Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ancestry Half Price Until June 30, 2009!!!!!

Until June 30th memberships at are half price. If you get the worldwide membership it will give you access to all the Ancestry sites. Half price for the worldwide membership is 77.70 pounds which works out to approximately $132.00 Canadian. This is a great deal! Go here to see the webpage offering the half price memberships. You can also get half price deals on Essentials and Premium memberships if you only need access to the UK Ancestry site.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

This Is Me!

So I just signed up for my first online scrapbooking workshop. I decided to put my money where my mouth is. I'm always talking about how people need to remember to include themselves in their scrapbooks and family history but I often fail to follow my own advice. Today I read on Stacy Julian's blog about a workshop starting over at Big Picture Scrapbooking called The Challenge of Me. This is a four week workshop with Lisa Day and is described as follows:

"Reflecting on who you are can be a challenging and transformational experience. In creating an album that celebrates who you are, you will have an opportunity to explore, discover and create a record of what you care about, what touches you, and where your passion lies. In the process, you may discover new insights about what matters most to you."

Can you imagine if you had an album like that from one of your ancestors? What a treasure that would be. I decided to do this workshop in the hopes of creating a treasure for my descendants. I'm looking forward to Lisa's daily prompts to help me tell my story and to her challenge's to use new techniques and to "use my stash". (I think my husband will like that last part the best LOL).

After registering I was asked to fill out a survey and based on my answers Lisa will assign me my first challenge in the workshop - to create pages in a new format! I haven't yet received my format but I suspect based on my answers it's going to be 6 x 12. This will definitely be a challenge for me, but I think I'm up for it. I will keep you all posted on my progress and upload my album as I go along. You can check out this workshop here if you're also interested in taking it. The workshop costs $25 but you can get a discount if you use the code summer2009 when you checkout. Although the workshop started today registration doesn't close until July 1st.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Speldhurst Inn, Speldhurst, Kent, England

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

One Step Closer To My Dream

A couple of years ago I came up with an idea to create a home-based business putting together kits to help people scrapbook their family heritage. As genealogists we are often so busy with our research that we don't have the time to also create meaningful albums to pass on to our descendants. I felt there was a niche for creating kits that would supply everything needed to quickly create 2 or more scrapbook pages. Each kit would include coordinated paper and embellishments along with a sample sketch layout. If someone was extremely busy then the pieces of the layout could even be pre-cut. This was where I originally came up with the name Scrap Your Roots. Well, I'm now one step closer to realizing my dream. This past week I put together my first sketch and layout! Now I just have to complete my website and figure out how to make it all work and I'm set to go. If only it was all as easy as I just made it sound, LOL.

The best thing about accomplishing this was that I actually got a layout done about me. A danger for us scrapbookers and family historians is to forget about ourselves. We spend hours on our family members but seldom on us. If we are not careful to make sure there are pictures of us (we're usually behind the camera not in front of it) and to document our lives our descendants will know lots about everyone else but nothing about us. How sad is that. Make sure you include yourself in your research and your scrapbooks!

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Saving An Old Journal

First let me apologize for leaving so long between blogs. We have been having glorious weather here and since we don't always know how long it's going to last here in the Pacific Northwest, I must confess I have been taking advantage of it and neglecting my blog!

Today I want to respond to a question I was asked about how to preserve an old journal. The first thing to remember is that two of the biggest contributors to the deterioration of old documents is acid in the paper and the oil from our hands that can transfer dirt onto the paper. Light and storage conditions, such as humidity, also contribute to deterioration.

To protect your documents from the oil in your hands I recommend wearing clean white cotton gloves. If you absolutely cannot find a pair of cotton gloves then make sure you wash and dry your hands thoroughly before handling your old journals or documents.

The first thing I would do is make a copy of the journal. If you can open the journal flat without damaging it then use a flatbed scanner to make copies and preserve it digitally. If you cannot lay it flat enough to scan then enlist the help of a friend and take photographs. Have your friend gently hold the journal open as far as possible without damaging it and take photographs of the journal pages. (Make sure your friend wears cotton gloves or has washed and dried their hands thoroughly before starting) You may need to use a camera that has a macro setting in order to get clear pictures. Experiment with different camera settings and lighting to find what works best. The idea here is to have a backup that you can use for reading or scrapbooking to avoid excessive handling of the original.

Once you have made a copy the next step is slow down the deterioration caused from acid in the paper. To do this you need to deacidfy the paper. You could also get a ph testing pen or ph testing strips to test if the paper really is acidic but usually if I haven't purchased the paper myself and know 100% that it's acid free then I assume that the paper has some acidity to it. If there are already signs of yellowing and deterioration then you definitely want to deacidfy it. The best way to do this is with a product called Archival Mist from EK Success. This is not a cheap product but worth every penny when it comes to preserving handwritten journals or documents from our ancestors. A small bottle goes a long way and if you can't find it at your local scrapbook store there are lots of places online to get it. The materials in Archival Mist are non-toxic, non-hazadous, non-flammable and odor free. The solvents will not dissolve or affect inks, colors or adhesives, however, I always test a small area just to make sure the inks will not be affected. Follow the directions on the bottle and let the pages dry thoroughly before continuing.

Once you've made a copy and deacified the journal you want to store it safely. Keep old journals and documents in a cool, dry, dark place. In the case of something precious like a journal I would also place it inside an archival safe bag first. Again, if you cannot find archival safe bags locally then a search for "archival bags" on the internet will find several suppliers.

Thanks for stopping by

Monday, June 1, 2009

Data Backup Day

Geneabloggers has designated the first day of each month as Data Backup Day and all genealogists are urged to backup their files. I'd like to encourage everyone who treasures their photos to participate, not just genealogists. Have you backed up your photos and genealogy research data lately? What are you waiting for, a major data loss disaster to strike? If you haven't backed up recently I urge you to do so as soon as possible. If you are up to date on your backup congratulations! Now I'd like you to consider how you are backing up your photographs. Do you use CD's? Did you know that new research indicates that DVD's have a much longer shelf life than CD's. For this reason I recommend that any photo storage you have on CD's should be transfered to DVD. However, this does not guarantee complete safety for your photographs as DVD's can also break down over time and there is no consensus on how long a DVD will last. Some manufacturers say 100 years, other experts say no more than 20 years. For this reason I also use an online service to backup my photos. I use Photo Express, a local photo/scrapbook store that provides unlimited online storage. You can check out the Foto Depot section of their site here for uploading and backing up photos, you will have to sign up to access their services though. Don't rely on only one backup source for your most important photographs. For more information on backing up photos to DVD check out this Epic Edits blog.