Archives for August 2012

School picnic


Do you recognize the vintage Making Memories background papers I used?

My brother and I went to a Catholic grade school through eighth grade, which means that we wore uniforms every day of the school year, except on a few special days. The end-of-the-year picnic was one of those times. The school’s tradition was to take the upper classmen—the seventh and eighth graders—for a day of fresh air at nearby Daniels Park.

The picture in this layout is of me and my friends, Stephanie and Mike, in June 1980. I assume my brother took the photo, as he and Mike were best friends throughout grade school.

Product/technique notes:
I created most of this page using—do you recognize it—Making Memories’ Just Chillin’ line from 2008! It’s nice sometimes to dig deep and use the old supplies, isn’t it? You also see a little Simple Stories and Bella Boulevard on there.

The sketch I followed is from Club Creating Keepsakes’ August Sketch it out challenge.

What a loser


I'm so proud of Matt for all his hard work to get in shape.

I was recently looking through some photos when I noticed a few of Matt that I had taken exactly one year before, and I could not get over how different he looked! I mean, of course I know that he has lost 35 pounds in the past year. But you know how it is: things that happen slowly are harder to notice. I’ve watched Matt do all the hard work it takes to lose that much weight—taking up running, lifting weights on the opposite days and changing his diet—and I see that he’s looking great. But that doesn’t mean I remembered how much he has changed his looks, not to mention his health, with his new routine.

I decided to create a scrapbook layout to celebrate the difference Matt has made with his hard work. So I had him put on the very same outfit he was wearing the previous year and pose for me as closely as possible to the original photos. Then I arranged the comparison photos next to each other to make the differences obvious. The first and second photos show how much weight Matt has lost in his face and neck, and the third and fourth ones show the weight loss in his torso.

I’m so proud of my hubby! He would say, “Don’t make such a big deal of it; I still have more to lose.” But anyone who has tried to lose extra pounds knows that 35 pounds and a lifestyle change are a huge deal. He’s such a loser.

Product/technique notes:
I used patterned papers from the Simple Stories Awesome collection on this layout.

Strawberry jam


This photo of Mom and me is from June 1989, right after Phil and I had graduated from college and moved back home.

One summer we decided we wanted to go strawberry picking, so we found out about Patterson Fruit Farm. Oh my, what a great time we had there. Out in the early morning sun, squatting down in among the rows of strawberry plants and finding the best ones to throw in our baskets.

The problem was that we didn’t really know anything about how to handle our strawberries once we got them home. So, we washed them all, put them back in the cardboard trays we brought them home in and then sat them aside. We happily skipped away with visions of yummy treats to come.

Then disaster struck. Any strawberry-picking veteran knows that you only give the berries a quick rinse in cool water and a swift pat with a paper towel to dry them off when, and only when, you’re ready to eat or cook with them. But we were no strawberry-picking veterans. I’m not going to sugarcoat this: we lost a lot of good berries that day. A lot of good berries.

Fortunately, we did not give up on our strawberry dreams. The next year we went picking with a plan. We looked up a freezer jam recipe and bought the ingredients before ever heading to the farm. It was that year that our berry-picking tradition was really born. The picking was fun, the cleaning happened as soon as we got home with the berries and then the jam turned out to be ridiculously easy and tasty!

In the June 1989 photo on this layout, Phil and Mom and I had gone out for our yearly strawberry excursion, and Mom and I were on the swing in our back yard cleaning the fruits of our labor. It was a really good summer day, and we had delicious strawberry jam for months. Mmmm…

Product/technique notes:
I used Creative Scrappers sketch #107 for inspiration and Jillibean Soup patterned papers (Coconut Lime and Macho Nacho lines) to pull this layout together.

Sketch #107 from Creative Scrappers

Under the shade of the old oak tree


There's not a lot better in August than hanging out in the shade.

We grew up in a house with two big, beautiful trees in the front yard—a maple and an oak. In the fall, when we had to rake, I cursed their deep roots, sturdy limbs and plentiful leaves. But in the summer, their canopies combined to shade almost every inch of our yard, and I adored them.

Me & The Spitter

In this August 1979 photo, Phil and I are under the shade of those trees, on an Indian blanket, playing a game of UNO. We actually spent a lot of quality time on that blanket, under those trees. We ate picnic lunches Mom made for us, drew, read books out loud to each other, played games and talked each other’s ears off.

I particularly remember Phil forcing me to slog through the entire 222 pages with him of Me & The Spitter: An Autobiographical Confession by Gaylord Perry. It was the Cleveland Indians pitcher’s account of how he cheated, doctoring baseballs with spit and Vaseline. It was truly thrilling.

What I also love about this photo are details like how each of us is wearing a matching tank-top-and-shorts set. And how tan we are. And our cute little haircuts. You get the idea: I think we’re darling! So, here’s to late summer and hanging out under a tree with your bestie!

I used Creative Scrappers sketch #222 for inspiration and Pebbles and Simple Stories patterned papers to pull this layout together.

Sketch #222 from Creative Scrappers

Glory days


My brother, Phil, is on the far left in this photo.

1988 was our star-spangled summer. Phil and I had each earned an editorial internship in New York City through the American Society of Magazine Editors. A whole summer spent living and working in New York! What an amazing time we had.

On July 4th a small group of our friends from the internship program went down to the East River to see the fireworks; they were the best I had ever seen! There was rousing music blaring—I particularly remember New York, New York and Glory Days. During the last song of the night—New York, New York—we formed our own little chorus line and performed a Rockettes-inspired high leg kick in perfect unison to the music.

What I recall most from that night, though, is feeling so free and happy to be right where I was.