Saturday, 29 May 2010

Looking back

I was looking at a friend's blog of engagement pictures and was struck by how fantastically the couple's personality was captured on film. I then came across our engagement picture in the deep recesses of our large closet in our bedroom. And I realized just how amazingly different the photography world is now compared to even just 15 years ago.

Maybe it was just that we didn't know what our options were. Maybe it was just that we were so young. Maybe it was just that we were doing what we were 'supposed' to do (didn't everyone go to Sears and get their engagement shots done?)

Whatever the reason, this picture is horrible. It is so not us. The only redeeming quality is the humour factor and the fact that at least we got a picture done.

So, when Mike and I celebrated our 12 1/2 anniversary a few years ago, we decided to go ahead and get some good pictures done. Our friend took these shots one almost spring day in Edmonton, and she did a great job of capturing who we were at the time and a glimpse into 'us'.

Don't get me wrong - I am glad we have the (circa 1995) photo. I just don't put it out on display. anywhere.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Week in the Life: Completed Album

It's done...the album is completed. I'm ready to put it away for a while, knowing that I will enjoy looking at it again in the future. Like most projects I work on, I am tired of looking at it, and want to move on. But, before I do that, I thought I would share how it turned out.

I used an 8 1/2X11 American Crafts album and for the full pages, I used the page protectors that came with the album. I got the divided page protectors from a local stamp and coin shop (who knew?...and they were only 20 cents a piece!!). The only problem is the spine of the divided page protectors were must thinner than the AC page protectors. And of course, being the type A that I am, I couldn't handle that. So, I added some patterned paper from the line that I was using to match them up.


Basically each day has the same 4-page layout. Each day starts with a single shot, enlarged photo (about 5X7) and then a timed run-down of the day. This, by far, was the biggest job. I also used a few embellished cards in the divided page protector, including one on each bottom left corner with the initial of the day. That was supposed to be it.

As I was putting it together, however, I realized that I wanted to add a bit more journalling. So, I added another half page (I just sewed the edge of the page protector to size and trimmed the excess) with my thoughts and a butterfly for an embellishment.

On the back of the skinny journalling page, I just used a piece of patterned paper and a strip with the handwritten day of the week.


The same layout...

I also included some 'ephemera'...a fancy word for 'everyday stuff', including my shopping list and reciepts. I tried to add a bit of this throughout the week. This is definitely something I would like to get better at. It all seems so silly now, but when I think about it, I would love to know what my mom's shopping lists looked like. So, I include these things, in the hopes that my kids will be as sentimental as I am...


Again, the same format...

I wrote out a bit of 'life right now' for each of us in the family. I included our ages and what fills our days. I think this will be one of my favourite things to read when I have three teenagers in the house.

A close up of the altered page protector. I didn't have room for the big butterfly, so I improvised a bit.

I had the last page printed off as an 8X10 (I used a template and layer masks in Photoshop to make my job a bit easier). At first, my plan was to cut them all out and paste them on again, but I decided to leave them as one piece. On most of these block templates, I cut out a piece here and there and filled them in with patterned paper and/or embellishments to add a bit of interest.



Same layout again. I included a tea bag, just because I drink this tea most days in the afternoon. I did journal a bit about tea time as well, so it fit.


I included a quote that I have on my fridge at the moment. In the past, I have mostly used the computer for my journalling (it is so much faster and space efficient!), but am being more and more drawn to using my own handwriting. So, I wrote the quote out after the other journalling.



I used something I wrote on this blog as the closing journalling. Actually, that is mostly what I used for the journalling pieces - most of what I wrote out in the moment of uploading the pictures was so perfect for including in this album. And I rarely include these kind of self-portraits in any of my albums (and if I do, it is usually a different part of my body). It isn't a fabulous picture, but it is me.

So ends the Week in the Life adventure. I'm happy to be able to put the album - completed - on my bookshelf and get on with life.

I am, however, already planning what the next one will look like...

Streets of Philadelphia


...on the streets of philadelphia

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Almost finished...

I am so happy that this album is almost finished. The pictures are formatted, printed and cut. The papers are printed off and the journalling is done. The embellishments are completed. Now - it is just matter of putting it all together. Here's a sneek peak of the title page.

However, it isn't going to happen this weekend - I'm a bit distracted at the moment as Mike and I are enjoying a weekend away in the beautiful and amazing city of Philadelphia. This city is absolutely stunning. The architecture is like nothing I have ever seen (even the Macy's is housed in a building hundreds of years old). And the history is mind-boggling (sorry all you Americans out there, but I had no idea that this is where the consitution was signed!!).

It is so good to walk and take pictures and drink coffee and relax and shop and eat and be. So, so good.


"Every day, God gives us, as well as the sun, a moment when it is possible to change anything that is causing us unhappiness. The magic moment is the moment when a "yes" or a "no" can change our whole existence. Every day, we try to pretend that we do not see the moment, that it does not exist, that today is the same as yesterday and that tomorrow will be the same too.
However, anyone who pays close attention to his day will discover the magic moment. It might be hidden in the instant that we put the key in the door in the morning, in the moment of silence after supper, in the thousand and one things that appear to us to be the same.
This moment exists, a moment in which all the strength of the stars flows through us and allows us to perform miracles." ~ Paulo Coelho

thanks to andrea scher from here for the inspiration

Monday, 10 May 2010

A Week in the Life: Saturday

There are also of emotions that I am feeling at the moment, as I write this last little bit before posting my last set of pictures.

Relief. Excitement. Gratitude. Exhaustion. Love.

Documenting the last seven days has been an amazing experience. The biggest thing for me has been seeing myself so much through the camera. I usually take a tonne of pictures of my kids, of events, of things, of my family, but I am not usually the one in front of the lens. It is very odd to look at my life as if I were getting a glimpse into someone's life. And that is exactly what this past week has felt like. It has felt like I have been given a glimpse of something of the sacred, but when I reflect of my life, it seems so the opposite of sacred. It just seems so ordinary.

And actually, my life is ordinary. It involves backpacks and lunches and computers and meals and runny noses and reading and cuddling. It involves knock-knock jokes (that aren't really funny) and discipline and laughter and bread and temper tantrums. It involves everyday conversations and red wine and snacks and washing dishes and cutting carrots. All the ordinary stuff that 99% of the world's population does every day.

And yet, when I look at the pictures from this past week, I can see the sacred in the ordinary. I am not just wiping a nose - I am telling a little three year old boy that his needs are really important. I am not just talking with my husband - I am deepening a very intimate relationship with every moment that I pay close attention to what he says. I am not just helping to a five year old learn to read - I am nurturing a deep love of books and literature that will be a constant companion for the rest of her life that will open up more worlds to her than she could ever imagine. I am not just drinking coffee - I am taking a few minutes for myself to stop, listen and be.

So much of the every day is so very, very sacred. And those moments are not ordinary. This is the biggest lesson I have learned from this project called A Week in the Life.

We woke up to the kids reading together in Eden's bed. They often will do this on Saturday morning - wake each other up and then read books together. It is wonderful just laying in our bedroom and listening to their conversation.

A quiet moment with a cup of coffee after a morning trip to the farmer's market. Sheer bliss. (how in the world did I forget to take pictures at the market?)

The girls and I playing a game of Crazy Eights.

Getting the hair ready for soccer. They both wanted two french braids in their hair this morning - a very time consuming process, but it keeps their hair totally out of their face.

A chilly Saturday moming make-up game. (damn you snow!!)

Ephraim practicing his soccer skills with Daddy on the sidelines.

In the afternoon, we went for a visit to Dad and Joyce's place.

Eden organizing her file folder - the place where all the papers she brings home from school goes before it finds a home. This is (not surprisingly) a weekly job - she brings home ALOT of paper.

We are having a bbq tonight with a very special group of friends, and I spend a bit of time this afternoon getting ready for the festivities.

Mike took the kids out for a little jaunt around the block before the guests arrived.

This is usually how we will find Ephraim in the back yard - pushing something (anything!) in his yellow dump truck. He loves that thing.

The obligatory after-dinner-crazy-eights-card-game. The girls just discovered this game, and are relentless.

Having a bit of a conversation before the last guest disappears.

Doing the dishes in the quietness of the house. And feeling really, really blessed.

And that's that. A week of our lives documented in photos+words.

Looking forward to getting all these photos printed up. I am hoping to work on the album this week and next and have it done very soon.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

A Week in the Life: Friday

Every day it seems I have fewer and fewer pictures. That could be one of two reasons: one, I am just getting that much better at taking the 'right' shots or two, I am kind of getting tired of taking photos. Truth be told, it is probably the second option. I find myself forgetting to take pictures, which is really odd, considering that has all I have really been doing for the past five days. Ah well, tomorrow is another day...

Mike is usually the first one up, and is usually the one to make the coffee in the morning. Bless him.

The kids have a number of spots in the house where they eat breakfast, and this little piece of floor (especially in the winter - which is what it feels like right now- as it is right in front of a very warm heat register) is a favourite. Just add the handy-dandy foot stool, and voila! a table for breakfast.

Mike reading the paper...

The morning ritual of doing hair. Aaralyn loves having 'bunwiches' in her hair, but Eden prefers absolutely nothing. Just a brush and she's done.

The backpacks ready to go by the front door.

Ephraim spent the morning outside, helping me out by "weeding". Thankfully the toys in the backyard were more interesting and the help stopped just as quickly as it began.

I got a call from the school that Aaralyn wasn't feeling well, so Ephraim and I went to pick her up a bit early.

And since as soon as I picked Aaralyn up from the school, she magically felt better, we decided to head over to Costco to pick up some much needed groceries.

Aaralyn got a hold of the camera on the way home - a view from the back of the van of some very fancy red rain boots.

Back home again, practicing Aaralyn's reading.

Wiping yet another nose - lots of greenies around this house the last few days. I can't wait until Ephraim figures out how to actually blow his nose. Up until now, he has refused.

Mike came home a bit early and got started on the plumbing. (be still my beating heart) He was successful and we now have a pipe from our bathtub to the stack that doesn't dip a foot from the roof. Thanks Mike!!