Tuesday, January 27, 2009
SPT Challenge Jan 27
SPT Challenge for Jan 27:
"Take more photos of me, doing something I love"
This would be an image of me, hard at work scrapbooking. Although actually, because I love it so much, scrapbooking doesn't really count as work. It's more fun, with a bit of creative and a LOT of social thrown into the mix.
Except, not so much, lately.
Since moving here, my scrapbooking life has taken a big hit. I started scrapbooking in Ohio, when some of my new friends (Hi, Kim!) in my mother's club were doing it. I wasn't really interested in scrapbooking; I was faithful about taking pictures and putting them quickly and religiously into photo albums .... but the scrapbooking part? Not so much interested.
Then I found out these women would get together evenings, or maybe Saturdays, to work on their albums. And there would be talking ... and laughing .... and time away from our crying, pooping babies .... and there would be FOOD involved.
So pretty much, I was in.
Started it --- LOVED it --- wondered what had taken me so long. For the first time in my life, I enjoyed spending time with other women, and discovered the joy that comes from having friends who enjoy the same things you do. Discovered the bonding that can take place when women have been up all night talking and laughing and eating Oreos and drinking Amaretto (hopefully not at the same time, of course.)
My, how I would miss those women when we moved.
When I first moved to Georgia, I stumbled, completely by accident, onto a newly-formed local scrapbooking group that without a doubt, became the solid basis for my social life there. They welcomed me to the community, and encouraged my love for a creative outlet that quickly went from hobby, to obsession. They brought our family meals when cancer struck; our friendships went beyond scrapbooking to include having lunches, playdates, going to movies, attending birthday parties, inviting one another into our homes, etc. Crops (the slang term for getting together with friends to work on our albums) went from a few hours ... to all day ... to weekend-long events. Some have likened these get-togethers to quilting bees from days long ago. All I know is this hobby fed a need in me to spend time with other women, and allowed me to take part in a hobby I loved.
Things continued to get to get better. I managed to introduce some of my Ohio friends to some of my Georgia friends and viola! A group of the best, most fabulous, funny, bright, and wonderful women was formed. We meet as a large group once a year and I look forward to it MORE. THAN. YOU. CAN. KNOW. Several of our families are going on a cruise together this summer --- I. CANNOT. WAIT.
You can imagine how much depressing it was this year when Blaine's cancer came back and he was right in the middle of radiation during our annual get-away .... and I had to back out of attending.
Not only because these ladies are some of my best friends and I miss them terribly, scattered about the country as we are, but also because since moving to Oklahoma, I haven't been scrapbooking much. In fact, I haven't been scrapbooking at all.
I've tried to find women here who enjoy this hobby. I found one group that meets monthly --- I attended three times, and except for the group leader, who tried to be friendly, no-one else really talked to me. I went home early each time --- those are words that should NEVER come out of a scrapbooker's mouth. I understand it can be hard breaking into an already-formed group, but really, I think for me, three times of trying is my limit.
There is a pseudo-local scrapbook store that holds monthly crops. I've considered attending, but the store is almost forty-five minutes from my house. At first that seemed like too far to drive ... now, I must confess, I'm getting desperate enough to consider it, if it will give me a chance to meet other scrapbookers and make some new friends.
I miss the camaraderie; I miss the chatting; I miss the creative outlet; I miss the sense of accomplishment. Quite frankly, I miss the food.
I have close to a dozen albums going at all times. The main one is our family chronological album (which I haven't worked on since last July, when me and a friend from Texas, and a friend from Tennessee got together for a weekend --- that is pathetic, I tell you.) Other albums include school albums for the kids, vacation albums, birthday albums, and activity albums.
One of my favorites is my Christmas album. Every year I save the photos that people send in their Christmas cards, and when the season is over, I make a layout with their names and family pictures. I include our family Christmas photo and a copy of the Christmas letter we send out each year. This album is a fun way to see and reminisce about the progression of our own family, and a fun way to see how our friends have changed over the years as well.
This is part of the layout I did today, for this year's cards:
I started doing this in 1999 --- so far, only two families have pictures in there every year. Three or four families have pictures in almost every year. Seems every year we "lose" a family or two, and "gain" a family or two. I guess that's to be expected when you're in the military and move as much as we do (did!). Casual friends come and go ..... long-term friends are in the album to stay.
I'm glad this SPT challenge prompted me to drag out my scrapbook stuff today. I sat inside working on the layout, and watched my children play in the snow (or what passes as snow in Oklahoma) outside my window. It felt good to complete a layout and add another page in one of my favorite albums.
It would have felt better if I'd done it, surrounded by friends. I'll start working a little harder on making that happen.
To see more SPT Challenge photos, visit here.