Monday, July 21, 2003    


The Important "Little" Treasures of Scrapbooking

By:Barb K.

My first goal of scrapbooking was to preserve my family's photos in an archival quality environment. I have found that an added benefit of scrapbooking is enjoying fond memories of people and events from my life while I'm planning layouts for my album. But scrapbooking has done so much more than that for me. I have found it to bring not only interesting surprises, but important ones as well!

Several years ago I discovered countless photos of my parents and grandparents, as well as pictures of my sister and me from our childhood in the 1940's and 50's. Since my dad and my husband's dad were friends already as teenagers, I even came across a photo of our dads putting on a two-person play. Some scrappers talk about re-doing layouts. With all these heritage photos, plus hundreds of photos of our 5 children and 5 grandchildren, I'll probably never finish all the layouts I would like to do, let alone think of re-doing them.

A couple years ago my sister and I divided our childhood photos between us. If you had been there, you would have heard comments like "This one was taken on my birthday, so I'll keep it" and "Your face shows more on this picture, so you get this one."

It wasn't long afterward that I started scrapping these special photos. Since many of the early photos were taken without flash, they were taken outdoors in order to have enough light. In fact, the first photos I have seen of me were taken outside when I was about three months old. My mom is holding me and my dad is standing next to her holding my seventeen-month-old sister. In general, I don't like to cut, or crop, my photos. I would rather put a frame over the photo, leaving the photo intact. I think the little extras can sometimes tell a lot and I don't want to cut off something only to wish later that I hadn't.

For instance, I like cars in a photo because they give a quick approximation of the era when the photo was taken. The first photo in my album had no car, but we were directly in front of a house. I knew it wasn't my family home or either of my uncles' houses, although they did look somewhat similar to the one in the photo. The house number was on the right side of the photo, but it wasn't one that was familiar to me. For this layout, I made an oval frame to put on top of the picture. It bothered me a little that the frame covered up the numbers on the house, but in this particular case it didn't seem to matter since I didn't know whose house it was anyway.

Had I just been looking at the photos for a short time and not scrapping them, I probably would not have given any more thought to this. But, in the days ahead, as I continued adding more photos and layouts to my scrapbook, I couldn't help wondering whose house was in that first photo. Finally, one day my curiosity got the better of me and I mentioned it to my husband.

Being a librarian and historian, he is looking forward to pursuing his hobby of genealogy when he retires in a few years, so he was interested, too. He looked at the picture. Then he looked a little closer. Finally he asked what the address was. I had to lift the frame a little to see the numbers. When I told him, he exclaimed, "That's my house!" That's right, the very first picture of me in my scrapbook was taken in front of my husband's first home! Now that's a real treasure! Had I not been putting these photos into a scrapbook, I probably never would have found this out! I can tell you that this is one layout that I am definitely going to redo! And the photo my sister has of the four of us from that day, you can bet I made a copy of it and will scrap that one, too!

Tomorrow at dMarie Daily: From Obsession to Occupation, by Nina W.

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