Once upon a time, for about 25 years, in the 70’s and 80’s and early 90’s mostly, I really enjoyed the process of making photo albums. This was an activity that “sparked joy”. The albums have been seen with some regularity over time, and do help to retrieve memories of those years.  However, there are some enthusiasm gaps in the taking of photos, and also an under developed system of organizing the photos that I wish to use for artwork inspiration (good composition, usually outdoors, some architectural things, and candid people and pets, usually with good light).

Also….. The digital age altered the way photos were taken and shared and stored. I miss having a camera with a view finder that is braced against my face, showing me the artistic choice of cropping that I have made. Taking photos with a phone is very random with glare on the screen and wobbly aiming. Easy to delete the poor ones, however. So I have boxes of negatives/prints and also boxes of CDs/prints, and both are obsolete. Drat.

Fast forward to 2019. Husband has retired and moved his office space into the room that held those boxes of photos, some of the albums, and plenty of other catch all debris. My “some day I’ll get to that project” has arrived! The big box of Christmas wrapping paper (taking up a lot of realstate) was easy to largely  elliminate and move elsewhere. We decided that one Norfolk Pine in the room, would do better than six, and there was no rule saying ” you must care for these trees for the rest of your life”. So, abra kadabra…. out they went. And now, I am knee deep in the overhaul photos project.


The earliest old albums are the peel- back -the -plastic- and- stick- photos on -page type. The pages have yellowed along edges and are falling away from the spine. The photos are of surprisingly poor quality (clarity, color, size of people lacking), with most photos stuck like the devil to the adhesive holding it to the page. So I’ve been ruminating on the problem  (sometimes when I am supposed to be clearing my mind during meditation practice).

I’ve decided that I don’t like the traditional ways that photo albums are usually done. Even in the digital age (send digital files to a printer- book version), photos are usually arranged around special events or family chronology. For a while I thought about saving the favorite (iconic) photos in a (pretty) box in no particular order. A special wooden box (with a lid) holding a managable number of photos was enjoyed at my in-laws house (in the 90’s), so I have some fond memories of identifying the what-where-who as we poured through the treasure.



Very hands on! Which is the very thing I need to get the project going in a fun way. Albums are so wonderful to share, and are a joy to create. Can I get that joyful feeling back? Maybe???

I have ordered new Creative Memories albums. In the meantime, I am going through all of it. Old yucky albums, cardboard boxes, and manila envelopes. I have a plan. It will be shared with you next month. This will keep me honest about getting it done!

Creative Memories Album


This recipe was created by Addison Osta Smith, who won MasterChef Junior. Recipe for Lemon Pea Pesto: In a food processor or blender combine 2 c. frozen peas(thawed),1/2 c. olive oil, 3 T. lemon juice, 1 T. lemon zest, and 1 clove of minced garlic. Process until smooth. Transfer to bowl and add 1 c. grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste. This can be served with pasta or rice or quinoa. Enjoy.


I don’t get it

I have just finished a large abstract piece of art, created to hang in the stairwell of City Hall in Gillette. I am 63 inches tall, so at 68 inches high this pieces is taller than me, and broader also – 43 inches wide. Large artwork looks good in this space, and I have mostly… Read more »

Which Path is Best?

The future is unknown, and therefore not a sure thing. Do we proceed with caution, or take a bold leap of faith? At the end of this blog (after a Sowada recipe), there are a list of the conflicting words of wisdom we have grown up with. Most lean towards being careful. But first, I… Read more »

Put Yourself Out There

You won’t get into the show unless you enter the show. You won’t meet new people unless you expand your activities and try new things. Yeah, yeah, I know. And here’s two more – You won’t get the job unless you apply. You won’t find something lost, unless you go looking for it. Wouldn’t it… Read more »

Quick Show and Tell

In my September blog post, I showed you many examples of artwork inspired by relationships with people, animals and place.  Two of the photos I shared then, are now small pieces of art. The first step in my work process, was to do a lot of editing. I limited the number of fabric choices, I… Read more »

Not a waste of time

I meet each week with artist friends, to share our lives and discuss art related stuff. We call it Tuesday Morning Art Coffee. Some people stay one hour and some people stay 2 or more hours. We occasionally talk about flooded basements, food allergies, or dividing the daisies, but usually we stick pretty close to… Read more »

Inspiration Found in Relationships

My artist statement has drifted this way and that over the years, but one thing remains the same. People Together. Relationship. Of course dogs and horses and cats are also ‘people’. There are other Sowada characteristics of outdoors, seasons, reflections, and shadows that usually appear as well. Here are some examples of reference photos and… Read more »

How is it done?

I create artwork in two styles. When I am making abstract artwork, there is no pattern. I begin with an idea and a group of fabrics that would play well together. When I make a figurative piece the process is more structured, and in this blog I will talk about those steps. There’s a part… Read more »

Cat Fights and Tornados

I didn’t know whether to call this blog post “Planning for Everything” or “Cat Fights and Tornados.”I thought that Cat Fights might catch your attention. It is summer time, so you might open the house to the welcome cool breezes at night. That’s why it’s easy to hear the cat fight outside your window at… Read more »