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. 


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