First Steps – Final Wrap-Up

This is my last ‘chapter’ for the First Steps blog.  So far we talked about where and how to get started, getting organized (A MUST), duplicating and scanning rare photos (A MUST), Journaling and a hint of digital.


As my final thoughts, I want to share a little more on the digital world, memorabilia and creating a plan.


Digital Fun! – Okay, you have the CD’s of photos or you have scanned some of the developed


photos you have from the past – Now what? The possibilities are truly endless. There are so many ways to digitally scrapbook.


There are several great digital scrapbooking softwares that can be purchased or can be created and completed online. Use the pictures as they are or you can alter them in so many ways (oh come on, you don’t actually believe all those photos on the gossip magazines are real do you? Do they really allow photographers in all those nooks and crannies of stars lives and at just that perfect moment? – Digital altering baby. (sorry if I ruined it for you).


On the good side, digital enhancements help with lighting errors, focus issues or maybe removing images or turning it to classic black and white and then colorizing it. Like I said… Endless possibilities. Once completed, you can print it yourself, send it off to be printed and book bound or leave it on the computer as a screen saver, send it to family and friends or blog it!


As you are thinking about where to start, how about with an “Event” Book!  Are there 12, 20 or 30 trips to Disneyland in your past? Easy! Do a Disneyland book! Sea World, vacations, birthdays or the Wild Animal Park in beautiful San Diego, whatever “event” works best – a book can be the perfect way to capture all the memories within that theme. As a matter of fact – my next “for me” project, is to do a “Book of Firsts”. It is going to be compiled with all the First Birthday photos of all our children and grandchildren.


Memorabilia –Use it. You know you have them. The ticket stubs from the amusement parks or museums, the small coins from your trip to Europe. Maybe even the drawing from your child from kindergarten. These can all be used. I have scanned the drawings and used them as my background paper. Again, doing this now gives me the digital backup forever and I have used it as part of my scrapbook. As a side note, be careful when using older original items in some of your projects. They may not be acid free materials and may eventually discolor your photos surrounding them.


Bottom line as I wrap up this subject….Just DO it! This is A MUST! – You need to start somewhere. Start small so you don’t get overwhelmed and give up before you get started. If nothing else, just start with a few favorite photos and memories. Your project does not have to be in any particular order, subject or event.  This can cause missed expectations and unfinished projects. You want to just have something that is full of fun pictures, memories, journaling, souvenirs, and various memorabilia – no matter what format that is.


So, no matter what you decide, remember your objective – to enjoy the memories in a special way that will be fun to share with family and friends and will leave a legacy behind that will be priceless. This means thinking “out of the box” – or should I say taking your pictures “out of the box”.



First Steps – Duplicate, Duplicate!

You have lots of photos – but many of them are one of a kind which makes it kind of scary to think about cutting it up and using it – so remember to Duplicate, Duplicate! This is another one of those suggestions I believe is A MUST!

Now, for the “younger” generation (did I just write that? Ugh! I am getting old), you may not know what “film” is. But, in the “olden days”, there were cameras where you had to load “film” into your camera (manually – touching it and everything) and you would actually have to drive to have it developed at a photo place that never heard of it only taking 1 hour to develop. Sometimes you had to wait a week to ten days before you could see if the pictures were good or (in many cases) blurry or too dark. So, for the digital savvy generation, duplication may not mean much. Everything is already digital. BUT, for those of you like me who have grown into the digital age and have the first 31 years of my life on paper, then DUPLICATE, DUPLICATE is for us!
If you think you will have an opportunity to use a photo in more than one project or if it is an extra special, one of a kind, SCAN IT first. This gives you the opportunity to have the original kept in a safe Acid Free place and allows you to print out multiples or even alter them. Altering them can be a huge success to your project, There are so many things you can now do by having your photo in a digital format: fix scratches, correct red eye issues, lighten or darken them, make them black and white or sepia for a unique look, alter the size of the photo to fit perfectly in the size project you are doing and so much more!!! Duplicating also doubles as a great opportunity to have a digital backup of your photos or memorabilia which is great for preservation.
Finally another benefit of thinking about duplication or scanning your originals is if you are wanting to scrapbook or do a project for your children. The first child only has them in the pictures – that’s easy, but what about after a few more kiddos – then many of the pictures have multiple kids in them – who gets that photo in their book vs. the others? Scan them – back them up and use them over and over.
Tomorrow – let’s talk about Memorabilia!!

First Steps – Divide & Conquer – Get Organized

In the very beginning intro on this series, I said I would give suggestions and MUST DOs!!! This is a MUST.

Conquer your fears! This can simply mean getting all your pictures in a safe place, surrounded by acid free materials. Acid Free refers to products that are manufactured free of acid to prevent deterioration and discoloration of papers and photos.

Divide them by year – chronologically is the best. There are great photo organizers available or you can use acid free small file pockets or folders. I know budget is important, but remember, you are dealing with something that once lost or damaged, may not be replaceable – so find what works best for your situation.

If you have photos in old plastic page photo albums…RUN, don’t walk and get them out NOW! This was me. I do enjoy the organizational side of things and when our kids were young, I would not get our film developed until I had a photo album to put them immediately into. I mean, what is the point of spending all that money developing them, if they just sit in a box, right? Well, many of them had already discolored before I learned about “Acid Free” and what that meant. They are now still organized with little file folder tabs, but… you guessed it – IN A BOX!!! Ha! How funny is that?!? Well, at least they are in decorative photo boxes and look nice (if that helps). And, they are safe and I can pull them out and use them or scan them anytime I need them and they are NOT discoloring anymore – that is what is important.

Write it down before it melts away! As you “go down memory lane” while organizing or filing your photos, write down your thoughts as they come to you and keep them with the photos. This will help you when you get around to doing a book or project.

You DON’T have to scrapbook EVERY picture you have. You WILL STILL have an archive of photos that you don’t want to discard and WILL STILL need to have a safe place for them to live, so this is why getting organized is so important. I mean, really?!?!? How many different ways can you scrapbook those 50 photos of the Grand Canyon? Actually, don’t get me started; I could probably find a way! (Maybe that will be a different “How 2” for later –I think I will call it “Scrapbooking for the Obsessive Compulsive Photographer” – My husband could co-author it without any hesitation!!)

Stay tuned tomorrow for when I talk about First Steps – Duplication and the Digital World

First Steps – Start in the Present

So, you have not scrapped in a long time or maybe you never started?!? Scrapbooking to me is the tag line I put on our logo – it is leaving a legacy for your family. It is about expressing your take on things, your wisdom, humor, love and memories. We make time for things that are important to us and family is important to me and recording the memories for generations to come is priceless.

Whenever I get a chance, I love walking around the antique stores (especially with my friend, Mindy). One of the saddest things that I see regularly is the scattered black and white photos throughout the store. Someone’s memories lost and being sold to strangers. No one documented who was who or took the time to journal. What a tragedy to lose such rich family history.

I don’t want that to happen with our family photos and I hope it won’t happen to you, so let’s get you motivated and started!! The best place to start is with the present and work backwards. Why? Well, the number one reason is that you are more likely to remember what happened yesterday than you are in remembering what happened during your trip to Sea World in 1985. Starting with the present helps you capture the current memories and ignite the buried ones. I don’t know about you but it will either take a case of WD-40 or 20 cases of Ginkgo Biloba to unlock those rusty file cabinets in my head but I am willing to try – how about you?


First Steps – Intro

Your kids are grown up and out of the house, you already have three grandchildren and people start talking to you about Scrapbooking!! What are they thinking? Don’t they realize how MANY photos you have? What about the stress we put on ourselves to get those albums done before the children graduate from high-school? Or the special album for your parents 50th Wedding Anniversary that you want to tackle? 50 years equals a lot of pictures and memories and most of them are black and white AND one of a kind, which can be really scary to use. Arrrrgh – does it have to be this difficult?

Believe me, I’m in the same boat. Our children are all adults with children of their own and I really only started scrapbooking about 13 years ago – so no scrapbook for the kids before they graduated! With that said, I have made scrapbooks more for others as projects or gifts than I have for myself. It can all be VERY overwhelming to say the least, but hopefully my suffering through all the scenarios will help you get through it a little faster or at the very least, less stressed and a plan of attack.

There are several ways to approach it, and I will share some suggestions (and some MUSTS!) that will hopefully get your “thinker” going and get you motivated to at least take your pictures out of the original envelope they came in.

So, whether you like being told exactly what to do or want just a guideline, I hope over the next few days, the ideas I will share can help.

Tune in tomorrow where I will talk about starting with the present and working backwards.

Thank you for sharing your time with me and have a blessed day!!