Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Artistic Family History

 I love reading magazines.  It makes me happy to read short snippets of information that can inspire me for a brief moment before I put the magazine down and forget it or rip it out and try that new craft, recipe, exercise, organizational idea, etc.  The past couple years I have been on a break from "womens" magazines and just getting Runner's World.  This year I felt it was time to take a break from reading about runners and instead go back to my girly magazines.  I went straight to the source and am now recieving Martha Stewart each month.  I also threw in Women's Day when I realized it was so cheap that 2 issues at the grocery store cost more than a year long subscription.

I haven't gotten my first Woman's Day yet but I have read this months Martha from cover to cover.  Some stuff I just glossed over.  She added a new column about pet care.  I know she loves her animals but I am happy to live in an animal free zone so I skipped that.  They are chronicling the re-decorating of one of her editors and this month was about his closet.  While I normally enjoy a good closet organizing article I could not get passed the obscene number of button down shirts and pants this man owns.  Rather than inspire me all I could think is that he clearly had a sickness and nobody should have more shirt choices in their closet than is available at the mens store down the street. 

There were many other articles I did find interesting but then I came to it, the article worth the paper this month.  It is an article about a woman who creates what they are calling "scrapboxes". 

Now I am not a scrapbooker per se.  Conceptually I really like them and have create a few simple pages over the years.  My sister-in-law makes beautiful albums.  But it just hasn't been the thing that has sucked me in.  However, I do love pictures.  I have many great pictures on my computer just begging me to do something with them.  Anything.  Just don't leave them hanging there in my computer waiting to be lost in the great computer crash of the century.    I have been wanting to print and frame a bunch to hang on the wall in my basement so I am constantly ripping out magazine pictures where they have a collage wall of pictures.  So here is yet another to rip out. 

Scrapboxes are pictures put into shadow boxes along with a little something extra.  Each box is simple and has one single theme.  Here are some examples:

Her favorite childhood book with a picture of her father reading it to her.

Turkeys made with her children's hands. I have these of Jake and Isabelle from 2 years ago.

She loved the picture of her Grandma reading to her mom so recreated it with her own daughter.  How great is that?

Isn't this fun.  Just one picture printed in a bunch of different sizes and placed on top of one another. Very fun. 

Her daughter wrote out new years resolutions and she saved it with a picture from new years and added some festive ribbon.  Love.  Will my daughter make resolutions someday too?

A family picture at the beach with shells they collected on the trip.  Something to think about as we contemplate an upcoming trip to Florida.

Aren't they all great?  And there are so many other fun ones here at Martha's web site.  Now these are nice but what makes Martha do a whole article on someone's scrapboxes?  Well they aren't just something cute on her wall they were part of an art show.  Someone who owns an art gallery saw them as more than a way to display family photos but as a form of art celebrating the history of the family.  How great is that.  Our family photos will likely never grace the walls of an art gallery anywhere but doesn't it just change the way you look at your photos to think of them that way?  It does for me.

My family room has always been the space in my home where my decorating took vacation.  I have never been inspired down there so just let the hodge podge of crap that accumulates over a lifetime pile up down there.  I have recently begun seeing it as a place where I can display family treasures.  Like our Africa souveniers and photos.  Or that collage wall of family pictures I mentioned.  Or anything else I find that I love.  I had already been wanting to make it into a place that displayed family pictures but now see that it could be a place that chronicles our family history.  What we love, what we do, who we are, where we have been.  And all that together is my art collection.  That room is my art gallery.  In this home where so much of my family history has been made I am excited to begin creating a way to showcase who we are.


  1. Those are really neat! I've been trying to slowly get better at collecting memories and also putting up art work and making our home pretty. Much harder than I was expecting...

  2. I just started getting Martha too, and LOVED that article. It made me want to do some of my own...maybe when Vivi outgrows some of her books/toys/etc! She's still using most everything she has!

  3. These photo things are very inspiring . . . I am vowing to catch up on photo albums this month for Karis's 6 months of life. Oh, and I remember talking to you and Nikki about loving magazines two women's retreats ago. =) My favorites are the Good Housekeeping hand-me-downs from my grandma and mom, as well as Guideposts and Reader's Digest.

  4. LOVE the seashells in the shadow box the the pictures of the mothers & daughters. PRECIOUS!