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Archive for the ‘Scrapbooking for Bereaved Families’ Category

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When my baby Tanner passed September 28, 2003, sympathy flowers were delivered almost every day for a month. Scruggs Florist in Greensboro, North Carolina delivered the most because they were located less than a mile away from our house. 5 1/2 years later I am helping the florist create an appropriate sympathy basket for bereaved parents of baby and pregnancy loss.

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The grief from pregnancy and infant loss is an overwheming sadness where parents often suffer in silence. If this type of loss hasn’t happen to you, it is difficult to understand. Acknowledgment of a much wanted baby is one step towards supporting bereaved parents.

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Scruggs Florist now carries a sympathy basket for the death of a baby and for angelversaries. The sympathy gift includes:

1 Indoor Plant
1 Azalea Plant
1 Basket
1 Just a Cloud Away Remembrance Kit
1 Plant Care Sheet
1 Zodiac Sheet
1 Memory Garden Tip Sheet
1 Scrapbook Tip Sheet
1 Pamphlet-Ways to Comfort Bereaved Parents
1 Pamphlet-What not to say to Bereaved Parents

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1 out of 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and 26,000 stillbirths occur every year in the United States. If you know of a bereaved couple who has suffered the loss of their angel, you may want to think about sending a sympathy gift for the angelversary or death date. There are not too many loving parents that ignore this special and tragic date.

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There are many supportive gifts included in the Scruggs Florist sympathy basket for grieving parents. There are also ideas for those supporting and comforting them.

Remembering all baby angels….

Peace Love and Hugs from Above

Diana http://www.justacloudaway.com

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A friend of mine called a local scrapbook store asking to carry Just a Cloud Away Remembrance Kits on consignment, meaning, I would leave the kits in the store and only be paid when they were sold. He said no, I don’t want anything depressing in my store. Shit no, did he just say what I think he just said. I can tell you this, he is incredibly lucky that I was not the one making the call. So I will ponder what could have prompted such a dumb ass remark.

This scrapbook store owner:

  • must not carry memorial scrapbook products of any kind, they are just too sad
  • has not experienced baby loss himself because of his gender
  • has had no family member or friend experience miscarriage, stillbirth or any pregnancy loss (one out of four pregnancies ends in miscarriage and it is possible no one shared their loss with him because of his warm nature)
  • does not believe in Heaven and reuniting with our loved ones passed
  • no sense of hope or faith
  • is unaware of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, with October 15th the actual day
  • probably feels sending flowers as a sympathy gift is safe and avoids the issue and does not condone expressing ones grief and memorializing a life is of any importance

So I may have taken his response somewhat personal and he may have a very good reason for not wanting to carry remembrance kits for babies.

2 local scrapbook stores kindly carrying Just a Cloud Away Remembrance Kits for pregnancy and infant loss are:

I cannot take these responses to heart, which is a difficult task for me. I take great offense to individuals or companies who have an opportunity to carry a product specifically for baby loss, who currently have none available for bereaved families.

We all have unique passions after our angels pass and this is one of mine. Sometimes I feel that it is us against them. It is not healthy and I would love for our grief not to be silent anymore.

 

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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Our children who have died as a result of miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS and other tragic pregnancy losses are still a part of our family unit. There are so many beautiful ways to keep their memories close to our hearts through the art of many crafts. Remember your angels by creating something just for them. 

Poems, sky journals, zodiac signs, music, the season, nature, and other elements can help you tell and preserve your child’s story. Share your feelings as a family and participate in the creation of this special and unique keepsake forever treasured, honoring your baby.

 Please visit  Additional Memorial Ideas with images.

 Suggested Scrapbooking Supplies to Start Your Babies’ Memorial: 

  • Scrapbooking adhesive (glue, dots, tabs)
  • Scissors or razor blade and surface to cut on
  • Colored Cardstock (the colors of your child’s essence)
  • Pen to journal with (scrapbook safe- will last longer)

 Other Embellishments could include: 

  • Glitter
  • Gemstones
  • Ribbons

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  • Decorative Cording
  • Brads, Eyelets, Flower Pins
  • Yarn
  • Buttons

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  • Patterned Papers
  • Colored Ink

 Before Starting your Child’s Keepsake, Gather Everything in One Place: 

  • Mementoes
  • Shower Invitations
  • Pictures or Fingerprints of Other Family Members to include
  • Piece of Baby Blanket
  • Lyrics to a Special Song
  • Letters to Your Baby
  • Dried Funeral Flowers
  • All Relevant Dates
  • Positive Pregnancy Test (or picture of)
  • Sonogram Pictures
  • Lock of Hair or Sachet of Ashes
  • Journal Entries
  • Note the Sounds and Fragrance Reminding You of Them
  • Wedding Photographs
  • Religious Keepsakes
  • Sympathy or Congratulation Gifts or Cards

 After looking through craft, card or scrapbooking magazines, choose a design that may help organize your son or daughter’s story. You are welcome to copy a design on this site too.  Will the memorial have straight lines or will you tear the paper, creating soft edges? Will it have a combination pictures and words? Can other children help? Will your spouse contribute? Do you have animals to include?  

Take some time to cry and reflect on your baby. This activity cannot be completed in a day or not recommended. I feel very connected to Tanner after a good cry because his spirit seems to be inside of me, just the very place his life began . I hope you will find an ounce of peace creating your sweet babies’ scrapbooking memorial.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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The art of Scrapbooking should be relaxing and therapeutic. Documenting pregnancy loss and other baby related deaths through scrapbooking is an activity bringing people together to share thoughts, feelings and love for children always in our hearts.

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If you are not an avid scrapbooker, these freestyle techniques and ideas may motivate you to start a few pages for your little angel. The craft of scrapbooking will allow you to connect with your inner most thoughts and compose a unique piece of art honoring your baby. Try to get the hang of it first by scrapbooking some favorite images of your animals or vacation pictures. Torn pieces of paper can come together creating masterpieces forever treasured.

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Here is my deformed 6 legged spider my husband laughed at. Tearing paper may help us figure out the proper anatomy of bugs.

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Poinsetta flowers and leaves were torn for Christmas scrapbook pages and then inked.

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You can create beautiful, 2 page scrapbooking layouts just by tearing  craft paper.

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Here are some red roses made from crumbled paper and then inked with white for added dimension. How fun is that and it’s so easy your husband can participate too.

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Simple frames can be torn so you don’t even need a straight edge or scissors.

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The green torn strips provide a unique area for my comments and journaling. It gives the entire page more depth and interest.

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I made a “Thinking about You” card for my friend who miscarried her much wanted baby. Patterned paper is also wonderful to incorporate into your tearing sessions.

Let’s rip and tear scrapbooking paper today! I say scrapbooking because that is the technical term for paper acid and lignin free to last generations. I really could care less because if I like a paper enough I will use it regardless of its properties.

I do not throw any little bit of paper in the trash. It can be used somehow on a handmade card, scrapbook page, a framed picture, or in an altered book. Torn or ripped paper adds dimension and texture to your artwork, plus you can do this watching HGTV (my favorite channel), this really is so easy, try it.

Not only is the art of ripping or tearing paper a stress reliever, it creates unique and one of a kind designs. You can rip:

  • Frames
  • Backgrounds
  • Animals
  • Clouds
  • Grass
  • Flowers (love this one, wonder why)
  • Shapes to journal on
  • and anything you desire

To add even more interest to your torn pieces, try inking the feathered ends because the frayed surface loves the ink, adhering nicely. Pastel chalk is another option to create a softer appearance around the edges. Since I was an art major 18 years ago, my acrylic paints come in handy to soften my torn edges. No it hasn’t dried up after all these years, probably because you pay for what you get, $$$$.

To further add texture, crumbled the paper, straighten back and then apply ink. I love applying ink using the thimble like applicator with a sponge on the tip. This thing a ma jiggy puts the ink directly where you need it, so there is acurracy and no waste.

Pregnancy and infant loss are devastating. Take time to think about how your precious angels have touched you and your family. The season your child passed is also a significant time to include in your scrapbook pages. Zodiac signs and symbols, music and  other ideas can also help you create beautiful tributes honoring the baby always in your hearts.

Beginner scrapbookers need to start somewhere. Let your heavenly children guide your pages, expressing yourself through them. One of a kind memorial pages can be created to honor the precious lives sadly missed.

Sympathy Card

Peace, Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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If you have lost a baby or early pregnancy loss, spreading awareness is recognized by displaying pink and blue ribbons. I will show you how to create magnetic handmade ribbons, honoring your precious baby.

This craft is not difficult and could  be given to grieving parents as a remembrance tribute or Love Memorial™ for their baby.

Materials needed:

  • Cardboard
  • Trace paper or thin paper
  • Soft pencil
  • Something to cut on
  • Exacto blade
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • White, Pink or Blue yarn
  • Stickers (blue and pink)
  • White paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Glitter (blue and pink)
  • Decoupage

You will find that other materials will work just as well. These are just suggestions. This craft project will take no more than 2 hours, not including drying time.

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On your piece of trace paper, sketch out a ribbon. You may even find one to actually trace, being the desired size. It doesn’t have to be perfect, we can adjust later.

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Now darken the ribbon, outlining the shape.

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Flip the trace paper over onto your piece of cardboard or another sturdy board. Go over the ribbon with your pencil so the image is now on the cardboard.

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Lay the cardboard on a cutting surface. Gently take your exacto or razor blade to cut out your babies ribbon. Don’t worry about rough edges.

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Take a nail file to smooth the edges. It won’t really matter because we will cover it later. I am just a perfectionist at times.

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This is where we personalize the ribbons for our children. Yes, the colors should be pink and blue pastels, but doesn’t need to be a solid color. The season your child passed, their zodiac sign or gemstone, the nursery color, and other elements can help you choose stickers reminiscent of your precious baby. Make sure half is blue and the other pink. Let the stickers hang over the sides, we’ll fix it. Turn the ribbon over and take your exacto blade or scissors to trim off any excess sticker.

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Place your ribbon on a paper plate of your choice. I favor the elephant style plates. This is done to catch any excess glitter, not to waste an ounce. You may want to place a small amount of glue on the plate and mix in a drop of water. This consistency is easier to work. Any areas not covered with a sticker, paint with glue. Only do one color glitter at a time so they won’t mix. Both the glitters I have used are mostly white with hints of blue or pink. Sprinkle the glitter and gently tap off into the plate and return to glitter container. Now do the same for the other side.

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Now choose a yarn that is thick enough to completely cover the edges of the cardboard. You want to start this process when you have uninterrupted time. Begin the yarn at an intersection, shown above. Carefully glue and push the yarn onto the glue. This will take a few minutes.

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If you want to seal the ribbon for protection, paint on the decoupage substance and let dry for a few  hours. Turn your beautiful ribbon onto the reverse side to glue on magnets.

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October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, with the 15th being the actual day. If creating this craft is not possible, ribbons are available for purchase on the Internet.

Enjoy making your angel baby’s ribbon. We are  creating the awareness our children deserve.

For other simple crafts visit Easy Scrapbooking Ideas for Memorial Pages.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana 

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shadowbox-2-w.jpgWhen your child becomes an angel, gifts of sympathy, keepsakes, Love Memorials™, and mementos are given to comfort bereaved families of pregnancy and infant loss. Shadowboxes can easily be constructed to place all of your deceased child’s special and unique keepsakes.

I never wanted to put anything away after the stillbirth of our son Tanner. He has changed my life beyond words and the thought of his keepsakes and special mementos not being displayed was not an option. His beautiful shadowbox hangs in our family room for all to see, designed by me and built by my husband.

My husband is my handyman and I have the creative brain that never takes a break. The style of our family room is more relaxed and casual where Tanner’s box is displayed. It is the shabby chic ambiance, in other words, placing affordable findings using the principals and elements of good design.

Some fathers of pregnancy and infant loss may find comfort in building a special box for their angels. Grieving between men and woman are so different and participation in one activity honoring a deceased child could give a platform for open communication. Your baby’s box will have a piece of mommy and daddy in its creation.

The materials used were; a window, odd lumber, screws, new hinges, malted milkshake paint and bead-board. We found these treasures on the curbside or in my husband’s uncle’s barn. The tools used were; a level, tape measure, paint brush, skill saw, power drill and open fire. Yes, an open fire was used to burn the hinges. Being new, they were a bit on the shiny side and did not have the desired patina. We threw them into the fire to singe and they turned out nicely.

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This shadowbox is a very sacred piece of art. It contains, one of a kind memorials, his small amount of ashes, the clothes he wore (with a little blood stain) and all of the things only for my little baby Tanner.

The grief of losing Tanner was also the energy provided to create many memorials for him, including a memory garden.

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Part of our healing journey was to “do” things honoring him. If you do not feel this is an activity to be accomplished with ease, ask a friend or family member to help design and construct the shadowbox. Maybe mommy and daddy could shop for just the right color paint for your baby’s box. Other suggestions are embellishments to adhere to the exterior of the box like flat wood cutouts available at craft stores. Stars, fish, moons, rattles, flowers, letters and many others can be painted and attached to the outside of the shadowbox to personalize for your baby. Here is a shadowbox smaller in size.

If your baby died early in pregnancy as miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy or other tragic losses you can still provide a place for their things. Please visit other articles to help you, “Sky Journals” and “Zodiac Signs for Pregnancy Loss“.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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