Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Smashing Life

Happy Day,
wherever and whenever
you are reading

Thank you for all
of your wonderful
wishes for my daughter's
birthday.  Really and 
truly, they made us both 

One of the fun gifts
that Elizabeth received
for her 17th was from
my sister-in-law, who
works at a scrapbooking
store called Archiver's.

When she asked me,
Does Elizabeth have a
Smash Book?  I had to
admit that we'd never
heard of it.

Now Wendy {my s-i-l}, is
 a diehard scrapper and
is up on all of the latest
trends in that field.  She
assured me that E. needed
a Smash Book, being an
artsy chick and all : )

She was right.

A Smash Book is, in the
words of it's manufacturer,
K&Company, a place for
 the moments and 
musings that stick.....

Their definition of smash?
The act of sticking your
cool stuff into this 
awesome book.

Unlike modern scrapbooks, 
with memories precisely
placed and embellished, the
Smash Book is meant to
be a hodgepodge of random
bits and pieces that reflect
who you are and what you
are doing, without the
constraints of perfection.

A lot like life.

Because really, behind 
those neatly laid out 
scrapbook pages, such as 
Our Trip to the Zoo 
Off to Disney! 
is the real story.
The gum in the hair on the
way.  The bladder infection
the morning you land.  The
one blue and one black shoe
that didn't get noticed when
dressing in the dark!  

Life is messy.
We smash it in.
It's not always cute or

What would I smash
into our real stories?

The pretty feather found 
at the zoo and carried like a
prize in a tiny hand the 
whole time; the ticket stubs,
and the cool zebra napkin
from the little cafe.....

And of course, pictures.
Not perfectly posed snaps,
but the ones that captured
those impromptu 
little joys.

And yes, the gum in
his hair.

Even as teenagers, my kids
love to bring out their thick,
heavy scrapbooks, representing
nearly ten years of them,
curated lovingly by me.  I kept
at it from pre-school through
sixth grade for Lizzie and 
through third grade for Will.

Then suddenly, it was
no longer my thing.

And it seemed to be time
for them to figure out
which of the moments
they wanted to stick,
rather than me.

{You can guess how
far they got.}

Right now we are truly 
living a Smash Book life ~
all mixed up and crazy and 
hectic, yet in its own way, as 

Which is why I think
Wendy hit the mark, when
she just knew Elizabeth
would appreciate this gift.

The start of a E's first Smash page, using
scraps of 17th b-day wrapping paper.
How do you archive 
your own moments 
and musings?

Are you a meticulous curator,
or, like me, a stuffer-into-
it-later type of

The vanilla-hazelnut
coffee is on and I
would love to hear
how you make your
own moments
stick : )

Memory is a way of
holding on 
to the things you love, 
the things you are, 
the things you never 
want to lose.
~ Kevin Arnold



Teacup Moments said...

Suzanne, first, glad to hear your daughter's birthday celebration went fabulously. Of course it did! And thank you for introducing us to the Smashbook! You're right, life is messy. And as much as we love to remember the highlights - the little things, the messy things that lead us up to them, are as deserving of celebration and remembering.

michelle said...

These are great books, my daughter has one too and loves to give them as gifts to her friends. All my memories are pretty smashed in our closet. It was my intention to document them in a neat book but you are right, life isn't like that and that is what I tell myself when I look at the piles of photos. :) I do take out the special ones though and place them around the house. :)

Julie said...

Oh wow...what a GREAT idea. I love it. You're right. Scrapbooks seem to have evolved into a PIECE of ART that should be laid out in perfect colors and papers and embellishements, or it seems they are less than an accomplishment tends to make me NOT gravitate towards it. scared I'll do a less than acceptable job and so just don't bother...But THIS is more my speed. Even one of my Bibles...really stuffed with all kinds of bits and scraps of lovelies from memories, my kids, other peoples for sharing this...yes - smashed together indeed...Life is so lovely. The sad and hard go along with the happy and desirable to define all that matters...I know your daughter will have fun doing this. No large block of time...just a quick jot or thought, a date stamped and a memory marker. I love it. I am going to think on this and how I can make it work for me. HUGS HUGS to you Suzanne! Enjoyed visiting with you. :-)

T's Daily Treasures said...

Happy belated birthday to your daughter. That's a fantastic gift. I've heard about the Smash books. It's like all the art journaling I see out there that I would love to do but can't seem to keep at it. Every time we go someplace new, I say I will do a travel journal -- I've taken composition books to Nepal, Sri Lanka, Paris for that purpose but did I do any of them ??? No! I spent several years making scrapbooks for friends -- can't get supplies here so I would make due and definitely preferred ripping and tearing rather than having everything perfect. I must start a composition smash book of my own. I'm determined! Hope ya'll are having a great week. Best wishes, Tammy

Kat said...

What a cool gift. It totally takes the pressure off and allows you to capture the moments, no matter how perfect or imperfect they may be. Love it!

Sylvia said...

Hi Suzanne,
First of all, many wishes to your lovely daughter on her birthday, :) I missed the previous post since I traveled to Mexico... Such a smash book is a great gift for a 17 year old girl who's whole (independent) life is in front of her.
I remember myself collecting and gathering boxes and boxes with everything my son had created, but when he himself lost interest in them, so did I. As he says now " good thing you have a blog" :)
Sending love your way

Olive Cooper said...

What an interesting and aptly named idea. I have never scraped booked. I have stored away my memories and them seem to be spilling out right now as you know. I have been writing a lot, I cannot stop. hugs, olive

Felicity said...


This is fabulous and definitely right up my alley as I've never been a scrapbooker but could see myself being a 'smasher' - love it!

Also absolutely loving the montage of the fox and the feather...and the little fox cut out on E's first page.

Nice work Lovelies - very nice work.

Happy day to you!

The enchanted home said...

That is the most priceless gift imaginable! WOW I love the idea....its amazing. The one thing out of everything I own that means to me is my pictures and all the little trinkets that symbolize an important day or time in my life. What a beautiful thing to put these all together to create such a fabulous keepsake. LOVE IT!

michele said...

i used to scrapbook but when stuff went digital so did i. one way i store memories is with a private blog of family photos. since i'm not on facebook, it makes it easier for grandparents to save the pics they like.


Anne@A Little Fur in the Paint said...

Hi, Suzanne! How cool! I am definitely in the latter you, I stuff bits and pieces everywhere ~ that's why this "keep box" project has taken on a life of its own at my house! (So glad your daughter had a lovely birthday! ~ and LOVE that first pic!)

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh,I am a NO SMASH person! I like things organized or NOTHING at all! Yep, you should see the piles of photos from 30 years ago when we were married....never organized. BUT WHEN I DO get my hands on something to curate, I make sure it is well-organized. WHAT A GREAT IDEA, a SMASH BOOK!

Happy day dearest! Anita

pollydove said...

I was SOOOO into scrapbooking for SOOO many years! (I have those same Creative Memories books on my shelves.) But then, yeah, it wasn't my thing. That, and I went back to work full time and just didn't take the time anymore to scrap with my family and friends on nights and weekends. That time had to be spent doing all the ordinary and unordinary stuff of life. So now, the idea of a SMASH book sounds perfect! For ALL of the members of my family! LOVE this idea! And I am sure it will be such a treasure for your girl!

NanaDiana said...

Suzanne- What a great thing that is! I have never heard of a Smash book but it makes perfect sense because we live such smashed up lives sometimes.and they are NOT perfect...what a great idea to capture all the imperfect pieces of a well lived life. xoDiana

Low Tide High Style said...

Wow, I'm so not a scrapbook person, I'm definitely firmly planted in the shove it into folders for later camp! This is such a great idea for someone like me, and what a lovely gift for your daughter. Sounds like she had a great day!

Kat :)

Farmgirl Paints said...

Alicia has a smash book. I'm thinking big chick needs one too. Great way to save memories. I finally got around to doing a Shutterfly book today. Can't wait to see how it turned out. Love seeing that artsy chick cuff there...made me smile;)


I think my current smash book is my blog ... which I do have made into a book, every six months.

Won't your daughter have fun.


Lisa Scibilia said...

Once again you write about something that is on my mind - that is so strange! I have kept birthday scrapbooks for my kids and am 2 years behind, thanks to moving and settling in. I was just thinking today when I was perusing the aisles of Michael's - how long will I continue the books for? Until they are officially teens? 18? 21? Like you, I loved it as a creative outlet for a long time but now our life is hectic and messy and I just don't have the time or inclination to work on the I truly love this idea of a Smash Book. That is such a lovely gift from your s.i.l. to E! And such a fab idea for the mama who wants to record and remember and celebrate her growing babies lives in some way shape or form. Thanks for sharing this. Maybe when they all reach 13 I'll start a Smash book for them instead of the scrap - it seems so appropriate for the years ahead! Fun and cool idea!

Days at Buttermilk Cottage said...

I'm afraid I'm not so great at preserving the memories. I just did a post about MY daughter's birthday, and was a bit heartbroken I seem to have so few "recent" pictures. I had tons of when she was small, but the past few years, although lots has happend, not a lot of pictures. One of the most touching gifts I ever recd was from my mother-in-law. She had kept two photo albums of each of her three sons growing up. One for herself and one for a future wife. What a lovely gift the day she gave me mine! Belated happy birthday to your dear girl!

Marie said...

What a great gift! I have a box of photos that I haven't done anything with. I need to get with the program before I forget what I need to remember! xxoo

Mary Timmers said...

Suzanne, What a great idea! And what a great way to see how your daughter's mind works. I think you will be impressed! I am the picture taker in the family, and when each of our three kids graduated from high school, they got a photo album of their life. I figured the rest was up to them. But I have a "smash drawer" of sorts. It's one of the drawers in the sideboard in our eating area. When our kids were in high school and left notes as to where they were and where they were going (obviously before cell phones) I took those notes and stuffed them in the front corner of this drawer. They're still there today, and I need to get them out and go through them. Thanks for the reminder!

Tricia said...

I always wanted to put together scrapbooks documenting the moments of my children's lives, but it never happened, which sure makes me feel bad. I like things too nice and neat and perfect and find that if it can't do it that way, then I do nothing. I've seen those smash books at Archiver's and I'm thinking that might be the way to go...letting my children choose little bits and pieces of their lives that they want to remember.

I hope your daughter had a great birthday! My daughter turned five not too long ago, I wonder how I'll feel about seventeen...I'm thinking sad.

hugs :)

Biz said...

I used to be a scrapbooker until I got married.
Then I froze in terror at the idea of doing anything to my wedding pictures other than place them neatly in an album.
I've did that for a few years and then I just stopped.
All my pictures are neatly organized my year and month on my iMac...and backed up in 2 other locations just in case!
I have hopes of doing a photobook online to have printed and send to me...nice and crisp and clean. Hopefully someday I'll tackle that project!

I like the concept of Smashbooks though. They seem like fancier versions of journaling! <3

Have a Blessed Day!

Leslie said...

Happy Birthday to your daughter and what a wonderful gift idea! When my kids were long I did a lot of scrap booking. As time went on (and life got busier) I had difficulty keeping up. I used my calendar to stuff art work in, record funny comments, etc.. The reality of life, family, and motherhood is a beautiful chaos. I chuckled with your comment about the bladder infection and gum in the hair! Yep, that would be me.

Susan T said...

What a wonderful legacy for your family, together with the joy it brings you right now, I can imagine what it would be like for a great great grandchild to pore over the albums and Smash moments and drink in the personality of the people involved. As for us we have albums albums and albums and a large box of very old family photos that ONE day I will sort out and name.

It is a great thing to be a memory keeper. Much Love from here xx

Frizzy said...

Oh I'm so happy to hear other people like these books too! I bought several of them and gave them as gifts at Christmas time. I loved them and how easy it was to journal, stick a moment in time and capture it forever. Easy, painless, whimsical, beautiful and without clutter. LOVE THEM!

Your blog is filled with SMASHING, Beautiful, TOUCHING moments.

Stitchfork said...

Perfect gift for E! And thanks for the intro to Smash books. Also love the leather cuff bracelet!
xo Cathy

Anonymous said...

JUST LOVELY PICS:) I really like your much nice inspiration.
I wish you a great weekend:)

LOVE Maria at

jeanette from everton terrace said...

I have been seeing quite a bit about these smash books lately but didn't know what they were all about. As usual I was out of the loop - thanks for the education.
I was good at it all when my daughter was little but, as you said, life took over.
Thanks for sharing your daydream with me. I visited Whidby two years ago, it was lovely - too cold for this Arizona gal but I can see the draw for sure.

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

Memories...that's what we have when everything else has faded away...what a perfect gift. A big hug to you from me. XO, Mona

June said...

Hi Suzanne,
I used to keep the best journals and I wrote letters to my children on a regular basis telling them of the darling thing they did that day or week. I have boxes of these wonderful memories. I have fallen off the wagon terribly however, and I would love to keep a sort of SMASH book of my own. It would be filled with some of the messy but funny things Landon does (and sometimes Dale and I) and I would keep my memories of this beautiful life so that when my grown children read it when I'm really old, they will know how much their mom cherished being their mom and cherished her life...every day of it!
Thank you for being who you are Suzanne. Your writing inspires me so much. I know you must be an amazing mom...because you are an amazing friend!!!
sending hugs...

lisaroyhandbags said...

well, I have to admit that I'm terrible at scrapbooking things - I usually just shove things into a box, thinking I will get to it someday. To be honest, I only just finished our wedding album before packing everything up into storage last year! Hmm.. only 21 years late...

Lili said...

I've never been a scrapbook type person, but I tell you I'm loving the sound of this new Smash book! I've always liked looking back on photographs, as they have the power to bring you back. But the added element of reminders that you may have forgotten about the day is really such a great idea. Your daughter's first pages are off to such a cool start already. xoxo ~Lili

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

What a wonderful gift! I am definitely "a shove it in a drawer person"~ smash books sound like so much fun! I am sure your artsy chick (love the cuff!) will have a great time with it!

Eddie Ross said...

We recently went through our memory boxes. We each have one and they were filled with photos, diplomas, and mementos from years gone by. It was quite a walk down memory lane.
xo E + J

Palomasea said...

I think this is a great idea, Suzanne! Not everyone likes to create in an organized way, but I have a bit of both. Some really "put-together" scrapbooks...some boxes filled to the brim with scrap projects. I do love the idea of "losing the perfectionism"..I think that's what keeps me procrastinating, just have to go for it!
Great gift for your dear girl...
- Irina

Jeanie said...

I love the idea of a Smash-book life. Hadn't heard of these, but I'd have to agree, I've been living one of those lately. I would includes bits of my recent art workshop (maybe my journal I made there should be my own smash book!), gathering bits and pieces of family memorabilia, good times, things in anticipation of our Paris trip. Yes, a Smash Book life -- I love it!