Friday, March 31, 2006

Talking Boards

I have been facinated with Ouija boards or talking boards since I was a kid. My first one came as a Christmas gift from my mother when I was in the 5th or 6th grade. My sisters and I played with it. As I got older, my mother and I used it in a more serious vein on an almost night basis for a couple of years. We never got anything that impacted the world but there must have been something that kept us returning to the board. She was taking some psychic development classes at the time and maybe she was learning and sharing our experiences in class. We experimented alot in those days with our ouija board and automatic writing.

Last night was the first time I'd really worked with a ouija board in twenty five years. My daugher and I decided to try it out. We have a more contemporary board, called the Psychic Circle board, which has some updated additions; whole words, colors, astrological symbols and other goodies. It's also got great art. We were not surprized to be successful. I think it was important for each of us to be entering this form of communication with each other. I know that had I tried it with anyone other than her, I would probabaly have been pretty convinced that they were moving the planchette. Her I trust. It was a pretty interesting reintroduction to talking boards.

There is a really great website devoted to talking boards, The Museum of Talking Boards. Take a look. You'll be intrigued too.
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Friday, March 24, 2006

Heritage Pages

My great grandparents were Thomas & Margaret (Maggie)Ulch Anderson. Tom & Maggie were married in 1893 in Washington Cty, Kansas. He was 33 and she was 14. The eventually settled in Steele City, Nebraska. Tom was a farmer and Maggie became the local midwife. They had 12 children. The eldest three are in the photo. Clarence, Stella Florence and Willard,the baby. Their 7th child, Archie Amiel was my grandfather. Tom passed over in 1930 and Maggie joined him in 1955. They are buried in Steele City, Nebraska.

I've been entranced by their photos and have done some pages of them. It's fun to take the different styles and adapt them to the same photo.

Maggie was only 14 when they married. In that era, it wasn't that uncommon and certianly not as shocking as it sounds today. They were living in a fairly remote part of the Midwest, and I imagine that there were limitations on eligible partners.

Her father Simon Ulch, served in the Civil War, and moved his family west from the east coast.

My daughter, Kira, has written a family genealogy. I hope to someday combine her work with some of my scrap pages and republish her book for the family.

If this style of preservation catches your fancy there are some great resources for getting started with digital scrapping. Check out Scrap Artist and Digital Scrapbook Place for tutorials and freebie files to get you started.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Preserving Memories

I've discovered a new hobby that may just be "it" for me! Digital Scrapbooking. I discovered it about 2 months ago and I am completely hooked. Of course, it helps that I've been artsy craftsy all my life and that leads to all sorts of creative experimentation and art forms, but this is just too cool. Finally a way to use all sort of beautiful papers and things without using them up. Of course, you loose the sensory satisfaction of fuzzy fibers and linen finish papers but you gain the total freedom of not ever using something up in a project that turns out to have been a mistake. If you don't like something, just use the undo key and start over.

Another huge plus is that you don't have to have tons of space to create in or to store tons of supplies. I've been selling off my rubberstamping collection and realted materials since last summer and it is truly amazing how much space crafts like these can consume!

I am fortunate enough to have lots of photos of family going back to the 1800's. It's been great fun to create beautiful pages in celebration of their lives. You can see some of my work at, which also includes a couple of fun digital ATC ( artist trading cards). Learning about digi scrapping has also allowed me to play with digital imagery in other fun ways. I've always loved collage with paper ephemera, now it's digital.

I've gotten all of my famly photos sorted now into chronological order. Now the scanning begins. Having seen first hand the devastation an unplanned disaster, like a house fire, can wreck on family momentos, I'm all in favor of digital preservation. When I get a collection of work I just love, I'll get it printed or bound into a book. For now, I'm happy with the digital medium and sharing my work online.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Determined Progress

Like millions of others, I read my horoscope most days. It's on my home page at yahoo and it's usually fairly interesting although general. I've always had difficulty actually seeing myself in it. Then I discovered horoscopes from OM Place. Now, these are horoscopes to carry with you through out the day! Their daily readings are so much more than ..this is a good day to renew old friendships....

Today, my horoscope is entitled Determined Progress. Here's the first paragraph:
Feelings of responsibility and maturity today could make you want to reorganize
your home or personal life. You also may feel capable of taking on challenges
that had previously overwhelmed you, or you might simply be ready to make some
changes that will make your life easier later. By approaching your tasks with a
mind-set of confidence, you could get more accomplished today. You might take a
few moments to step back and see the big picture of what you want to accomplish
and then dive in with a no-nonsense attitude. If distractions threaten your
focus, you could take a few minutes to gather your thoughts and center yourself
before moving forward.

It's exactly on target. Just yesterday I was telling my daughter that I felt like I was on someone elses's bus tour and I didn't care much for the itinery. I'm getting off that bus.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Just another blog

Well, here I am...creating another personal blog in a sea of personal blogs. The templates leave something to be desired, don't they? I'll have to work on that. Well, what's the deal, why does the world need another blog of personal ramblings? I guess it really doesn't, but I seem to.

So,world, here are the top 5 reasons you are getting another blog.

1. I need something new in my life.
2. I use to be a better than average writer and I sacrificed that ability to raising my family. I want to see if the writer can be coaxed out.
3. I turned 50 this year. I've got a few things on my mind.
4. I keep waking up between 3 - 4 am.
5. I want to leave a record of who I am. Isn't that what we're all doing here?