Please welcome Patricia Kiyono, a fellow Astraea Press author and Grand Rapids Region Writers Group member. Several of her books are set in Michigan which I just love. She is also extremely talented in other areas. Check out her scrapbooking:
I love my family and friends, and I love to take pictures of them. But it wasn’t until I started scrapbooking that I really started appreciating the pictures I have. My daughter actually introduced me to scrapbooking when she visited a booth at a craft fair. She bought a few of the tools and created a wonderful scrapbook that she gave me one Christmas. I found out that the person who sold her the supplies held regular sessions at her home, and I was hooked. In the last fifteen years I’ve filled twenty-some albums with the boxes and boxes of photos I had shoved in my closet. And I’ve made albums for other people, too. My dad really cherished an album I made of his army photos, and my parents have one I made for their fiftieth wedding anniversary. I love having the pictures handy, and often find my husband and the kids leafing through them.
Since I began, I’ve made lots of scrapbooking friends. Several years ago a group of women formed a scrapbook club and invited me to join them (we call ourselves the Crazy Croppers). We meet one evening each month for fellowship, food, and – oh yes, scrapbooking. Thanks to this group, I’m able to keep my pictures from piling up, and I can look back at some good times and remember them.
Three times a year we attend weekend retreats where we bring all our supplies and leave our families behind so that we can do some intensive work. This is when I bring my pictures from an extended trip, or work on projects for other people. Here is a picture of our group from last fall—we drove up to Boyne City, Michigan and stayed at a house owned by the family of one of the Crazy Croppers, and worked on our scrapbooks from Friday night until Sunday afternoon (two of them started on Thursday night!). As you can see, it’s a fun weekend for all of us.
Connections like this are what fuel our creativity. I’m sure the process of working with my hands to create something visually pleasing with the photos of people who are important to me has something to do with it, too, but I really feel that the personal relationships I have with others makes it possible for me to write about real people, like the ladies of the quilting club who meet at The Stitching Post in The Calico Heart, co-written with Stephanie Michels.
On the surface, Sylvia Miller has a perfect life. She’s married to her college sweetheart, has three great kids, a rewarding career, and wonderful friends. But beneath the appearances, Sylvia is restless. She loves her husband, but wants to see more of the world than their peaceful Michigan town. For years, she’s dreamed of the interesting places she wants to visit. Now, their youngest is grown, and Sylvia is ready for adventure.
Left a penniless orphan, David Miller promised himself his family would never know the same humiliation. For twenty-six years, he and Sylvia have lived frugally, saving for the future. Now, Dave is on the brink of a promotion that will ensure their financial security, but Sylvia wants him to retire and travel with her.