Go and take a photo….just because!

Like most scrapbookers I am the one behind the camera in our family. It took my husband a long time to get used to the fact that he would have a camera pointed at him, a bit more than he would like, and be asked to smile.

However, my ten year old son loves the camera and requests his photo be taken in this pose and that pose.

Outside of our household I can feel reticent about requesting to take someone’s picture, however much I am wanting to do so.

Last week our family had a major shock. My brother-in-law passed away suddenly. The grief we hold in our hearts immeasurable.

Nick, my husband’s older brother, was truly a lovely man. I happily dropped the in-law bit and saw him as a brother.

In happy times....My husband at our wedding, along with his brothers. Nick on the left and David on the right.
In happy times….My husband at our wedding, along with his brothers. Nick on the left and David on the right.

Along with a death comes all the formalities, including a funeral. As his parents are still alive the responsibility to organize everything has fallen to them. Obviously, we all want to help in whatever way we can, but nothing we do will ever feel like enough.

But I have found my own way to help.

I take pictures.

Lots of pictures.

Suddenly everyone wants to see my pictures, requesting print outs in different sizes, emails to various family, because we all want to remember Nick.

None of us have as many photos of him as we would have wanted to have. Of course we don’t! Everybody loved him, everyone enjoyed their time with him at this event or on that particular day, but we don’t always have the photos to show for it.

Memories will never be taken from our minds, but now he’s gone, the realization that we can not take another picture is far too real.

I have pictures.

Pictures from Christmas Day, pictures from my wedding, pictures from a barbecue….

I am the girl who takes pictures.

Nick and his partner Renata.
Nick and his partner Renata.

I have found my own particular way to help. I can help others by giving them copies of my photos. Pictures that I have will be going on Nick’s funeral order of service, will be going to his son, will be going to his parents, his brothers and his partner.

I can’t get any of those times back to take more pictures.

That hurts.

What I can do is make sure that I am not reticent about taking photos again. If I hadn’t have taken those photos of Nick, we would have less to show of how much we loved him. By taking his photo on various occasions I hope he knew that he was worth remembering.

My camera is now going to be used so much more. Not just within my house and not just because it’s a birthday, or because it’s the first day of term etc.

My camera will take a picture….

Just because!

Nick with his mum Sheila. I'm so pleased I took this photo.
Nick with his mum Sheila. I’m so pleased I took this photo.

I hope if you’re reading this that you too may grab your camera before a visit to your friends house, your parents, your in laws….

Not for any special reason, other than you care.

Rest in peace Nick.

Love and crafty cuddles,

Scrapbook Bex.

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Subscribing To A Kit Club Changed My Scrapbooking!

I love a good shopping spree, better still when it’s for crafty goodies. Most of us crafters do, we’re an excitable breed.

The lure of sale craft shopping is a beacon of joy I just can’t ignore!

But what happens to this jumble of stash from different brands and different lines, that are all the colours of the rainbow?

Well we squeal as we buy it, we get it home to stroke it, we agonize over where we’re going to put it and then we find it a home among all the other hoards of stash we own. Having a well stocked craft cupboard is all part of the fun.

Inevitably though, as we pack more and more crafty goodness into our supplies, some bits, however much we intend to use them and have that perfect project in mind for, get forgotten about. They make their way to the bottom of the pile as it grows taller and taller.

I am absolutely guilty of having long forgotten stash building up and I am not a scrapper who can easily part with all those pretties.

I got a bit fed up of this never ending circle. I was a slow scrapper who spent oodles of time mulling over what would possibly match with what, looking for that pack of stickers that I bought 3 years ago that must be around here somewhere, I never scrapped with a freedom I now enjoy.

How did I begin to scrap with freedom?

I subscribed to a scrapbook kit.

September 2015 Like For Ever 'Acorn Avenue' kit. The main items are from Pink Paislee's Cedar Lane collection, with papers, thickers and embellishments. There is also a custom sequin mix exclusive to the kit made by 'Pretty Pink Posh'.
September 2015 Like For Ever ‘Acorn Avenue’ kit. The main items are from Pink Paislee’s ‘Cedar Lane’ collection, including papers, thickers and embellishments. There is also a custom sequin mix exclusive to the kit made by ‘Pretty Pink Posh’.

Aren’t they just for Americans? Aren’t they going to be a fortune to get shipped to the UK?

No and no!

There are now a growing number of kit subscriptions that we in the UK can enjoy.

I have joined a monthly kit club by the online store like for ever.

Every month a pizza box arrives in the post. I get the same amount excitement of shopping at a store and I haven’t had to leave the house. What’s more, the stash in the kit all matches, it contains full packets of loveliness and there is a monetary saving by being a kit club member, I love it!

When I make a page now, I can make it with ease as I know everything coordinates. It speeds up the whole process. My monthly output is so far increased that it has doubled and my spending outside of the kit is minimal. My layouts have improved so much, I am finally out of that fledgling beginner stage.

Products from August 2015 Like For Ever Kit, featuring the Maggie Holmes collection, 'Wonder'.
Products from August 2015 Like For Ever Kit, featuring the Maggie Holmes collection, ‘Wonder’.

What’s more, the subscriber community has a wealth of ideas to share, happy scrappy chatter and of course, the odd bit of enabling! (We are not completely immune to the odd extra here and there!)

Subscribing to a kit club has been a positive addition to my scrapbooking. I hope you consider that it could possibly be for you too.

Love and crafty cuddles,

Scrapbook Bex.

Scrapbook Your Story!

“How did you and Daddy decide to get married?”

A simple question from my son, that most married parents will get asked at some point or other.

So?

Those of us who got engaged in an age where the ‘selfie’ wasn’t the norm, aren’t likely to have the event documented for all to see on social media. (Although it was 2006, we were just a little late to the party!!) If I got engaged today, I would have a dozen selfies, photos of what we did, ate, drank, the decor in the room, every last detail.

But in those days with my film camera I didn’t. I have 8 photos from a whole weekend away my partner  had planned. We went to Stamford in Lincolnshire. We stayed in a b&b, visited Burleigh House and got engaged in a fabulous pub called ‘The George’.

Showing my son a photo of an old church, me in a nice dress and a photo of me at a dining table say absolutely nothing of the time that we had.

But when my son asked that question last Thursday, I was able to go and pick up a mini scrapbook album that I had made several years ago. He was able to see the pictures along with my hand-written stories of what was happening, both in the picture and on that part of the holiday.

My 'Stamford Memories' album I made a few years ago.
My ‘Stamford Memories’ album I made a few years ago.

These old photos that have negatives to back them up, not megabytes, that sometimes have fingers sometimes covering the lens, that could easily have the story behind them forgotten, are now fully documented. These stories are part of his heritage. Long after I’m gone, my great grandkids will know the story of how they came to be.

That makes me feel great!

Here rather than just a photo of an engagement ring, I have been able to tell the story behind it.
Here, rather than just a photo of an engagement ring, I have been able to tell the story behind it.

Remember: Scrapbooking is a fabulous way to get creative, but also a way to preserve your family history for generations to come.

Love and crafty cuddles,

Scrapbook Bex.

Photos are memories.

Why did you just press ‘capture‘ on that camera?

Did you want to remember that moment, gift, person? What then happens to that picture? Do you share it on social media, keep it in your phone gallery, upload it to your computer?

How many of those photos have made it to a printer?

Surprisingly little?

In this digital age we have so many devices that we can take photos with. Digital cameras, tablets, phones etc. Pictures are instant. I’m from a generation that took photos on a roll of film and only got to see the image when the roll was complete and ready to be processed. It seems a forgotten treat to hold and appreciate a printed photograph in the hand.

I like to embrace all the wonderful things about going digital along with all the charms of the past.

Those pictures we take on our various technology devices often get left behind when we inevitably upgrade. But if that moment in time was worth taking a picture of, please don’t let it languish, long forgotten about. You may not want to go as far as scrapbooking it, but why risk losing it forever?

Even photos that can seem pretty meaningless or frivolous at the time, can become a link to a memory that makes you smile years after it the picture was taken.

Perhaps next time you press ‘capture‘ think about why you are taking that photo, what about that moment makes it worth remembering? Then maybe, just maybe, you could print it out to put into an album.

Love and crafty cuddles,

Scrapbook Bex.