Monday, January 26, 2015

Preserving Our Memories

by Terri

I am a scrapbooker.  I have been since 1997 when my first son was graduating from high school and I realized that, although I had kept the family photos in peel-and-stick albums since I was first married, one day my boys would be leaving home and who would get them? They each needed their own album(s). So I attended a Creative Memories class and have been scrapbooking ever since. 

This is only one of five shelves of albums.
Before scrapbooking, I took photos but seeing those mediocre photos on a scrapbook page made me realize that I wanted to improve my photography. I think wanting better photos in my scrapbooks was the single greatest motivation for improving my photography. Pretty soon the hobby of photography became more consuming than the hobby of scrapbooking! But I never stopped scrapbooking.

It has evolved over the years, beginning with photos, paper, chipboard, ribbon, etc. My scrapbook room is so full of stuff that I could not buy another thing the rest of my life and never run out!  Then I decided to try digital scrapbooking where all the products are on your computer. The layout at the top of this page is completely digital. I loved it but after a while I grew hungry to get my hands dirty again. To satisfy that desire, I made mini albums for vacations but kept doing digital scrapbooking for everything else. Then I discovered Project Life, which is pretty much a photo a day that you slide into pocket page protectors. I liked the ease and I could decorate my pages as much or as little as I wanted to.  I have now been doing Project Life since 2010. 

But every so often I still have the desire to pull out my “stuff” and create. Usually it is a combination of paper and digital, as in this layout of photos from my recent trip to Gather in California that I talked about in my last post:

Both the large 12x12 title page with journaling and the collage of photos on the second page are done digitally. But to satisfy my desire to play, I added some “real life” elements like the plastic word “Gather” and the chipboard additions to both pages. This kind of scrapbooking is referred to as “hybrid”. I like the way this kind of scrapbooking adds texture and depth.

I hope that you are printing out your photos and doing something with them. This group of photos framed and hanging on my family room wall from a family trip to San Diego never ceases to make me pause and remember as I pass it.

Or maybe you are creating scrapbooks of some kind. Your memories deserve to be preserved in a tangible way, so friends and family (and you!) can sit down and remember.  As events in our lives move from the present into the past, all we have is our memories, and preserving them is a gift you can give to yourself as well as your family. I envision myself someday, sitting in my rocking chair with my scrapbooks on my lap and remembering my life. 

What do you do with the photos you take? Do you have to pull out your phone or turn on your computer to see them or are you preserving them in some tangible way to share with family and friends? I know I won’t regret one second of the time it took to print out my photos and put them into albums. They can be simple, they can be elaborate or something in between. Just get those photos off of your phones and computers and preserve them for now and for the future. If you want to keep it simple, give Project Life a try. You can find out all about it from Becky Higgins here.  If you think you’d like to try digital scrapbooking, I learned everything I know from Jessica Sprague. She offers a class called Up & Running which is a great place to start. You can read about it here.  Another wonderful resource for both Project Life and paper (as well as hybrid) scrapbooking is Ali Edwards. Her blog is full of inspiration. Her mantra is “words + photos” because she is all about the story. And that’s what it should be about – telling the stories of our lives in words and photos, each one supporting the other.

Well, you can tell I’m pretty passionate about this subject! Hope you’ve stayed with me through all of this.  One final word on the subject (I promise!) – when I started scrapbooking, Creative Memories was all about preserving memories for future generations and, while that may be important, I scrapbook for those who are here now, my children and grandchildren, and, yes, for myself. I love having my memories in tangible form so that I can pick them up and look through them whenever I want to and remember. That to me is worth all the time and money in the world.  

“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment 
that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.” ~ Karl Laggerfield


Linda said...

I decided when my daughter turned 30 I would give her all the pictures I had taken of her life in scrapbooks. It quickly turned into an over whelming task but I got it done. Now I am facing the same mountain of photos for my son but I have a couple of years to get that done. I think Scrapbooking as you go is the way to do it. Your scrapbooks look amazing! Thanks for the inspiration!

kelly said...

well as you know...this is a subject near and dear to my heart as well. :) I love how you have combined digital and physical scrapbooking so seamlessly. that's something I'm still working on, but you've inspired me to give it another go. happy Monday!

Cathy H. said...

Wonderful, inspiring post! Very timely as I've just hosted a scrap day with family and friends, We had a blast talking, laughing, and working on our scrapbooks. Some were digital and some were hands on. I have separate scrapbooks for each of my five grandsons. I'm behind, but that doesn't discourage me. When we were together at Christmas each of the boys got their scrapbooks, laid on the floor, and looked through them. That made all the hard work worthwhile! It made me so glad I was recording their story. My goal this year is to print more of my images and display them. I haven't tried digital scrapbooking, but I'm definitely interested. Does anyone know some good computer programs out there?

Dotti said...

Beautiful post and beautifully illustrated! I am not a scrapbooker but I am a 'photobooker'. Although I must admit, I'm a bit behind but this post may be just the inspiration I need to get back at it. We've talked so many times about getting our photos off our computers and out where people can seem them. This is a legacy we will leave for our families and yours are lovely, Terri, and will be greatly appreciated, I know.

Kim Stevens said...

I have to admit, I'm terrible, (really, really terrible) at the scrapbooking thing. I love your books, love the digital (something I might be able to handle), but just have never been able to embrace sitting and putting it all together. You will be happy to know that I did get 3 new frames to put over our bed, and now I'm just doing the daunting task of trying to decide what pictures to put in them. After having the same bedding for the last 15 years, I'm changing it up. Going from reds to all white, linen, ecru, creme, off whites....and it feels so nice and refreshing. I am trying to liberate some of my photographs off my steps! (you have inspired me, and made me feel guilty at the same time, lol)

Cathy said...

Wow Terri, your scrapbooks are amazing works of art! Thanks for sharing them today.

Adrienne said...

I've been a CM cosultant for about 10 years - so relieved that someone with real good sense has bought the company and gotten us the basics back! I, too, LOVE scrapbooking - mostly the traditional real photos/paper/elements style. I've dabbled in digital, and some of my friends have started using some project life the look of their pieces. This is beautifully expressed!!

Carol said...

Your books are beautiful! it's always seemed like too much work, but yet I had albums every year until I went digital!
I dont think Im ready for scrapping, but I am ready to do some books. My first one of France was a disaster -but I can recognize what worked and what didnt work, so Ill chalk it up to experience and try again!

AFishGirl said...

I will be forever grateful to you for turning me on to Project Life. You and Kelly. I kept it up all last year and it made me so happy. Your creations here are stunning, Terri.

Deanna said...

Oh boy what a great post, Terri. I have seen some of your work in person and what a gift you have for combining photos, paper and elements, brilliant!!

Kelly Kardos said...

What a packed post! I don't do a darn thing with my photos-how sad is that? Your pages between the covers are beautiful.

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