Saturday, November 17, 2012
~In Tribute to~ John Alphonse Langlais
My Father In Law was a good man who lived a Forrest Gump-esque life. Born in Quebec, he was the son of a single mother who supported her children by working in the orphanages her children lived in. His family immigrated to the East coast of Maine when he was a youth, where he learned to love seafood. He was an amateur Hockey player, an Enforcer in fact, yet an all around tender and funny guy who made everyone he met, laugh and smile. He served in not one but two branches of the Armed Forces, the Army and later the Marines becoming an American Citizen while serving. He was in both World War II and the Korean war. Having traveled around the world, he had many stories. Being stranded in France during World War II was a popular one. He was lucky enough to fall back on his French and communicate with a family willing to hide him until he was picked up by his Unit. Later in life he settled on the West coast, near the orange groves in Orange, CA, where he helped raise two amazing children. Through his life, he was lucky enough to be married to two different extraordinary women. Even later in life, he was simply Grandpa, who spoke French with a Maniac accent, pulled funny faces and told funny stories. His life may seem to be made up of lots of "Two's" but he was "One of a Kind". He is no longer with us but will live on in our memories forever.
When he passed, we were given priceless pictures from his time in the military and I knew the second I saw them I wanted to create something for my husband to hold some of these treasured moments.
I started with Kraft colored glassine envelopes by Advantus - designed by Tim Holtz , under the Idea-ology Collection. I loved the look of these, they already reminded me of the military and they had ready made pockets for special treasures.
In the US, they can be found here; http://store.scrapbook.com/products/
The next step was cutting mat board pages and covers to match the size of the envelopes. I distressed them with several colors of Distress stains, by Ranger Ink-also designed by Tim Holtz and found some grunge style pattern papers to line the covers and pages. Most of the paper I used was Tim Holtz or 7 Gypsies.
In the US, you can find Distress Stains and other Ranger products here; http://store.scrapbook.com/cat-brand/paint-ranger+ink.html
You can see in the above picture, where the envelopes met the mat board. I glued the envelopes to the mat board pages, added a few staples for looks only and then added some pictures on top of the envelope flap to utilize the whole page. The envelopes then created a tri-fold effect and were able to be used as pockets for mementos I did not want to glue or get lost.
You can see in the lower right picture above, I added a faux dog tag and a few other vintage inspired charms, put them on a chain and wound them in the books center.
My Favorite page of the album, he is the one in the middle, looking straight into the camera as all the others around him carry on. I'm not sure to be honest if this was his going away picture as he hoped on a train to go to boot camp, but it sure looks like it could be. Regardless, my all time favorite picture ever.
Being an airplane mechanic, most of the pictures were of planes, John working on planes, John in planes, so I pulled out all the random vintage things that had to do with flight and planes. These vintage travel stickers worked great.
A few pictures of the rest of the book. My husband now keeps this next to his flag from the memorial and every so often opens it up to take a peak. As we discover more of his time spent in the military, we are able to use the blank pages I included to record some of his moments and memories.
Thanks for stopping by today and a special shout out and Thank You to those who have served and are serving in Militaries Around the World, keeping their countries safe. Bless you.
To read more about Veterans Day visit; http://www1.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp