I'm always looking for ideas for what to do with all those photos on my cell phone. I've done blogs about it before, and there are some great ideas out there. This week I found creating luminarias with your photos. I like this idea for my fall decor, and also to send these photos to my mother-in-law and my grands' great-grandmother. I think she will enjoy them as well.
I decided on an autumn theme. I like to send her a fall-inspired care package. And she loves photos of her grands. What grandparent doesn't? So here is my step-by-step routine:
And that's it! Cut out those photos that you ran off on the vellum, and using Mod Podge, glue them on the glass candle holder. Easy as can be. Because they are Halloween photos, I think the luminaria idea is a good one, and lends itself to these spooky Halloween photos.
But wait! There's more! My grandson and I have been using those cell phone photos for note cards. They are a great use for them as well. My daughter-in-law used to use them for note cards and thank-you cards. I've started using those photos as well. As I said, my grands' great-grandmother always loves photos and notes and letters, so we combined those two ideas. Perhaps you can too. Here are two examples:
And there you have it, grandparents! Ideas using all those photos on your phone. We've got to use them for something! Note cards and lumininarias are great ideas. If you have other ideas, please send them to me. I love to share. That's what it's all about.......live and learn and pass it on.
Until next week!
It happened again. I was doing research on family histories, and discovered an online article about writing a brief history on a piece of furniture and taping it to the bottom of that piece or in a drawer. I thought this was such a good idea and wanted to share with my readers.
I'm sure it's happened to you. You have guests in your home, and they ask about a piece of art or furniture and you relate the story behind it. Or you tell your grandkids those stories. And we've all visited a friend's home and they delighted in telling you where they got the painting or that their grandfather made that particular piece of furniture. This article said to just write a brief history of that piece and tape it to the back Why let those stories get lost? Besides, can't you just hear the conversation of your kids and grandkids as they go through your things after you're gone? Why did mother save this? If there is a history stapled to the back, they will know. They may still give it to Goodwill, but at least you shared the history or sentimental value.
I'm sorry to be so simplistic in my descriptions, but I'm a visual learner and it's easier if I can SEE what one is talking about. I approach this blog the same way. So here is a pictorial description.
And there you have it. Whether your children and grandchildren actually keep the art or furniture, at least they will know the history. Another way to go if you don't want to damage the piece by stapling or taping a tag in it or on it, is to take a picture of it, and place it, along with the brief history, in a binder. That might be much easier. A friend told me that she was taking a photo of her jewelry and other pieces to be passed down and putting the name of the recipient. If you've had any kin request a piece, that's another thing to include in your photo binder.
Lastly, humor me on this one. When my mother passed, and we went through her house, my brother requested her sewing machine. It's an electric sewing machine and certainly not an antique, so we wondered why he wanted it. It was because that was his favorite place to do his homework growing up. So it reminded him of home and his mom.
I still have the chair that went to my middle son's bedroom furniture and desk. And yes, that's where he did his homework....sitting in that chair at his desk. So indeed, I'm putting the history on an index card under that chair. You just never know. Someday one of his kids might want it and tell their kids, that's where your granddad did his homework.
We all have these stories. Perhaps something you and your husband purchased on your honeymoon. What a treasure. My sister still has the dining table and chairs that she and her husband bought early on in their marriage--I think they had it on layaway, and it was such a treat when they could finally bring it home. What you write about doesn't have to be an antique--just that it has a history to you and your family. Share those stories.
"This was something sure to be crammed with warm secrets, like an antique clock built when peace filled the world." Haruki Murakami
Last week I wrote about different ideas for journals besides, "Dear Diary." In exploring journal topics, I discovered "doodling journals." I've also been toying around with Nataly Kogan's idea for a "Morning Bliss Practice." She describes it as setting aside 15-20 minutes each morning for something artistic--even if you think you're not artistic. That's not the point; the point is rather just some time of zen. I realized these two ideas can come together--a doodling journal that you grab in the morning to just draw and doodle away. And what better place than in a journal. Kogan got her idea from Joseph Campbell's idea of a Bliss Station, which he describes as a time or place that's just your own--a place where you can shut out the world. So there you have it--a SMASH UP of those two ideas. A quiet place where you can go and doodle in a journal.
*Joseph Campbell describes a bliss station in his book, The Power of Myth. He says, "You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen." I'm thinking that one might ascertain that he was talking about writing, but I like Nataly Kogan's idea wherein she says, "Give yourself 20 minutes. Do something your inner most being feels is blissful, joyful." She further adds, "I love thinking about this as a practice. Something you intentionally do every day."
I happen to think this is a great idea for ANYBODY--not just writers or artists. When the news of this old world is so unsettling, we all need this quiet time and place. And a zen practice, whether it be crocheting, knitting, quilting, sewing, sketching, and yes, even doodling.
I think I discovered this idea of a bliss station during the pandemic. We were home-schooling our grandson, and I knew the importance of inserting music and art into our day. Adney loved the quiet art time, whether he was drawing or coloring one of the above coloring books. They are not the traditional coloring books of our youth--they are more like the adult coloring books you see today, but with pictures that appeal to kids. We BOTH looked forward to what we called our art time.
But wait! There's more. I also have something else you can put in your doodling journal. Zentangles! I discovered zentangles on Pinterest. My friends were pinning a lot of zentangle patterns, and I was intrigued. So I went exploring. I just copy various zentangle patterns from miscellaneous websites, but you can do a search on youtube and there are videos on there that will give you step by step instructions. I don't actually have a doodling notebook (but I may start one), but I draw my zentangles in my prayer book. I use them to embellish my prayer requests and favorite verses. Just drawing them is a prayer or meditation in themselves. Zentangles might be the way you'd rather go, than a color book.
And there you have it! A SMASH UP of two ideas I've seen recently--a doodling journal and a morning bliss station. This old world doesn't seem to be getting simpler. It's getting more and more complicated and more stressful--even for us retirees. I think we all need a bliss station and a doodling journal. These two can help in these difficult times.
Please note: The idea for a morning bliss practice came from Nataly Kogan. I follow her on Instagram. Here is her website as well:
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!