Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Back to school again

Hi Everybody!

Hope your week is going well.
I have been busy bringing my chaotic flat into some semblance
of order before my guest arrives tomorrow. Well, it looks better than 
it did before, and I am looking forward to a fun week with Susi.

For Art Journal Journey, Elizabeth's lovely theme of back to school, I have another hybrid page, once again using a school photo of Erika. Many people wanted to know who she was and what happened to her. She was a distant relation, descended from the sister of my great grandfather. By a strange chance, I was asked to visit a lady living in our old people's home, who wanted to talk to someone in English and/or Spanish, and I went along to see her. We got along very well, and I was asked to become her official carer, and to look after her affairs if she would at sometime not be able to do it herself. After I had retired from school I worked at the home where she was living. One day, she asked me to get down her album of photos, and showed them to me, and her family tree - imagine my surprise when I discovered that we were related! She died at the age of 93, and I had the privilege of conducting her funeral and seeing her buried in her home town, from which the family had had to flee under the Nazis. Many of her former school friends and townsfolk were there, and it was good to see 
that the circle of her life was completed in this way.

For my journal page I have used another of her sport team photos; Erika is on the right:

These photos  were taken on her 90th birthday.

At the celebration with her younger brother:

We have had a week of good weather and I have enjoyed watching the sunrise day by day:

Have a great day you all, take care,
and thanks a lot for coming by!


  1. What beautiful art and it's so amazing that you connected to a relative so randomly. The sunrises are lovely too.

  2. Wonderful journal page and good to see the photos of Erika again, you wrote the story so well. Love the sunrise photos, too. Have fun when your friend comes, hugs Sarah

  3. She is so very, very beautiful! Valerie, I love these pages and I especially love the story and interconnectedness of life. How lucky for her to have you and then to discover this common thread.


  4. Interesting history of Erika. Beautiful school page and gorgeous sunrise!

  5. First, I wanted to tell you that your link at AJJ goes back to AJJ and not your blog. Second, I am as excited that you and Susi get to spend time together, and look forward to your week together. Wish I could spend just one hour with the two of you lucky ladies.

    I was thrilled to read the link you have with Erika. For some reason, I thought the two of you knew each other forever. It was wonderful to read the connection you had in later years, and the amazing relationship you had in the end. This is a glorious AJJ entry, and I am so glad you shared it with us today. BTW, Erika was beautiful as a girl and in her older years.

  6. Eine tolle Erika Seite ist das wieder und sie sah bios ins hohe Alter so sehr gepflegt aus! Fabelhaft!
    Wir fahren ab jetzt!Bin bal in einem der Flugzeuge über Euch!
    Bis später Sweetie!

  7. Loved reading the story behind the photos which are super as are the sky ones. x

  8. What a story. Bless you for that Valerie, you made the sunset of her life as rich as these photographs.

  9. A wonderful page Valerie and an amazing story about Erika and your relationship. The later photos of her are beautiful. I am sure was thrilled to have you in her life as you were to have her in yours

    Hope you enjoy your day

    Love Chrissie xx

  10. Liebe Valerie
    eine sehr interessante Geschichte und deine wunderschöne Journalseite
    gefällt mir besonders, genau wie deine Fotos - einfach toll.
    Ich wünsche dir einen schönen Tag.
    Lg Sadie

  11. What a touching story and wonderful happen-chance for you. I've been working on my family tree it is fascinating stuff. Beautiful tribute to someone who surly was a special woman.

  12. That is an amazing story Valerie. ow weird that you meet someone you are actually a distance relation too. It is like you were meant to meet her. I love seeing her photos in your pages. And her photos when you knew her. Enjoy your visit with Susi. I hope you have a lot of fun and have some fun photos to show us. Hugs-Erika

  13. Oh, I forgot-love the new header too. :)

  14. A stunning page, - love how the photo blends into the background. And what an amazing story about Erika.... life sometimes really moves in mysterious ways, - coincidence? I wonder......

    Hope you and Susi have the most incredible time together and have loads of fun at Stempel Mekka!!! (Ok so I am deeply jealous). Please take loads of photos!!!

  15. Eine sehr berührende Geschichte - und du hast eine wunderbare Seite daraus gemacht - der Hintergrund passt sehr gut zu dem Foto und dem Text.
    Wunderschöne Wolken-Fotos!
    Dir und Susi wünsche ich schöne gemeinsame Tage - Stempel Mekka, das klingt sehr interessant!
    Liebe Grüße, Rike

  16. Fabulous creative page and lovely photos as always.. I won't be around till end of Sept so will catch up with you then. xx {aNNie}

  17. I think it's fascinating you helped someone who turned out to be a relative. And the piece is wonderful. The girls were so cute.

  18. Wonderful story about your friend Valerie - it was good of you to help her and become good friends.
    Is that a picture of your friend?
    Wonderful page and fantastic picture on your journal page.
    Sandy xx

  19. Beautiful page and such a loving story of connection ♡♡♡♡ Your sunrise photos are so beautiful ours aren't as lovely because if all the woods around us blocking the view.

  20. Beautiful story of your friendship.
    Your AJJ page is great, and I love the quote, for it is so true.
    As always your photos bring a smile to my face.

  21. Hi Valerie, what a wonderful story of meeting a lady and then finding you are related. Something special and rare for sure. Love your journal page and the quote. Your sky pics are incredible. Enjoy your visitors. xo

  22. What a sweet awesome story! As always, when we are put into a place of helping others we are normally the ones who are most blessed. Thank you for sharing and I love your digital art!

  23. Thank you for sharing your story of Erika. She looked a wonderful old lady and how strange life works to bring people back together. Your page is another beauty.
    Have a lovely time with Susi, I am sure you will enjoy yourselves.
    Yvonne xx

  24. Erika's story and your page are so very special.

  25. Valerie, I admire you more every day. Love the journal page for school and the story of Erika. What a gracious and lovely photo of her. You were the perfect lady to care for her and see that her wishes were fulfilled. A true angel and friend!

  26. I'm behind so just catching up on your posts.
    Love your journal page using that lovely photo of Erika and her school friends.
    Your story about Erika is just amazing - I can imagine the excitement when you discovered you were related. I think some things in life are always meant to be and this is one of them :)
    Hope you both are having a lovely fun Saturday... Gill xxx

  27. Erika was just as beautiful at 90 as she was when photographed years before!
    Thank you so much for sharing with us- I truly love to read all of this and learn about you. You are a beautiful lady,Valerie,inside and out! xx

  28. Another wonderful page Valerie and it was lovely to here your story about Erika, it's amazing sometimes how life has a way of bringing people together.
    Avril xx


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