Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dad & Me...



I am thinking of my Dad today...





Dad.... and me...





Last year I finally made my first truly altered book ~







I had wanted to make a "traditional" altered book, for many years!






Inside is a collection of some VERY precious photos of dad, when he was very young.





In a window created in the front cover, I applied a transparency of pictures that had been turned into a mosaic by my local Walgreen's photo department. This is a feature offered whenever I develop pictures there, but I never opted to buy the montage. THIS time I did and I'm THRILLED with the results. I copied the original onto transparency and then glued it to some Hambly - CLEARLY HEAVY transparency to create a hard window, framed by the large bookplate, which secures the entire window on the cover of the book.





Although, it feels a long way from completion, I have REALLY enjoyed having a place to
preserve special moments, thoughts and memorabilia....





There's my DARLING mom and cutie pie brothers.... {back when they WERE cutie pies!}





Being a total ham comes easily to members of my family. This picture of Dad, serenading me, is one of my VERY favorites! I also LOVE that slice of 1960's Americana - Dad, living the American dream, posing with his brood in front of the "first" family home,
back in the Wonder Years...





My love of all things horse, comes directly from my Pop. The base of this altered book was an actual horse racing guide, given to him by his favorite secretary. I haven't really begun to embellish the HORSE part of this book, but in this section, I had removed some key illustrations and photos from other sections that were covered with glue. {Thankfully, I have ANOTHER copy of this book - it was actually a bit distracting, as I made my plan, what to use and what to sacrifice!}
My advice here: either DON'T use a book that has sentimental subject, or make sure you use it in it's best light!
I'm feeling pretty good about the latter...
but it was touch and go for a while!





I ABSOLUTELY love these pictures of "the dad"....




Our shared love of the equine is a treasure!




I said we were "hams"... AND we survived 80's fashion!





Husband and I eloped to Lake Tahoe to get married. It was small, but PERFECT for us.
The following Spring, my folks threw us a wedding reception, anyway. My, not so secret, hope for my children is that when the time comes for them,
THE MARRIAGE will matter much more than the party!





My Dad and Brothers looked so handsome at my brother Gary's {pictured in the middle} wedding ....





Here's a slightly clearer shot, just so you can really see what I mean...
{What? A girl can brag on her big bros & Dad!}



First time I left home was ...a challenge for Dad and Me. Having my very own street
made it a little easier, though... hee hee





I loved being able to showcase these photos of my brothers as lil' guys,
and Dad holding his lil' grandsons...
{That's my nephew on the left and my boy on the right..., sleeping!}




My FAVORITE, favorite, favorite picture of my Dad in the hospital after I gave birth to my girl...
Feast your eyes on my first transition to DIGITAL photography {right}... ACK!
I was SO impressed, because it saved the pictures DIRECT to floppy disk..... {Oh, dear...}




Now, back to truly VINTAGE {holy CRACKERS - I'm old!} photography, this great black and white of us, in some kind of a beach hut, in Florida. Mom reminds me I was petrified of the sand, so I would only stand on dad.... Do I remember this? Or is it the memory of mom telling the story.... I hope it's both. I know I remember loving this man with every part of my heart. Especially when I was young enough to see only his strengths, humor and unconditional love.





Today would have been his 81st birthday, but he left us, suddenly, just a few days after we celebrated his 72nd birthday.
I've spent the better part of this last 9 years, broken-hearted and a little cheated.
But there is truly something AMAZING about presiding over memorabilia, pictures and artifacts.
There is something TRULY therapeutic about scrapping
memories of a loved one, who is no longer with us. It's NOT EASY... but it's empowering.

For me, it truly eased some of the pain, and helped reconnect me to parts of my father,
that I may have never experienced.

In this, fitting, picture of Dad in college, BEFORE he knew my mom, WAY before his kids roamed the earth....




he wrote this tiny note on the back:






I wonder why he did that? I wonder whom it was meant for. A college sweetie, I suspect?
I won't really know for sure, but I like to think, he wrote it for all of us.

I remember him... I love him.

I always will....


Thank you for allowing me to share this with you.

If you are blessed to have your dad in your life - I hope you love him to the very best of your ability. I hope you tell him you love him every chance you get. I hope you are not a member of "this club", but if you are, I hope time quickly brings you the BEST memories, most often. And if you think your not ready, then don't rush to scrap your loss. But when the time begins to feel right - just DO it. You'll cry {A LOT!}, but you'll be okay.
And THEN, you'll have a new piece, of that life and those memories, to treasure.

I hope so.



16 comments:

Dotty Jo said...

You just blow me a way with your love, warmth and talent Elise. I'm truly honoured that you shared this with your blog friends today. What a very special Dad... and what a very special daughter too, Jo x

Beth said...

Yes, I'm blown away, too. What a beautiful peak into your life with your Dad. So special. I've really enjoyed sitting here reading through every word you wrote so poignantly. Love!

~amy~ said...

::sigh:: Girl...this is amazing..I gotta tell you...my eyes are welled up and I'm full of emotion...because I can :feel: all the emotion and love that went into putting this wonderful keepsake together...What a special Dad...and you my dear, are a special chickie:)

lynn said...

oh, my, elise, what a treasure you've created here! and the last pic with the 'remember me" is just an awesome way to end your album.

Jane Wetzel said...

holy smokes- this is INCREDIBLY awesome- wow...

Rosemary said...

hi sweet friend... what an amazing tribute to your dad! i sit here with tears running down my face (yes its true!) as i remember my dad who would have been 82 on this very same day. like you miss your dad, i miss mine so incredibly much! thank you for sharing your dad with us!

Andi (RrlScrapGal) said...

Tears running down my face!!!!
Oh yes, I am a member of the 'girls who lost their daddy' club... My dad died when he was 55 - before I married, before I met my husband, before my kids were born... In 1990... almost 21 years ago.. I finally scrapbook about him last year! 20 years!!!! Yes. it is painful. Yes. He was my favorite man. And always will be.
LOVE your tribute!!!!! Awesome photos!
And love the 60's era dads we had!!!!
xoxoxoxoxoxo

Rose said...

girl you made me cry like a baby with this sentimental trip!! how awesome to have wonderful memories and photos of your dad :)

hershco said...

E, this is a very sweet tribute, baby sis. Miss Dad lots and it's great that you've created such a multi-dimensional memory of and to him!

By the way, based on the fact there are quotes around "Remember Me" on the back of that photo, and that both words are capitalized, got me to thinking it was a song. From that era, the best candidate is one by Bing Crosby and after listening to it from iTunes, I think that may be the answer...

Love you, E!

Kristin Eberline said...

Oh girl....ahhh. I'm not one to cry easily, but put your heart and sould into something and tell the story just right {the way you just did} and I'm a sucker. I'm so choked up right now, I can't even swallow the lump. First and foremost, I understand what it means to be a daddy's girl (though you didn't actually say that). I understand what it feels like to love your dad with every part of your heart. I understand how cherished memories can affect you physically. I don't understand the feeling of losing your father, so my heart definitely goes out to you, my friend. I love that you are preserving your memories in a symbolic book. The pictures you've added so far all seem to have special meaning. I adore "old" photos (yes, I have those too! LOL)...I frame the good ones in silver to give them a polished look yet retain the antiquity. I really wish I had the ambition...made the time...sat down and really put together something half as meaningful as the book you are working on for my dad. He would cherish it...always. Maybe you planted a seed. Time will tell. Either way, thank you for sharing your special memories through your very talented writing. I'm sure your father is watching over you with a smile of pride on his face ♥

Carol L said...

I'm stunned over this magnificent creation in honor of your Dad and family! I'm feeling bad knowing your dear father didn't get to see this heartfelt book you created out of love and cherished memories for him! It's not only beautiful, it's so personal with your own handwriting and wonderful photos! I had to laugh at your first digi experience with photos going to floppy disk! I started that way too and still have my Sony Mavica camera, although it's pretty much obsolete now! LOL
Thanks for allowing us to see and enjoy this storybook of your family through the years! It's truly going to be a cherished keepsake for years to come!! Bravo my friend!!!!!!

Stampin' Pam said...

Oh goodness Elise - I AM crying after reading your post - I lost my dad when I was only 19 - and lost my mom 9 years ago. I did scrapbook my mom for her 8 grandchildren - made them each a special book with special pages in the middle called "Grandma and me". I still can't make my 'mom' book but I did make a DVD with movies and photos and I pull it out and watch it when I want to feel close to mom. I would love to make something special about my dad, too but it was before digital "stuff" and much harder to do. Thanks for sharing your pain and your joy with all of us. God bless and may those memories continue to warm your soul.
:-) Hugs

Andrea M said...

Elise...this is absolutely touching. *Sniff* I am a Daddy's girl too (a lot of my "loves" come from him :)) - I moved far away 8 years ago. We see each other maybe once a year. My husband and I are moving closer to home this fall- after reading this, it can't come a moment too soon! Thank you friend. I needed a good dose of what's really important.

Karen said...

Elise, what a wonderful tribute to your Dad. Your thoughts and cares and wishes and love is so evident in your words, your time together shown in the photos, and all of it given even more meaning through your time, your craft, your creative heart in putting it all together. Such a beautiful share, thank you! (((HUGS)))

Nancy said...

What a treasure - both you dad and the book. Thanks for sharing a slice of your life with us bloggers.

Cathe Holden said...

Oh Elise. This amazing post and project leaves me breathless. You are one incredible daughter, he was clearly an amazing father. Such a beautiful, beautiful tribute. Wow.