Ever since I got into scrapbooking, I always make sure to scrap my trips. Before, I would always take a journal with me on those trips, but I was never really conscious about using them. To be quite honest, I’d forget about them and simply take hundreds of photos instead, then maybe document my trip from memory once I got back home. But since becoming a scrapbooker, I’ve gotten much better at documenting my trips, especially on the go.
Remember this little video I made of my Greek Remains of the Day journal when I had first finished making it? That was the journal I was going to use for my “Greek Myth Trip” that I (at the time) had been planning on going on. Well, back in September, I went on that trip and I brought that journal with me, along with a a small ziplock bag of embellishments, add-on journal cards, washi tape sample cards, clips, glue dots and a few colorful pens. It was the first time that I really documented on the go. It was very hard not having all my supplies with me and I also found spacing out my journaling to leave room for my photos that I was going to add on later when I got back home was quite challenging. But I did it and it came out quite well!
My journal is rather thick now that all the pamphlets, ticket stubs, business cards and photos are all in! I was able to document my entire trip in one journal. I got a lot of compliments on my journal while away. All my trip mates in one of the group tours I was on really liked it and loved the idea of scrapbooking my trip like I was. They were even more impressed that I had made the journal myself.
I learned how to make these types of journals from Mary Ann Moss in her Remains of the Day online class. They are made from fabric and paper scraps. I’ve since made lots of these little 6×8 journals, changing a few things here or there and adding a bit of my own flair to them. Like, instead of using a wrap-around tie closure, my most recent journals use velcro. I also don’t use scraps, but fabric sample swatches and 12×12 scrapbook paper that I cut down to size. I also really like adding graph paper to my journals to have some nice room for journaling. I just adapted what I learned in the class to suit my own style. I find that these sorts of journals are great for traveling, using as art or “smash” junk journals and mini scrapbooks. They’re great gifts and if you’re interested, I have a few I made for sale in my shop!
I made a little flip through of my filled Greek Myth Trip 2014 travel junk journal so that you can get a better look at how it all turned out. I didn’t film all the pages, just the first half of it. I really love how this turned out and am looking forward to documenting my other trips this way in the future.
My dad was a memory keeper, even if he didn’t know it. He was a photographer, not professionally, but as a hobby. He kept those old school albums, that were really old fashion scrapbooks. He even collaged a lot of his photos. So when I pulled out his photos one night, I honestly thought it was going to be hard to look at them because he passed away two years ago, and just looking at the world the way he saw it, I really thought it was going to affect me more–I guess in a sad way–but that’s not what happened.
I looked through albums upon albums of photos of me, my family and my extended family (close family friends) and with every turn I smiled and laughed, sometimes having to run to my mom or brother just to show them a shot from our past that I found so great. Some photos caught me off guard because they were so beautifully taken, even if what was photographed was so ordinary. Everyone and everything from my childhood was captured by my dad’s camera. Me on my favorite swings in the park, all of my aunts, uncles, cousins, my dad’s friends who were always staples in my life, extra aunts and uncles even if we weren’t blood. Family gatherings and trips, cookouts and vacations. Random bits of my life that when thinking about it, I had forgotten that happened.
I was a happy child. It seems so weird for me to say this because I feel so lost now as a young adult. But if the photos are proof of anything, I was really happy. I had a great childhood. It’s interesting how bits of me now were present then. I found this photo from my second birthday. I was sitting on the floor with my cousin who is exactly one year, one month and one day older than me, and we both are playing with musical instruments; he, a mini piano toy, and me, a toy guitar. It made me smile and laugh so hard because both of us now in our twenties, are musicians playing piano and guitar respectively. It seems so insane how we just knew what we wanted at age 2 and 3! It’s so amazing.
What strikes me so hard though is how much of my dad I see in myself. I was told that as a young child, I was daddy’s girl. I suppose, developmentally, that makes sense as little girls do tend to look up to their fathers a lot. As a teenager though, I clashed a lot with my dad. He was just so difficult to talk to and he just didn’t understand me. Those years really strained our relationship and I would always tell people that I don’t have a very good relationship with my dad. It was automatic me saying that, even though he was always there, always around, because we hardly spoke to each other after while unless we were arguing, it was like we just tolerated each other. I was young though; I just ignored him. Of course it changed when he got sick with a rare blood cancer. I still felt so disconnected to him, but I just tried to make him feel comfortable at all times. If he said something to me I tried to respond in a way that wouldn’t make either of us angry at each other. I indulged in what he liked to do, even if it inconvenienced me. I watched Yankees baseball with him, fetched him water or an ice pack when he needed it. If he needed a pillow to elevate his swollen feet, I got it for him and propped up his feet for him too. I wasn’t in school then. I had just graduated from Uni, so it was me and him in the house for a good portion of his illness.
I guess it’s natural for you to act that way when someone’s sick. Honestly, I just wanted to make him as comfortable as possible so that we wouldn’t constantly hear him complaining, which just drove me up the wall when he did. It’s hard for me now, because looking back at that short time, I just seemed so indifferent to him. I guess I didn’t really think he would die.
After going abroad for a summer, I was really ready to come home and just talk to him normally about the things I saw and all the music I heard that I brought home for him that I knew he would love. It’s so strange what going away from your world into a different culture’s world can do to change your perspective on life. But I was really ready to make that change, especially with my dad.
I was cheated out of it, of course. Life does that to you sometimes. But something that my mom said to me a few months after he passed, really touched me. She told me that my dad said to her in the hospital that he really enjoyed spending time with me at home like he had been. That we were really starting to connect again and that made him happy. At the time, I really didn’t see it that way and that made me feel guilty, because I was just getting by. I had to deal with that for awhile, but I’ve since come to terms with it and am grateful that he saw it that way.
So looking at all of his photos, I see where I get my passion for documenting my life from. His albums remind me of my scrapbooks, but with less embellishments, less journaling. I’m the one who carries the camera around during family gatherings and trips, taking photos of everything, even the pets. I’m the one who’s barely in the photos now, because I’m behind the lens. And it just seems so easy to fall into that place, like I was supposed to fill that hole.
It’s just so amazing to see my life through his eyes. He captured the candidness and innocence. I can definitely feel his love there just looking at all of these photos. They’re thousands of bits of him and I’m so glad that out of all the things he left us, he left us with memories.
I don’t take fashion seriously at all. It always cycles and for me it’s way too much work to follow the trends. I’m very much unlike some of my fellow 25 year olds around me! But I have noticed a few things when I looked over my wardrobe and the favorite pieces of clothing that I like to wear. I feel most comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt or jean shorts and a tee. I hate layering, which it probably why I suck terribly at it. But I have a mixture of styles I like to wear…edgy chic punk, pretty girlie dresses and tops, casual jeans and band tees, boho blouses and sweaters, very classic dresses and dress shirts…just an assortment of things. I think it steams from my history of always trying to find out where I fit in this world. And I think it’s come to a point where I don’t fit into any category or label, and I’ve realized this, have internalized this, and I just mess around.
Some days I’m the girlie girl in my flowy dresses and other times I’m edgy in my dark burgundy red tops and black leather boots. Whatever I feel at the moment, that’s who I’ll be. I wear things based on how I feel. Days when I feel a bit blah I like to go out in yoga pants and a soft tee, often braless because I just can’t deal with any of it. When I feel okay and good, it’s jeans and a nice shirt or tee depending on the events planned. But those days I feel really good, fresh and clean out of the shower, I play around with my clothes and dress up a little. I’ve always dressed my emotions.
I try not to care what others may think of me. I see this as my personal style. I’ve realized it reflects how I live my life. Like I never fit into any clique in school or anything. I was a floater, hopping from one group to the next. I have an assortment of friends from all over that don’t really fit together. But that’s always been how I lived my life and it’s becoming normal for me. Trying to find out where I fit in was stressful and caused me a lot of anxiety. It just took some time to really accept that I have the choice to really be whatever it is I want because I’m not tethered down to one label or category…and that’s quite beautiful.
It’s interesting…I was at a party maybe two summers ago. A bunch of my friends and I were hanging about in my friend’s (who was throwing the party) room just talking, when one of my friends asked if he could read our palms. He told us he learned palm reading some years ago from books he studied for fun…so obviously we didn’t take him seriously, but we let him read our palms anyway. He read mine last and at first he sort of just stared at it. I instantly thought something was wrong with me, but then he said that my lines were so faint, that it wasn’t a bad thing. What he proceeded to read from it was that my future, my life, is what I make of it. That I’ll have a lot of choices and the opportunity to choose whatever I want. “You can basically do anything,” he said. He thought this was so interesting because he’s never seen a hand that read like that. But I’ve been slowly coming to realize that that’s how I’ve always lived and will have to live my life.
My mother always told me since I was a child that I could do and be whatever it is that I wanted. I’ve never really took what she said seriously because I always had this ideal that I needed to be and do what everyone else does. Be a good student, go to college, get a respectable job, start a family, etc. Thinking about it now though, no one ever said I had to do this. My parents always encouraged me to explore things and do what I want to do, and I attribute my artsy ways to that nurturing. But after dropping out of college as a freshmen (then going back after a year), going through a depression, then graduating, I didn’t get a job right away. My graduation gift was a summer abroad with my best friend, which was amazing and such an eye-opener. I really felt it then that I could do so many things with my life and I had all of these plans for when I got back home. It was the last gift my dad gave me. He passed away from cancer the day I got back home from my trip and all of that enthusiasm sort of diminished.
It’s been two years since that day and I’m finally beginning to really realize again that I can do anything I want. I find it amazing that all of these thoughts came from just looking at what I wear, how I feel about what I wear and what that means for me. I never thought to make that connection, but it’s really profound!