Monday, September 25, 2017

Scribbles From My Scrap Studio – September 2017

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Memorabilia – big word, big challenge.

It was the Project Life craze that started me on saving a much greater amount of “stuff” than I did previously.  I came from a family of six children, so by necessity, my Mom didn’t save every piece of our school artwork.  In fact, with many kids and a tight budget, she could not always purchase the annual school photos.  From my school days, I only have my grade school prayer book, three school photos (kindergarten, sixth grade, high school senior), and a single report card.

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With only 2 children of my own, and scrapbooking as my “excuse” to hold onto stuff, I ended up with boxes of memorabilia stacked up in closets – and a few too many boxes to fit inside the closet as you see here.  It has been my dread of sorting through and narrowing them down, rather than sentimentality, that perpetuated my hoarding. This summer I have started tackling it, pared the volume down by 50%, and hope to do an additional 25%.  Let me share notes from the process – not just for school mementos but other things as well.

  • First of all, DO save all school portraits and all baby/toddler studio photo shoots too – both in the large size and a wallet or two (but no more).  I have an album for each of my kids containing these “official” portrait layouts.  The wallets would make a nice keepsake album for a grandparent and would cut down on their clutter.  Sure, you’ve sent them those photos over the years;  but if they aren’t putting them in photo albums of their own, how much nicer would  small albums covering long time spans be instead. I know because I have gotten many loose photos back in the past two years when the older generation had to downsize.

  • Look for ways that your children might have similar items.  If they went to the same schools with some of the same teachers, they may have had the same assignments.  Here are two of my children's art assignments based on the Fibonacci match sequence.  I like having layouts for their artwork, more so because they both did this.


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  • There are many ways in which my kids are different, so I picked a sampling of my children's other assignments – that showcase a particular talent – like whiz test papers in math, or poems they wrote.  Something showing their printing as well as their cursive handwriting. Papers are especially nice when the teacher has written more than the ubiquitous “good work” comment.  That is also the rule I apply to report cards, pick 1 or 2 that are especially nice in performance or commentary and forgo the rest.

  • For oversized artwork and science project display boards, just take photographs of them.


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    In one case where my son won the school science fair competition there is a layout with other photos.  Otherwise, all school stuff, not on layouts or pocket pages in their albums, have been limited to 12 x 12 large pocket project life protectors, one each for grade school and high school/college. Here is a shot before they’ve been through a final purge.

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  • Moving on – what about vacation travels.  It is easy to “stuff” your purse or tote, transfer to your suitcase, haul home and toss into a box, much too much stuff.  When I eventually scrap trip photos, time and again I found that most of what I accumulated no longer held my interest.  Guide books, attraction brochures and those slick tourist magazines highlighting what is available at that vacation spot often end up in the round file or recycle pile.  The notion I would cut items out for my pages, rarely happened.  Maps, unless I am planning on going back relatively soon, or a handy mini map in a brochure, are no longer saved.  If I plan on a return trip, it will be worth getting an updated map.  Sometimes it is fun to lay all the memorabilia out, snap a photo of it, and happily toss the entire space-sucking lot. In fact, my approach to everyday memorabilia increasingly is to take a photo of it, preferably while someone is holding, wearing or otherwise using it.

  • When I have gotten behind on scrapping vacation spots we visited more than once, I purposely scrapped one trip right after another.  That way it is easy to include a few items for each trip, have more interesting variety or even repeat similar items from different trips for a sense of continuity.

  • One major exception to my new memorabilia frugality:  I am an avid fan of postcards or notecards.  Yes, I took a photo of that famous building, but it would no doubt, have lots of random unrelated people obscuring part of the view.  So I will buy a postcard or two, and include them in the scrapbook.  Here are two examples:  in the first I have actually attached the postcards to layout, as the information on the back was not important to me (photo corners decorative, not functional).

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    On the second example, I originally thought I would frame these oversized postcards, so I have used photo corners that allow me to withdraw the postcards later if I prefer.  Now you are thinking: really S?  How likely is that, S?

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Quite likely, actually!  In fact, here are some framed mini notecards of Rachel’s Garden at the Hermitage – one of many historic mansions that hubby and I enjoyed visiting.  This has been hanging in my home for years.

I hope you found a tidbit of info here that will inspire you to deal with your memorabilia. Let me end with this

Two last pieces of advice:  do it sooner rather than later, and if your kids are young, develop a plan now!

5 comments:

  1. A wonderful scribble :) I can relate to this well collecting many things from trips so I can add them to my scrapping :) Thank goodness I don't have much when it comes to the kids during school.

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  2. Great practical advise. The best take away for me is to layout the memorabilia from trips and take a photo of it.

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  3. Great read! Luckily I only had one child but can't bear to part with some of her stuff.

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  4. Good ideas! I send postcards to myself almost every day when traveling. Then I have a synopsis of our day plus the better images.

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