Monday, September 29, 2008
And then she linked to that post in her blog and sent some people over here to read it too.
So that was lovely. Plus she answered some questions in her blog about LOM and I am always interested in more reading on that subject.
This week I am going to San Antonio with two friends -- a birthday gift of a trip. And I am thinking.... I am thinking.... that I would like to make a mini album for one of my friends featuring pictures of him and the girlfriend, to say thank you for such a lovely birthday gift. And I have these pictures leftover from the NEO LO I wrote about in my last post, which I had very tidily tucked away in my category drawers, which feature him and the girlfriend, and I had some other random shots I'd put in the drawer behind the "Friends" tab (see how well I'm doing... pay no attention to the GIANT MESS in the room... no no lookhere!!!, LOOK HERE!!), and a black mini album I got as a gift which I put into my 12 x 12 color drawer for "Black/White/Silver" and a bunch of hearts and love stuff in my 12 x 12 color drawer for "RED".
It's Monday night and I leave here Thursday afternoon and I betcha I can have it done and in my bag for the trip. Go, me.
In non scrapbooking news.... today started with a Sadistic S.O....ooooh wait, I actually have people potentially reading this thing now. I better stop being myself and actually display some manners.
Okay well actually it was with a personal trainer, and he's a charming lovely man, and I recommend him. His name is Lee. And Lee, in fairness, began my day by treating me gently because I've been in bed sick for a week. And I, in my infinite wisdom, opened my mouth and inserted my foot by saying, "Gee this is really easy! I hardly feel it at all!" (marveling at how I had improved since our last meeting). And Lee, not being a slouch in the P.T. Dept, said, "Oh it is! Well we'll have to fix that! How about THIS!!! mwahahahaaaa..." (he didn't actually laugh aloud - this is what's called artistic license). And he introduced me to the Evil Exercise Ball of Doom.
I left the gym with arms and legs made of spaghetti, so I guess Lee did his job.
And Lo! For the skies had opened up and were pouring, and I ran to Target thinking, Gee, I really need to buy a new fall jacket at some point... and I bought everything except a jacket there, for they had none to tempt me.
So then I ran to Michaels, again in the Lo-the-sky-is-pouring, and yea, I shoppeth, but there were no jackets at Michaels because, duh, Michaels.
And while I hacked and coughed and wheezed, I also thought This is ridiculous, I'm just going to go shop for a jacket. (*scream of terror*)
And then I went to FIVE OTHER STORES, each time in the Lo-the-sky-is-pouring-where-is-your-jacket-doofus!, and each time left with the Man-I-HATE-shopping-for-anything-except-for-craft-supplies Blues. And I even drove to the Dreaded MALL, and yea there was weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. And getting more soaked, too.
And the whole time I was trying to persuade myself that my old, trusty fall jacket was Good Enough and it would Do For One More Year, even though, obviously not, since I'd rather be out in the rain sans jacket than wear it. I mean, I love that jacket and it has been perfect for the over-ten-years I have worn it. It's black, it's lightweight, it's reversible, it's got a water repellant side and a fancy textured side, it's got zippered pockets I love and, well, I am used to it and I like how it fits and looks.
But since 1) the zipper is now broken so it would have hung open in the cold and 2) it has no hood so rain would have pelted my head and face anyway... it really doesn't work as a Fall Jacket anymore.
I HATE IT when that happens. Don't you? I wore that jacket across Europe for my 30th birthday! I've worn it every year since! It was Just Right!
Last spring was my first foray into replacing the jacket. Back then I did the fiscally wise thing of shopping the End of Season Sales. I got a fantastic light coat for a mere $23.00 then, which will work for all but the coldest days. Except... well... it is too heavy to be a lightweight jacket, and it's also A-line and fastens with buttons, which is great for work, but not for dashing out to walk the dog in the rain.
This time I was forced to shop when things are not yet marked down. I went to five stores. Each time I had problems finding something Just Right. I was like Goldilocks in the the House of the Three-Plus Jackets. THIS one is brown cordoroy and makes me look like a mudslide. THIS one claims to be lightweight but I am sweating already with it on. THIS one claims it is my size but the shoulders constrict when I lift my arms. THIS one is fastened with buttons down the front and will be a PITA to take on and off. THIS one is (gulp) $250.00! THIS one is only $34.00 but it makes me feel like a suburban soccer mom (no offense but I'm not, and I don't wish to mislead the public).
But then...aaaahhhhhhh...Shopping Nirvana! For then I saw it -- The One. On the outside, a drab little number in camel, water repellent like a rain coat, with a hood, and I liked its shape and line. It was my size, cut well, with a belted shape, and hung correctly on me. It had a hood to protect me while walking the dog in the rain. It closed with a zipper as well, and had pockets where they needed to be. Not perfect and it was more than I'd hoped to spend but very very good. I debated...
But! Then! (I know, you are dying to hear) It was (is) reversible. I turned it inside out, tried it on, and..... (The Heavens Opened and Angels Sang)
Oh! It was lined with this creamy fake fur and when I put that side on the outside.... suddenly, I glowed! I looked chic! It's completely impractical like that but I looked like the most adorable little snowbunny! I could put this jacket on over a dress and high heeled boots and head into the City for Dinner or Shenanigans! And if it snowed or rained I could even pull the fur hood up over my head and look flirtatiously out at a Certain Gentleman! (I looooooooove clothing which does the flirting for you.)
So I took it to the area where one pays for such delights, and I showed it off in its reversed state to the sales clerk, and put it on like that, and her eyes got big and she said, "ooooOOOoooooo..." (you see, it's not just me)
And I refused a bag and wore it outside to my car.....
Where it was BRIGHT and SUNNY and WARM and NOT RAINING and NOT REQUIRING OF CHIC NEW JACKET!
Such is my life.
Well I came home and I took my old Fall Jacket and I said a fond thank you and farewell before sticking it in the Goodwill bag (along with the 4-5 other disgusting, dowdy garments masquerading as jackets which I've collected here and there to wear in lieu of Fall Jacket along the way) and I have hung up my Spanking New Fall Jacket (cream fur side OUT) so I can admire it.
By the way, did I forget to mention that as I was leaving the MALL my very favorite song of the moment began playing over the store speakers so I wandered through the closest purse section for no reason, just to listen to it (honest to blog), and I was thinking "Gee it's too bad I had to buy this jacket because I really need a new purse for this trip..."
(This is not justification for spendage, really. I want a "purse" that can be rolled up and stuffed into a carry-on tote for the flight, so I can bring 2 bags on the plane, and then taken out and used as a purse while in Texas so I don't have to use my carry-on tote as my purse all weekend. I already have a fantastic, perfect bag for this which I've used all summer. It's made of thin cloth, can be folded or rolled, has a long shoulder strap, is spacious, and is open at the top. Unfortunately...it's hot pink with green polka dot lining! That just will not do in October.)
ANYWAY... just as the thought crossed my mind...I saw it! The bag! A cloth hobo bag, open at the top, with a long strap and interior pockets... and it's brown. AND! And!! It has OWLS on it! yes! Little orange and green OWLS everywhere (I so totally and completely love owls, it's not even funny) and in little print here and there it reads: "Friend of Nature". *squeee!* Oh the cuteness!
Oh the cuteness with a big red CLEARANCE price tag on it! Super squee!
Friday, September 26, 2008
On the surface, these photos are not all that special. A couple years ago my best friend and I went to NEO, one of Chicago's oldest underground nightclubs, with another friend. A couple weeks later, still another friend came in from out of town, and it had been so fun we three dragged him there with us again.
The first time we went, I took a few pics with my camera and those pictures are dark and not great. When our out-of-town friend visited, we took more pictures with his more expensive camera, and those came out really well. So I had a mix of non-matching photos on hand, just because I'd ordered prints some time ago, and I decided to quickly scrapbook them.
Well, that plan went out the window with all the hoops I've had to jump through. Since I have not really scrapbooked in several years, most of my supplies and papers are in storage. What I do have here at home was tucked away in various places when I took down my scrapbooking area. I couldn't even find any black cardstock so I had to buy some.
Then I attempted to find some of the various industrial/urban type papers I've collected over the years -- determined to finally use some of it, since these photos are exactly why I buy those papers. Failure to find paper I know I have, led to buying some Cropper Hoppper vertical paper storage, collecting all the paper I actually have on hand, and resorting it in this new system.
In the meantime, I was also buying 12 x 12 plastic drawers and turning those into "color drawers" as per Stacy Julian. I also switched to Stacy's storage method for smaller embellishments (buttons, brads, eyelets, etc).
Then I discovered my eyelet setter was missing so I went on a failed hunt to buy a new one, and in the end, bought a whole new eyelet system from someone online, and had to wait for it to arrive. I knew I wanted to use certain foam stamps to create my title; I couldn't find them for two weeks, which drove me crazy. And I realized I would have to set up my printer in order to journal on these pages, which was a whole nightmare in itself.
So basically, these pages were a process of fits and starts, of reworking when supplies were found or purchased, of tearing the place apart looking for items to use, then creating storage systems and moving things around quite a bit in my home to make room to store my supplies in a newly functional way.
Here's the thing. Six weeks is waaaaaaaayyyy too long to spend scrapbooking a few photos from one night a couple years ago. Especially since the occasions weren't anything special, in my opinion. I have been to NEO so many times in the past 18 years, with so many friends. It's no big deal to go to NEO. And if I took 6 weeks to scrapbook every grouping of 4-5 pictures, it would be like trying to hold off Hurricane Ike with a Totes umbrella. My style of scrapbooking, and my goals, are anti-perfectionism, anti-scrapping-psychosis in nature. I can and have created many pages in less than an hour. Get the memories on paper and move on, already.
But then I realized.... Six weeks is not too long to spend documenting a place that has been so important to my Chicago adulthood. And to get it "just right".
And that's one of the ways LOM has freed me. On the surface of it, LOM appears to be simply a photo storage system. Maybe a way of putting layouts in albums. But it's so much more. Because once upon a time, I really would have thought of these pictures as rather uninspiring shots of me and some friends goofing off on a Friday night or two. I might have never scrapped them because the "issue" of having non-matching photos of two separate but similar events mere weeks apart would have stumped me. Or I would have felt I needed to scrapbook them separately, and then document what we did and what happened both nights. And thus include every single picture I'd had printed, because if not, what else would I do with them? Borrrrrring.
Because of LOM, I sat down and wrote journaling about this club, NEO. I wrote about stuff that's not in the pictures at all -- how it was the first club I went to, right after I turned 21. How my brother and his best friend and I would go there on Thanksgiving night, after our respective family dinners, for years. How I have run into friends there and taken friends there and how no matter where else in Chicago we might go to dance, everyone always ends up at NEO. And about what a Chicago institution it is. As well as a bit about how great it was to finally take my best friend there, because she had never been.
In the LOM system, in which pictures illustrate memories and are removed from chronology, events and photos are thought of topically. Things are not scrapped because "This is something that happened in 2008." Instead, things are scrapped because they fit into a topic: Is it a Place? Is it a Person? Is it a Thing? Is it about someone's personality? Is it describing or detailing some more important aspect of life? How are these photos connected to ME as a person? More than simply, "I was here"?
When I went to the Arcola Broomcorn Festival a couple weeks ago, yes they were pictures of a road trip and a festival -- but the deeper meaning is, I went because I collect brooms and have done so for 17 years. So that layout has that deeper meaning. I didn't journal much on those pages, but rather than put these pages in Things I Do album, as in, "Here's something I did one weekend", I will store them in an album about me, who I am, and what's important to me. And even though I have taken pictures of my collection, and written about it, and showed it off.... these pages are the first time I have mentioned on a scrapbook page that big aspect of who I am.
When I look at these pictures of me at NEO, I think, these are pictures that have a whole history behind them. And I wrote the journaling to reflect that. And these pages won't go in a Things I Do album, like, "My friends and I go out to nightclubs, isn't that fascinating???" No, they will go in my Places I Go album, because these pictures document a place I go and have gone for years. And if I never take more pictures there, now it's documented.
That's one of the best things, to me, about LOM. It makes me actually look at the pictures themselves in a whole new way. It makes me scrapbook them in a more meaningful way. I've always considered my scrapbooking to be a documenting of my life, but now I consider it more a documenting of who I am. And when I have a set of pictures I can scrapbook them in any NUMBER of ways, not just the most obvious or easily apparent way.
And that's a LOM Success Story, because now when I look at my NEO pages, I am really excited. And it was worth all the hassle to finish it, because that's an important part of my personal history, there.
Yes I know -- this would be so much better if I could include the layouts in the post! Sadly I don't have PhotoShop on this computer, so scanning is not an option, and I have yet to find that dratted camera cord either.
Photo 1: NEO sign from actual photo on the layout. Chicago, IL. Taken by me. June 2006.
Photo 2: Handmade brooms for sale. Arcola Broomcorn Festival. Arcola, IL. Taken by me. Sept 2009.
Photo 3: My brother learning to surf. Kalahari Waterpark. Wisconsin Dells, WI. Taken by me. July 2007.