Saturday, December 3, 2011

postheadericon Scrapping your Heritage

Last Wednesday Ancestorville (on Facebook) had two of their almost daily chats on genealogy.  These were on Scrapbooking Your Heritage.  There was a lot of interest ranging from "What is 'scrapbooking'?" to "I am a scrapper but never thought to scrap my old photos and stories" to "I have been scrapping my heritage for years."

The way we approached this first series of chats did not make a difference between paper-scrapping (traditional) to digital scrapping (graphic).  The ideas of where to start are the same.

01.  Choose a cherished photo and scan it.  For paper scrapping, print the scan to use.  For digital scrapping, import that scanned photo into your favorite graphics program.  Then put the original photo (or photos) back into the photo safe storage system.
This was not "fixed" because I wanted to use it exactly as scanned.
02.  Tell the story.  If you are more comfortable handwriting, take a page in your journal or a loose piece of paper and write out all that you know about that photo and who is in it.  If you are more computer oriented, open a new page in your word program and write there.

I imagine myself talking to my granddaughters about the photo.  That way I assume they know nothing about it. 

You could take the journalism approach of telling who, what, when, where, and why. Get wordy!  Don't worry about grammar or spelling.

Word and some other programs include spell and grammar checkers.  If your program doesn't have that don't worry.  I absolutely adore things I find in my grandmother's Indiana Farm vernacular and archaic spellings.  I would never want them to have been put through a spell or grammar checker.
(I usually open my genealogy program to that person and refer to it often, but in a narrative it is of more interest to non-genealogy-minded people)

03.  Place the photo(s) on a decorative background.  If you want to combine backgrounds that is fine, but to start, keep it simple.  If you are starting paper, go to a craft store and choose a few papers that make you think of the photos you have.  Browns and tan patterns for sepia photos is usual but don't be bound.  In digital programs you simply import the background color or pattern you want.   Embellishments from stickers and stamps to ribbons and sewing go on last

04.  If you are new to digital scrapping check the program you are using.  Most include a small selection of backgrounds to use.  Do a search for "digital scrapbooking" and hundreds of sites will pop up.  Most have some fre digital materials available.  The Digital Scrapbook Place has a Freebie GalleryShabby Princess has been accumulating a large free collection per month for several years, all available all the time.  That should be more than enough to get you started.

05.  Getting a digital program.  Yes, you CAN use Word but it is very limited to photo and words.  I googled "digital graphics software" and was given about 70,100,000 results.  Most will cost something so choose what you are comfortable spending.  That is balanced by the cost of papers and embellishments from a scrapbooking store.  You can use and reuse digital elements forever, changing the colors and looks to fit your mood.  Scrapbooking stores often have classes to get you started. Or try them both and see what you like best.

06.  Add the "journaling".  Digital or traditional, you will probably want to copy the story you want to tell onto something decorative.  If it is a long story, consider a 2-page layout with the photo(s) on one page the the story on the facing page.

07.  Decorate!  Scrapbook stores are full of everything you can imagine.  Sometimes there are sets with embellishments designed to match the backgrounds.  If you have something in mind you can go on a search.  If you choose to paper-scrap at the store you can go and look and get JUST what you want to use.  Digital "kits" also have embellishments designed to go with the backgrounds.  Mixing elements from different kits is another talent some people have and use, combining things from 8-10 or more digital kits.

About Me

Forty Years of Scrapping

Long before it was popular, I was trying to decorate arrangements of photos and sentimental items. Here I want to share some of my personal history and more important, some ideas I have gleaned from more than 40 years of scrapping.


A granny with a camera and a computer

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