Sunday, February 28, 2010
Yesterday was a very sad day: the day that our sweet kids Alec & Alicia, and the Perfect Grandson packed up their truck to move to Utah. We are really happy for them. The job in Utah is a wonderful opportunity for them. He'll make great money, and with the cost of living quite a bit less there than here in California, they'll have a higher standard of living. They've rented a beautiful home. Lots of wonderful reasons to go, and truly I'm rejoicing for their new life. But there's that selfish Grandma part that is so sad to have them go. Cuddling that sweet little boy is reason number one. Hearing the voices of the kids as they come through the front door, bustling around, visiting, playing, and just hanging out with us are all the rest of the reasons.
Saturday was a gloomy day. It rained all day. Alicia's folks had a nice farewell get-together which was warm and sweet. They had a great send-off, but we'll miss them terribly.
The good thing is we will be visiting our Utah kids in just a month! That will be a happy day!
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 10:47 PM
Friday, February 26, 2010
I love my job! A couple of weeks ago, our design and marketing group at work spent a day doing design/ trend research. It was a very rainy day, and in the afternoon we were scheduled to shop in West Los Angeles. The weather was so nasty, that we decided instead to go to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Good choice! Snug and dry, with a wealth of inspiring artwork to look at, we spent a couple of hours browsing the galleries. Everything from Middle Eastern art to Modern Art to Textiles, it was veritable feast for the senses. I was free to take all the pictures I wanted (without flash of course), but just as I snapped the large photo in my layout, of the amazing sculpture, I was approached by the guard and told I couldn't take pictures in THAT gallery. Too bad, the damage was already done! LOL! So, thumbing my nose at propriety, I hereby post my 'illegal' photo for all to see!
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 8:23 PM
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Bruce and his friend Adam recently started hiking the Los Robles Trail- a nearby wilderness area in Thousand Oaks. He had been bragging about this fabulous area, and how beautiful and wonderful, and how much I'd love it, yada yada yada. So he gently persuaded me a couple of weeks ago, and we went up for a hike. It was actually prettier than I imagined. February in California is generally gorgeous- with all of our rain (and subsequent mudslides, flash floods, etc) and the Los Robles Trail was indeed lush and green. Of course, my 35 minutes a day of stationary bike riding didn't prepare me for the 2 hour hike. By the time I got 1/4 of the way up the hill, my face was beet red, and I was huffing and puffing like the slightly overweight middle aged lady that I am. But I persevered. Bruce breezed through the hike like a professional hiker. But I got the good photos! (When winded, stop and take pictures!)
I hope you enjoy the results of our afternoon in the wilderness!
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 9:36 PM
Monday, February 22, 2010
Those of you who read my blog regularly know that my Mom recently had her 98th birthday. She is the most amazing woman I know, and I am so happy we have her at the heart of our family. She is forever youthful, and has a wonderful, optimistic attitude about life. We love to spend time together shopping, talking about anything and everything, and just hanging out. Her grandchildren adore her, and it's no wonder: she just makes everyone feel important and precious. The family gathered for the big celebration on February 6th at our home in Moorpark. My sister Leslie and her sweetie Harry came out from Chicago. Nephew John & his sweetie Claudia came down from Tacoma, and my cousin Joanie & husband John and daughter Karolyn came from Yosemite. The rest of the family came from the Los Angeles area. It was a wonderful party! I had so many pictures I didn't know what to do, so this is what I came up with. Truly a circle of love to celebrate the wonderful life of this wonderful woman.
(Click on the image for a closer look)
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 8:26 AM
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Funny title, eh? There's a little story that inspired my layout today. A few years ago, I happened upon an amazing photographic article from the Smithsonian: a Russian photographer in the early 20th Century, had embarked on a journey throughout Russia and the region, documenting people and places for Tsar Nicholas II. He developed an innovative and unique method of taking color photos. He created a camera with 3 lenses, each one using a filter, red, green and blue. The camera was loaded with glass photographic plates, and he later was able to combine these together and project them as color slides. Here's a link to the website that tells about these amazing photos. What struck me when I saw the photos, was how vibrant the colors were. Although they have been digitally restored, I'm sure the artists & technicians who worked with the images were careful to be true to the original negatives. It made me think about how we view the distant past: as a series of black & white and sepia photos. It's hard to imagine the colorful lives our ancestors lived! It seems as though our world's color was invented by Kodak! So, when I came across the background photos on my layout, (which I photographed on Carroll Ave. in Los Angeles) I knew I had to do something different. So, here's my idea to encourage us to look for the colorful past of our families. Remember that the world wasn't black and white when our great grandparents were young, and if we choose to document our heritage digitally, we should celebrate with color.
The handsome man in my layout is my Grandfather William Walter Ward. I never knew him- he died years before I was born. But I imagine he was a colorful character! I colorized his photo myself. Here's to color!
The photo at the left is one of the photos from the article. It's hard to believe these girls were young 100 years ago. I love their colorful clothing, and their innocent faces. So sad, the Russian Revolution followed a few years later.
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 10:31 PM
Monday, February 15, 2010
I love Valentine's Day, mostly because I have the sweetest husband in the world, and he always does romantic things for me. Yesterday he got me FOUR flower arrangements, including a lovely vaseful of tulips: my favorites. He wrote me the sweetest card too. He's been like this ever since I've known him- I still have many of the cute cards he sent me when we were dating. He loved Ziggy, and I have quite a stash of Ziggy cards with his sweet poems or romantic prose. I am truly one lucky wife!
Every year I make Bruce a special Valentine's card, I've made him a card or some other kind of artwork for our entire marriage. This year I decided to do something a little different. I bought him a big Hershey chocolate with almonds bar, and made my own cute candy wrapper. I managed to get a couple of photos of it before he gobbled it down. In case you are wondering, I used Cooper Black font, and I altered the letters on the title a bit to make them a bit cuter!
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 9:55 PM
Thursday, February 11, 2010
This is probably the last in my series of layouts from my Grandparents' 50th Wedding Anniversary in 1962. I may do one about my older cousins. I may not. But just wanted to get this one up, lovely photos taken by Sam Calder. The large ones were taken at Grandma & Grandpa's little bungalow in Hollywood- the house where later Bruce & I would spend the first 8 years of our marriage. Grandpa was around 6'2", and Grandma was maybe 5' tall. They were so cute together, and I love the photos of them enjoying themselves at the party.
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 12:08 PM
Sunday, February 7, 2010
A few months ago, my nephew Ehren came up with the idea that he wanted to compile his Grandma's (my Mom) memories. So he traveled to California, and sat down with her for hours, interviewing, recording, and just reminiscing with her about her life. Much of the memories she shared were from her very young years: her childhood, and even the long-ago story of how her own parents met on a train in 1907. We decided that combining his hard work on her memoirs, with my layouts about her life, might be a wonderful birthday present for her 98th birthday, which we celebrated as a family on Saturday. Eventually, I'd like to compile these pages into a hard-bound book. For now, I put them in a lovely album, with Ehren's transcripted pages, interspersed with my layouts. This is the cover, and I've included an inside page, and another recent layout that accompanied it.
Mom loved the book, it was fun to put together! I'm so grateful to Ehren for his hard work, and for coming up with the idea.
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 9:52 PM
Friday, February 5, 2010
Of course, this layout is all about Annie, and how quickly she has moved into her new life. I'm missing her more than I had imagined, and am feeling rather 'left behind' in a manner of speaking. It's different from the way I felt when Amy left to go to college. Neither of the boys went away to college when they graduated from high school, they both stuck around for awhile before going on their missions. That was hard, but when they came home they both were at home for awhile before marrying and moving on. But all three left and then came back again, as I knew they would. Amy moved away, came home, went on her mission, came home, went back to college, came home, etc. I have no idea whether Annie will ever live at home again, or whether my baby is really gone for good. I must say, this is definitely a hard adjustment for this old Mom.
This layout is also about a challenge- it's called a 'pub ad' challenge in the scrapbooking world. It's taking a published ad from a magazine, billboard, etc, and using the design as a basis for a scrapbook page. I have been eyeing this image from the new movie "Dear John" for a few weeks. Working in LA, movie billboards are everywhere, and this poster looks quite a bit different on the extreme horizontal format of the outdoor version of this advertisement. The photo background fades into the white much more, and I've been hoping for a chance to create a layout inspired by it. Being a type & font nut, I love the pure, clean lines of the original font, so wanted to keep mine as clean and simple. It's just basic Arial Bold, but looks fresh with the two-toned colors.
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 4:04 PM
Monday, February 1, 2010
Bruce, and our son Alec, have been playing tennis together nearly every Saturday morning for almost a year and a half. Last Saturday was their last game together. Alec started his new job in Utah today, and so it looks like their matches will be few and far between for the foreseeable future. I surprised them by showing up in the middle of their play, and firing off a few rounds of my own, with my trusty telephoto lens. I made this layout for them with no strings attached. But now the ball's in their court. It's kind of a backhanded way to serve my family, but that's just my racket!
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 9:45 PM