Friday, October 23, 2015

postheadericon Scrapbooking your Heritage Part 3-How Will YOU Approach Your Family History?

It would be best to make a few decisions before you actually begin your next album.  I am going to assume you have read and maybe followed the first two articles.  If you have, then you have already done an album with the first approach which I call:

 “Just The Facts”

“Just the Facts” is not why most of us are scrapping heritage.  You want to get the stories out there before they have been forgotten.  In my case, I wanted my children and grandchildren to feel what I felt for my grandparents.  Now I know that the stories my mother and grandmother told me will die with me if I don’t scrap them, as well.  So your next approach might be:

 “Story Time”

This is journaling at its best.  You might need to spend some time with a word processing system or a notebook and pencil just writing.  Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation or grammar…at first.  Just write.   

There are wonderful journals out there that have prompts on each page.  Check for:
A Mother’s Legacy – Your Life Story in Your Own Words by Gift Books from Hallmark- ISBN 1404101276

Journal by Artworks International - j5354 ISBN #1-57938-535-4 

To My Daughter with Love by Donna Green – Vermillion Press ISBN 1-883746-01-9

There are others out there. But these are the ones I have used to keep prompts of my own memories.  They are great for writing a page a night before bed, writing on long trips or while waiting for an appointment.  I have another book put away that I started with my mother but it was far too late.  She just didn’t want to put forth the energy to dredge up the memories.  Oh, how I wish I had started sooner when she was more able.  

Since then, I have discovered a box with her three 5-year diaries.  She was only 13 when she started and most of it was regular teen stuff; going here and there, going to school, skipping school, boys, boys, boys.  There are big important periods of time with nothing written.  There are, however, several periods of writing I treasure...when she met and first started dating my dad and when they broke up; and when her mother died. 

This approach is great with the snapshots in your heritage collection.  It is a little harder to connect stories to formal portraits but not at all impossible.  My grandmother had a collection of obituaries from the little paper in Nobel County, Indiana, all for relatives of ours.  What a source for “gossip” those old obituaries were!  I wonder if Grandma kept those hoping one-day I would record the family history.  


 I stumbled onto this approach through a friend who was a member of the email group, Computer Scrapping at Yahoo Groups.  They explore historical times like farming, The Industrial Revolution, the different wars, the dawn of the Auto Industry.  They look at a different historical age every few weeks.  The members who are designers also design elements around those historical times.  The elements go well with vintage and heritage kits. 

The approach of connecting your family heritage with historical times can revive your heritage scrapping.  For example, as I talked about The Industrial Revolution, I realized how that changed the roofing industry and the company my grandfather owned.   Instead of the artisans creating the roofing and cornice elements, they bought expensive machines putting the company into debt that couldn’t survive the Great Depression.  I had photos that helped illustrate this.  Maybe your family has a farming background, or emigrated from a country facing one of the famines.  Looking through historical eyes gives an insight you wouldn’t otherwise have.

“Slice of Life”

 I have to admit that this is a new approach to me just since the Simple Scrapbook’s special issue “Slice of Life Scrapbooking” arrived in my mailbox.

Look at the things, places, and times of everyday living found in your vintage photos.  It may be as important as the old family homestead or as small as a great aunt’s hatpins.  Tell the story!  How did your Great Aunt use those hatpins?  Generations to come may not ever know how important big hats were, let alone that those vicious looking weapons anchored the hats to their hair.  Take the photos and tell the stories.  There are precious few candid snapshots before the 1930s so you may have to improvise by taking a picture of the home as it is today, using photos of family heirlooms in your possession, or even doing a journaling-only page. 


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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