Monday, March 23, 2015

Happy Spring!

Spring is the time of plans and projects.” 
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
And so we start again the annual spring planting and cleaning. But I want to espouse something more than the planting of flowers and vegetables and the cleaning of pantries and closets. I want to champion and encourage you and your family to start creating your Family Museum.
As you start to organize this project, I want to offer you a word of caution: If you desire to seek out some assistance by way of a book on how-to manage your stuff, you will discover that there is an overwhelming amount of advice out there. I also discovered that each and every one of those books tells you how to get rid of your things instead of keeping them. Sure, we all accumulate far too much paraphernalia, bits and pieces, equipment, personal effects, along with junk, mess and matter. However, within all of these things are keepsakes, and they should be saved, preserved and most importantly, displayed. That is what all these books don’t tell you how to do. But my blog does! So go back through the past posts and read about how-to and why and where you can display your saved things. 
The first step in truly easy. Make a list. In fact, make several lists. And not only you but everyone in your family; spouses, kids, grandkids, grandparents, aunts, uncles,  cousins and friends. What kind of lists, you may ask? Lists of everything you want to save.
Why? Because you want to keep things that you treasure the most. Start with small lists so you do not become overwhelmed with guilt for having stashed away a mountain of stuff. There is nothing wrong with saving things, especially those that are important to you as a person and to your family.  

As you tackle this project and you have questions,
please do not hesitate to let me know how I can help you. Sometimes all we need is a little encouragement.
Good luck and most of all, have FUN! 

ATTENTION PLEASE: There has been a glitch with my post-a-comment. It has been corrected and now you will be able to post your thoughts, reactions and questions about any and all of the past posts. As soon as I am notified of your comment I will reply.  Thank you. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Celebrating . . .

. . .  My Blog’s First Year Anniversary
Hi Everyone! I started How to Create a Family Museum one year ago this week. To show appreciation to all those who have read and commented on my blog, I would like to bring attention to some of the popular posts from this year in hopes that you will revisit them and comment. Enjoy!

Friday, April 4, 2014    “Genealogical Research”

Monday, April 21, 2014   “Thinking of You”

Thursday, April 24, 2014   “Baby Books”
Friday, May 2, 2014   “Book Collecting”

Thursday, July 24, 2014   “Preserving Your Papers”

Monday, July 28, 2014   “Reintroducing How to Create a Family Museum”

Friday, August 22, 2014   “Family Museum in the Living or Family Room”

Saturday, August 23, 2014   “Family Museum in a Guest Bedroom & Home Office”

August 30, 2014   Our “Family Museum” Story
Wednesday, September 3, 2014   “Vintage Clothes – Sunday Dress”
Tuesday, September 9, 2014   “Vintage Clothes – Hot Pants”

Friday, September 12, 2014   “Vintage Clothes – Men’s Leisure Suits”

                                           Friday, October 31, 2014  

“Happy Halloween!”
Thursday, January 1, 2015   “Happy New Year”
Of these posts, which ones are your favorites? And thanks for visiting.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

March Celebrations

As the March winds blow in like a lion and go out like a lamb, here a few of the many holidays to know and celebrate.
International Women's Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women's Day, was celebrated on March 8. Designated by the United Nations, the celebrations range from general respect, appreciation, and love towards women's struggle for economic, political, and social achievements. Some people celebrate the day by wearing purple ribbons.
The women in our family deserve such recognition. From great-grandmothers who followed their husbands to America, to grandmother’s who took, at times, vigilant steps to guard their families, and our parent’s generation who embraced new beginnings and aligned themselves into the workforce to contribute support for the family. Where would we be now if it were not for the courageous achievements made by these women?
Daylight Saving Time began Sunday March 8, 2015 at 2:00 a.m. local time. Remembering to set all the clocks in the house one hour ahead can be a daunting task. Wall clocks, digital clocks, grandfather clocks, coocoo clocks, watches, car clocks, Whew!

Ides of March; March 15th is traditionally the first day of the Roman New Year. It also marks the first day of spring. On this day in history, Julius Caesar was warned by soothsayers to "beware of the Ides of March." Apparently, he did not heed the warning strongly enough as he was stabbed by Marcus Brutus on the Ides of March in 44 BC. 
Saint Patrick's Day; March 17th. St. Patrick is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland, and is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. It is associated with everything Irish: anything green and gold, shamrocks and luck. Most importantly, people love celebrating this day.
Cities and towns have parades, “wearing of the green,” music and songs, Irish food and drinks. Some even go so far as to dye rivers or streams green! Like Chicago. Growing up in Windy City, which has a large Irish population, I remember seeing the Chicago River turned green and watching the parade march down State Street. What fun!
The feast of St Joseph; March 19. St Joseph is the patron saint of carpenters, and boy! Do I have a fine carpenter; my hubby. If it wasn’t for him, we would not have our Family Museum.   
Spring Begins; March 20/21: Longer days and warmer temperatures and also known as the Vernal Equinox. This marks the day that the Suns path is directly over the equator and contains equal amounts of day and night time.
Palm Sunday, March 29, commemorates Jesus' triumphant and last entry into Jerusalem where crowds greeted him by waving and covering his path with palm branches. I remember going to church and marveled at all the palm leaves that decorated the isles and alters. After mass, my family would gather at one of the relative's homes and have a big feast. Yum!  


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Charlie's Museum

Charlie's shelves are loaded with all sorts of things. Baby sneakers, music boxes (he fell asleep to many a tinkling tune), endearing bronzes of his hand and foot (remember bronze baby shoes? They're gaining newfound nostalgia fueled by social media). Sesame Street dish & cup, statues & his baby blanket and stuffed animals. Bunny reigns!   
His fascination with trains was overwhelming. I think every boy and girl plays with trains. Depending on the level of interest, a collection of trains can be, like it did for Charlie, take over his bedroom, down the hall, and under the tables.
 He loved Thomas the Tank Trains and Brio. There were never enough Brio tracks, especially the curved ones. Eventually, there were too many trains, so he donated some of them to “Toys for Tots.”     
After the trains came the blimps, then submarines, followed by WWII destroyers and aircraft carriers. From there his interest turned to cruise ships, with an insatiable interest in the Titanic. There are models and drawings of ships, and literally tons of books on sea-going vessels and novels. Charlie became so scholarly on the Titanic that he tried out for a part in the traveling production of TITANIC, The Play. He didn’t get the part but because of his knowledge, the producer asked him to become the dramaturge, which is like a playwright. Charlie loved being on stage and appeared in many local productions. His favorite play was Oliver, because he played multiple roles.  
Cub Scout memorabilia, especially Derby cars, are displayed with pride, as is his many bowling trophies. Charlie loves adding things and soon he is going to need a museum of his own.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tiffeni's Museum

When a teen, Tif had a historian’s heart. She acquired a passion for antiques, especially from America's pioneer years. When we lived in St. Petersburg, FL, the two of us would visit all the antique shops in town, scouring for that special find. I recall one of her first discoveries was a pair of black button‑down shoes. She drove me crazy when she first saw them. She just had to have them!
After she accumulated several items, she asked her father to build her a shelf that wrapped around her bedroom for her to display her antiques. Little did I realize at that time her personal museum was created.  One of her shelves was dedicated to ‘Little House on the Prairie.” Tiffeni wanted to be Laura Ingles, to wiggle her toes in Plum Creek and ride in a Conestoga wagon.
When older, she turned her fancies to the Victorian & Edwardian periods. She adored, “Anne of Greene Gables.” She also has an unquenchable thirst for architecture. Her dream is to live in a Bungalow.
All of these interests are displayed in her side of the children’s museum she shares with her younger brother, Charlie. She loved her dolls. One she named Laura which is a ‘Doll by Pauline.’ Pussycat by ‘Madame Alexander.’ And her now rare Sasha Dolls.
Baby toys, a denim jacket covered in buttons declaring her opinion, an autographed album by Mister Rogers, and a rare Sesame Street character group. And books. Tons of books. Even a tress of her hair.

Last year at this time I rearranged our family museum and in the process, added more items and put some away for further safe keeping. Every now and then, new-old things are added and lovingly displayed among the plethora of keepsakes that Tif will forever keep close to her heart and one day, pass down to her family.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Children's Museum Enterprise

As a child moves through the many stages of childhood to young adult, schools, careers, travels and relationships, they collect and save, stuffing their possessions in boxes that get shoved under their beds, piled in closets or along with yours, in the attic, basement or garage. Some of it may be thrown or given away, but then there are things that they just want to hang on to. Then one day they will ask you what should they do with all this stuff? How about suggesting they create their own personal museum.

Not only will their museum be a fantastic way to teach them to appreciate their things, it is a way to install pride and confidence in themselves. When they look, touch and show off their collections – favorite toys, trophies, drawings, mementos from an organization they belonged to, gifts they received, their old eyeglasses, even their baby teeth – all expound the stages of their lives, the subjects that interested them, and the accomplishments they made.

So when your kid(s) had a bad day – things didn’t go right at school, their best friends just let them down, their coach told them they weren’t good enough for the team – whatever tragedy besets them, as they run to their room for cover, they’ll pass by the family museum and pause a second to see that they did accomplish many endeavors and convey to them that they are an important member of the family, and that’s what really counts.

Pride – that sense of self-respect and personnel worth – gives your child a feeling of satisfaction derived from his or her achievements. And most importantly, preserving their memories of childhood and adolescence is a learning journey. That journey becomes their path to personal mastery of the many subjects that interested them. Their museum can contribute to the goal of building a future viable resume.

Our children (now adults) had fun while selecting their favorite things to put in their museum. The next posts will be about their collections.