Wednesday, January 8, 2014

In The Beginning - Again.

These photos were in a tiny photo book with a plastic binder.  I removed them from the book, but left the border.  I was able to use my mother's handwriting since two photographs were exactly the same.

As I get older, I find myself becoming more and more attached to old photos - of my children (one in college and one about to be), of my brothers, of my parents and, of course, of me.  I tell those jaded children of mine that they, too, will one day be glad I took all those photos of them over the years. I tell them that they will be glad that I had them printed out and that I put them in albums rather than leaving them on tiny camera drives or in random folders on my computer.

My children have outgrown their tolerance for my camera.

And this leaves me in a difficult position since I need to scrapbook.

The solution?  I started scrapbooking myself.

A few years ago, my mother sent me photo boxes filled with photographs - those little 3x3 pictures with white borders.  They were all curled up, spooning the ones before and after them in their yellow envelopes from the developer.  Some were stuck to each other, but I managed to separate them with a little bit of alcohol. Fortunately, that did not harm the pictures themselves. There were multiple prints of some photos. Others had descriptions on the back, written by my mother in marker - black marker.  Miraculously, the writing had not bled through even though some forty years or more had passed.  There were three with the same description on the back - "First day, first grade."  However, I was wearing different dresses in the three photographs and my hair was longer in each.  Clearly, they were not all from the first day of first grade.

I began by sorting the photos as best I could - by year, guessing in many cases as I went along. Using an old album that I had made in high school (the kind with the manila paper and little silver posts), I was able to make fairly educated guesses as to dates.  The places I almost always recognized as being our house, the house where my mom's parents lived and the house where my dad's mom lived.  The rest  - the vast majority, in fact, were taken in New Hampshire on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee.  Those were a bit harder to sort by year.

For a few months, I lived with myself - enjoying old cracked photographs of me, my parents and then, after a while, my brothers.  It was great fun getting to buy the baby embellishments that did not exist when my boys were babies.  It was even more fun getting to use pink - paint, paper, glitter, ink.  So much pink!

I have finished my childhood, my toddler years and my teen years of which, sadly, there were few photos. There is virtually nothing from high school - no photos of my school, my friends, my house - nothing.  I have finished my freshman year of college, but it took up only two pages because, again, I took so few photos. Were I attending college now, well, that would be a different story and yet I cannot convince my boys to take more photos of themselves and their friends either.  I think it is a girl thing.

And so, here are the first few photos of my own album.  I wonder, in the years to come, who will look at it?

This is the title page.  I had to scan the photo with my parents as the color had faded to the point where it was almost impossible to see anyone.  Photoshop is an amazing tool.

My mother had a sleepover for my cousins when I was fairly new.  I always liked how this one turned out.

Ah, pink!  The image on the lower left side was stamped on Stampbord - a wonderful substance for stamping.
The source for all the supplies used on these images was lost when Google deleted all the photos.