Published on December 10, 2012, by in Uncategorized.
Christmas 2011 album

First page of Christmas 2011 album

“What album do you wish you would have made that you didn’t?” was a question a scrapbooker recently asked me.  I knew the answer right away – a Christmas Album.  Way back when I started putting pictures into albums, the logical way to end my yearly album seemed to be with Christmas pictures.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but as the years go by and kids have been born and now grown up – I wish I could look at ONE album and see what we did  each Christmas; where we went, who came to our house.  Traditions that have come and gone; decorations we used that are now broken and thrown away.  People that are not with us anymore.  All in one album, to pour over and laugh about with the family as we sit by the fireplace.  Just 12 pictures, or two pages per year would have been enough.

“You can start now!”  she told me… so,  I did!  I took 24 of last years’ BEST photos (less overwhelming with only 24) and put them into the new pre-decorated 8×8 Christmas Quick Kit.  I added a few Be Merry Stickers that were too cute to pass up.  In 1 hour the pictures were in, then I grabbed a brown pen and started writing.  The writing always takes me into ‘another land’ as I look at photos and all the emotions and memories come rushing through my brain.  I stare off into space, smile, cry… and soon start writing.

Be Merry

Be Merry Christmas pictures- but are we all Merry?

I suppose part of what I gained from making this little album of Christmas 2011 was that even though the season can be full of busyness, chaos and ‘not what we expect’, enough time has passed that I can laugh at the things  stressed me last year and it gives me a new perspective for this year.  Expect less, Enjoy more. And write down the stories and memories with the pictures.  Yes, even the fights and disappointments -It will always seem better a year from now!

If you are ready to ‘start now’ and want a larger album, there is a nice Be Merry 12×12 Album, Be Merry Paper and Layered stickers  too!

Oh, and I can expand my 8×8 album… Or try a digital album!  Another 24 pictures for 2012, coming right up!

Published on November 10, 2012, by in Uncategorized.

Is there a veteran in your life? Are you wondering how to honor them?  My grandfather served during World War 1.  His pictures, memorabilia, artwork, mess kit, pieces of shrapnel were stored in barns, homes, basements, attics… and some even burned by a fire.  Until the year 1999 when we decided to DO something with those memories.  Armed with sticky notes, archival scrapbook supplies and 4 tables set up to spread out, my mom, sister and I went to work.  Slowly the memories started coming back as my mom looked at pictures of her dad, recalling stories he’d told her.

First we sorted by categories: childhood (San Francisco Earthquake), teen years, first job, War, marriage, children.   The War years are particularly interesting because when Grandpa was in his bunker he drew – not cartoon type photos, but life in camp.  Life as he knew it then.  What a battle looked like; what the tents looked like; their beds….  I kept a few for the scrapbook, the rest stayed in his diary.  We scoured his diary for details to put in the album; he kept a meticulous journal which helped a LOT.  Sadness filled us when we saw letters and telegrams telling him that his only sister was sick with the Flu.  His request to leave to go see her…Then the telegram telling him she had died before he arrived.   A loooooong photo that unfolds, showing soldiers, all wearing masks, returning from the war.  Fearing the flu…

The job of sorting and putting memorabilia with photos can be tedious.  But let me encourage you that it IS WORTH it.  We are currently (2012) working on a project of getting my parents story on video and recording.  I will post a clip of it when it is more completed, in early 2013.

Letters, artwork, pictures, SOS cards, telegrams were all carefully placed in this archival Scrapbook.  Then the work of getting my mom to write, in her handwriting, the stories.    2 weeks later, a 3 inch thick album was completed… and from that time till now, that albums gets taken out a LOT.  My kids have poured through it; visitors have perused it – the reactions are always wistful.  “I wish I could make something like this”.  “I wish I had all the photos and memorabilia saved”.  I wish I knew what to do with memories like these…. how to preserve them.

I am grateful to my grandfather, my dad, my uncle and many cousins that have served our County.  I am thankful that I have the a scrapbook that takes me back to what they sacrificed for me.


Published on September 26, 2012, by in observations.
Scrapbooker Lisa Welchel on Surivor Phillipines

Scrapbooker Lisa Welchel on Surivor Phillipines

Recently I was looking through some scrapbooking handouts and noticed a “Mom Time” article with scrapbooker Lisa Welchel. Looking at the date made me realize what a pack rat I am – I think this was from way back when she was hosting Faithbooking retreats; Suddenly I see she is on Survivor Philippines? I will admit I have not watched Survivor for a few years and I am intrigued by her being on the show; Knowing that she recently went through traumatic changes in her life, it will be interesting to see what happens. Survivor can be brutal; I’m cheering for Lisa: fellow scrapbooker, mom, and homeschooler.
And, she has pretty teeth! check out the comments on

Scrapbooking & Keepsakes (this is a post from a few years ago)

Scrapbooking with a Celebrity
Lisa Whelchel
The Facts of Life star is a busy mom these days, but she still find time to capture her family’s moments in scrapbooks
By Lori Elkins Solomon

Most people remember Lisa Whelchel as Blair Warner from the NBC sitcom The Facts of Life . Since the show’s finale in 1988, Lisa has been devoting her energy to other roles: Married to a pastor, she’s a mother of three and the author of books on parenting, homeschooling and religion. For her, scrapbooking is a creative endeavor and an expression of her faith and values.

Q: When did you start scrapbooking?

A: My mom bought me a scrapbooking kit about seven years ago. I put it on a shelf and left it there for a year until a friend suggested we go to a party and learn how to use it. Well, I went and learned, and I’ve been obsessed with scrapbooking ever since.

Q: Why is scrapbooking important to you?

A: I want to preserve our family moments for my kids. We’ve had such a blessed life-it would be a shame for their memories to be lost. It’s so wonderful to see them take the scrapbooks off the shelf and look through them and enjoy those moments all over again.

Q: What are your favorite subjects?

A: Mostly I focus on the family. Each of my kids has their own scrapbook, although I’m really behind on those. I made a heritage book for my in-laws’ 50 th anniversary. And when we filmed The Facts of Life reunion a few years ago, I took pictures at the shoot and made albums for each cast member, the director and producer. There were definitely some tears flowing. I also enjoy making faithbooks, which are scrapbooks that focus on expressing why faith is important to you.

Q: Tell us about the retreats you host.

A: They’re called MomTime Get-A-Ways, and they offer moms across the nation 24 hours of refreshing and pampering. Mothers give so much and often feel guilty about taking a little time for themselves. We’ve been doing faithbooking classes at the retreats, which are great because they’re more about the message of the album than about making perfect pages. There’s no pressure to make your album look like a work of art, and the women who attend our getaways really appreciate that. It’s all about creating a “work of heart.” For MomTime 2004 we’re going to have crops from 4 p.m. to midnight so that people can bring all of their cropping supplies and just have a party.

Q: What’s your next scrapbooking project?

A: In July of 2001 my family and I set out in an R.V. to discover America. We traveled more than 77,000 miles across 44 states for an entire year. It was the ultimate field trip Every night I journaled what we had done that day and uploaded it to my Web site. I have all of these journal entries from every day and all of the pictures and I’ve bought all of the supplies. Now I have to go away for a week to get it all done.

Scrapbooker Lisa Welchel on Surivor Phillipines

Scrapbooker Lisa Welchel on Surivor Phillipines