Thursday, October 16, 2014

November Retreat - Getting Ready!

The boxes of new stock are starting to arrive, this can only mean one thing - Retreat Time!

In just 3 weeks time, it will be all systems GO, retreat madness. Our lucky scrappers will hopefully be all packed and prepared with photos printed and sorted, papers and embellies neatly organised. Oh, and hopefully some room for clothes and pyjamas in their cars!

Fleur and I, and our invaluable band of helpers, will likely be running around panicking about anything we may have forgotten, pricing the stock that always inevitably arrives the day before retreat.

We have some really fun challenges and games planned, including the return of the very popular Scrapbook Whispers Challenge that premièred last retreat. I can't wait to see what Ange will prepare for us this time. I especially can't wait to see what the results will be at the end of the weekend!

We've been putting together some very creative classes, some 'Quick & Easy' for those who like to churn & burn, others featuring learning new techniques for those who like to push their comfort zone. 

My favourite part of Retreat is always handing our goodie bags out, or as I like to call them, Retreat Treats.  We have been busy packing and crafting some unique handmade gifts, I'm pretty sure that this Retreats 'treats' will top them all! 

Here is a Retreat Sneak to get you curious!

Ooh, what could they be?

It is not too late to join us!  There is still time to book in for the whole weekend. Or if you can only make one day, we have opened up a limited number of Day Scrap places.  Come along with a friend, or come by yourself and make some new ones!

Saturday 8 November:

Join us from 8am until Midnight! (or any time in between!)
At The Tops, Stanwell Tops.
$80 includes all meals (breakfast if you arrive at 8, Morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, Dinner, supper), tea, coffee
Opportunity to do classes, make & takes and challenges!
Also includes a goodie bag!

Sunday 9 November:

Join us from 8am until 2pm
At the Tops, Stanwell Tops.
$55 includes all meals (breakfast if you arrive at 8, Morning tea, lunch) tea & coffee
Opportunity to do classes, make & takes and challenges!
Also includes a goodie bag!

If you weren't able to make the whole weekend, but still wanted to scrap and enjoy the retreat experience, this one is for you!

Email us at for more information or to book your scrapping space!

And remember, we will be open for shoppers to come and visit all weekend!
Happy Scrapping, 


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Project Preserve The Memories: Get Creative

In this final part of our Project Preserve The Memories series, Kristen gets creative!
Many thanks to Kristen for detailing her journey so thoroughly, and for sharing it with us. We hope that you have been inspired to jump in and get some photos into albums and document your story as well!

If you have missed our earlier posts in this series, you can check them out here

Step 10 – Be Creative With Layouts & Pocket Pages

Just because you are using a ProjectLife© Core Kit and pocket pages doesn't mean you can’t also throw in some full-page layouts when the photos call for it. Larger prints or odd sized photos and memorabilia are perfect for this!

You may also find yourself with one or more photos that ‘just won’t fit’ into any pocket page you have. This might be because it is the wrong orientation, or you have 10 photos and 9 pockets. Or perhaps you just don’t have a pocket configuration that suits that particular set of photos. Whatever your needs, think creatively about what you already have in your stash!

My We R Memory Keepers 9 pocket pages have vertical pockets, I have a collection of landscape photos. What to do...?
Here’s a couple of ideas...

In the example above, I simply rotated my pocket page to create landscape orientation pockets, trimmed off the excess 1.5” with my craft knife and ruler (so it ended up the ‘right’ width for my album including the same 1” margin as my other pages), punched some new holes and PRESTO I had exactly what I needed!  

Your page sizes don’t all need to be the same either, as long as they don’t overhang your album. In my 8.5x11 album I’ve used 5x7, 6x4, 6x6, 8x8 and even 4x4 (We R Memory Keepers instagram) page protectors for ‘mini layouts’ for 1 or 2 photos.

If trimming down a 12x12 page to create what you need, don’t throw away the excess you’ve trimmed off. Turn it into another mini insert! The spaces will be 6x4 or 3x4 in size if you have trimmed closely, so pop in some cards and photos and punch straight through if you don’t have excess for a margin to punch the holes in.

Step 11 – Adding Extra Photos

As family and friends see the album that you are creating, you will invariably find yourself the recipient of ‘extra’ photos that they have that belong in your album. Or perhaps as you work through you will discover photos that you missed previously tucked away.

Creating smaller ‘filler’ pages (using the techniques above) is the perfect ‘no-fuss’ way of quickly adding these extra photos. Simply pop them into the correct section of your ring-binder album, without the need to redo any of the pages you have already done.

I hope you have enjoyed getting started on your journey of preserving your memories as much as I have enjoyed sharing mine with you! We’d love you to share your own story with us, or photos of layouts you’re creating to preserve your memories. You can do this via our Facebook page or email them to us at

Happy Scrapping!


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Project Preserve the Memories: Journalling

Today we are continuing Kristens Project Preserve the Memories by getting into the storytelling and 'pretty' portion of the project: journalling & embellishing. Read on....

Step 8 – Journalling

In all honesty, journaling is the key to this whole project! The stories behind the photos are as precious as the photos themselves. If you are fortunate enough to have the stories/dates/locations/names recorded (or still have someone who can recall them for you) take the time to note them down. Voice record them. Anything!!
If you only have names, then some quick research might reveal a few extra details. A search of Birth, Death & Marriage records online gave me names, dates and locations for my Great- Great- Grandmother’s birth, marriage, children and death.  

Early photos have wonderful stories attached and I'm grateful my dad is still able to recall them for me, to preserve along with the photos.

Journalling onto cards as part of your layout is wonderful, but sometimes space or sensitive and private stories may require a little more creative approach. Some details of life are worth recording, but not necessarily displaying (so I've popped them in a LIFE pocket here). Pull-out journal cards can add a bit of fun too!

If you don’t have the information you need on hand, leave spaces (or pocket tags) where you think you may be able to add journalling later. The beauty of Project Life cards is that they look great left blank (as fillers) but could be journalled on later if a new story reveals itself. I have also intentionally left pockets empty on most pages (with a lovely filler card of course) in case any new photos materialise.

Handwriting... yes, handwriting. This is a source of discontent for many scrapbookers!

Although you may not like your own handwriting, I encourage you to use it!! Here’s an example... I asked my Dad to journal for this layout – the story of his dad being a butcher during the WW2 years. My dad’s handwriting is far from beautiful, but I love it. I love it because he wrote it. And I love the extra ‘touch’ it adds to the memory, the story and the layout.

I'm pretty sure that in years to come, those who read my scrapbooks (and yours) will feel the same... about OUR writing. So go ahead – put aside your own opinion of your handwriting and how it looks, and USE IT... because those people you scrapbook for will LOVE IT!!

Step 9 – Embellishing

The best thing about ProjectLife© Core Kits is that they are beautiful just as they are. And there are a variety of other brands now being released with hundreds of ranges to suit any purpose. Simply by using these, your ‘layouts’ will look complete. There’s no need to embellish further... unless you want to.
I am a scrapbooker at heart, and I love those pretty touches and depth that embellishments add, so I have included a sprinkling of them throughout this album. Nothing sharp and nothing too bulky though, and always paying attention to what photograph is on the other side and facing page (because they will press together when the album is closed).
Simple embellishments like paper or fabric flowers, buttons, die cuts and washi tape are perfect!

Our next post will be the conclusion of our series! Stay tuned!

Kristen xx

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Project Preserve The Memories: The Fun Stuff

This week we return to our journey of Preserving The Memories! Kristen is back to help you with the next steps in your journey - now we are getting into the hands on scrapping!

So far we've put in A LOT of hours of preparation - removing photos from unsafe storage and albums, sorting, scanning and hunting down other keepsakes that belong with the photos. So now it’s time to get started on the FUN STUFF!

STEP 6 – Select your Tools Of The Trade!

The sense of relief I felt when I realised the difference that ProjectLife© was going to make to this project was enormous! I had put this off for so long, not sure of where to start and daunted by the enormity of ‘scrapbooking’ all of these photos... fitting dozens of teeny tiny photos onto a 12x12 page... papers... embellishments... Suddenly it was so straightforward, quick and easy!

After sorting your photos you will have a good idea of what sizes you are working with. And once you know what you’re working with you can choose pages that will suit well, and the corresponding size ring-binder album. The beauty of ring-binder albums (like the ones available from Dizzy Izzy) is that you can use any combination of pages in them and move them around as the need arises.

Because I had a lot of smaller vintage 2x3 photos I was thrilled to discover the We R Memory Keepers 8.5x11 pages purpose designed for this size! And the matching 8.5x11 full-size and divided pages complement perfectly for larger photos or ‘traditional’ layouts as well.

Quick Tip - Whatever size you go with, keep a variety of pocket pages handy, and draw up and print a ‘cheat sheet’ of the different configurations you have, for quick reference when you need to choose the right page for your photos. This will save you time as you work later on ;)

Then go ahead and choose a ProjectLife© Core Kit to use. These kits come with everything you will need to complete a whole album, with over 600 cards in a variety of coordinating designs. There is something to suit ALL styles and colour preferences, including a Heritage Kit, but I went with Cinnamon because I loved the colour palette and style of the cards. I also matched up some plain cardstock that I had in my stash, and set this aside for easy access when creating full page layouts. Packs of 12x12 paper to match the Project Life kits are also available for this purpose.

Step 7 – Start on the FUN STUFF!

Once you have the basic supplies you will need, start to work your photos into pages. The 3x4 Project Life cards are perfect for trimming down for smaller pockets and backing tiny photos so they fill the pocket and don’t slide around.

Because I'm working with the original photos (some people prefer to work with reprints from scans) I choose not to trim or crop any of these at all. But if working with reprints you have full freedom to print and crop to any size you need. (You can always print another copy if something goes horribly wrong). 

You can adhere your photos in many ways (double-sided tape, dots, washi tape) but I have opted for photo corners (again, because I’m working with the original photos) so they can be removed easily if needs be.

Coming up next... Journalling!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Jot Magazine

You may have seen that Dizzy Izzy are a proud sponsor of Jot Magazine.

Jot Magazine is a FREE online paper-crafting magazine created by Kim Archer and her amazing team of Jot Girls. It is jam packed full of some of the most delectable scrapping projects and is an amazing source of inspiration.

You can get your copy of the magazine here.

This month Dizzy Izzy have teamed up with Jot magazine to sponsor their June Mood Board Challenge. Kim describes the palette as follows "Our Mood Board palette features lots of neutrals with a splash of mint. Think linens and lace and doilies.. plus minty hues and little flowers, stamped alphabets, typewriter fonts, frayed edges and natural tones." 

You can enter via the Jot Magazine website here. The winning entrant will receive a $20 gift voucher to spend in Dizzy Izzy's online store or at one of our events.

Here's my take on the mood board challenge.  I've use the dreamy range of Heidi Swapp papers, Pink Paislee and Prima embelli's along with some handmade goodness from our very own Dizzy girls Tracey and Kate. 

Fleur x

Monday, May 26, 2014

Reblog: A Beginners Guide to Scrapbook Retreats

Today I thought we might reshare this post from August 2012, where Michelle gives us her tips on packing for a retreat. If you are starting to panic about what to bring this weekend - don't! Remember to be prepared and that less can sometimes be more - there will be plenty of friendly scrappers who will loan you a punch or a stamp if you forget to pack or choose not to bring them.

See you at Retreat!


Today's Post is courtesy of guest blogger and beginner scrapbooker Michelle.
Thanks for giving us your unique insight into the world of Dizzy Izzy Retreats!

If you have been toying with the idea of joining us at a Retreat, make sure to read on. Hopefully we will be seeing you soon!

I recently had the privilege of attending the Scrapbooking Retreat at Stanwell Tops on Friday 25th– Sunday 27th May. This was my second retreat as I also attended Dizzy Izzy Scrapbooking’s first retreat in November 2011. I thought that seeing as though I have a little bit more experience with the retreats now, I can give an overview for all you beginners out there (like me!) or to those who keep thinking “I couldn’t do that!” I’m here to convince you that Dizzy Izzy Scrapbooking retreats really ARE the best way to learn the hobby!
My top 10 tips:
1.     Be prepared – make sure you pack your papers, embellishments, glues and cutting tools (i.e. scissors, paper trimmer) before the day. I made the mistake of thinking I had everything in one bag but I’d left half of my essentials at home. Fortunately at retreats, everyone is so friendly, someone always has a spare of whatever you’re after! (Thanks Tracey!)
2.     Pack smart – only pack photos, papers, embellishments, etc. that you think you will need for the weekend. Over the retreat, I completed 5 pages and a class. So I really didn’t need my heavy Martha Stewart scrapbooking box full of all the papers I’ve collected at craft fairs over the last year… I think now that my taste and themes are becoming more obvious, I know the papers that are going to work with the photos I have with me for the weekend.
3.     Try something new – Fleur, Tracey and guest demonstrators (this time, Kate, Jodie and Jen!) are a fountain of knowledge and really make an effort to introduce new ideas and techniques. I learnt to make a button embellishment out of a bottle cap, how to use washi tape, using dimensional magic (fun!) and making a decoration using a scallop punch and divine twine! These were demonstrations that literally took just 5 minutes out of my scrapping time and I learnt so much from them and applied them to some of my pages!
4.     Don’t be afraid to ask – don’t know if that ribbon will match that hideous jumper in a photo? Ask someone! Scrappers at retreats become your instant friends, especially those who share your general region of desk space. Often they’ll look at a page and say “Oooh I have a ribbon for that!” or “try this!” But they won’t know if you need help if you’re sitting there just glaring at your page…
5.     Have a sticky-beak – there are so many different styles of scrapbooking out there and at a retreat, the room is filled with inspiration – just look around you! On my way back from breaks, I’d sneak a peek at others’ works, taking notice of their layouts, colours, etc. You don’t have to copy everything, but it might just give you the bit of inspiration for a page you’ve wanted to try!
6.     Enter the challenges – the challenges give you a good focus for your pages. So it doesn’t matter how stuck you are, if you look at a challenge and commit to doing it, you’ve got half the problem sorted! I didn’t win anything this time, but people voted for my pages and I was really proud that I had a go!
7.     Stick it down! – a catch cry in retreats. Things often turn out better when you haven’t measured to the millimeter, or you can try to improvise if something doesn’t go “quite right”. Take a step back and look at your page every so often but don’t obsess over the measurement, angles or effects you’re going for. The trick is to work with the page as you do it.
8.     Participate in the games – the games are a good way to stand up, move around and take a break! It’s also a great way to get to know the scrappers around you!
9.     Visit the shop – there are so many goodies on sale in the shop! The shop is equipped with everything you could want – papers, embellishments, bling, stamps, paints, and of course, lovely assistants!
10.  Relax – it’s a retreat after all! Appreciate your surroundings and let your creativity flow! The best thing I did this time was to pack my trackies, not only because of the chillingly cold weather, but also because it helped me feel at home and comfortable.
I hope you find these tips helpful. The main thing is to enjoy yourself, have fun and learn lots! I hope to see you at the next retreat
Michelle :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Crafternoons and Marathons

The Easter Long Weekend was the perfect opportunity to get in lots of quality scrapping time. 

Over at Dizzy Izzy we spent the Saturday with a lovely group of dedicated scrappers who came along to our April Crafternoon. The shop was filled with lovely new goodies from Pink Paislee, Heidi Swapp and Flutterby Designs, and we had yummy soup for lunch, made by Fleur.

We were even lucky enough for the Easter Bunny to take time out of his busy chocolate egg laying schedule (I assume that's what happens??) to visit and hand out some presents.

Congratulations to Deb for winning the Recipe Scrap Challenge!

If you missed us this time, we have one more event between now and the May Retreat (which is only 36 days away!!! Yikes!!!). You will find us at the Scrap Marathon at Rockdale Salvos on Friday 2nd May (7pm till late) and again on Saturday 3rd May (10am-9pm). 

Saturday 3rd may is also International Scrapbooking Day, so expect lots of games, prizes and fun scrapping challenges - we will also have a few challenges to share on our facebook group to get you motivated! You can also follow along with the world wide events on social media by searching for the hashtag #NSD10k or #DizzyIzzyNSD - and share a few pics of your own if you can't make it to the event!

The Dizzy Izzy Shop will be open for the whole event, so stop by to have a browse or join in the fun! 

Tracey xx

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Hi everyone, I'm stopping by again with another layout inspired by Heidi Swapp Products.

For this layout I have used Heidi's serendipity line along with a little bit of colour pop.

This was a quick and easy layout with just a few embellishments and some masking techniques to add a bit of detail.

I have added some Pink Paislee Hearts to this design and used Colour Shine mist to reveal the resist pattern.

Just love these cute bits of ephemera.

All of our Heidi Swapp Products are currently 20% off in the webstore when you use discount code HS20.

Fleur x

Sunday, April 6, 2014

* SPARKLE * FABULOUS * - Heidi Swapp Fun

Hi everyone,

Thought I would stop by and share a little bit of fun I have been having with some Heidi Swapp products.

I created this layout from photos taken in a photobooth at Jodie's 30th birthday party. They were such a great memento and I loved being able to use so many on my layout.

The Heidi Swapp products are fun and vibrant and were the perfect match for these photos. I used papers from both her Colour Pop and Serendipity lines.

I used the Heidi Swapp buzzwords for my title- they are so easy to add to any layout or project life page and come in a variety of styles.

The buzzwords are self-adhesive stickers and come with words and detailed embellishments such as this arrow and the leopard print heart.  I added sewing thread for some extra texture. To adhere the thread I tucked one end under my flair then ran a bit of glue along it using my finger.

I also used some of the Heidi Swapp Jumbo Pennants. I've been wanting to play with these for a while and they were a lot of fun to play with. The banners are white to begin with, then using your inks, sprays or mists you can colour them to suit your project. The pattern on the banner resists the spray so they still have the same detail as the original white banner.  I used Heidi's Primrose Colourshine Mist and Squeezed Orange Dylusions on my banners. I also used these sprays to create the splatter effect as seen above.  As the banners were a bit longer than I needed I cut the tops off to use on other projects.

 I think Heidi could coin a second catchphrase "Make Cute stuff!"

All Heidi Swapp products are currently 20% of in the webstore until Sunday 13th April.

Fleur xx

Friday, April 4, 2014

Meet & Greet with Becky Higgins

The original version of this post first appeared on Tracey's personal blog Live.Breathe.Dream.Be.

Last Tuesday I skipped work and headed off to Lidcombe Spotlight to meet a scrapping idol of mine, Becky Higgins. This is certainly not my usual Tuesday morning, but was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.

You may be familiar with Becky through her industry-revolutionising scrapping system Project Life. I'm only new to Project Life and pocket scrapping this year, but I've been a fan of Becky's for over 10 years.

When I first started scrapping, the goto source of inspiration was definitely Creating Keepsakes Magazine (which is sadly no longer published). I can remember spending hours pouring over the submitted layouts, copying the ones I liked, and wondering why I couldn't get my scrapping to look as 'finished' as the published layouts.

Remember, this is way before blogs, Instagram and Pinterest. It was way harder to find great sources of scrap inspiration than it is today. I was also the only one I knew who scrapbooked - it was before I found my lovely scrapping community.

Then I discovered Becky's sketches. Each month she would have an article in CK featuring one of her sketches, and different interpretations of the sketch.


It was like a light bulb seeing those sketch designs! They guided me through my first steps into page design, and pretty soon I was doing my own rough little sketches in my sketch book. As Becky said, 'that was what worked for you at the time!'

Of course, now I've come full circle and get to see my sketches come to life at the Dizzy Izzy Crafternoons & Retreats. It's always such a thrill to see how others interpret something I've created!

I took along my copies of Becky's Sketches books for her to sign. These books were like my scrapping bibles, and are now quite well used/loved. It was so exciting to sit next to Becky, and chat with her about my scrapping journey, and about Dizzy Izzy Scrapbooking.  Becky was gracious enough to answer all of our questions, and then she got stuck into signing goodies like journal cards and core kits.

The first of many days of signing for Becky on this trip
I had seen her on Creative Live, and I'm familiar with her mantra of 'Cultivate A Good Life & Record It', but I was pretty blown away. With Becky, what you see is what you get. One question I asked, as a scrapping entrepreneur myself, was how many hours a day does she work on the business. She spoke about when they first started the business, and the kids were smaller, that they would put them to bed, and she & David would be working until 3am. Every Night.  Now, she said, she has a bigger network and support team, but she still feels like she puts in hours & hours. Every Day.  As a scrapper, and as a woman, I completely admire Becky for both her business sense and also her work/life balance. It's something that I hope to work on and I definitely aim to be more like Becky.

I took along one of our Dizzy Izzy promotional milk cartons to give to Becky - she thought it was adorable! And because I gave her a little gift, I was given a gift in return - a signed Cut & Paste Mini Kit! So generous!  One lucky scrapper will win this treat at our May Retreat - will it be you??

Here is to Cultivating a Good Life, and Recording It.

Tracey xox

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Project Preserve The Memories: Organisation

 Next in our series from guest blogger Kristen Cairns we learn about the importance of organisation when starting a project as huge as #ProjectPreservetheMemories. Read on....

Welcome back to my family memory keeping journey. I hope you are becoming inspired to get stuck into preserving those precious photos and memories – both old and new!

So far on our journey we have smiled as we are presented with copious amounts of family photos in varying states of storage and repair! We have then dedicated a few (or more) hours of time to removing these photos from their unsafe previous homes… and now what?
Well, this is the point at which it is easy to become overwhelmed. Where do I start? What on earth was I thinking? And (my own favourite) Who on earth put these photos in here and what sort of order is this?!?!

Which brings us to Step 3 – Sort Your Photos

I'm going to be completely honest – this CAN be time consuming, but the cost benefit is great! As in - the benefit of doing this properly at the beginning will reveal itself once you get into the ‘creating’ stage. Things will become quicker and easier! I promise ;)
There is no right or wrong way of doing this – whether chronologically (if you’re lucky enough to have dates recorded), or by people, families, groups, events, eras… Whatever you feel will make it easiest to record the stories and memories.

The photos you have received will often be mixed up in multiple albums/ boxes/ packets, and even multiple albums (belonging to different people) of similar photos. This ‘sorting’ step will make the scrapping process quicker while also lessening the chance of finding ‘extra’ photos later on after those pages have been completed! (Although the ProjectLife© system does allow for this – more on that later).

Sort your photos out – commandeer the dining table for a weekend if needs be – and give yourself plenty of space to create ‘piles’. Make a note of any of the information or labels from the albums, onto post-it-notes, and stick these with the photos, along with any other memorabilia. Don’t forget to check the back of photos for handwritten notes. When sorting, make a separate pile for photos that you have ‘no idea’ about, to come back to later on. You’ll be surprised at how you might recognise a background, an outfit or a group later on, and be able to reconnect some of these ‘lost’ photos. And if you can’t – maybe someone else can. If not, they are still a lovely inclusion, showing people, places, fashion trends and a general glimpse into the life and times of the day.

Step 4 – Gather the Memories

I hesitate to call this ‘Step 4’, because truthfully this is something that will continue throughout the entirety of the project. But now is as good a time as ever to begin!

Once the photos are sorted (or even as you are working through this), begin to collate the stories around the photos. Do you have other items – birth/death certificates, marriage certificates, newspaper clippings, receipts, lists, handwritten notes? Bundle these up with photos of the event/people concerned.

Make the most of any remaining older relatives – you may be surprised at what they remember and how happy they are to share their stories, recollections and insights. Making this a group effort certainly adds something to the journey ;) Using a voice recorder to talk through the photos creates an additional priceless memento! Number your photos if doing this, so you know which story belongs to which photo.

Step 5 – Scan & Store

Because these precious photos can’t be replaced, it’s important to scan them for sharing as well as security. Scan your photos at the highest possible resolution (at least 300 DPI or more), to allow for good quality reprinting. If you don’t have access to a scanner, a friend may have one you can borrow. Alternatively some stores will allow you to use their scanners (eg Officeworks) and save the files on a CD. Your local historical society may even have equipment that you can access to do this – along with some good advice and friendly assistance with the process, from people who value this type of pursuit!

When scanning, try to name the photos as you go. You might even like to sort the digital photos into ‘folders’ matching the way you have sorted the actual photos, to make them easier to find later on. Then give a copy of the scanned photos on disc to other family members and keep a couple of backups yourself, in different places “just in case”.

Some of your photos may well be in need of repair and editing, before being reprinted. This is the perfect time to call in a favour and let someone ELSE in the family contribute to the project ;) If you have a few clever family or friends, you could share the packets around, and if not there are also commercial services who specialise in this type of work.

Once you have scanned them, store the sorted photos in a way that makes them easy to see and use. Index card boxes, a folder or envelopes would work, but I have chosen to use ProjectLife© pocket pages in which to store my ‘piles’. 

There is a wide range of these available from Dizzy Izzy! And the beauty of doing this is that I can store all of my sorted photos in the same album binder along with the pages I have completed. This has also helped me work out what size album will work best and what configuration of pages will suit my photos.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Project Preserve The Memories: Starting Out

Today we are continuing with our series on heritage scrapbooking from guest blogger Kristen Cairns. Read on for the first steps in Kristen's journey...

I have embraced my role as the family memory preserver. Both of my parents are only children, so I’ve ended up with ALL of the fabulous early days photos.

How am I EVER going to scrapbook all of these in my lifetime?

Enter… Project Life! If you’re not familiar with ProjectLife©, it is a simplified version of scrapbooking. No fancy scissors, no glue, no fancy papers, just simple pockets to place your photos in and wonderful cards (cut to the right size) to fill in the gaps. Thanks to Project Life this is a WAY less daunting task than it may have originally been! Thankyou Becky Higgins! And thankyou Dizzy Izzy for stocking everything I need!

I want to share with you my journey of preserving those beautiful and precious heritage family photos. You can find me on Instagram at @scraphappy76 with the hashtag #projectpreservethememories

#ProjectPreserveTheMemories Step 1

Smile as you are presented with piles of old photos and albums in various states of repair… try not to cringe too much at the sticky tape!

Step 2 

Remove those beautiful photos from the albums they are stored in. There are various types of albums, depending on when they were made, but most are not acid free and are far from being safe, archival quality storage albums for precious irreplaceable photos.

If you’re lucky the photos will be stored in dry mount albums with photo corners and will just slip out neatly and cleanly. If this is you, give a word of thanks to your forebears ;) If you’re not so fortunate (like me) they’ll be in these awful sticky magnetic albums. Go ahead and curse the day these were invented.
You may be able to see visible damage being done to them in some types of older style albums. Edges discolouring, the colour fading, rust spots appearing. Get them OUT. Quickly! If you get to nothing else this year, just work on this.

Personally I found the Lil Chizler invaluable for ensuring that the album (and not my photos) were damaged in the retrieval process! Whatever you do, DO NOT try to ‘soften’ the adhesive with a hair drier, or place an album in the freezer to make the glue more brittle (like someone told me to do). This will more than likely damage your photos. 

The Lil Chizler has a really fine edge that enabled me to get under every single photo in my albums. There are other ‘lifter’ tools on the market that may help, but this little pink one was all I needed! Use the Lil Chizler on an angle, flat against the album page and dig it in under the photo. Then slide it flat under the photo, slowly moving back and forth (pushing down against the album page at all times to avoid gouging or damaging the photo). You may need to start from all 4 corners and word inwards if it’s really stuck.

Don’t worry if the album page tears and bits stick to the back of the photo, because you can turn the photo over and use the Chizler (flat edge against the back of the photo) to scrape any bits of page or residual glue off the back. This is officially my new favourite tool! Better to trash the album that your photos!

If your photos are literally ‘glued’ into an album, there’s not really much you can do than trim closely around the edges to retrieve it. There are products on the market like Un-Du that help to 'undo' adhesive - you should research before using these with your photos.

The main aim is to get the photos out of a potentially unsafe environment and into folders/ envelopes/ piles (or whatever your preferred temporary sorting system is) As Soon As Possible. 


Monday, March 24, 2014

Project Preserve The Memories: The Introduction

Today we are launching a series of posts from our guest blogger Kristen Cairns. Over the next few weeks Kristen will take you on her journey into her family history, and inspire and instruct you on how to take the journey yourself. 

So… my parents are both only children, and I (as the ‘family scrapbooker’) have inherited ALL of the family photos. Which I love. Of course! What could be better than that? But this memory-keeping story starts much earlier than that.

Growing up as a child with no Grandparents, no Aunts, no Uncles and no Cousins was quite normal… to me. I didn't think it unusual, or strange, or lonely. It was just… normal. But I knew that this was strange to so many of my friends. Birthdays, Christmas and special occasions were spent with my entire extended family. My Mum, my Dad and my Brother. Yep – all of us, together. In one room. At one time. My whole family. Can you imagine?

And although it was normal (and completely okay by me) I do remember thinking “there is more to my ‘family’ than.” And I was right.

Before my Grandfather (my last remaining Grandparent) passed away when I was 11, I was always interested in the stories he had to tell me about growing up in the early 1900’s. I suspect that this nurtured my love of capturing family stories and recording them. I wanted the details – the who and the what – of every story.

Fast forward a couple of decades and I am ‘volunteered’ to scrapbook the precious photos of my only aged relative, a beloved Great-Aunt (who was more like a Grandmother to me). As a keen scrapbooker (although hopelessly about a decade ‘behind’) this wasn't all that surprising. Nor was it a burden. And by trawling through her photos, of a life well-lived, I grew to know her in a way that was previously hidden from me. The people, the places, the stories. And so I dedicated 18 months of my life to creating for her a beautiful album of her photos and stories. It was a long project. But it was a beautiful journey.

The photos that captured me most were the early ones. Like, 1800’s early. And the realisation that these are precious and need to be preserved! I am blessed today to be the owner of her beautiful albums now she has passed away.

But the thing that struck me, the thing that sticks with me to this day, is the reality that – had I not recorded those names those places and those stories while she was alive, they would be lost today. Never to be recovered. And that would be a shame. My life is richer for recording these. My children love to look through these albums and see the ‘who’, the ‘what’ and the ‘where’.

Fast forward a few more years…
And I find myself the recipient of all of my family photos. All. Of. The. Photos. Both of my parents are only children, so I have inherited ALL of the family photos. Take a moment to ponder this ;)

So while I have a huge tub of 70’s, 80’s and 90’s photos to work through, it is the biscuit tin and decrepit albums of tiny black and white photos that catch my eye. And my heart. These are the jackpot! THESE contain the stories I cannot retell myself. And so these will become the focus of what I have affectionately called ‘Project Preserve The Memories’. I want to do this while I still have both of my parents to tell the stories for me. So I can share them with my children and grandchildren in years to come. This is my gift to my children, the stories of those who came before them. My gift to my grandchildren, before they are even thought of (my eldest is 12 so let’s hope grandchildren are at least a decade away!!).

This is a labour of love. That I have embraced. And that I enjoy to the depth of my creative heart.