I am kind of fascinated by scrapbooking (or “memory keeping” as I’ve also heard it referred to). I mean, some of it seems hopelessly lame and obsessive, but it does seem like a great way to show off pictures. And then I think about how many paper scraps I already have lying around the house and am reminded that I should not be a scrapbook person.
Which is why I’m really glad I found blurb. It’s an awesome website where you can make your own books. Basically, you download a program that lets you add and edit your pictures. You can pick different layouts, fonts and themes to customize your book and then you order it. It’s that easy. No, I don’t work for blurb and I’m not getting paid for this, but it really is an awesome service for people like me. I made a really pretty book after my wedding with all of the photographs, both from the photographer and from friends and family. I was able to add ceremony readings, song lyrics and little stories to flesh it out. It was really easy and user friendly and I am very happy with the end result.
As well, I also really like memory boxes. You just fill the box with with photos and keepsakes and boom! Memory box! (I just had a “Vince in the Slap Chop ad” moment. “One slap! Salad!” If you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, just move on.) Make sure you get an acid-free photo box, especially if using cherished family photos. Or Archie comics. It’s great for pack rats, a la moi, because we tend to want to keep things that have sentimental value, but are not sure how to honour the memory they evoke, if you will. Ok, so it’s kind of hard to honour the memory of old Archie comics, but just stay with me, people! You just get a box, fill it up and then when you want to put it away, you have a nice, neat box instead of a pile of stuff. It also ensures that you won’t misplace your treasured items, especially the Archie comic where they visited Newfoundland. That was awesome. This can easily happen in my house.
Another option is to make a digital scrapbook. Basically, you upload your pictures onto your computer and use whatever software you like to make a little slideshow of the pictures. You can add music and text, whatever you want really. Or you could just upload it to an online photo sharing site or make a private blog for your family if you’re not into showing off family pictures for the entire world to see. Next thing you know, your family Christmas photo is being used as an ad for a Czech grocery store.
There are tons of ways to “memory keep” without having to buy papers, embellishments, punches and scrapbooks: cheaper ways, easier ways, less messy ways. Some people are very organized and have no problem preventing clutter from taking over the house, but I am certainly not one of them. These are just some ideas that I use to preserve those “magic moments” without cutting out pieces of paper for a backdrop and adding gilded little crowns or googly eyes.