Monday, May 11, 2009

Another labor of love for Project Christine's Keepsakes...

Sorry this post has been a long time coming...

I had the pleasure of accompanying Ilona Baumhofer to deliver to Andy the quilts she finished for each of the children.
Christine and I had planned to make quilts for the twins when they were born. Life got in the way, and one year to the next, we never got back to this quilting project. After Christine passed, we found the pile of cut material in various Laura Ashley-type prints in her craft room. Ilona graciously offered to take the pieces and complete the project.

But, not only did she finish quilts for the twin girls, she made them all larger size for the growing children, and took additional material to make a matching one for Abby. She then took some of Christine's jeans and made one for Christian. Perhaps the most thoughtful touch was a washable label she added to the back of each quilt with a special message for each child and a photo of them with their mother.

I tell you this, because during this entire project, the selflessness I witnessed of donated time and materials has been overwhelming from so many people. These quilts, along with the scrapbooks, will be shared with family and friends as they reflect on memories of their mother. It has been a privilege to work with so many caring folks, really, around the globe.

The Post family moved on to their new home stateside last week. We still have about 3 albums to piece together and mail out to them, for which I hope to have a layout update later this week. But, for the most part, years of scrapbooking was accomplished in months' time because of YOU! Thank you to Ilona and all of the others that shared their time and talents to our project. Thank you!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mission Accomplished!

Cheers to you all! Lisa and I were able to deliver this precious bundle of memories to Andy on the day the movers showed up to his house to pack him back to the states. Whew! We made it, well almost. We still have a few loose ends to tidy up, mainly a few travel albums, but we did it! I feel so blessed to have been a part of such a special project, not only to do this for Christine's family, but to be able to meet so many charitable and talented women along the way!


So here are our final stats give or take a few:

11,391 original photo count
2,653 edited photo count
478 layouts completed . . . some are still trickling in
2,020 photos scrapped
633 photo's left to scrap for the travel albums

Lisa and I will never be able to thank everyone who participated enough, BUT, we did toast with sparkling cider to you all the night the last page was inserted! What a great feeling! I'd like to think Christine was smiling down on all of us that night too!

Here is the package of art supplies that were presented to Christine's children, made possible by all the generous donations toward this project. Hopefully they will take after their mother and create art for years to come!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Layout update...

Ok, all...we are trying to wrap up this weekend, getting the albums finished and together. I wanted to let you know that I have collected an amazing 147 layouts since the last crop on February 21st. And they are beautiful! I'm so pleased with all of the self-less, talented ladies we've had working on this project. Check out the contributor list on the sidebar (did you notice there are over 40 of them?!?), and if you know any of them, let them know how great they are!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Crop Update....

Hey all! We had a good turnout this weekend...thanks to you all! If you notice the layout update on the sidebar...we DOUBLED the amount of pages done and pictures completed! I'm arranging to get more layouts turned in this week, so that number should go up even more by this week's end.

Thank you again to Jan and Kim for hosting the crop. And, if you were able to stop by, you got a sweet thank you from us! Plus, made a major dent in Christine's supply. (Leslie thanks you, wholeheartedly!) Kim Sutton has offered to bring a tote of paper and embellishment supply left over to the crops each month for use on this project and any other you wish, until it's all gone.

If you still have layouts to send in, please get them to me this week, if you're local, or put in the mail by March 1st, if possible. If you can't meet these deadlines, please email me and let me know, so I know when to look for them. As I mentioned in a previous post, we need to assemble the albums and get them to the family by the 3rd week of March at the latest. They will be returning stateside, and we'd like these albums shipped with their household goods.

There were so many offers of printing and donations, we have been so grateful. We appreciate all of your offers of help, even those we weren't able to use. I read a recent article in Creating Keepsakes Magazine about the kindness in the scrapbooking community and the willingness to jump in and help fellow scrapbookers in need. I have certainly witnessed this here...truly the kindness of strangers!

The abundance has left us with some extra, so we decided to create a huge basket of art and school supplies for the children to give the family, along with the albums. This will enable them to continue the legacy of creativity that Christine started for them. Again, thank you all, and look for more updates in the next few weeks!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Crop, Feb 21st!

Hi, ladies...I wanted to let you know about the upcoming crop, next Saturday, February 21st, 9am-midnight. It will again be at the Ramstein Elementary School...and it is also, as usual, FREE!

We have had so much help and support for the project (THANK YOU!) that we hope to be able to wrap it up that day. If you have layouts you are working on at home, we'd like to set a goal to either get them to us at that crop, or if you are stateside, put them in the mail that next week, if possible. I have an update that Andy Post will be sending their household goods the beginning of April, so we'd like to get him the finished albums mid-March at the latest.

I have about 300 printed pictures to get done that day, no more left to email out, or do digitally (thanks to all of you!). That's about what I handed out by afternoon, last time. So, hopefully earlier in the day, the better. Leslie and/or I will be there to check your finished layouts back in, and finish handing these last photos out. We still have lots of Christine's supply to use up, and some pictures to organize, so come help if you can.

We will also have a special thank you for all that helped with the project...and as I said, there is still plenty of supply, so, late afternoon--maybe 4pm, as soon as the last of the pictures are scrapbooked, we will have a "Come and Get it!" This will be a good opportunity to supplement your own supply, scrapbookers helping scrapbookers, which is what this project has been all about. Come share the wealth and share the love...or just stop by to see some of the finished layouts. They are amazing!

You can RSVP for the crop to Jan Vowell, jan.vowell@eu.dodea.edu . She just needs a head count for setup. Any questions about the pages or layouts, you can email me at scrap4joy@mail2world.com . See you there!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

About Christine...

I've had so many people offer support of this project that never knew Christine...and they all want to help, even without knowing her. So, for all of you that never had the opportunity, I thought I'd take a moment here to share a little more about her and make it more personal for you.

I just watched a new movie tonight, Bride Wars. It made me a little reflective. For those of you that have seen it, I'm a little more Liv, and Christine was a little more Emma. Not that I'm proud of that, but it just makes me lucky to have had her as a friend (and by the end I'd like to think they realized they were lucky to have each other, at least that's how I'll sleep tonight).

Christine and I met through shared interests and our love of scrapbooking. We had mutual friends, and we got to be good friends when we planned a baby shower for one of them. It was so much fun, and we shared so many ideas and tastes, that she toyed with the idea of us opening a catering business together. She did love to cook, and had always wanted to go to culinary school. Me, I just thought that sounded like a ton of work….

She loved to entertain…beautiful china, great food, centerpieces, atmosphere. She always wanted her guests to feel pampered. We had a girl’s dinner party for her birthday one year. She put it on, mostly, and enjoyed every minute of it.

Christine was fervent in trying to create beautiful memories for her children. I know she succeeded because Abby had been sharing many with me soon after she passed. She had a hard time journaling on a page, but she loved to sit down with her kids and tell them stories behind the pictures in her scrapbooks. Preserving those family memories was important to her. She had a natural instinct for photography, and was starting to do family sittings.

She was open and approachable. The number of random strangers that would stop her in the store and carry on conversations with her had to be some world record. She always got comments about the kids…all that blonde, blonde hair. Once someone stopped her and asked her which twin was her favorite. She just had that kind of open, smile on her face, I guess.

Christine taught me things about love. She loved unconditionally, her family and her friends. She loved my children as her own and overlooked my faults. It is a rare individual that will do that. I miss her, but am so grateful that I am able to do this project for her family with all of you. Together we are keeping her memory alive, and I hope now you can feel you "knew" her. Maybe you know someone like her. If so, you are lucky.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Next Crop Date

We've been asked when the next crop will be, so we've arranged one on Wednesday, February 4th, 9am-2pm. This crop will be at the LDS church in Kaiserslautern, one block from the Rathaus at Lauterstra├če 1, Kaiserslautern 67657.

This crop is open to anyone that would like to help with the project, no matter your level of scrapbooking. Along with layouts, we also need photos pulled from old, dangerous albums and sorted. Bring the kids and stay for as long as you are able.

This day is also our Relief Society's Lunch Bunch, meeting in the same building at 11am. You are welcome to bring a dish, and share some lunch and take a break if you wish. If you want to just scrapbook, that's ok, too...it will be in a different area of the building. For more information, contact me or Leslie.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Crop Update!!

Hey everyone...A HUGE THANK YOU to all of the fabulous women that came to the kick-off crop for Project Christine's Keepsakes yesterday, and the fabulous families that supported them helping us! We put a HUGE dent in the photos, and I'm still reeling from the numbers. I just finished the count:

Pages completed: 146
Photos Scrapbooked: 571
Photos handed out and in progress: 1,167
Photos left to scrap: 1,288+
Photos left to edit and sort:1,836 (down from 11,391, took out many duplicates)

I know you must be just as amazed as I am at those numbers...Especially that at one point mid-morning I counted 23 ladies there, all working together in this generous endeavor. They were coming back up to me and getting more pictures faster than I could print them. What a spirit of service this scrapbooking community has shown...the majority of whom had never met Christine! The Post family will be able to enjoy these memories long after they leave the area, thanks to all who have contributed. I'm so grateful to be a part of this, and I know she would be tremendously touched also.

We also had another labor of love going on. Ilona Baumhofer has amazingly stepped up to finish lap quilts for the twins that Christine had started, but not completed. She took scraps of material yesterday and left with so much done! Thank you again to Jan Vowell and Kim Sutton for organizing and setting up the crop. And another huge thank you to my buddy, Leslie, without whom I would not have been able to pull this off. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and with continued support, we may be able to get this done much sooner than expected. Look for upcoming information about future crops soon!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Footprints

Lisa wants to thank all of you lovely people that have offered to create layouts for our project. Since she is getting down to sorting the last of the photos, and the kick-off crop is this weekend, we wanted to set out some guidelines of how we'd like to see these layouts completed.

First, we decided to finish her albums in 12x12 format for simplicity and the ability to get more photos scrapbooked. Also, we will be organizing the photos into annual albums, one for each year, a special Christmas album and a Travel album to preserve all of the great opportunities they've had while living in Europe.

Second, so many have offered supply, and if you wish to use your own supply, that is fine, but we also do have a large amount of items of Christine's that we would like to put towards the project. If you are local, we can get you items to use for the layouts. We will have these items at the crop on Saturday, so even if you can't stay and crop, we'd be happy to hand over some photos and supplies to anyone willing to stop by.

Next, we are looking at 1-2 page layouts for smaller events, and 3-4 page layouts for larger ones. We would like you to choose the photos you'd like to use, and we will place the remaining photos in pocket pages with the layouts in the album.


Finally, we have a small request, leave your footprint on your layout. We thought it would be nice if you added something personal to your layout to acknowledge your participation. It does not need to be grand, it could be as little as signing your name to the back with where you live, to adding a memory of Christine if you knew her, or adding a poem or quote that expresses your thoughts. It can be directly on the back of the layout or your can put it on a separate sheet of paper that we can slip between pages.

As Christine and Andy's kids grow and reflect back on these books, it will be a nice touch to these layouts. They will know how many people with good hearts took time to do something nice for them. So leave your important footprint on this important project!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Update

Lisa and I wanted to give everyone an update on the progress of this project. First, we have had a fabulous amount of interest in all areas from photo printing credits (almost 2000 so far!), to supply donations to a large, and thankfully growing by the day, list of volunteers for making layouts. We are seeing people from, literally all over the world, asking what they can do to help with this great project, whether they knew Christine or not. We have been so grateful to everyone for their interest. We knew many good hearts would come forward and we were right!

Lisa is conquering the overwhelming task of photo organization and editing. If you noticed on the side bar we put up an initial photo count of over 11,000 photos. Lisa has edited so far about 3,000. We ran into a little glitch over the weekend when we went to Christine's house to start sorting her supply to find that some of these pictures had already been printed and put into sleeve albums, patiently awaiting the day of their layout. Lisa had to backtrack before we started printing doubles, but we are back on track and starting to utilize the donated photo credits. BUT because we found this stash of prints we have more than enough, and then some, to start making layouts during the crop on Saturday. So great!! I haven't talked to Lisa about this yet, but I think as we continue to sort pictures and add update posts, we should just combine the two! Hence the opening photo, we'll add a favorite here and there to show you just what Christine was all about. I'm also hoping to showcase her photography, she was so talented.

I am, as I am typing this, staring at Christine's scrapbooking stash that has now found a home in my office. This week I will be going through it and organizing it to the point where we know exactly what we have and don't have. Great news this week, s.e.i, heard about our project and has generously donated over $200 worth of product, some of which was a handful of 12x12 albums which we desperately needed. You should hop to their website and see the new product line, it is fabulous! Before I even jump into the stash, I can tell we will need neutral cardstock, adhesive and page protectors. You can contact me, Leslie, if you would like to donate any of these supplies, but later in the week I'll add another post on specific supply needs.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Crop, January 17th- Ramstein Elementary School

Well, I'm so excited by all the offers for layout help and to crop, so I wanted to get this information posted. Some great ladies host this free crop each month at the Ramstein Elementary school, opening up the cafeteria, Building 966, for us to use. This month we are kicking off "Project Christine's Keepsakes" and would love your help! It's Saturday, January 17th, 9am-midnight. Feel free to come work on your own projects, maybe do a layout or two for Christine, or crop exclusively for Project Christine's Keepakes.

We will have a couple of tables set aside with her patterned paper, some cardstock, and embellishments for your use on the project. We have photos organized by layout that you can just grab and work on, or take with you if you aren't able to stay. I plan to try to be there most of the time, so if you would like to meet me at a certain time to pick something up. let me know. Here is the information from the ladies that run it, about the crop--

For those of you who are new to our crops- here are a few notes:

  • Please bring a plastic bag for any garbage that you may have
  • You are more than welcome to come as early or stay as late as you like
  • Feel free to bring drinks and snacks
  • There are also plenty of places to go for lunch and/or dinner
  • Bring a cushion/pillow to sit on because the tables are cafeteria style
  • The crop is totally free- just bring all of your supplies that you will need to scrapbook

Please RSVP by Thursday, January 15th if you will be attending. If attending, please let Jan know what time you will be showing up. Please include your home and/or cell numbers.
Here is Kim's cell number just in case you need to cancel that day- 0176-640-28630 or you can call Jan Vowell at 0172-6101-849.
If you have any questions or need directions, please email Jan at
jan.vowell@eu.dodea.edu

Also, if you have a friend that would like to be added to the list, let her know.
Hope to see you on the 17 th!
Jan and Kim

Thanks for all of your support, and I know Christine would be overwhelmed by the love shown her family during this difficult time. They will appreciate your efforts for years to come. Lisa

Friday, January 9, 2009

Project Christine's Keepsakes

(Written by and borrowed from Leslie's Blog dated Jan 4th)
I am a scrapbooker and a photographer. I love the process of creating something that is pleasing to the eye that expresses my thoughts, feelings, memories and showcases the pictures that I have taken. But more important than the creative outlet that it provides me, is the end result; my family's memories at my children's fingertips. After all, isn't that the reason any of us that are scrapbookers started in the first place? I have often thought about how behind I am, and how I wish I had more time to spend completing my books. Did I miss any important shots? Have I journaled important events before they are forgotten? Or, heaven forbid, something happens to any of us before the memories and photos are completed?

Christine Post was also a scrapbooker and photographer. She came into both crafts a little later in life, after weddings, kids, birthdays and holidays. She has thousands of pictures on her hard drive just waiting to be seen and appreciated. She had lots of catching up to do. Just this year she survived her husband's second 4 month deployment to Iraq in which she found it even more difficult to "catch up" on her scrapbooks and photos.

On December 11th, Christine passed away from a heart attack. She was only 35 years old and leaves behind a loving husband and 4 young children; Abby 9, Chris 7 and Madeline and Payton both 3. She also leaves behind thousands (I'm not exaggerating!) of photos to comb through and a ton of memories to scrapbook.

Her good friend Lisa has asked me to participate in an important project, Christine's Keepsakes. Our goal is to get Christine caught up on her albums so that her kids can have memories of her and their family at their fingertips. This is an important project, and we really need help. We need help in two areas: willing and able scrapbookers (beginner or advanced) to donate time to create Christine's layouts, and we need supply. We are first using Christine's own scrapbooking stash, but we need the basics: cardstock, adhesive, both wet (glue and glue sticks) and dry (photo mounting and glue dots) AND we need to print her massive amount of digital images, which is going to take ink and paper or online photo printing credits. Later, we will need more albums, and of course page protectors.

We are hoping to have a local kickoff for Christine's Keepsakes on Saturday, January 17th at the Ramstein Scrapbooking Crop. We will set aside a table with Christine's photo's and supplies. You can drop in and do a layout or bring your supplies, do your own scrapbooking and maybe do a layout for Christine while you are at it. It will be held at the Ramstein Elementary school from 9am until midnight. If you are interested in helping out, shoot me an email or add comment here and I can give you more details.

We would love to see a community come together to complete this important project for Christine and her kids. This community does not need to be just local, it can take in anyone who is interested in helping, whether you knew Christine or not. If you did know her, you know the way she touched others' lives. The idea for this project has blossomed from offers to make layouts or donate supplies by some of those touched by her. This is our way to give back to her and her family. If you would like to participate, whether completing layouts or contributing to the project in some other way, just contact myself at lesliefrandsen1@hotmail.com or leave a comment on my blog, or contact Lisa Terry at scrap4joy@mail2world.com. We'd love to have you involved if you feel you have something to give.

If you live stateside and want to complete layouts we can email you digital photos to work with. ANYONE can participate in anyway they feel they can! That is the beauty of technology!

This is important and if we work together we will be able to save Christine's legacy for her children to cherish for the rest of their lives. Her children were so young and having these books will be precious to them later in life. Let's pull together and complete Christine's Keepsakes!