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An AfriGeneas


TUESDAY, JUNE 15, 2004

Preserving Your Family's Heritage Through Scrapbooking

Have you ever looked at a picture and chuckled because someone made a funny face or wore an outrageous outfit from the 70s?

You laughed because you remembered what happened that day and it gave you feelings of joy or nostalgia. How sad would it be if your grandchildren found that same photo 50 from now in a dusty box in the attic and asked, "Who's that?"

You've heard the phrase, "A picture is worth a thousand words." That is so true. How many times have you looked through an old family album and asked that same question, "Who's that?" Wouldn't it have been wonderful if your grandmother had preserved all her old photos and written down those important stories? Not only would you have the pictures, you'd have the story in her voice and in her handwriting. Priceless.

Let me introduce you to photo preservation through scrapbooking. Scrapbooking is more than just a craft or a hobby. It's a creative way to preserve the traditions of your family so the memories can be passed down from generation to generation.
Using acid-free, photo-safe albums, you can extend the life of each photo to last several generations. It's not just for the creative types either, it's for everyone. Even if you don't add the fancy embellishments, you can still benefit by transferring your pictures into a safe environment.

People tell me all the time that scrapbooking is too expensive. If you think of it as an investment in your family's legacy, it takes a different form. Let's do some simple math... You spent $350 on the fancy 35mm or digital camera, $4 for a roll of film, and another $5-10 to develop the film. For the first set of pictures, you spent about $364. As you take more pictures, that amount will increase because you'll spend an average of $15-20 per roll (for film and developing). That's quite a big investment already!

Now, let's take a quick quiz...

What do you do with your pictures after you pick them up from the photo processing store?

A. Put them in a shoe box.
B. Throw them in the junk drawer.
C. Toss them in the what-not room.
D. Put them in a photo-safe album.

If you answered D, you are ahead of the game. One of the most precious things you could do for your family is to save those memories. If not, follow my lead and I'll show you how to do it.

Getting Started is Easy!

Step 1. The first thing you should do is gather all your photos and sort them by category (event, year, vacation, etc.). This may seem like a monumental task if you have a box full of pictures. Don't panic though; you don't have to do it all at one time.

Step 2. Decide what type of album you want to create first. Since, this is a family reunion site, we'll choose a "family reunion" album for example purposes. If your family is like mine, we have annual reunions that go back about 20 years. For myself, I would start with the pictures from the most recent year's reunion.

Step 3. Buy your scrapbooking supplies. I suggest that you start with a pre-assembled kit that includes everything you need.
This way, you don't have to worry about not having everything you need to complete your album. If you don't want to purchase a kit, here are a few of the bare essentials you can't do without:

* Photo safe scrapbook album
* Acid-free adhesive (no glue please)
* Acid-free journaling pen

As you go, you can start adding enhancements such as decorative papers, stickers, etc.

Step 4. Now that you have all your supplies, you are ready to begin. Carve out some space in your house to work. A work table, the kitchen table, the dining room table all make great work spaces.

That's it for now. Happy Scrapping!

Andrea Daniels


Andrea is a writer and an avid scrapbooker who loves to share her passion with others. Send your questions and comments to reunions_scrapbooking@afrigeneas.com.

Posted by
Andrea on 6/15/04 at 9:54 pm ET | Comments (426)





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African American Family Reunion Planning Guide