Tuesday, May 18, 2010

our journey

i joined a scrapbook class for the very first time.  it's called our journey, an album fitted into a lovely suitcase by the charming ria nirwana.  the theme colors are: turquoise, napples yellow and copper, hence the dress code.

when i signed up, i was thinking of scrapping the other places i used to live and my other vacation homes; the island as my weekend getaway ever since i was a toddler, san francisco during school years, paris and hong kong where my grandparents lived.  then life and et cetera took over and i didn't have the time and energy to collect the pictures.  so i use what i have printed from few trips to the island in the recent trips.  the island belongs to the thousand island archipelago in jakarta bay.  my dad bought it when i was about 3 years.  growing up, it was our weekend home.  it has seen my family's journey of life; children growing up, expanding family members and relatives, friends, more friends, people we worked with, pets, final resting place, interests, hairstyles, books, drinks, extra pounds, you name it all...life and memories.  like everyone of us, the island itself through the years went to many changes inside out...whether it's  by our doings or forces of nature.   

thus i didn't follow the whole format and supplies given with the kit, as it was designed more on an air travel journey. but i try to keep true to the spirit...the merriment of traveling.  i'm not used to scrapping outside my space but it's fun to do it with a group of people.  i thought i managed to finish at least the skeleton (construction, background, painting, etc) in the class.  a week later, i still struggle to finish the album at home.  there were problems here and there with the skeleton,  in the end i decided to make shortcuts and ended it.

i'm a multitasker with a short concentration span.  that's like a chicken and egg thing.  my brain usually process concepts which then allows me to work on a flow effortlessly in a speedy manner—1 or 2 sittings even on the hardest jobs.  sometimes it fails to do so, and it failed on this project.  probably because i've been down with asthma for daysss now.  but never mind that!  i'm quite happy with how it turned out after all.  the problem is...it's over packed!!...which makes it more realistic, since i always over shop on any trip, any...!

i've walked the soft sandy pink beaches of bermuda, picturesque sand dunes of oman desert, ancient phoenician beaches of cyprus, strolled and mused along south beach miami...among many other beaches and memorable trips around the world.  in all those places i've always hand-scooped the sand and brought them home for souvenir.  sometimes i spot them and at a glance i remember where they're from, but there's no reminiscence of the exact moment i collected them.  unlike the ones from our island.  i remember them; the time i sat on the beach for hours collecting and cleaning piece by piece of the micro perfect shells—smaller than rice, softest sand from the shore on a high tide and the ones from a recent trip with my family where we spent one perfect morning beach combing on a low tide.

and that's what the suitcase's embellishments are all about;"i traveled 4 corners of the world, 1 tiny spot hooks me".  i use an old real fishing hook a memory frame with a picture of max and i on a beautiful morning on our last trip with a couple of tiny shells which we collected later on the day, a rapala from my brother's fishing box—which to him is like a prima flower to me, and a miniature bottle with the sand and those micro shells with a message inside "each grain is a memory".

i love the fabrics on the album cover.

i use canvas pictures as the base.  i didn't have time to actually print photos on canvas, so i just printed the photos on iron on sheets and ironed them on canvas.  the first spread are pictures of me strolling around the island with my beagle.  the second has an origami which i use for our fishing pictures with conversation or anecdote bubbles, like that one which says "to fish or not to fish... not to fish?? yea, like that's even an option".  to the men in my family, fishing is like me and all of you combined to scrapping—it's not their life, it's much more important.  it's their profession and when they have spare time, they go to work.

a page on that beach combing morning and playing with the sand later.  layers and layers of family, friends, visitors, dogs with different activities in the island.  one favorite is my cousin's bloodhound, pluto jumping trying to grab a fishing reel from another cousin's hand as if he wanted to show how to do it properly.  actually it was from a trip many years ago.  i don't remember the incident, but i remember the trip.  it's circa '92. i had to skip work on a monday, because the boat was having a glitch.  a neighbor friend who is now deceased was in the trip too, and fluffy my beloved golden retriever.

this page has another origami.  i dedicated it in memory of my father.  almost 9 years ago, we moved his remains from the family mausoleum in macao to rest in his heaven on earth, the island, close to the sea he loved so dearly where he used to fish almost every weekend. since it's impossible to build another grand tomb in the island, we laid the temporary epitaph lain in macao before the whole mausoleum was finished, and the angel. also to my beloved grandmother whose ashes we scattered along the coast a few years ago.  i can't help to laugh at a picture of max drinking the water from a vase while my mom and i were arranging some flowers and my aunt sitting on a chair talking with us.  it wasn't funny then because i was worried it wasn't fresh water, it's funny now to look at our expressions.

le mayeur, one of my favorite painter once made a statement of his island home..."i never left the island.  why should i? sir, i'm an impressionist. there are three things in life that i love.  beauty, sunlight and silence.  now could you tell me where i can find this in a more perfect state?".  i know that feeling.

so that's the journey.  lots of dimensional, materials, medias and fun!

lesson learned:  i have 10 fabulous brushes on hands :)
i have seen the sea
      when it is stormy and wild;
      when it is quiet and serene;
      when it is dark and moody.
      and in all its moods, i see myself.
~ martin buxbaum

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