Hobby of the Heart: Creative Ways to Preserve Memories

Megan Hoeppner with Creating Keepsakes shares creative challenges that will add new life to your memory-preserving hobby.

The 365 Concept

In the January 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine, we introduced a concept called “Project 365,” which is all about capturing the true, day-to-day moments of your life by taking a single photograph every day for a year. This idea was hugely successful and is now in use worldwide. Today, there are several places where this concept is applied, complete with fun product offerings that can be combined with the photos to create memorable projects. For products designed with this concept in mind, check out:

1. Project Life by Becky Higgins

2. Elle Studio calendars

Photos to Take

Recognizing the importance of photo journaling, Creating Keepsakes has compiled a list of “Ten Can’t-Miss Photos to Take Each Month.” With it, you’ll add fresh vantage points to your photo collection and tell a deeper story. Download the list for free here.

Documenting Photos

Once you’ve taken your photos, don’t leave them on memory cards. Instead, print them and jot down the details of the event on the back using our photo labels. This free download is designed to work with 2″ x 4″ Avery 5263 Labels, making this a very easy and effective way to remember the moment when it comes time to scrapbook the image.

Writing 365

Another concept gaining popularity is the idea of 365 Blogging. This doesn’t have to include photographs or even long entries. Instead, it can just be a short snippet, whether that’s a thought, a quote, a silly conversation you’ve had with your child, or statement of gratitude.

Choosing the Blog Size that’s Right for You

Just like clothing, blogs come in different sizes—small, medium and large. Find the size that’s right for you, based on the descriptions below:

Small: Things like updating your Facebook status and tweeting on Twitter are known as micro blogging. These are bite-size thoughts you post to an online audience, complete with a character limit.

Medium: Tumble blogging is the next step up from micro. Also short and sweet, this mid-size venue allows you to post a thought, link off to favorite sites and share photos. The main difference between tumble and micro is that you’re without character limits. Tumblr.com is a great place to get started.

Large: For those who have the time and interest in sharing more in-depth thoughts with the e-world will most likely want to go with traditional blogging. There are a number of free and low-cost blogging options out there (WordPress, Blogger, Livejournal, Typepad, etc.) where you can post as many pictures and words as you’d like as often as you’d like.

Creative Ways to Bring Your Photos and Words Together

You don’t have to share your thoughts with the entire electronic world. If you’re interested in the 365 concept but want to keep it more personal, create a photo-album scrapbook or catch-all journal. With just a few scrapbooking supplies, you can preserve your memories in fun, bite-size ways and really get a beautiful picture of what your life is all about.

Photo-Album Scrapbooking
Photo album sleeves are for more than just pictures. As our special issue, Quick & Easy Photo Albums, illustrates, you can also use them to hold patterned paper, written notes and fun accents. This album, created for Creating Keepsakes magazine by well known scrapbooker Stacy Julian, is a beautiful example of how a standard photo album can transform into a colorful book of memories and moments.

Journal Scrapbooking

Notebooks and journals can be for more than just shopping lists and the written word. Don’t be afraid to staple photos in and add memorabilia. Transforming a standard notebook into a colorful journal is easy with scraps of paper. Simply staple in or glue patterned paper to some of the pages for quick, cute pockets that will hold your treasures.

Daily, Weekly or Monthly – It Matters!
Whether you choose to join the daily memory-keeping crowd or decide that once a month is more your style, these approaches are easy to do and completely worthwhile. Scrapbooking doesn’t have to mean full-on albums, loaded with 12 x 12 pages. It is simply a way of capturing your life instead of letting it pass you by without even taking time to recognize its beauty. Snap pictures, share your thoughts and put those bits together in a way that works for you. You’ll be glad that you did, and those in your life (including the many generations to come), will adore you for it.

For more creative ideas from Megan Hoeppner, visit her blog at meganhoeppner.blogspot.com. She’s the creative editor of Creating Keepsakes magazine, so you can also find her there, both on their blog (CreatingKeepsakesBlog.com) and their website (www.CreatingKeepsakes.com).

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