Hello! Welcome back to Memory Keeping Mondays... I know, I know - I took a couple of weeks off due to some other commitments but I'm back and ready to jump back into talking about our memory keeping processes. In one of my recent posts, we talked about printed photos and displaying them around your home... Today, I'm here to talk about the printed photos that are NOT on display in your home.
What do you do with all your 4x6, 5x7 and various other prints that you've had made over the years? Where are they stored? Are the labeled appropriately in case something ever happens to you? (Not that we want anything to happen to you, but it is inevitable for all of us eventually).
For me, my memory keeping process over the years has gone from good to bad, then bad to good...
Let me start with the bad.... I am ashamed to admit that for about a four year period in my mid twenties, I was the person who threw my printed photos in a box. And not a photo-safe box! Please don't do that folks... Please. Photo boxes at a local craft store are very inexpensive, often on sale, and well worth the investment. While you're there, pick up a photo safe pen to write dates, names, and places on the back of your photos. It is important you do this - I can't tell you how many photos my Mom or I have come across after a family member's passing and we have no idea who is in the photo.... It always breaks my heart because that is a piece of our family's legacy we've missed out on.
And now for the good...
When I was in middle school, my super crafty Mom and her friend Shelly who owned a stamping company would spend hours paper crafting and scrapbooking together. Shelly's daughter and I were the same age (and best friends, I might add) so we found ourselves getting the craft itch too. We took up scrapbooking with our moms' leftover photos, paper, and embellishments. Years went by doing this and by the time I started high school I was working to support my memory keeping "habit." I continued to scrapbook until shortly after I finished high school. When I began working full time however, my life became too busy to spend much time documenting memories.
Nevertheless, a memory keeper at heart, I still kept taking photos and collecting memorabilia (and dumping it into that box I mentioned... the non photo safe one. Tsk tsk.).
Last year, I started feeling guilty about all the photos and things I'd collected and had laying around. Here I was, married for almost three years, and hadn't once documented any bit of our new lives together. I had all these pictures stored on my computer, some printed, and even more stored on my iPhone and yet, not one memory or piece of memorabilia was matched up with a photo. If something happened to me, no one would know why those memories had been precious to me.
With that guilt weighing on my heart, I began searching online for an album to hold Instagram size prints so I could begin documenting and it was then that a revolutionary memory keeping process jumped out at me. I came across a system developed by Becky Higgins called Project Life; a system that utilized all different sizes of "pockets" in which to slip your photos and journal about the memories that went along with those photos. I was instantly intrigued. I began researching this system on the internet, watching Becky's videos, and pinning idea boards. Basically, what I got out of the concept of the system is that unlike traditional scrapbook pages, this is a system designed to be simple so you can get your memories documented quickly, easily, and in a fun way.
Once I figured that out, I immediately began looking to purchase albums and kits to get me started. I was fortunate enough to find items at my local Michael's Craft Store and Hobby Lobby that worked with the Project Life concept and was elated to find out both chains began carrying the actual Project Life brand of items shortly after.
- For me, I enjoy several things about the Project Life system:
- It works well with my schedule
- I don't fall behind in memory keeping. I can keep up with it on a monthly basis in one or two afternoons
- Its very creative, but not tediously so
- I like the fact I can mix in traditional scrapbooking pages and include memorabilia
- It allows for various size photos
- I am able to document stories along with my photos
*Some of my favorite Project Life items so far are:
- Project Life : Midnight Edition
- Project Life Page Protectors
- We R Memory Keepers faux-leather albums (I have Greige and Mint)
- We R Memory Keepers Card sets
- MAMBI Stickers
- MAMBI Pocket Pages Cards
- Studio Calico Wood Veener Embellishments
* There are literally thousands of options you can use to incorporate into this system if you ever choose to use it. You don't have to stick to just one brand. There are even monthly subscription kits! I have not been paid to promote these products. I simply use them and enjoy them.
If Project Life is something you'd like to look into, I recommend this series of videos from Creative Live about the Project Life system. I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned so much from it. In the future, I plan to share more from my scrapbooks and the little things I've incorporated into them. But for now, I must wrap this post up... Next up - digital scrapbooking!