Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Scrapbooking your (ABC) family heirlooms

Scrapbooking ABCs
Faith and Family Memory Books

My "L" left side of the two-page spread

I'll bet there aren't too many folks who are able to admit their shortcomings, particularly whether or not they have debilitating compulsive disorders. Suffice to say; I’m here today, standing as erect as possible, taking a deep breath to be sure, clearing my throat, and ah-hem, you can all become my witnesses as I speak about my own admission of being such a person.

In fact, I have several compulsive disorders (blush, blush) and feel there will never be an ultimate cure for any of them. With all honesty, I stand before you to say they inhibit my innermost natural order of life's priorities because of overall addictive weaknesses and tendencies resulting from them. What are they exactly? I will tell you;
  • I am an addict of all things photography
  • I am an addict of all things memory making
  • I am an addict of all things in papercrafting

Most of all, I am an addict of all things including Kodak moments with my family which I am able to relive over and over again when a flashback occurs and truly becomes a necessity as life throws me a curve which I am not able to realize immediately.

I love my family! And with that love of family and subsequent impressive heart swelling emotions involved in savoring timeless moments, those true heartfelt memories woven into a beautiful tapestry for our generational heritage references in the future. I will happily remain an addict of all things mentioned and readily admitted to above. So if anyone has a problem with this - just figure out how to deal with it! (snicker)

If you ever read comments on a blog post a few months back, I lovingly teased my “groupie ladies” who sent a special remark about following my blog that I would be back to share my love of papercrafting with them here on the blog. They claimed to be followers of my blog and told me I inspired them. Imagine that! Since then, I have been in contact with the author of that complimentary comment, her name is Judy.

Judy, this post is for you and your lady friends, with great appreciation for your uppity everything in each of your emails. Also, this post is for Denise, Justine and Alison, fellow scrapbook lovers and photo buff mentors. I tip my hat to all of you and assure you inspiration itself comes in many forms. I too am inspired likewise by all of you lovely ladies. Muaaaaahhhh!

Onward ho then, as promised (I’m so sorry it’s late!), this will be the first of several posts about my addictive disorders, hoping you too will share of yours with me. In other words, these posts are meant to be shared with anyone who may be a willing accomplice in my compulsive methodologies to adopt the same habit of disordered living - on purpose! LOL

Drop me an email anytime, and share your links if you feel so inclined to. I would love to hear from you.

Below is a scrapbook I made in 2000 (HOLY COW, it's time to make another after almost nine years right?) as a gift to my young children, but also for the entire family. It’s an ABC scrapbook, one intended to assist the littles in their learning of the alphabet and beyond because in its very simplicity, a common thread runs through it and each ABC idea for yet another book will always differ. Just to prove this theory correct, and to inspire you with the possibilities, here are a few to check out so if this project is of interest to you, choose your own theme;

  • ABC Anniversary ( I made one of these for my parents, a 5x7 inch book and as always, I have no photos to show you of this gift, something I always forget to snap before gifting the recipient)
  • ABC – other ideas... (highschool, sports, girl list, boy list, Disney, summer, and others..) both HERE and HERE and even HERE
  • Other thoughts – How about; ABCs of why I love you, or the ABCs of what is important in my life

Items necessary to make an ABC Scrapbook / Memory album;

  • A scrapbook/memory album
  • ABC letter diecuts or stickers
  • Acid free/Lignin free scrapbook papers, pens, stickers, photos and memorabilia
  • Adhesives, cutter tools
  • 26 envelopes for gathering items for inclusion
  • ABC Word list for your personal album goals

My ABC book was different than all the ones above...

My ABC book encompassed many thoughts and ideals when in the planning stages. Mine varies greatly from all of the above ABC albums in that I wanted to focus on making an ABC book about faith and family. (..more about this below)

Be inspired to think of this, perhaps as a family project. The ladies who are working hard on the Alphabet Path and over HERE with Tracy at Pinewood Castle, could incorporate all their memories into an ABC album very easily, or perhaps you might wish to capture your faith walk by adding other pertinent and sentimental fair, including plenty of journaling. The sky is the limit; jump on the bandwagon if you dare. I promise you lots of fun filled moments working on this project and judging by the alphabet letter you're all already working on, you have plenty at hand to create a project such as this one for review and memorable moments together as a family.

Making the book...

  • First of all there are 26 letters in the alphabet, therefore I took 26 business sized envelopes and wrote one letter on each. As I thought of words to use on each letter page, I wrote them on the outside of the envelope notation style, and then began to collect items to place inside, gathering whatever I could find or taking photos of those I envisioned being placed on each page. Don't forget to add a few embellishments, ticket stubs, receipts or whatever may apply to your specific project. Tip; Some letters are tricky to find appropriate words, grab a dictionary if you get stuck.
  • Next, as my ABC book would encompass family moments and living thoughts on our love of our Catholic faith, I grabbed my Catholic dictionary and began to flip about the pages for thoughts and ideas for inclusion into my alphabet book.

  • For my book, I used an 8 x 10 inch Creative Memories album, counting the pages necessary to use a two page spread per letter, plus purchase the covers for protection when the project was complete. I used only acid and lignin free products because I want this labour of love to “last” throughout the generations to come, something tangible for my progeny to share and reminisce over in the future. (Creative Memories no longer carries this size of album, rather they now have 8 ½ x 11 inch ones in its place, a nice size still to work with)
  • I made a border around the outside of every single page to hold words representing each letter. For this, and you’ll laugh wildly at me, I simply created my own template to make the job easier, taking two pieces of cardboard included in my nylon hosiery packages. They have nice rounded corners as a bonus you know...laugh. I layered both of them over top of each other, both also on top of the scrapbook album page for sizing, carefully lining them up and overlapping them, finding just the right size to get myself within ¾ inch from the outer edges of the pages. When I was satisfied with the perfect sizing, I then taped the two pieces of overlapped cardboard together. Voila, my template was now ready for action.
  • Using only pigma ink pens for the project (they never fade and are also acid free), I ran one around the outside of the template to create my border lines for the addition of alphabetical wording in the sectioned area.

  • The left page would hold the letter to represent each two page spread. And then the fun part begins! Woohoo - play, play play!
  • Take your items from the corresponding envelope representing the one letter you begin working with. Place them over the top of both pages, selecting specific spots for their perfect permanent positions.
  • Using your cutters and adhesives, affix them to the page and enjoy the entire project. I’ll bet you can’t help love those within the photos on each page, sending you into spontaneous prayer and hope for them.

Take your time! This project should not be a race, it should be an experience to create it as well as to admire it once it’s finished.

Protect your pages from sticky fingers and spills, knowing too it will last for many years down the road over time, allowing other generations to flip the pages just as you will do at the end of this project. It's worth the extra investment to complete the ABC album all the way to the finish, protectors and all.

Dedicate your album to those you are giving it to, even if it will only remain in your own family library to treasure. And, be sure to include the date and year underneath of the dedication.

Include a photo if possible of the recipient(s) on the last page and be sure to note the date of the photo...

Okay then, let’s get on with the book for you all to see....

As you view the photos below, you will begin to note for whom this book was predominantly created for. I wanted to assemble an ABC keepsake book, something different, one which could hold many interactive possibilities together, allowing for pointing wet sticky fingers to the surrounding words as I recited them verbally, and also to touch and run hands over the many photo and sticker vignettes, remembering each moment we experienced together within them.

Even though these younger children are almost nine years older, they still love this book, and so do I. It was worth every ounce of energy and the time involved, believe me.

I promise you our family's ABC faith and family book holds VERY colorful pages, but alas (shaking my head) I couldn't seem to get great photos to include for you to see here. Therefore, feel free to click onto an image to see its fullest potential, and excuse me for any glare from bouncing light on the protective covers. :-)

Have a great day everyone!