Personal ponderings from a natural night-owl!

Posts tagged ‘Photos’

Schinker’s Shutterbug Site

So I started a new blog today: Schinker’s Shutterbug Site. I recently discovered the Shutter Sisters website and LOVED its daily photo topic feature. Basically, one of the Shutter Sisters blogs on a topic daily and asks visitors to post links to their own pictures on that same topic.

Yes, I could have used this blog for those posts. But it didn’t seem like the right vehicle, and I’ve discovered that many people have multiple blogs on different topics, which appeals to my obsessively organized brain. I also love WordPress‘s new photoblogging theme, Monochrome, that changes the color of the post automatically based on the picture in the post. It’s a great theme, but not appropriate for this blog where I have spent many an evening getting my sidebars just right. So creating a special photo blog seemed like the logical way to go. (And of course, doing something technological FIRST in this family is hard to accomplish, so I expect the DH – dear husband – to now go out and create HIS own second blog. Yes, dear, that IS a challenge (-:).

So please have a look at my new blog and do tell me what you think! You could have the distinction of making the very first comment there if you hurry!

(Inter) National Scrapbooking Day

I’m sure you’re all aware that today is National Scrapbooking Day and are celebrating by…what?…what do you MEAN you’ve never heard of National Scrapbooking Day?! Let me enlighten you. In 1994, Creative Memories started a nationwide movement on the first Saturday in May to celebrate the family tradition of making keepsake photo albums. National Scrapbooking Day used to focus solely on physical albums and album pages, but it has grown to accommodate all the various ways we celebrate our memories and share our stories. Creative Memories is now a world-wide company, and so National Scrapbooking Day has really grown into Inter-National Scrapbooking Day!

I celebrated today by hosting a special crop workshop for my customers. They received some nice NSD- themed goodies and were treated to a great homemade lunch of salad, garlic bread, and chicken broccoli alfredo! Over 20 pages were completed in just 5 hours and one customer finished her first family album and started on another!

In between helping customers with page layouts and showing them all the tasty new products coming out in June, I made four 12×12 page prints for my mom for Mother’s Day (see below). My parents don’t have a house; they live in a trailer (a luxury, 44 foot house on wheels complete with a fireplace!) and have been travel all over the country for the last 12 years. They have a custom picture board in their living room for which I used to make & send 12×12 scrapbook pages. I haven’t sent anything in ages, though, because I’ve done mostly digital scrapbooking in the last year.

Now I can use Storybook Creator Plus to create digital 12×12 page PRINTS (essentially 12×12 composite digital photo pages), upload them to the CM Photo Center, and have them sent directly to her for her board. She gets the pics, I can make them up quickly (under two hours for the pages below), and I don’t have to worry about packing and mailing them myself. Yea! When she’s done with them, she can pop them into a Picfolio Max album and leave it on her coffee table as a conversation piece.

So here are my pages. They are almost all of my kids, though I threw in one of my sister Dawn trying on her wedding dress. Take a peek and tell me what you think! If you think this is something you’d like to do, shoot me an email (dschink@neo.rr.com) and I’d be happy to help you get started!

This Takes the Cakes

So I have a few partially written serious blog posts that need to be finished and posted, but I got inspired tonight to start posting pictures and stories of my custom cakes after following a twitter link. (Thanks to Patti for the idea!).

Here are the last three cakes I’ve made, all for my sister’s bridal shower on April 20th.

Groom-to-be is a drummer percussionist who works at Grover Pro Percussion in Woburn, MA; bride-to-be has a master’s degree in bassoon an plays in various orchestras. They met playing in an orchestra, so the musically themed shower was appropo. The teal g-clef is supposed to be an ampersand (teal is the wedding color) so that the trio together symbolizes “Frank and Dawn.” Get it?

The drum was yellow cake, the bassoon was chocolate, and the treble clef was carrot. All were crumb-coated in buttercream and none was filled because I didn’t want anything going bad. I had to bake them on a Wednesday, decorate them on a Thursday, and drive them to Boston (along with my mom, the two kids, and all the shower stuff) on a Friday for a Sunday shower. You also might not know that fondant (the stuff they’re covered with) is sugar based and therefore very susceptible to moisture, so I could not refrigerate them.

These were my first serious fondant cakes. I made two other cakes the month before to practive my fondant techniques. Those might show up on here some other time.

Thank you, Ace of Cakes, for the motivation to learn how to use fondant! I love that show because every time I watch, I notice something subtle but interesting. (Sadly, today I noticed that they color their fondant by hand, which is by far the hardest part of working with fondant, IMHO. I was hoping to avoid this step in the future by making my own fondant, but it looks like there’s no avoiding it)

And thanks also to Stacey Burk for the fantastic directions on making a bassoon cake. Who’d’a thunk that googling “bassoon cake” would have worked so beautifully?!

Looking Backward and Forward

I recently browsed through my own blog, reading past posts and comments. I thought it was interesting how I have a different perspective on some of what I wrote just 15 month ago.

For example, here’s an excerpt from one of my earlier posts from January of 2007: “There are even rumors that Hilary Rodham Clinton might start a serious bid for the U.S. presidency. Although I don’t particularly like her stand on many issues, I would feel it necessary to strongly consider voting for her in order to create history and further deteriorate the historic stranglehold on power men have and do hold in this country.”

Now we are less than 7 months from the general election and not only has Hillary started a serious bid for the presidency, but she and Obama are running neck and neck with both having already garnered more votes individually than any other past presidential candidates in a Democratic primary election.

And, yes, I considered voting for her early on, but after researching the candidates’ stands on various issues, listening to stump speeches, and seeing how they react in a variety of situations, I came to the conclusion that I just couldn’t vote for her, even though she is a woman and I sincerely do want to see a female U.S. president before I die. But I plan to live to be 101 years old, so there’s still plenty of time. (-:

So this year I am an Obama supporter and so have put away my, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of a Good Woman for President” button (obtained years before Hillary’s run), since I don’t want anyone to get the wrong impression that I think Mrs. Clinton is that “good woman.”

An April 2007 post discussed my hopes for a congress that would stand up to President Bush. I wrote, “…my fear [is] that the Democrats, having gained power in Congress, would be unable or unwilling to exercise their people-given power to stop him.” Hmm…looks like that fear has come true.

I also discussed Sunshine Week, a movement to keep discussion alive about the important of open government and freedom of information. Unfortunately, I heard nothing about Sunshine Week this year.

In contrast to my changed perspective politically, my perspective on the importance of organizing your digital photos hasn’t change one iota! Memory Manager is still the best program out there – and unlike the price of just about everything else these days, the cost of this software hasn’t changed! Everyone I know who has this program is sold on the features and ease of use. Read more about tis fantastic program here.

It will be interesting what perspective changes next year brings.

Out of the Ashes

I get most of my news aurally from NPR and when the kids are not home, visually from CNN.com, so I am just now watching video of people in California returning to the ash piles that were their houses.

People had to evacuate quickly, and their goal was to get themselves and their most precious belongings out intact. And what did they take? When they had less than 5 minutes to get out, when they didn’t even have time to grab shoes, what DID they grab? Their family photos.

Interview after interview, evacuees tell us either how glad they are that they had time to save their photos or how they are mourning the photos left behind. Interviewers ask, “Were you able to get anything out? Pictures…anything?” Furniture, cars, clothes, and even houses can be replaced, but we all know that family photos are priceless treasures.

But really, it’s not even the photos themselves that are irreplaceable, but the memories, stories, and celebrations they represent. For some, a photo of a loved one is the only tangible thing that’s left. Photos link us together with other human beings and give us a way to tell our own life stories. Photos help us remember and celebrate, and be remembered and celebrated by others. Photos link us with the past so we can forge our future.

So even though houses have burned, homes will be recreated – and family photos will be a huge part of that.

If you are not preserving, documenting, sharing, and enjoying your family photos with those you love, please email me. As a Memory Celebration coach, I am passionate about helping people celebrate and share their lives and their stories.

If your photos are so important that they’re the first things you’d grab in a fire, what’s holding you back from enjoying them now? I can help you with that.

Changing History

The concept of changing history used to be science fiction. One of my all-time favorite t.v. shows was “Voyagers!” where Phineas Bogg and Jeffrey Jones traveled through time to “fix” history that had gone wrong and get it back on track. I’ve blogged before about the nature of reality as a function of perception. Today, more than ever before, we have the power to alter memory, effectively changing reality. This bring up some interesting practical issues and sometimes thorny ethical ones.

On a practical level, the advent of digital photography allows anyone to alter her own reality. Creative Memories’ Memory Manager software makes it easy to change photos in all sorts of useful ways. Crop your photos, adjust light levels, and even use the clone tool to “erase” unwanted blemishes. As useful and fun as these features are, they are a form of altered reality. How much is too much?

In this fascinating article, a doctor talks about a split second choice to deliberately alter 10 minutes of a young mother’s reality through the administration of a memory-erasing drug. Ellen had chosen to undergo surgery for a suspicious bone tumor with only local anesthesia and the pathologist, not realizing the patient was awake in the operating room, announced over the intercom that the tumor was definitely a rare, aggressive form of bone cancer. The anesthesiologist immediately administered to Ellen a drug that caused her to fall asleep and erased the last 10 minutes of her memory. She woke up calm and happy at the time, although she was told about the cancer at a later date and ultimately died from it 6 years later, never knowing that 10 minutes of her reality had been altered.

As new as this issue feels, we humans have been struggling with “reality” for centuries. The psychological state of disassociative memory disorder is a physical way the brain copes with trauma, essentially altering reality to something the person can handle. But this is a rare disorder. Much more common is “selective memory” where only some of the events in an experience are retrieved. (I think this is also called “aging”!)

So is altered reality a good thing? How much alteration is too much? When is or isn’t it appropriate to alter reality? I suspect we will uncover similar questions and struggle for more conclusive answers in the coming years.

Remarkable Ohio Update

There are now 252 photos of Ohio historical signs with the tag “remarkableohio” posted on Flickr (click here for the background on this story). Since there are 1205 signs, most with two sides, this means that over 10% of them are now tagged and mapped on Flickr!

kent-historical-marker.jpgkent-historical-marker-1.jpgI thought I would be posting 4 more signs yesterday, but it turns out that one of my signs was an imposter. It took me half an hour to figure out why this sign was not listed on the Ohio Historical Society‘s website. It turns out that if you look closely at the top, you’ll see it’s not actually an Ohio Historical Society sign at all! It was posted by the Kent Historical Society to commemorate Kent’s participation in the underground railroad movement. It’s a neat sign and surely worthy of recognition and reading, but it’s not an OHS sign.

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