Sunday, February 23, 2014

In The Spotlight + Mini Challenge with Margaret Fleming

Hello! I am so happy to be here today! I am Margaret and it's my turn to host In the Spotlight and the mini challenge! I live in a rural community in southern Indiana with my husband, two girls, Shadow (my black Lab), and several farm cats. I recently 'retired' from a seventeen year career as a preschool teacher and now work as a special needs assistant at a local middle school. In my spare time, I love to scrapbook and play with paper. It's a great way to unwind after a stressful week!

Artistically, I began a little later than most, and I don't have an art background unless you count the two years of Art History I took in college! I always loved to do crafts when I was younger and that slowly sprouted into some artistic endeavors with paper crafting. I have been a part of the Anything But a Card Challenges team since it started, and have my own blog, Black Shadow Creations. You can find it here.

I am so blessed to be a part of such a wonderfully talented team. My fellow DT members have so many amazing talents and their creativity knows no bounds. They're also a pretty awesome group of ladies that never fail to inspire me to reach higher. I also have to admit that they sometimes intimidate the crap out of me... Like today when I am in the spotlight sharing something significant about my artistic talents. Now, if my job was to point out what I think their special strengths are, I could rest easy. But instead, I found myself trying to decide just what is it that I do best? I don't really have any one artform where I excel; I'm more of a work in progress. I actually stressed out a bit about this and then I realized that while I'm not the master of fabric, flowers, mold putty, recycled art, or Steampunk (not even close!), I am pretty good at telling stories.

My first introduction into paper crafting was creating a scrapbook for my first baby. Little did I know how this little project would spiral into a quest to document my family's lives and preserve our stories for future generations. I started out making cute pages for a few baby pictures, but didn't have a lot of details and next to no personal stories. Over the years I have learned that while those may be fresh in my mind, they will not be there for future family members, and if I'm going to spend the time to make a scrapbook, it better become a family heirloom!!

Here are some tips for preserving your family history:

1. Document the names of the people in the photos, even if it seems silly to put your name on your picture. 100 years from now, they won't know it was you! I often do this on the back so it is inconspicuous.

2. Tell the stories. Write about your family traditions for holidays; tell a funny story about Aunt Mary; share interesting details about your relationship with other family members.

3. Don't crop too much! I was the queen of cutting off everything in the background in the early years. Now I want to have Grandma's house in the background. Cars and other vehicles are also a great way to inform future generations about your daily life.

4. Record the bad with the good. Illnesses and injuries are a part of our lives and need to be a part of our history. I have temper tantrum pages for both of my girls too! I think they will make great 'first date' show and tell!

My scrapbooking style tends to lean toward Clean and Simple since I like for the photos to be the focal point of my project, but scrapbooking can also be quite fancy and decorated as well. Here are a few of my favorite projects...

A Mini Album of Christmas Traditions

Family Reunion
(all of the names are on the back)

Christmas Ornament with four sisters
(photo taken annually)

Pictures of toiletries and towels
from our Disney vacation

Adding personal stories of our past
to a visit to "Germany" at Epcot

So my Spotlight project and your CHALLENGE is
"Sharing a Story Through Scrapbooking"

Even if you've never scrapbooked anything before, I hope you will join me! I would love to see your mini albums, pages, and any other way you find to share a photo and a story! ~ Margaret

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Please join us next Sunday for a brand new Challenge - No. 33. Have a great week!


  1. what a talented lady you are! Love that gorgeous album!

  2. Hi Margaret - I enjoy your creations, and the fact you're from Southern Indiana. I'm originally from Northern Indiana but live in Alabama now.

  3. Margaret, all your projects are just wonderful - as always! I enjoyed reading about you too!

  4. What a lovely mini-album and great other projects too... how lovely to identify story-telling as your strength - spot on, I'd say!
    Alison xx

  5. What a wonderful post Margaret! The storyteller of the tribe or village was always most venerated. Lovely Post Margaret!

  6. Congrats on being "In The Spotlight", Margaret, and sharing your tips along with some of your favorite memory projects !

  7. Storytelling is truly an art. Not everyone can take you there and make you feel as though it's happening to you and you do...WONDERFUL gift and more importantly, incredible way of preserving memories for the future generations. I had a blast reading even more from you. :)