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Monday, August 27, 2012

wedding bells

Not much time for blogging lately...been busy with our daughter Kelly's wedding. Now that the dust has settled and the happy couple is on their honeymoon, I've finally had a chance to check out some of my many photos from the past few weeks. I focused mainly on candids of family and friends and quirky little details, but I was able to sneak in beside the photographer to quickly capture this shot. It truly was a lovely wedding...graciously hosted by my brother Greg and his wife Lynn in their beautiful garden. I cannot begin to express my gratitude to them.

Kelly and Aaron planned the whole thing themselves, right down to their sweet, heartfelt vows and Lord of the Rings music, piped in from Kelly's iPad. At the last minute, as we were waiting to process down the stone steps next to the waterfall/pond, nephew Danny, in charge of music, informed us that the iPad had overheated in the hot sun. Yikes! He quickly downloaded the music from his cellphone and saved the day.

More later...

Monday, August 6, 2012

5 facts about me

The other day Kim and Xanthe invited us to join them in a "linky" party.

You know, you can tell a great deal about a person by the books on their shelf (okay, so I keep my Honda Owner's Manual in the glove compartment, but it is a book).
With that in mind, here's a random sampling - in literary form - of five facts about me:

  1. I am Roman Catholic. Born and raised...and kinda re-born in recent years.
  2. I am a huge Dennis Prager fan. I podcast his radio shows and listen whenever I can to his wisdom and clear thinking on assorted issues. My favorite is his Happiness Hour every Friday. I've just begun his newest book on my Kindle, Still the Best Hope.
  3. I drive a Honda mini-van. I used to call it the Mommy-mobile. It has over 100,000 miles on it and it's on its second transmission, after years of hauling kids to school and swim team practice, camping and summer vacation trips. It seems like a big vehicle now that the girls are grown up and on their own...but our two bikes fit in nicely.
  4. I love donkeys. For that matter, any critter with a sweet face. It's been that way since I was a little girl.
  5. I don't enjoy cooking. I eat pretty healthy, though, for the most part. TBQH, what really attracted me to this cookbook - besides the South Beach thing - was the "super quick" part. 
I did some quick editing with RadLab: Lights On, Oh Snap!, Highlight Separator, Vario-Tone, Divine Light, and SX-70 (reduced in strength-30%, and flare-50%) Then I grabbed Kim's kk_autumnBurst - Soft Light 70%, and masked that layer in the center, where the books are.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

excerpts from a family history

A retired lawyer "with a mind like a steel trap," Dad was a top-notch researcher with attention to detail and an innate desire to do no less than excellent quality work. Several years ago he had watched my mother complete her own genealogy project, learned the ins and outs from her, and then took off from there. He studied the book, Italian Geneological Records, by Trafford Cole, an American genealogist living in Italy, then arranged with Mr. Cole to do the necessary research there. I remember the day he showed me the wealth of photographed documents dating back to 1750, uncovered amongst voluminous archaic records, housed in obscure locations all over Italy. Dad combined these findings with the fruits of his own extensive internet research, in addition to stories told by his parents and other long-gone family members, and compiled a family history that is a joy to read, replete with beautifully crafted scrapbook pages.

Dad spent his days perfecting his craft: studying the work of other scrapbook artists, and then cutting, pasting, and assembling his own stories, photos and embellishments into elegant layouts. His favorite books were Scrapbooking Your Family History and Creating Keepsakes' Scrapbooking Family Heritage. He also loved translating the many documents and letters he assembled (painstakingly, with magnifying glass in hand, as many were handwritten and in dialectical Italian!).

Here are a few of my favorite pages:

These picture postcards are of my grandfather,
who was an officer in the Italian Cavalry during World War I.

After the war, Grandpa spent some time in a convalescent home, recuperating from influenza.
He was awarded three medals for his service during the war.

Grandpa emigrated to the United States in 1920.
Dad was able to find both a photo of the actual ship he sailed on
and an image of the ship's manifest, where he is listed with the other passengers!

Here Dad tells the story of how his parents met. It was love at first sight...literally!

These are Dad's maternal grandparents.

My grandfather's only brother, Pasquale also served during the war. 
He later became a Fascist, spending some time in Egypt during the early 1920's...
...where he visited the newly discovered King Tut's tomb!
How cool it that?!
These are all Pasquale's own snapshots.

Dad photocopied each page, and then made over a dozen sets, which Mom finally compiled into scrapbook albums for each of us kids and grandkids, and some cousins of Dad's as well.

He was just starting to work on his own story, but was unable to complete it. I plan to finish it, with Mom's help...and Dad's blessing, I am sure.

Friday, August 3, 2012

"when i'm gone you can have all this stuff"

So, after all these months, I finally decided to tackle this box of Dad's scrapbooking supplies and start putting them away. I can still hear his voice, "When I'm gone you can have all this stuff..."

Hey Dad, would you be surprised to discover that the most treasured item amongst the stickers, stamps, rub-ons and embellishments is an old receipt from Archivers? Funny how a seemingly insignificant bit of ephemera can generate some of my most treasured memories.

You see, a few years ago, when I was a stay-at-home mom and the girls were in school, Dad and I would enjoy shopping trips together: we would clip Michaels and Hobby Lobby coupons from the Sunday Denver Post, grab our JoAnn mailings, and head for the craft stores. I'm pretty sure my 80+year-old dad was a rarity amongst the young female scrapbookers there. It became a regular routine, until he had amassed enough "stuff" to cover the ping-pong table in their basement. He "got" the part about collecting supplies. You fellow artists know what I mean.

Dad got interested in scrapbooking when he saw what I was doing. I soon found myself teaching my retired Dad the ins and outs of this passion of mine. He always was an artist at heart anyway, so it was pretty easy to teach him.  I always loved to show him and Mom my latest layout; Dad would always ask how I did this or that technique. I would teach him, share my supplies with him, and then we would shop together so he could build his own stash. He loved to master new techniques and then apply them to his ongoing geneology/scrapbook project.

Stay tuned for a peek at Dad's pages...