A Tangible Memory: Shadow Box

In 1997, when my husband’s eldest sister lost her battle with leukemia, the girls in the family received a box of clothing from her closet. Among the items in my box was a beautiful Japanese cotton yukata. It looked quite lovely on me, but I didn’t want to keep it all to myself. I thought that I could use it in craft projects as gifts for her brothers and sisters. Additionally, she gifted me with a yukata a few years prior to her passing. Over the years, on special occasions, I brought out the robe and created tangible memories. So far, I’ve created two photo album covers and one scrap-book cover.

In March of this year, I was at a Dollar Store and came across this  quote:

SB quote

Right away I knew that I wanted to use it with the yukata. Subsequently, I took a trip to Michael’s (arts and crafts store) and a shadow box beckoned to me. If you were there, you would have heard it calling out, “Elaine, Elaine please buy me; I am exactly what you need”. Mind you, I’ve never worked with a shadow box, but it looked simple and straightforward.

Armed with my tools and inspiration, I tackled the project and I’m happy to share with you the shadow box I made from my sister-in-law’s yukata. This is now a part of the art in my home.

shadow box (1)

The quote is a reflection of the life she lived.

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Self Care this Summer

Too often, we are so engaged and at full throttle with all that’s going in our lives that we forget to take time for ourselves and practice self-care. During the school year, I’m focused on student achievement, mastery of goals, professional development, meeting deadlines, stressing about high stakes testing, coordinating events, and the list goes on and on.

This summer I’m taking deliberate action to implement self-care.

Here is a list of some of the self-care behaviors I’ve been practicing…

  1. No rushing to do anything
  2. Increasing my water intake
  3. Staying away from negative conversations
  4. Trying out a steam inhaler to soothe my vocal cords
  5. Giving out the Silent Treatment
  6. Adding in healthy foods
  7. Body massages
  8. Essential oil treatment for my scalp and hair
  9. Catching up with my reading
  10. Spending time with relatives
  11. Long conversations with friends at breakfasts and lunches
  12. Work related workshops to upgrade my skills
  13. Appointments with doctors
  14. Nurturing an attitude of gratitude
  15. Starting AND completing small projects in the home (things I’ve been putting off)
  16. Nurturing friendships and relationships
  17. Shopping for shoes
  18. Organizing my study
  19. Trying out stretching exercises from Youtube
  20. Practicing my public speaking skills
  21. Keeping a calm, even temperament

Would you like to share some of your self-care behaviors?

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Here’s a photo (taken mid-sentence) as I practiced my public speaking skills.

Photo Credit: FIU College of Education

Photo Credit: FIU College of Education