Sunday, May 6, 2012

Our Little Man

    We over at Let's Scrap don't like to do anything small so instead of just having a one day NSD celebration yesterday we are putting on a month of Challenges and games. Because we have close to 4000 members from all over the world we decided to call it (Inter)National Scrapbooking Month (INSM).
    I finally got a chance to do a bit of scrapping so I made this layout for Judy Rakes, INSM challenge.  Judy is one of our wonderful Design Team Members and her challenge was to do a layout using 5 photos and 5 patterned papers.

Here is my layout

    The photos are of my Grandson Colton and were taken last month in celebration of his turning 6 months old.  Colton loves to laugh and smile so its easy to get great pictures of him.  I think he is just too cute in his hat and outfit.
     I am way behind on all the INSM challenges so I better get back to scrapping.  I hope you had a great NSD yesturday and got time to do some scrapping too.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Fife and Drum Band

Enikö DeLilse one of our new Design Team Members over at Let’s Scrap gave us a layout challenge to do ausing the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where and why) in our journaling. I have been wanting to scrap these photos of my Mom, Grandfather and Aunts and Uncle so thought they would work great for her challenge.  Here is my layout using one of Let’s Scrap sketches. 

 Here is a close up of the first page

On this page I used a music embossing folder in the upper left corner and then sanded it so that the white core would show through.  The little Family Times tag is a Bo Bunny sticker and the circle typewriter letters are from Graphic 45.  I used a Martha Stewart border punch to make the burgundy colored borders. Then using a tutorial that Val Thorpe another one of our Let’s Scrap DT’s showed us the other day I took the same punch and punched on both sides of a thin piece of cream colored cardstock.  I have tried doing this before but with little success but with the help of Val’s tutorial it was easy.  As I had a lot more information about the Fife and Drum Band and no room to share it on the layout I made the large photo so that it could flip up and put the rest of the journaling in there. If you click on the photo of the journaling it will make it larger so that you can read what it says.

Here is a close up of the second page

The two photos on the upper left of the second page may look a little strange because theykind of cut some of the people out.  Several years ago my Aunt Phyllis gave me these two photos.  The group was so large it was hard to see the people very well so she did a close up of the sections that showed my Mom, Grandpa, Uncle Joe and herself in them. 
If you haven’t checked out Enikö’s Challenge or Val’s Tutorial you should, they are both fantastic and a lot of fun.  You can find them both in the Let’s Scrap Forum. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Somebunny Loves You

I just loved last weeks sketch over at Let's Scrap so had to give it a try. Here's what Cheri's 2 page sketch looked like.

It's hard to believe that my grandson Colton is 6 months already.  He is such a happy little guy and always seems to be smiling.  Jason and Amy took him to Walmart to have some photo's done and they turned out so cute that I am sure to get at least a couple of layouts made from them.
For this layout he was dressed in his bunny pajamas that he got to wear for Easter.  Isn't he just the cutest little "hunny bunny" you ever saw.

I used my Cricut and SCAL program to cut out the eggs which were from a file I bought a couple of years ago.  I had quite the time getting them to cut without tearing.  I think I must have cut 100 egg designs before I got enough to make the 10 eggs.  The next time I go to the city I will have to pick up new blades for my Cricut.  The little baby bunny embellishments and the bunny brad were ones that I had in my stash.  The title was from a sheet of clipart that date back to 2001.  I would have preferred that the title had less pink in it but I still thought it worked great because Somebunny Loves You is actually written on the shirt of his pajamas.  It's hard to see it in these pictures either because he is sitting so it can't be seen or because he has his bunny bib on but it is there. I used a Fiskars punch to do the border and CTMH Ink on the edges of the papers and eggs.

I hope you are all having a great week and Happy Scrapping!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Irish 4 The Day

I really am not a very good blogger these days.  Running Let's Scrap keeps me so busy I don't seem to get a chance to pop in here very often.  I wanted to share a layout I did the other day.  One of our wonderful DT's, Elizna Parsons, gave us a month long challenge to do. She provided us with one of her amazing sketches to use.
Here it is, don't you love it
Elizna gave us a challenge along with the sketch, the main part of which was to do the page monochromatic, which is using one color, she did say we could use a bit of white if wanted to.  Will I have to tell you I had quite the time doing this. I actually started out with photos of my grandson Jacob at the beach but just couldn't get all the blue papers to work right. I was getting ready to totally give up on the challenge all together when what should appear on my Facebook page but St. Patty's Day pictures of Jacob and his wee sister Ava.  So I decided to start the challenge all over again but using those photos and greens.  Luckily I had some St. Patty's paper too so that helped a bit. The title is actually made from a plastic wall hanging I had.  I cut it apart to use for the words. So her is what I came up with.

It has been a really busy time over at Let's Scrap . Debby and I have picked the new Design Team which will be with us starting tomorrow until the end of July. There is always lots of work when we do the switch over so Debby and I haven't had much time to scrap but hopefully next week we can get back at it.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Where Our Story Begins......

     My siblings have asked me a few times over the years to write the stories I have heard or the things that I remember about our father.  Dad passed away in 1969 leaving behind his wife Marion who was only 44, 2 married daughters aged 25 and 23, myself age 13, an 8 year old son and two more daughters aged 4 and 2. Sadly my Mom and two oldest sisters are now gone and I am the only one who remembers anything about Dad. Although Mom was with us until 2003 and was an amazing women, she didn't tend to talk much about her early life, so even her stories are few and far between. I had planned to scrap pages about our parents to share with my siblings and still hope to do that some day. In the mean time I have decided to start writing up some of the stories, for fear that they may never be told. What better place to do this then on my blog, where I can not only share the stories but the many photos I have and all my family is able to see them.

Dad's Early Life
     My father, Frank Harrison was born May 7, 1916.  He was the first child of Edwy and Lilian Harrison and was named after his mother’s youngest brother Frank, who lived in England. Like his parents, he wasn’t given a middle name. My grandparents owned a home on Chambers St. on the outskirts of Smiths Falls and it was in that home that they were married and their children were born. 
      Dad’s cousin Kathleen (Kay) Weston was 6 years old at the time of his birth and remembered it well. She was kind enough to share a photo of the house they lived in and what she remembered about the day Dad was born.
This photo was actually taken in 1910, Kay is the baby being held by her mother, Grandpa's sister Eva , her  brother Charles is in the carriage, her sister Beatrice standing and Great Grandma Annie is on the right. But the house still looked the same at the time of Dad's birth in 1916.

Here is what Kay had to say about that day. “Your father was born in the front bedroom, which is where the upper window is in the photo.  I first saw your Dad in that room as a tiny red faced, black haired baby.  I was told that he had been brought during the night by Dr. W.S. Murphy, in his little black bag. I never remember wondering why Aunty Lil was in bed and being cared for by “Granny Clark” (no relation to Tom) who was a sort of midwife, nurse, housekeeper in such situation. I thought that this new cousin was the cutest thing I had ever seen.”

Here are some pictures of Dad as an infant and toddler.
                                                Kay Weston and Dad

                                          Here he is with his Mom.

                                 Now isn't that quite the hat he's wearing.

     This photo was the first one they had taken by a photographer. The photo was blown up very large and put into an ornate frame which hung for many years in my Grandparents home. It was later given to Dad and he and Mom held onto it, and then a few years after Dad passed away it was given to me. I still have it here at the house. 
                                                 Grandma and Dad

                                                 Dad at 14 months old. 

                                            Another professional photograph

Dad's only sibling, a sister, was born 19 months after he was. She was named Lillian after her mother, only her name had 2 L’s as that was more popular then the spelling of her mom’s name with one L.

                                                   Lillian and Dad

Lillian 1 year old and Dad 3 years old wearing a Scottish outfit.  I'm sure no one at the time ever thought that this outfit would become a family heirloom and  his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren would later wear it to have their photos taken. 

     I know very little about his early life.  From what I have gathered over the years Grandma always had big birthday parties for Dad and Aunt Lil.  She would invite the cousins and friends from the neighborhood and they would play games like Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Snakes and Ladders.  She would also have lots of special treats for everyone.
    My grandparents belonged to the Anglican Church and were fairly religious and passed their faith on to their children. Dad rarely missed going to Sunday school as a child or church as he grew older. I do believe that the family, although not rich by any means, were reasonably well off. There was always plenty of food to eat and the opportunity for nice clothes and toys. Grandpa Harrison worked on the railroad but was also very good with his hands and would do woodwork or fix things in the upper part of the shed. Dad may have learned some of these skills from him as I remember Dad building cupboards, work benches and other things when I was growing up.  The last thing that he built before he took his stroke was a large desk for me. It isn’t anything fancy but I was so thrilled that he made it for me and I still have it.

Here are some photos of Dad and Aunt Lil as they grew
                                           Grandpa with the two of them

Obviously a happy time spent paddling their feet at the beach. Lil is on the left and Dad on the right. The other boy was someone from the neighborhood. Don't you just love Dad's little bow tie.

                                         Grandma with her two children

                                              Aunt Lil and Dad

                                         Dad on the right with his bike.

I'm not totally sure but I believe this to be an Army Cadet Uniform  The high schools for many years had cadets in them so I am thinking that this is what it was for. 

Fishing on the Rideau 

                                         Dad and Lillian in their teens.

     A few years ago I looked up a couple of people who had known Dad when he was younger. One of them was Howie Reynolds. Howie was well into his 80’s by then and at first didn’t remember who Frank Harrison was.  He then said I was good friends with a  Newt Harrison but don’t remember a Frank. Will I had to laugh a little, because Newt was Dad’s nickname.  Howie had no idea how he got the nickname but he said that they started calling him that when he was in his very early teens.  I can remember hearing friends of Dads from the railroad calling him Newt even years later when I was a child
.   Howie told me that grandpa bought Dad his first car, which was a 1931 Buick Deluxe.  According to his diploma, Dad graduated from grade 13 in July 1931, when he would have only been 15 years old. It makes me wonder if Grandpa got him the car as a graduation present.  What ever the reason, Howie said it was a grand car and that Dad was the envy of all his friends.
     Howie told me a story about how one of the guys in the group they hung out with was fairly well off and always had the best of the best but he didn’t have a car.  So he was very jealous of Dad and would take advantage of his good nature.  When they would go out this guy would make a big show of how he was going to pay for the gas for the drive. Gas at that time cost 50 cents a gallon and this guy would tell the gas attendant to fill her up but then quietly tell him to only put in a gallon of gas.  Howie said there were a couple of times that they ran out of gas on their tours around because they would think they had lots of gas only to find out that they had very little.  Dad soon caught on and made sure that he paid for the gas after that. Howie remembered Dad as a wonderful friend, kind hearted and willing to do anything for anyone.
     Aunt Lillian’s best friend, Doris Williams, shared some stories about Dad with me. She too remembered his car.  She said that Dad would take his sister Lil and her to dances at the Pavilion in Perth or the Canoe club here in Smiths Falls when ever they asked. Other friends in the neighborhood would get him to run them all around too.  She said he probably had many other things he would have rather have been doing but never complained when anyone asked him to take them somewhere. 
     Life was probably difficult for the family when Dad was in his late teens.  His mother became ill and was admitted to the Brockville Hospital where she remained for many years. It is unclear whether she had a nervous breakdown or if it was dementia, but she was never the same after that.
     Doris vividly remembered a trip Dad, Lillian and she made to Brockville to visit his Mom.  She said they went one day after church and they were all dressed up in their best outfits.  Lil and Doris were having a great time chatting and laughing as they went through the wee town of New Bliss on the Brockville Hwy. when all of a sudden the car got a flat tire.  Dad striped off his suit jacket and vest, rolled up his white dress shirt sleeves and went to work replacing the tire.  She remembers him getting the tire from the front right side of the car.  He had the tire fixed in record time and he quickly got him self cleaned up, vest and jacket back on and all. They headed out again but only a mile or so down the road another tire blew. So he had to take the spare of the left side of the car to fix this one. She said any other man would have become angry but not Frank.  He just took off the vest and jacket and rolled up his sleeves once more and went to work changing this tire. This time the tire wasn't as easy to get off and he had to work quite hard to get it changed. Doris said she can remember the sweat was pouring down his face and his trying so hard to stay clean.  She said he must have been so angry about having to change the second tire but she said he never let on. But she said, that was Frank, he never, ever got mad and he would never think of swearing or yelling. They all sat in the car for a while trying to decide whether they should turn around and head home or take a chance, with no spare tires left, of heading to Brockville. She said Dad just said, “Mother is expecting us and it would break her heart if we didn’t visit, so we’ll go on.”  So off they set to see Grandma, with no more problems.

Here is a picture of what a 1931 Buick Deluxe looked like. Take note of where the spare tire is, there was another one in the same spot on the right side of the car.

And here is a photo taken with some of the gang leaning on the car.  In the photo I believe that the girl in the first row far right is Doris Brinkman (who later became Doris Williams). In the back row far left is Grandpa Edwy and beside him wearing the hat and half hidden is Dad’s sister Lillian.

Here is Dad with a bunch of his pals, who were probably getting ready to head out for a ride. Don’t they all look quite dashing with their hats on. Dad is the second man on the left with the his arm around his friend and the last man on the right is Harry Plunkett. He had been Dad’s best friend for years and he and his wife would become good friends with Mom and Dad after they married. I remember going to visit them many times when I was young.  

     Doris remembered Dad as a kind hearted sole and a hard worker.  He worked on a farm down the road for a couple of summers and was always looking for odd jobs to make a bit of money. Back in those days there was no such thing as a snow day if it snowed to hard on a school day.  They would walk all the way up to the high school sometimes trudging through thigh high snow.  The route that Dad and his sister Lil would take would bring them past the Canadian Pacific Railroad station and if there had been a big snowfall the railroad would be looking for men to shovel the snow.  Dad would go on to school putting in a half day and then head to the railroad to make a bit of money by helping with the shoveling.  

Here is a picture of the high school he attended. This school was between where the hospital is now and the high school that we attended.  The arch from the main door is all that is left standing from it.

     I believe Dad started working fulltime at the Canadian Pacific Railroad (CPR) in Smiths Falls when he was around 24.  His first job was that of shoveling coal, which was what made the engines run. Then for a few years he worked on the riptrack, which stood for Repair In Place. The riptrack was in the CPR train yard and the men would do the repairs on the trains there.  He was paid 25 cents an hour, which was descent money at that time.
     That’s all I have about Dads life growing up.  Stay tuned for the next chapter in Our Family Story, which will talk about Mom’s early years.   

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lily's Letter

     I just finished a layout over at Let's Scrap using one of Cheri O'Neill's amazing sketches.   It was for a challenge our wonderful DT, Kay Wallace, gave us. She asked us to do a layout using metal embellishments on it. As most of the metal I have is made by Tim Holtz I felt that a heritage layout was in order. If you have been following me for a while you will be aware that I always try to use certain items on my heritage pages.  These items are a clock, butterfly, ticket and key.  Sometimes I use only one and other times, like with this layout I used all 4. The clock is set for 9 o'clock as it is the time my grandparents were married. The butterflies were cut from graphic 45 paper and covered with Glossy Accents. I picked the ticket with the word dream as it was Lily's dream to find love in this new country. The key with the word secret on it was picked because of my Great Grandmother's secrets in arranging this marriage.  The papers  used are made by Simple Stories and the flowers are by Prima.
     First I want to give you some background about my Grandparents. My grandfather Edwy Harrison, along with his sister Eva, brother Ernest and their families came to Canada from England in April 1907.  They  settled in Smiths Falls, Ontario.  His mother (my great grandmother Annie) had raised 6 stepchildren and 8 children and Edwy was her youngest. Annie worried about him in this strange land, so in mid 1907 she decided to join him and her other 2 children in Canada.
Edwy and his mother purchased a house on Chambers St. and things were going well until she decided in late 1913 that she wanted to return home to England.  She felt she couldn’t leave 29 year old Edwy with no one to cook and clean for him.  He was at the time courting a young lady that Annie didn’t care for, so she took it upon herself to send word to England that she was looking for a bride for her son. 
Although she didn’t know Annie or Edwy, 25 year old spinster Lilian (Lily) Milns decided that she would come to Canada at Annie’s request. Maybe she would find the love that she seeked in this far away land.  Annie’s son Ernest and a family friend traveled across the ocean to bring Lily her engagement ring.  The deal was to be that Lily's travel expenses would be paid and she would have 6 months of courting time with Edwy.  If she decided to marry him after this time, that was great. If she decided she didn’t want to then she could remain in Canada or if she wished to return to England her way home would be paid for. She also was told that she could keep her engagement ring no matter what she decided.
Lily arrived in Montreal, Canada on June 9, 1914.  Edwy had been waiting for 3 days for her ship to come in. He telegraphed his mother letting her know that they were starting their journey home and should arrive late the next day.  When they got to the house on Chambers St. they found the minister and several wedding guests waiting for them.  Lily didn’t have a wedding dress, because she hadn’t expected anything to happen for at least 6 months. So she and Edwy put on their best outfits and were married that night. 
The layout I made shows a copy of the first letter Lily wrote home to her sister after her arrival in Canada and subsequent marriage. The picture is the only one I have of their wedding day. The little cream colored clip on the left side of the 2nd page of the letter is attached to a page of hidden journaling, that tells their story as I wrote it above.
       Over 35 years ago I got a chance to make a photocopy of the original letter that Lily wrote. Back then photocopiers weren’t that great so it ended up making several black areas on the copy.  Since then I tried to get the original again so that I could make a clearer copy only to find out my cousin threw out this letter and some others Lily wrote along with many of the old photos. I have put the photocopy I have in a safe place and copied it here on cardstock. So at least now there are two copies of it.

Here is what Lily wrote in her letter

June 14, 1914

My Dear Sister and Brother and Neace (Niece)

I am sure you will be very anxious to know how I am getting along. I hope you received the telegram quick as I felt more satisfied when I had sent it as I know you would have expected it before but sorry to say we did not get to Montreal until Tuesday and we sent it strait away.  You will be pleased to hear I enjoyed my trip on the water grand & was never sick & never mist (missed) one meal so think I was on of the lucky ones so if I ever get the chance I shall certainly come over to see you all. I am pleased to tell you we were married in the home at 9 o’clock on Wednesday night. Edwin had been at Montreal waiting for the boat since the Saturday so he had made all the arrangement for the big event we had quiet (quite) a nice wedding there where 20 people present so you can guess there was something going on.  Earnest (Ernest) gave me away.  Many of Edwins friends tried to play a few tricks in the bedroom but pleased to say they did not succeed very well as Edwin was quiet (quite) awake that night. I must say Dear I feel very happy & I feel sure we shall be very happy together as it is nice to have someone who cares for you. Of course the Minister told him he could not help but do so as I had come a long way to him but I find him very grateful for what I have done.  The Minister told me I was not to chop sticks or clean boots. 
We had a very nice walk to see some very nice friends of Edwins that keep a big farm & and quiet (quite) a lot of anamals (animals) the Country around hear (here) is beautiful it is such a treat to walk round the Country. I am delited (delighted) with the nice home he as got for me everything is so nice and Mrs. Harrison is such a nice old Lady.  I only wish she could stay with us but thinks she will have to serve all alike.
I shall have to draw my letter to a close as we are going to Chapel. I hope this letter finds you all in good health & hope Dear Eilean (Eileen) is quiet (quite) well & that she does not miss her Auntie Lilian much.
Love to you all from your loving
Brother & Sister Edwin and Lily
We are sending you a little of the Cake and Alice will let you read the Voyage and also the photo at Smiths Falls

Dear Jessie I was so pleased to receave (receive) your letter this morning it releaves (relives) my mind a great deal to think you are looking on the bright side. Please remember me to the Miss Brigs & Mrs Shaw & tell them all how happy I am.

     You will notice that Lily never said anything to her sister about being surprised that they were married so quick. She later told her daughter (my Aunt) that she had been so impressed with the fact that Edwy had gone to all the trouble of making the arrangements for their marriage and she thought it was a sign that he loved her so much that he couldn't wait to make him her bride. She wouldn't learn until much later that Edwy was as surprised as she was that the wedding happened so quick. He too was expecting to have the 6 months to get to know her.  But his mother had other ideas. She wanted to get home to England and had no intention of waiting at least 6 more months. So when Edwy telegraphed her saying that they would arrive the next day, she scurried around and got everything arranged. My Aunt told me that the marriage turned out to be a relatively good one, but if her parents had a big fight Lily would often say "If I had, had those 6 months to decide I would never have married you" and Edwy would chime in "nor would I have married you."
     I find it interesting that although she had been married to Edwy for 4 days by the time she wrote the letter, Lily called him by Edwin throughout the letter. The fact that she didn't know his real name shows just how little she knew about her new husband. I also find it sad where she talks about going back to visit her sister if she gets a chance.  She never got that chance, and would never see her sisters or brothers again.
     I’m sure you will notice that there is no title on my layout.  That’s because I couldn’t decide what to call it.I have given my friends over at Let's Scrap the job of helping me come up with a suitable title.
     This letter and a few others I have copies of gives me a glimpse's of my grandparents and great grandmother and lets me feel a little closer to them. Because my family often reads my blog I thought it was a good way for them to get to know a little about their ancestors too. 

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Thursday, March 1, 2012


The winner of my Blog Hop Rak was Teresa Davis.  Thank you to all of you who entered my draw. 
I am so happy that you decided to join us for the Let’s Scrap Leap Around the World Blog Hop.  For those of you who are new to the site, Let’s Scrap has a wonderful group of international scrapbookers who encourage and motivate each other in our love for scrapping!  It has amazing two page sketches and cards for you to use as your inspiration and there are many challenges and tutorials for you to do each month.  

Now on to the hop!

           YOU ARE AT STOP #4 ON THE BLOG HOP.  If you came here from the very talented Jennifer Russell’s blog ( ), then you are in the right place! If you did not, Mindi Brown (the coordinator of this great event) at has the order to help you find your way.

            I am so excited to be 1 of 50 blog hosts for this amazing event. Here is the Let’s Scrap sketch (created by Sketch Artist Debby de Wilde) I am showcasing for the hop:

And, here is my interpretation of this great sketch.

I used the Graphic 45 Once Upon A Springtime paper line for my card along with some CTMH cardstock.  I even pulled out my sewing machine to add a little something extra to it.

 Now, for the fun part” Here is the RAK I have put together to send to one lucky random winner.

And, here is how easy it is to enter for my random draw:
  • Be or become a member of Let’s Scrap which you can do by clicking here  It is free, easy and fast! Once you get there, I know you will love it and want to stay!
  • Be or become a follower of this blog.  That's easy, too.  Just go to the upper right-hand corner and click JOIN THIS SITE!
  • Leave me a comment telling me you were here (using Google Chrome or Firefox as your "search engine" is the best option (Internet Explorer or IE does not always "play nice" with Blogger)!
  • And, if you would like a SECOND CHANCE in the draw, make a card (or layout if you prefer) based on the sketch I have posted and upload it to the gallery at Let’s Scrap.  Please "TAG" it: 4-15-09, LEAP4  Note there is no space between the word LEAP and the number 4.  Please make sure to tag your project properly so that it will not get missed in the draw for my RAK
  •  Leave a second comment for me with a link to your card or layout in the Let’s Scrap gallery and you will get your name into my draw a second time.
 The hop ends at 11:59 p.m. Central Standard time, February 29th, which you can track using the clock on the main page of the Let’s Scrap website.


Thanks for coming by and for participating in the February 2012 Let's Scrap Leap Around the World Blog Hop!