Thursday, August 22, 2013

Alfred's Family History Project

Most people who scrapbook for their children have worried at some point or another about not being caught up.  People come to all sorts of different solutions, and the one I’m most fond of is just not to worry about it at all.  This isn’t completely true.  I have an album for each of my girls first year that I want to be complete as soon after their first birthday as possible.  Lilah’s was done 2 weeks after her first birthday, and I’m hoping to be able to do the same for Michaela. All the rest of my scrapbooks are a fairly random assortment of everyday memories and letters to my family.

There are, however, a few things that keep tugging at my guilty conscience.  The chief among them is that I don’t have much (or anything really) about Alfred’s family.  I have a ton of heritage photos from my family, and I know a lot of our family history, but the same isn’t true of my husband’s family.  I grew up not knowing much about my father’s family and because of that I know very little about what it means to be part Jamaican.  I don’t want my daughters to grow up the same way.  I want their father’s history to be as important to them as mine. 

Enter my newest project.  Two scrapbook albums (one for his mother’s family and one for his father’s), that will give my girls a little bit of an overview of the history on that side and check scrapping his family history off my list forever.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ll try to encourage him to keep telling them about his family, but once I finish these two albums, I’ll consider my obligation fulfilled and no more guilty conscious for me…at least not on this account. 

These are the project envelopes I've put together for the two albums.

Here’s the general outline of how I plan to complete this project. 
  1. I’ve already put together 30 starting points (see this link on about using starting points for scrapbooking), for each album. Here are photos of all my starting points (with sketches when I've used them).

  1.  We’re taking a trip to visit his family next month, and while I’m there, I’ll take an afternoon for each side to photograph their family photo albums. (With good light and a decent digital camera, photographing the pictures is just as good as scanning and takes A LOT less time.)
  2. In the evening, I’ll quickly go though the photos that I’ve taken and copy the ones that strike my interest into their own files, and send them off to print.
  3. It will take another 3 or 4 hours to decide which pictures will go with which starting points (but I’ll probably be thinking about this as I’m choosing the pictures too to make the process go faster)
  4. I’ll adhere the photos to the starting points and put them in order and number them.
  5. On another day (or two), I’ll sit with an audio recorder (I use this app I got for my phone for free, it’s the same app I use for doing my voice overs when my sister edits my videos.) and Alfred’s grandmother (on his dad’s side) and then his mother and grandmother (on the mother’s side) recording whatever they can think of to say about the pages I’ve put together.
  6. After I come home, I’ll transcribe the recordings and print them to use as journaling on the pages.

That’s where I’ll call the project complete for my girls, but then (just because that’s the kind of person that I am) I’ll photograph the layouts and provide copies to anyone in his family who wants them.  We’ll see how it goes, but (in theory) this doesn’t seem too difficult.