Sunday, May 10, 2015

TSS: May 10, 2015

On this Mother's Day we in the Midwest are drenched!  It has been raining for days, and my lawn is sprouting mushrooms.  Oh well... this week we should begin drying out and I am anxious to see sunshine again.


I promised myself I would read more fiction in 2015... maybe next week.

I did, however, begin Dani Shapiro's second memoir, Devotion.  I have only read the first 50 pages, but I know this will resonate with me even more than her first memoir, Slow Motion.

The other book I completed this week was Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows.  Oh... My... Word... If you have any interest in photography, this book is an absolute MUST READ.

Vivian Maier lived her entire life in obscurity.  She was a nanny by trade, but her passion was photography.  She made a living watching others' children; but her vocation was to capture everyday life on film.  The camera was her diary, and she "wrote" every day.

While this kind of daily record is the norm today - our smart phones capturing selfies throughout the day and posting to social media on a regular basis... Maier was considered eccentric.  She never left the house without her camera, and in the course of her lifetime took over 100,000 pictures (all on film!)

She never desired fame.  She never considered entering a photography contest.  She rarely shared her work with others.  Instead, she used her camera to relate to life around her, finding significance in the ordinary - recording life of the mid-twentieth century which we can now view and recall memories of our own childhood.

I enjoyed the photographs, but I adored her passion.  How I wish I could set aside what others think of me, and instead just pursue "art" for the sheer pleasure of it.


As I mentioned last week, Scrapbooking is my focus this month.

And so far during this first week of May, I discovered something rather interesting.  As much as I adore research and analysis, I have  done very little in this arena.  When I became a Creative Memories consultant in 1998, we were basically the only game in town.  In my mind, there was no reason to look outside the company, and I fared well as an independent representative.

But fifteen years later my scrapbooking style has changed.  I now value the stories behind the photos as much as the pictures themselves, and I want the layouts to reflect this new-found focus.  Research was needed and I was happy to oblige.

After reading Cathy Zielske's books and studying her layout design, I was ready to delve in and create a few page layouts myself.  My idea is to marry one photograph with on personal essay in a pleasing layout design that includes paper and embellishments that enhance the story rather than take center stage.  I had a great time "playing" this week and after developing eight model pages, I think I am ready to work on personal albums that will include actual photographs and written words.

Other Activities:

I didn't do much writing the week.  A bit of brainstorming for a few articles, and of course some journaling, but nothing definitive.

I am still knitting in the evenings however, and continue to improve my dishcloth skills.  I have no idea what I will do with all of these (perhaps Christmas gifts...) but I am having fun and enjoy doing something with my hands while watching nightly television.

We are looking forward to getting away next weekend with some good friends.  We will head to St. Louis and visit the zoo, eat some great Italian food on the hill, and attend the Renaissance Festival.  I will of course take my camera and perhaps follow Vivian Maier's example of capturing a bit of life around me.


  1. I have been wanting to get back into scrap-booking and photography also. I will check out the books you have mentioned!

  2. I hope to read more fiction, but it hasn't happened. I started a very well written fiction book this week (The Pocket Wife), but it was so intense than I found myself having bad dreams...and decided to set it aside.

    I'm starting to plan ahead for my summer free time. I'd like to devote time to writing and photography and learning Spanish. I don't want to try to do too much, though.

  3. You are always so inspiring. I love to see the ways you plan out your next activity.

  4. Always nice to hear what you've been up to. Hope you have a nice trip next weekend! And Happy Mother's Day!

  5. Enjoy your trip to St. Louis... sounds like a lot of fun. Hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day, too.


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