Saturday, 19 August 2017

The Project - Part 1


I am writing this blog posting with two friends on my mind - one virtual friend -  Tracie from Tennessee and one friend I met in real live - Tiffany from Kentucky. I met them through their podcast, The Scrap Gals Podcast.

Tiffany and Tracie share my love for memory keeping and the big photo organisation is something they know all too well. Their show is fun to listen to and it was their show that made me hungry to finally tackle a task that has been sitting in a box for ages, 16 years to be precise. 
A box filled with photos, bags covering albums plus adhesives and a collection of scraps (leaflets, tickets and folders): Our trip to Cuba in 2001
This weekend the time has come to put Cuba 2001 into action: into the album.

400, maybe 500 photos have been sitting in a box for over a decade and this weekend I am finally going to tackle this task.

The weather forecast for this weekend is promising: rain and 19°C. Perfect weather conditions. 

A few months ago I've bought these two albums. Both are old school albums with "spacing sheets"
Which album to choose?
 100 pages seem to be the right choice. The smaller album has 80 pages.

Adhesives. Plenty. Yes, I made sure that nothing is going to stop me.

The weather outside still behaving very cooperative.

Not just photos: plenty of scraps are going to make it into the album.

These old guide books are extremly helpful since I can't remember the names of all the places we saw back in 2001. Where was this photo taken? What was the name of the tower? Many villages en route ... I am glad to have the guide books available. And as soon as I have finished the album, I am going to donate the guide books. They are old, but not outdated. 

The major task: Colour prints, sitting in the box. 
Various sizes. What was I thinking? 

Hours later the most important step is completed: the prints are in the right order. Back in 2001 we were shooting film with 2 cameras, which means different rolls of film at the same place. This confusion does not make the whole task any easier. 
Ha ha! Speaking of confusion and tricky tasks: Lets add some b/w prints in various sizes, too!

The task becomes tricky at this point, because I have to make sure I don't miss any place on any roll of film, because I want to fill the album chronologically, starting with our first day in Havanna and ending with the departure on our last day. 

I have to admit I am not too happy with the quality of the b/w prints. They were printed with a colour-machine. Hmm. I could create new prints on decent paper, by myself in the dark room. Not now. And not tomorrow. No roadblocks, please! Right now I've decided to use the prints I have, replacing any poor quality prints in the near future remains an option. 

Before I am going to stick any photo into the album, I will deliberately take my time, going through all the photos, all the album pages, creating layouts for every single page. By doing so, I make sure that I don't run out of pages by the end of the album. LOL

2nd Page "Maria la Gorda": check!

The amount of photos exceeds the number of pages and one album has to suffice. That's why I am eliminating photos during the process of layouting.

One hour later: The table looks like this. 

I spent a decent amount of the afternoon playing with photos and layouts: Which photos go nicely together? Which won't make it into the album? Where might I need more space to place some scraps and notes? ... 

Time for a short break, admiring raindrops. 

Do you have similar projects sitting in a box, waiting for you to finally tackle them?

Have a nice weekend!

Part 2 coming soon! (including hand writing, cutting photos and some scrapping)

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Expired for a Reason

So I had this bottle of Coke sitting in the fridge for quite a while. It expired.
Looking at this bottle I can't help but smile. First, because this bottle demonstrates how we tick:
We are so not into soda and softdrinks. Second, because (knowingly that we are not into soda) I had bought this bottle for a reason: Coke works for me as a remedy during those hot, humid summer days,  when my stomach feels weak and don't feel well. A few sips from this bottle and I am good to go. Only that there was no such day in 2016, no need for this remedy.

I started purging expired pharmaceuticals a few years ago. Once a year I weed through my medicine chest big style. The pile consisting of expired pharmaceuticals grew steadily over the last years, now it seems there is not much left to purge. So I was used to find those expired drugs that patiently sat in the drawer. But a Coke? Not a single small bottle (500ml) of Coke in 6, maybe 8 months? This surprised me. It is official: Coke plays 100% no role in our life.

Btw, there is a reason I took a closer look at the bottle: I needed extra space in the fridge, room for sesame oil and almonds. Those of you who are familiar with sesame oil know about its short shelf-life. It's hard to finish a bottle of sesame oil before it goes rancid. Not this time! The new bottle of sesame oil replaces an empty bottle. Living together with a partner who supports my choices, including the game changer – living on a plant based diet, matters.

Sorry if this posting made you thirst for a soda and you have none at your hands ... my sincere apologies!

Sugar? Always welcome.  :-) Pictured: Toffee Apple Cake

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Urban Spring Jungle


I guess this posting pictures my idea of Spring. a week in March 2017.

People heading home after work in the late afternoon sun.
Mid March and the light speaks cool colours. Warmer days are still to come, Kelvin-wise speaking.
After-work delight at "Bortolotti"
MaHü, the common place not far from the posh 1st district. First sunglasses have been spotted.
Wild garlic rush in the Vienna Woods, sunlight still reaching the gound. (Yes, we are still in Vienna).

These contrasting colours speak "joyous Spring" to me like no others: Y/B.
The public library has more to offer than just books. The stairs are one of the rare non-commercial urban public spaces in Vienna.
New company at the office: the Bumble Bee, chilling, waiting for the sun to show up ....
Ahhh! Warming up. Time to fly.

Enjoy the Spring-season!

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Scrapbook History

31 years! It has been 31 years since I've glued these tickets in my "holiday diary", the ancestor of today's trend called Traveller's Notebook.

I guess this is my oldest scrapbook. How I loved it! It brought me a lot of joy.

My memorabila box holds several of these. This is the fanciest one. Others were simple notebooks like the ones we used at school. To me my traveller's notebooks from the 1980's are total pageturnes. I enjoy flicking through them.  

Journaling mattere 

 This simple notebook travelled through the Austrian provinces in 1987
I do remember this trip to Alpbach, but I could not remember the travel journal. 

I am surprised to see how easygoing my journaling was back then. Glue, a pen and tickets. No ruler, no rules:

And this is "me" today, 30 years later: 

Today's memory journals include a few new features, such as the handy photo printer at home and Washi tapes. :-)

One huge motivation that keeps me doing this is a podcast I have been listening to almost non-stop since January: The Scrap Gals podcast. Tiffany and Tracie are experts when it comes to scrapbooking. Their show is 100% motivating and inviting, I find myself sewing (!) notebooks and fllling them with memories on a monthly basis, all thanks to their podcast.

Too sad those rub-on letters are out of fashion. In the 80's and 90's they were quite common.

A few weeks back, looking at this page, I felt like this would have been something a young girl would do and enjoy a lot. In other words: Yes, this somehow does look childish. Well, having rediscovered my old scrapbooks I can say "Yes, I did enjoy making these!"
Joy comes easily.

Have a nice weekend!

PS: I blanked some lines for discretion.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The Biker Jacket

This says it all:

Me, August 1989 before my last year at school
This jacket had been mine for a few weeks in 1989. I borrowed it from a friend, sharing clothes was part of our wardrobe life back then. The biker jacket came with a story: it belonged to a former police officer who had worn the jacket at work, on his bike. (Truth? Myth? Nice story anyway!)  Biker jackets where big. Flea markets where the place to go to.

No doubt, this piece of leather made me feel so cool. The first day at school, after the summer, walking up those steps in front of the school gate, where the guys used to hang out and scan us – the girls. I am not sure how well I actually rocked the coolness this jacket incorporated. What I can say for sure is that the guys did not handle my altered appearance all too well, speaking from their comments.
Being a girl, d'awwh...

Today I find myself scanning shops for "the certain jacket". Biker jackets are back, now tighter and tinier than ever. And of course pricier than ever.

btw: The red tan in my face comes partly from the hot turtle neck I was wearing, inside my friend's room, partly from the old photo paper (almst 30 years old, colours change over time) and of course from long days at the public pool.

What this photo also tells me: take photos and keep them. They bring joy.


Friday, 3 February 2017

Photo Journaling 101 aka Analogue Blogging


Last week's memory journals/notebooks quickly morphed into "rapid photoalbums"–  "rapid", because compared to other, still empty albums, which I had sitting on the shelf for years, this goes really fast. Japan (2007!),  Cuba (2001!!) - untouched albums! The photo piles are neatly stacked and  sit next to empty albums. Well.

Why not put photos on paper on a(n almost) daily basis?

I noticed that many photos have a story to tell. Who is going to tell the story, if not me?

Besides the photos that need the story behind the moment, there are many unspectacular stories,  small anecdotes, nevertheless, they often make my day.
Now those small stories have the chance to become memories, thanks to the photo that pictures the moment. The photos "pin" small moment to my long-term memory.

I remember my great-aunt looking at a family-portrait from her childhood. She was 99 years old and was suffering from dementia. Holding the wooden frame in her hands, looking at the photo, her mood changed in an instant. She smiled. She was happy.

Ok, it is probably not the main purpose of my new hobby, to create a pile of "Happy moments for possible future deseases". Speaking of purpose: Is there any purpose at all? Maybe just "happy moments for today".

Sounds better. :-)

Now enough with the talking, let me walk you through the process of photo journaling:

This is the set-up:
One month = one notebook. The month of January comes with a winter landscape on the cover

Next to me sits the Canon Selphy photo printer:
It takes 40sec for a moment to become a memory.
It's playful, soooo playful ...
I can do whatever I want to. I arrange, combine and smile. A lot. (I guess this pretty much nails my understanding of "playing")

First steps into the world** of those colourful Washi Tapes:
Seriously? Yes! Finally!! The January Cure makes it into the Photo Journal

How popular is photo journaling?

I could find numerous videos and blogs on Traveller's Journals/Midoris, bullet journaling and art journals (those journals which come with lots of watercolour on curly notebook pages), but there almost hardly any blogs/videos on "Photo Journaling" out there. 

Carrying a journalist-gen I love going into depth, exploring recently unknown topcis, to compare and also to look at the background that comes with most stories. Recommendations are very welcome!

Can you recommend some blogs/vlogs on photo journaling? I am curious to hear about them.
Wait ... photo journal  .... journalist....  Ha! This all adds up.  :-D


* The innocent world of Washi Tapes has the potential of becoming a "Universe of Japanese kawaii-ness full existing of al kind of paper craft supplies. You have been warned

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Analogue Blogging aka Memory Journaling

New year, new passion? 

Hello dear readers!

I am busy (yes, again), designing the foundation for future memories and it comes with a lot of paper. Nice paper of all kinds, countries, weights and colours. A playful, recently revived passion of mine. As far as I can remember, paper always brought joy. (*)

(*) The only time it did not bring a lot of joy was duing our hike to an acient paper mill in the middle of France on a hot summer day. We really did earn that visit. Lasting memories. 

Paper from Italy and England, companies with a long tradtion, dating back 200 years and more
 Playing around with various types of paper and  - also important - finding the favourite proportion.
Trimming notebooks to a preferred proportion

Approaching the right proportion. Which proportions do I enjoy? What proportions feels good in my hands? Which one is nice to look at?
The blue notebook to the left has a fine proportion for text & photos and allows a good amount of unused space on the pages. Inspiration: SZ DVD Edition. The grey notebook to the right has (almost) the proportion of the popular "Midori Traveller's Notebook". (the width of the Midori notebook measures ca +3mm)
Very much to my surprise the Midori-width is almost the Suhrkamp's pocketbook-width. Those pocketbooks do seem small, but they do hold a lot of words. Those books are a 20th century design icon. But with a width of 11cm, any 10cm-wide photos is likely to cram a page. I will stick with the proportion of the blue notebook. For now. :-)

Here I have been playing around with the trimming: flush trimming, overlapping covers ...

Now that I have build the foundation, I can move on to the next step, which is every bit as entertaining as the first one was: printing memories.

I will keep you posted!