Have You Thought About Scrapping Your Special Things?
Don't be stuck in events & people pages!
By Meryl Bartho
I am sure you, like most
of us have many things in your home, each of which has its own
story to tell - the inherited jewellery, bits of furniture, your
own engagement ring, books
once you start
to think of it, you will probably find that you have a whole list.
How sad it would be if the story were lost, and it is amazing
just how fast this can and does happen.
First thing to do, it to take a tour of your home, what have
you found? Hopefully, if you are looking with scrappers eyes you
will find enough in one room to keep you busy for a while! Ask
your family too, I was surprised when my daughter told me she
had not a clue about the beautiful embroidered samplers we have
hanging in our entrance hall. I had assumed that she knew all
see what I mean?
This kind of project starts with research - get yourself a notebook,
maybe devote a page to each item, and here, jot down answers to
questions you can ask yourself, others family members, the original
owner. You won't have it all at once, but don't panic, just get
started, and build up the information gradually as you uncover
Hopefully you are excited to get started, so start out with the
things you do know the answers to, things like -
Special things you have bought - when did you buy, why did you
buy, what made it special enough for you to spend the money? Gifts
you have been given - who gave it to you? Was it for a special
occasion? Keep remembering - you know the story, but do your family,
your friends know
A few ideas -
- Perhaps it's a collection - gosh! you could do an entire
album on a collection
- Travel souvenirs - all those things you bring back from a
trip - when was the trip, where did you go to
- Jewellery with a special meaning - engagement, 21st gifts,
- Clothing with a special significance - maybe your wedding
dress, first communion, christening robe, baby clothes - with
these, lovely to use a photo of the occasion when it was worn.
- Your own children's babyhood items - plates, mugs, shoes
you have exhausted all these ideas its time to move on to those
which probably take more research - inherited things - a few thoughts
to help fill your page with information -
- From which side of the family did they come?
- Who originally owned it?
- Has it been passed through generations?
- Did they buy new? Secondhand
.. Was it a gift?
Hopefully, by asking questions you will start to unravel the
If it is an antique, or really old item, try to find out a bit
about the history - where it was made, what its present value
is, any facts make it interesting. For this kind of research a
local antique dealer would probably be willing to help, try internet
Once you have a collection together set yourself up to photograph
them - a few thoughts:
- Good natural light, next to a window is often a good spop,
you want to AVOID using a flash.
- Plainish fabrics work best as a backdrop, you don't want
- Use a tripod, avoid the shakes.
- Use macro or super macro focus if you have, particularly
for smaller items.
- A hint I found for jewellery or other small shiny objects
- I have NOT tried but sounds good:
Take a gallon plastic milk bottle and cut the bottom out of
it. Then, enlarge the top where the cap is to allow your camera
lens to snuggly fit through. Use a dark piece of black velvet
or similar and put the milk jug over the jewellery (say a ring,
for example), and stick your camera lens in on the top. The
milk bottle holds your camera in place like a tripod would...then
just focus and shoot. I think it helps soften the glare that
gold or silver or any kind of stone would reflect and results
in a sharper photo.
Once you have your photos, I would put them into a folder named
"special things" or something equally explanatory and
you are ready to begin!
I have a kit called "Special
Things" which works very well for pages like this. I
also have an Instant Album - Special
Things Instant Album, but of course any kit you have or fancy
in the store could be used equally well.
Good luck with your album, I look forward to seeing and enjoying
many of your special things!