Good day and welcome to another Two on Tuesday.
When I started this blogpost idea, I thought it would just be a lovely way of sharing things I enjoyed or found on the Internet, but today I want to share something a little more deeply.
One of the reasons I became a scrapbooker was to recover from the nervous breakdown I had back over 14 years ago now. My friend Teresa has been introduced to scrapbooking via Creative Memories and she invited me one Sunday afternoon to play in her house with a few pictures. I became hooked and it really helped me to rediscover my creativity. I know that like me many people came back to crafting from illness, loneliness, life changing events e.g. weddings and births. Creativity for me has been a real anchor, even when I'm unwell I can really appreciate the importance of making something for my personal well being to improve.
So today's Two on Tuesday are a little more central to what I have just briefly explored.
My first link is to the incredibly talented Heidi Swapp. Two weeks ago, this loving wife and mother, and truly gifted crafter faced one of the worst experiences anyone can go through. One of her sons died very suddenly. He was 16. For anyone to face bereavement is a truly tough process but Heidi being the incredible individual she is chose to share just a little of her personal grief on her blog yesterday. This is an incredibly personal post as I am sure you can imagine but it says some amazingly well thought out issues for us as memory keepers.
Heidi stresses the importance of photos. How she wishes she had taken so many more. People laugh at me for taking so many but I always say "I'm a memory keeper and that is how I save my memories and use them to remind me of my life". It is such an important part of life these days, photography and we are so lucky to be able to take pictures and see them instantaneously. To alter then to make them more beautiful. We can store them online and share them in so many ways which weren't available to our families in days gone by. I truly treasure my photographs and would be so sad to lose them.
When I was staff nurse on Neonatal Intensive Care, we always took Polaroids of the babies for parents because we knew that often parents would be unable to visit their baby for several hours. I constantly said to them to make sure they had pictures copied so they would have a negative to keep because over time these Polaroids can fade. We were also advised to get parents who's baby had died, to store the photographs which were taken on their behalf by the hospital in a safe storage box away from fire and flood because they were just so precious. On one occasion, a mum phoned me to ask if I could check if the photos taken of her baby were still in the file. At the time of her baby's death, she hadn't wanted them but it was hospital policy to take the pictures and retain them in the baby's file. That mother was able to received pictures of her baby who would had died over ten years previously.
What I am trying to say is to keep your photographs safely and to take so many that you never run out.
If you would like to read Heidi's post, and I advise everyone to do so, you can find it here. She has shared a number of very personal photographs from her sons funeral and so just for clarity, be aware that some of the photographs show Cory's open coffin.
My second link is to my amazing friend Abi. She blogged over the weekend about her latest quilt. She explained how it had taken 2 years to complete and shared her final masterpeice, complete with modelling by her very attractive mum.
One of the things which struck me from Abi's piece was the fact that as crafters we don't always complete projects or they just take much longer to finish because life gets in the way. Abi's been completing her degree so she's had rather a lot of course work, but she has got there in the end.
What I shared in my comment to her was that I too have a quilt I'm still working on and it is still in pieces over 30 years since I began. I started it when I was at school and remember cutting out hexagon shapes from old envelopes and hand stitching them together. My family gave me lots of lovely fabrics from their own sewing projects so it truly is a memory project. Some of the materials came from dresses I remember my mum stitching for me and my sister.
For me crafting, and certainly quilt making is about love. Each piece of fabric is lovingly cut, pinned and stitched together. It has a love for sewing stitched into every piece. In my case there is blood in there probably from stabbing my fingers with the needle when I sew the pieces together. There are memories of summer dresses, learning to sew, listening to my family chatter as I stitched and also my own personal love for stitching. One day I will finish that project and I will feel pride and joy in it's completion. To me it matters not if I finish it when I'm 80 because the end is that it tell my story.
If you want to see what I mean, then watch the film "How to make an American Quilt" which weaves the story of several women quilters together through their quilt making for one of the women's granddaughter's wedding quilt.
I would love to know your feelings on my little post.