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.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Class That Keeps On Giving

At our last October Retreat, Kate taught a very popular class titled 'Magic'.

The page layout used Simple Stories papers from the 'Say Cheese' collection, which you may notice draws some inspiration from a certain theme park.

Our lovely customer Carolyn loved the class kit so much she has been emailing us with the pages she creates with the left overs. As Carolyn says, 'Goes to show what you can do with a few bits n bobs n leftovers. It's the class that just keeps on giving!'

Carolyn's second page, next to her original class page (right)

I definitely agree!

Simple Stories papers and embellies are on sale in our webstore until Wednesday 26th March. Get 20% off by entering the code SS20 when you check out!

Tracey xx

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Dizzy Izzy @ the Sutherland Heritage Fair - 29 March 2014

The Botany Bay Family History Society is presenting its Annual Heritage Fair on Saturday 29 March 2014 at the Tradies Club in Gymea, from 10am-4pm.

The day is an opportunity to find out about resources available to journey into your family's genealogy. The Society is providing a free bus to take participants to various historic sites around the Shire with its final drop off point at the Tradies.

Entry is free and Dizzy Izzy will be there to share how to record your family history through traditional scrapbooking & by using Project Life. We will also have some of our page kits, albums, and other items to shop for.

The Society is also holding a raffle on the day, and drawing lucky door prizes.

See below for our donation to the raffle, one of my bespoke albums, designed around the theme of 'Journey'. I've used papers and ephemera from Crate Papers DIY Shop.

Fleur xx

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Kit Highlight: Wedding Flowers

I have to get this right out of the way: I love this layout of Fleurs'.

I love the colours (green is my favourite colour), I love the paper used (BoBunny - so pretty!). The little touch of machine sewing is the perfect accent to mix with the 'natural' chipboard and the doily. The resist paper and butterfly are just right. And the little touches of green and gold (made by unscrewing the spray bottle and using the end of the mister like a pen) are heavenly!

You can find this kit here in our webstore - there are only 3 left!

Happy Scrapping!

Tracey xox