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.

Total. Suckage.

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.


vgsmom said...


Generally, I'm grateful that I don't live in Old Bethany. You know my family is too close, work is too close, school is too close, church is too close...etc.. But after reading your post I wished I lived in old Bethany so we could scrap together today. I've been trying to talk myself into it all day. But it seemed too lonely and too messy.

I always have access to classrooms with big tables and lots of room for as many people as we can find to join us. We'd have to skip the drinking (SNU campus) but food would be great.

I definitely see me starting the SPT book.


shara said...

Your post makes me wish I did scrapbook. I have never tried.

I suffer from guilt re: the hundreds of photos I have of my family that seem to be scattered across the universe. I would love to learn- is it something that a klutz can learn?

I understand what you mean by the commraderie of a group of women getting together with common interests, laughing, eating (food PLZ) and enjoying time with one another. The closest I get to that is when I meet with the women from church.

I wish it happened more often.

Alisa said...

stop it-
I am calling you right now!

vgsmom said...

Okay! That's at least four of us. What date should I reserve for a room? I'm bringing homemade salsa and chips.


Kristie said...

Lori, I don't normally comment on my own posts --- but I am SO THERE if you can reserve it! "If you reserve it, they will come" ... (in my best Kevin Costner, Field of Dreams voice)

Seriously, that would be wonderful and I would love to take part! I'll bring a crockpot of meatballs, or sandwiches, or chips and dip, or dessert, or candy .... whatever sounds good to everyone! (Is my desperation shining through enough???) :)

Evenings, Saturdays, Sunday afternoons .... anything sounds good to me!

Rebekah said...

i would love to be a part of a creative group like that.

cancer really sucks, doesn't it? on so many levels...

shara said...

I am in- as long as you guys take it easy on me. Remember- my scattered pictures? I was being truthful!

I am in church from 2-5pm on Sundays. (Yep! 3 hours)

I am soo excited!

Anonymous said...

I've let my scrapping fall behind too... like... YEARS. I'm not sure I have a single picture of Taylor scrapped. She's freaking FOUR.

I wish I lived anywhere near OK, I'd be there for a crop in a heartbeat!

Anonymous said...

P.S. I'm totally scraplifting your idea. I save all the Christmas photos every year too, I cannot for the life of me bring myself to throw away photos, ever. (Even the bad ones I take.) I don't know why it never occurred to me to scrap them.

Oh yeah. Because I don't scrap anything anymore. ;)

Pam D said...

I love your analogy of a quilting bee... I think that's perfect! Dang, I wish I scrapped! I DO have ALL of the stuff, and I mean ALLLL of the stuff. It sits in my living room, taunting me. Is there anything you need? I'm sure I could dig it out and send it to you. I've finally admitted that scrapping isn't for me, and my blog is the closest I'm gonna get to recording life events for my son. That, and a disc of pictures that are just THERE, with no real dialog to go along with them. Anyway, I hope you get a scrapping group going out of this post.. that would be wonderful!

Ann On and On... said...

You have really made an effort to keep this hobby in your life. That is great! Just give it time. It sounds like good people gravitate to you.
I hope your husband is doing well!

Thanks for the nice post!!!

If you haven't already...stop by my blog to be a part of my YuMmY Valentine's give-a-way.

Anonymous said...

you need Melanie at www.mojoy.blogspot.com -- somehow I have always assumed you read each other's blogs, a shift from caringbridge to your lives -- she probably already knows people in your town who are "cropping" together!!!

Maybe just find one cool scrapper chick and then recruit some others, like someone first did for you?!?!

Hugs from CA,

Anonymous said...

I love your idea of using the Christmas photos you get! I am going to do it!
Christa Frantz

Anonymous said...

(((sigh))) I live too far away (another!reason!to!be!sick!of!Washington!State!) (((sob))) and I only have one child who doesn't cooperate well for picture taking so I don't even have enough pictures! But, I do have ONE contribution to make and here it is: one of you needs to go get some bacon, little smokies, and brown sugar. Wrap some bacon around each little smokie sausage and place on cookie sheet. When sheet is full of bacon wrapped weenies, sprinkle them all with brown sugar. Bake (for a while, you'll know when they're done). Then, eat them for me and tell me how they are - they SOUND great! But I haven't had an excuse to try them yet......

Anonymous said...

Hi back :) I hope you know how much you were missed this year. It is ok though, since we will be doing this well into our 90's, every year! I am guessing this means once again the W's miss the x-mas lay out with their untimely Valentines cards (that oh. yeah. I should really be starting!). You really need to get a bit further behind...like two more weeks behind! The page looks great. I am done and just journaling in the boys school albums that I started at Tam's (and was definitely going to finish there...you know how that goes). Being a single mom for 10 weeks, I thought I would get so much done late at night, but you know what, it is week 1 and I am pooped at night. Maybe next week...right after that V.Day letter gets finished! Here's to school tomorrow! :)Kim

Crystal said...

You're a SUPER SCRAPPER! Holy cow!! I saw in the background all the stuff. ha! You're awesome. Love your SPT!

Linda said...

I'm not a scrapbooker but if I lived close by I'd get together with you in a minute! What's not to love...friendship, laughter, creativity, and food!

I say you should start a scrapbook group of your own. Invite a few people from your neighborhood, other mom's from church or from your kid's school. Your group will be the talk of the town before you know it!

Kathryn said...

Haul yourself up to the St. Louis area and we will play! I have a lovely workroom, and the most awesome store is in my neighborhood. I am not a traditional scrapper. I tend to focus on mini-books and have three or four going on at once. I also tend to go somewhat untraditional routes with my books, and lovelovelove to play along with friends.

Lisa L said...

Wow Kristie...I'm in awe of your scrapbooking...I'm sorry you haven't found a group of people to get together with in your new area...maybe you could put an ad in the local paper? Who knows...there may be clusters of scrapbookers who would LOVE to have a new member...oooh..and the food you describe sounds yummy! A crockpot of meatballs....could you post the recipe?

Anonymous said...

Kristie........I'm so with you! There is nothing better than cropping with a bunch of your very best scrapping friends, chatting away and eating! More chocolate please!! I dont know if its the commraderie of being together late into the night or because we are working on and sharing our most prize posessions, our photos, of our most important people and times of our lives or what but my scrapping friends are some of my very best friends! Wish I was closer than Phoenix and I would join you! But we are having a big crop in March at our civic center with ladies from all over Arizona and I have a friend coming from Texas so you could come from Oklahoma! I'm also going to scraplift your great idea for all the Christmas card pictures I get that I have saved over the years!
Keep they layouts and ideas coming!

Alisa said...

ok- I am blog stalking now-
I got a little giddy thinking about dusting of my scrapcase- it has just been sitting collecting dust!

The Running Girl said...

Scrapbooking is something I love to do as well, but don't do as much as I'd like to do. To bad we don't live a little closer.

Anonymous said...

I MISS YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jeanette said...

What a beautiful post! I love it! You have really inspired me to take more time for creativity and friends.

Anonymous said...

YEAH!!!! I made it into the scrapbook!!!!! You would make it in mine every year too if I ever scrapbooked more than once a year!!!! :)

Stefunkc said...

Hey, I see me on there! I feel completely honored:) I admire your scrapbooking. My poor children will be handed a series of picture cds when they leave our house.