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We asked Barbara Starace and her creative staff at Bizzy B's Stamp and Scrap, a paper arts store and workshop centre based in Toronto, to share a few imaginative ways to organize and present your family's memories this summer.
1. Art journaling
Art journaling allows you to express yourself through writing while also maintaining the visual aspects of a scrapbook. Hang onto those keepsakes, photos and other valuable scraps and arrange them in your own creative freestyle journal.
"Art journaling uses different mediums, such as paint, collage, stamps, templates and anything else your imagination can come up with," says Starace. "It is a more ‘anything goes' kind of style. You can document your life through art and still include your photos and write about what is happening in your life through journaling."
2. A day in the life
This option is great for photography enthusiasts. It offers a fun take on the traditional photo album and you can organize it into a timeline.
"Purchase or make albums that have many different-size pockets inside and document something you do every day or a few times a week," says Starace. "It can be anything from food you had in a restaurant to a day spent planting your garden. Just get the camera out. The idea is to document the mundane things we do instead of just those happy special occasions."
Label each pocket by day or week, and by the end of the year you'll get to see how much family fun you packed into that year, almost like an interactive time capsule.
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3. DIY wall art
When hanging family photos on the wall, go one step further and add your own personal statement to each picture. There are many computer programs that let you get crafty with images, says Bizzy B staffer Violet Stabas. Create a collage within each picture by layering song lyrics, movie quotes or inside jokes and you'll give the image a whole new meaning.
"Create a unique collage with pictures and words. Photoshop is forgiving because you can put the different elements on the layers tool and if you don't like something you can just delete it," she explains.
You can also make a scrapbook-style frame for your photo before hanging it. Take a basic frame and embellish the frame itself. Using a 4- x 6-inch photo gives you lots of room for words and embellishments on an 8- x 10-inch layout. In the area between the photo and the frame you can create a collage of keepsakes or a mix of your own artwork. Include quotes and words to keep the memory going strong.
4. An as-you-go travel book
Travel memories are often the strongest and happiest memories a family can have. For a different documentation of your experience, create a scrapbook that everyone contributes to while on the trip, suggests Shirley Knudsen, another staff member at Bizzy B.
"Premake a book for your journey and bring along essentials like glue, journaling cards, pens and alpha stickers. Work on the book as you travel and fill it in with embellishments when you return. That way everything is fresh in your mind when you capture the memories," Knudsen advises.
5. Have a family craft night
Getting the whole family together for a collaborative craft night after the trip is a great way to create a display of your family's memories that everyone can contribute to. Keep kids interested by integrating a fun theme.
"You could do a theme evening or make it a 'try a new technique' time where you all use certain supplies such as stamps and ink. Then you can all make cards, do a scrapbook page or work on a journal," suggests Starace. "You will see how everybody uses the same items but comes up with very different endings," she says.
If you want to make a craft night an ongoing event in your family, come up with a large project you can work toward finishing together, such as a large-scale scrapbook or art journal.
When you're crafting, the most important thing to remember is that there is no wrong way to preserve your family's memories. The more involved your family is in the process, the more fun the process will be. This summer, make it a goal to fill your house with beautiful representations of your happiest memories.
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