Bringing an online class together is a huge task, but when it involves not only my passion for family history exploration but also my love for digital scrapbooking and photo restoration, then, hey… I’m all in. The fear of taking on such a large undertaking felt small compared to the fact that I knew that I had all the tools to actually pull it together. This was one of those times when I feel like I have been practicing for forever to bring something just like this to life and I just can’t thank Tiffany Tillman enough for gently nudging me along to bring “Heritage with Michele” to the Champions area of Scrapaneers.
But enough about the class already… In the class, I purposely left out so many ways to creatively look into your family history because, really… I would have been talking for days in the class and not just for a few hours! But there is one website that that left out and I definitely want to tell you a little about it… FamilySearch.org.
This site has a special place in my heart because it was at one of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Family History Centers here in Indiana, that is about 20 miles away from me, where I first sat down at a computer and pulled up information on my own family. I remember it vividly because it was all I could do to sit still and not squeal out loud with excitement. And yes, I was hooked right then.
What’s a person to do? You have captured an entire album of your family’s heritage photos and then realize that they look like they aren’t straight? Will just rotating them help? Probably not. You are going to have to do a little perspective adjusting or “Skew” as it is called.
The best way to keep the tilting at bay is to try and get the heritage photo as square as you can in the camera when you take the photo. But that is sometimes easier said than done especially when you are attempting to capture multiple photos with each visit.
Faster is not always better. If you are using your phone to scan your family heritage photos, you will want to read this article.
You see, I’ve stumbled across something that I should have known but didn’t think about until I was trying to answer the increasing number of scanning questions sent my way. In fact I was very close in recommending one of these apps to a number of friends, but decided I had better do a bit of checking before I hit the Enter key. I was getting caught up in the tempting prospect of taking one photo of one photo album page and almost instantly receiving multiple single images — all nicely cropped — all ready for me to simply save them and then upload them for use in my heritage project.
Do you search through your digital files or are you a browser? When it comes to scrapbooking, I’m definitely a browser. I love to see all my things laid out in front of me, paper or digital, so I can pick and choose exactly what I want to add to my layout. You’re right there with me, aren’t you…?
back of photo: Nathan, Paul, Grandpa George, and baby Max.
What to do when you have a family heirloom photo that has nothing else written on the back but the names of the people? First of all, it is a good thing to actually find names on the back of old family photos. It’s just that when I only have one photo like this, I really would love to know some sort of back story and in this case, all four generations are now silent. In order to give this special photo some of that interesting background, I have to do some hunting.
Whenever I look back at my scrapbooks, I am always drawn to the journaling. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the pictures a lot — and the layouts bring everything together, but it is the journaling that fills in the blanks and brings it all to life.
It’s the same with journaling in a heritage scrapbook as well. I can be tempted to stick with names, dates, places and the facts that we can glean from the backs of the photos, but to really bring them to life, I feel the need to add some background information.
“Handwriting is an Imprint of the Self on the Page” -by Dr. Rosemary Sassoon.
Does scrapbooking get any more personal than when we add our own handwriting to the page? How is it then that my fourteen year old daughter recently mentioned that she only knew my handwriting from my grocery lists? Seriously? How could this be?
Knowing who our family WAS reveals part of who we ARE.
I love this quote and it speaks volumes to me as I continue to share my family history with my own children and relatives. When I started my journey to share my love for family history, the heritage photos and stories that go along with it all, I knew that my ultimate goal was to share it in a book form. I want to combine beautiful pages with stories, photos and documents that will entice my children and family to WANT to read them and learn more about their family history. This is where Chatbooks really excels with its’ size easy to ready and cute size.
Sharing my Family History on Instagram
Once I discovered Instagram, I “instantly” knew that this would become a platform that I could use to catch the attention of my kids – you know… one post, one story at a time with a beautiful photo. We can combine our love of scrapbooking to provide the beautiful photo and then include the story in the caption of our post. That is the essence of scrapbooking but on a smaller scale.
Being fifty-five, you would think that my first thought when I read the topic for this month, “Magical Beginnings,” might have been about my kids as they begin their adult lives or even my grand-daughter who is just five and started kindergarten this year. Funny, but that wasn’t what seemed to pop in my mind at all; it was more a picture of myself and my own change of course with my life. Really diving into my own family’s history and the family heirloom photos that have found their way to me, I am discovering that it is very important to release myself from any sense of duty to “get it all done” and to slow down, focusing on each photo and each event — and most importantly, making sure to enjoy the process. (Which is one of the reasons that I found my way to Scrapaneers!)