poured a glass of wine and settled in to watch Purple Violets with Neil – and finish up the bios for the webinar-extravaganza the next day.
I tweeted that I wasn’t going to do it.
And as for day 2? Well I did get a shot of the diet coke I bought right after dropping Isaac at camp.
So anyway, right after Ali sent me that tweet and I jumped a few feet from Neil dropping yet another board, I took this photo.
While Neil had gone into the office this morning after dropping Isaac at camp, he couldn’t get the HP lemon of a computer (that was mine and that he graciously swapped for) to boot up, and his new one will be here tomorrow, so he came home to work on his laptop. He spent the morning polishing up a proposal he’s working on (it's pretty awesome-I edited it over the weekend), and here he’s staining the trim for the new sliding doors he installed earlier in the month.
Then I went back to work.
It’s an odd summer week for us. Isaac is at tech camp for long days & Josh is just back from camp and sleeping and playing video games and, for me, this is the last week to get everything nailed down so I can play some in August. Doing 12 webinars this month instead of the usual 4 and planning out the next 5 months at MSD to make things smoother for all of us (Tami, Amy, and myself).
Got a shot of Joshua’s life today. He came home this weekend from 2 weeks of video game development camp exhausted and with a cold – during a heat wave. We only have ac in the den and in our bedroom so we put a mattress in here and he moved his xbox in and has been crashed here for 3 days luxuriating in being alone and doing whatever he wants. There sure are a lot of food wrappers around him! We sure are happy to have him home.
Dinner was nothing to write home about. With both boys in camp last week and Isaac there again this week while Josh reunites with his electronics and his friends, I’m taking advantage of this to get work done. I’ve been working 12 to 16 hour days for 10 or 11 days now--even on the weekends in an effort to get 2 months of work done in 1 month. Neil is making some dinners and I’m buying a lot of dinners.
Neil went swimming, picked up Isaac, and the 2 of them picked up the pizza I ordered online. I did cut up the watermelon myself! And we did come together for a family dinner even if it was cooked by Domino’s.
Neil left for a meeting. Josh agreed to let Isaac into his lair for the evening and I finished off the day with 2 webinars.
The boys and I went to my parents at the end of June driving back July 4. I always love the photos I take there and love scrapbooking them – but I don’t do it all at once. I spread it out, which lets me dip back into the memories of being there. Here are three of the pages I’ve made.
Joshua asked me to order a whole lot of paracord to be delivered to my parents’ house so he could teach his cousins how to make paracord bracelets. (He’s a big Instructables reader). Who knew it would be this compelling? Love the shot of Sara and Isaac in the haymow making bracelets. They were waiting for Uncle Matt to come back so they could help him load his truck with hay but keeping their hands busy until then.
We bought a bocce ball set on the way out – actually we bought a lot of things on the way out including a new game called “Dominion” that’s become a favorite. Isaac’s a bowler now (need to scrapbook that!) and he loves games and things he can work at getting better at – plus Grandma and Grandpa’s lawn is so perfect for this kind of thing. I’ve got more photos of Isaac and the girls playing. Saving those for another scrappy day.
One of the many differences between life at my parents’ home and life at our home is that they get drop-by visitors A LOT! On this afternoon we were playing Dominion and making bracelets when two of Mom’s friends dropped by – they’d been out driving and shopping and were looking for a restroom pitstop. Pat and Linda have been Mom’s friends for oh-so-long and Pat has an incredible sense of fun. Somebody came running into the house telling me to get my camera and when I got outside, this is what I saw, Ethan riding in the market cart Pat was using to steady her walk across the rocky driveway.
Greatly inspired by webinar this morning with Lynnette Penacho about scrapbooking. We talked about grids and layering and list journaling and "faves" pages. Lynnette does a lot of these month by month (and sells great templates for them) and as I spoke to her I realized that while I'm never able to pull together photo-a-day or week-in-the-life or even monthly summary layouts full of photos --- what I could do is an awesome page with 1 photo and lots of patterned papers and a list of 10 things I'm into in any month.
So here's the beginning of "list of 10" for July with the hopes I will scrapbook it.
10 Things in July
1. Monk. Discovered this series a couple of months ago -- 8 years of unwatched episodes and I LOVE the show. Finished it yesterday. Cried and smiled. And now I say "Here's the thing" and "He's the guy" alot.
2. Kayaking. Must exercise. We got a couple of new kayaks and I'm DOING IT! Sometimes with Iz. Sometimes alone. Passed a couple of skinny dippers the other day. Should probably google "how to kayak."
3. New sliders in the bedroom! The sliding doors to our upstairs and downstairs decks were rotted and barely closeable. We bought new ones in 2010 to take advantage of the energy efficiency tax break and Neil installed the downstairs ones last year. And now the upstairs ones are in and he rocked the job -- in 2 days!
4. Josh at Video Game Design camp. For 2 weeks. Missing him BIG time. We've spoken a couple of times and he's not complaining but he sounds exhausted (and now sick) and I think this may be the hardest he's ever worked in his life. Picking him up tomorrow!
5. Isaac at Tech Camp. He's *sparkling* talking about nanotechnology and prototype machines and networks and Blender and animation and robotics and more. SOOO incredibly fortunate to be near the university and having this chance.
6. Missing my friends! Elaine's been in Greece. Donna's kids were at camp. And I'm working like crazy trying to clear the decks to play in August.
7. Webinars webinars webinars. Recording 12 webinars this month. 4 for the July issue of Masterful Scrapbook Design and 8 for the August "smorgasbord" issue -- which means tons of first rate inspiration.
8. Trying to kick diet coke. Smoothies with bee pollen. Ice green and fruity teas every day in our new drink dispenser from pottery barn. Set it up on a cake plate for easy use.
9. West Side Story. I feel pretty! Oh so pretty! We started off the summer seeing this show in Boston.
10. The Hunger Games. Wow! Boys and I listened to the first book in the series on the way to NY and back. Loved it. Missed the characters and the story immensely when it was ower. We pulled in the driveway on July 4 about 2:30pm and before unloading the car just came in and put my iphone on the dock and listened to the end together.
And I've already scrapbooked a couple of these individually
I’ve had a few awesome outings with friends lately. Here are a couple – I’ve got one more to make that involves a snake and palm reading.
This one’s from my birthday. Lunch with Donna and Elaine and then some “hippie-skirt” shopping.
This was a fun outing to a pawn shop that could only happen with Elaine.
Hey, Paula! Look I scrapbooked with the paper supplies I bought at CHA!
supplies: Cardstock by Bazzill. Patterned Papers by Sassafrass, Studio Calico, Fancy pants. Alphas by Studio Calico, Jenni Bowlin. Die cuts, clip, twine, butterflies, postage by 7 Gypsies. Journaler by Webster’s Pages. Brads by Making Memories.
And this was from the Manchester CK event – with Paula and Erin. So different from past years but so fun.
We kicked it off with Joshua’s birthday, which means boys + airsoft guns + xbox controllers + food + staying up all night. It was lovely. Truly!
After a sleepover, I picked up Isaac at Parker’s house and we decided to go play a little mini golf (via coming home first and waking Joshua and convincing him to come along and opening up a 99 and having lunch for breakfast.) Kind of crazy on such a windy day but it was what they wanted to do. Joshua and I got in a bit of skeeball, too. Though I’m convinced these skeeball machines were not to the regulation size that those at Chuck E Cheese are.
We bowled. Ok – so this isn’t an actual photo from that day, but I didn’t take any and I like illustrations. We grabbed Joshua’s friend Austin and met Donna and Eva there, and Erin and Maisie, and Wendy and Parker. It was a fun gathering that snowballed. I’d told everyone to meet at 1 because that would be after lunch – but no one had eaten lunch so we started at Margaritas before bowling. Love love loved seeing Maisie bowl for the first and loved seeing how much fun Josh and Austin had. (And . . . got in some more skeeball this time with Erin, again not to regulation size).
Boston by train! On a rainy Saturday, the boys and I rode the Downeaster to No Station (our first time!). We’d planned to go right to the Museum of Art but then made a quick decision to do a little store-gazing first – going to Newbury Comics and the Prudential Center. There was an anime convention going on and the boys (and I ) loved seeing the costumes – Josh, esp, since he could identify many. Also discovered that next week is Comic con and Josh is working on rounding up a gang to go with him.
Again, I didn’t take photos – until the end. At the Museum of Science, I spent a long time in the new Americas Wing and the boys hit their favorites: Ancient Egyptian art, Greek Art, Asian art. Joshua’s favorite moment was when a young boy came up to look at one of Joshua’s favorite exhibits of a sabre and several handguards. The boy said, “what’s so special about a bunch of belt buckles.”
And on Sunday we collapsed. The Easter Bunny skipped us . . . or so we thought . . . until there came a knock at the door!
Here’s a page from Joshua’s birthday party – the morning after. We’re getting ready to spend a month “stash-busting” at Masterful Scrapbook Design and I’ve done a few things on this page to use up what I already have – clipping papers to heart embellishments I originally used as-is and combing through several kits for vintage boys.