PRT033 – Uninterpreted Bits

What types of memorabilia do you collect/save/incorporate into your memory-keeping and scrapbooking? What kinds of items make it over other items? How do you actually use the memorabilia?

All this and more on this installment of the Paperclipping Roundtable!

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The Panel


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Picks of the Week

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  • Mcscraps4

    Every week tops the previous! Great show everyone!!

    What would be really great is if we could see photos of the projects that y'all talk about. I know that sometimes there might not be anything, because you discuss topics generally most of the time. But I would love to see some of the specific things that the panel describes.

    Can't wait 'til next week!!

  • carla callahan

    Hey guys =) I was hearing that you guys were taping live… any way that we could all see that now after the fact? Also, I think it would be pretty cool watching you guys do the show live on a more regular basis =)… also, maybe seeing the others on the screen via skype or whatever.. just an idea =)


  • Hi! Really enjoyed the show, wish I’d seen the “behind the scenes”. Have not commented in a while but have been listening. Have enjoyed the show. Love Izzy’s humor but did find the professional genealogist comment a little trying; after all, as the Three Stooges would say “I resemble that remark”, thanks Nancy for justifying the existence of the pro-genealogist. I could take some of the fortune I expend on scrap booking to fly to locales to research family but you folk probably understand why I do not.
    I thought it interesting that Nancy said the charts and memorabilia do not have the same meaning as stories of life right now. I have found such interesting stories, and the unstoried charts make me wonder. (I’m fortunate to have an awesomely rich treasure trove of a family to research, before I started I thought “just a bunch of ordinary farmers – Boy, was I wrong!)
    I am fascinated how these people are some of the reason I am who I am. Of course, since scrap booking I have not done as much research as I used to do. With on-line scrap shows and chats my “talking to dead people” time is less. (For new readers, this is what my DH has called my on-line genealogy research).
    One of the treasures of our family is the major scrapbook project my son needed to do for English in high school. He recorded stories from people now as well as some of the ancestors.
    I enjoyed the discussion of why and what we are scrap booking. I like the design aspect and it is leading me into art with décor projects and art journals. Sometimes, though, I need to do the story and sometimes it is the photos. Since I do this hobby purely for myself (new readers may refer back to previous episodes for an intense discussion of the topic of what we expect to happen to our scrapbooks), I think anything goes! Sometimes the journaling is pretty minimal. I remember a recent page where the only journaling was my grandson’s graduation announcement and his name. Another recent page had n journaling, it said “Smiles” as the title and featured a single photo of my youngest granddaughters. I did put their names on the back. All the journaling emphasis in scrap booking would have made me feel guilty to not add that.
    I do regret not journaling much as I look at my high school scrapbook which is just a jumble of insignificant memorabilia. However, looking at the jumble of printed napkins and stuff which could only be classified as “junk” there is some raw emotion that washes over me.
    One of our family treasures is a piece of petrified corn found in the 1800’s by one of my husband’s relatives. The date and place are recorded on the side of the wooden box. Cool!
    Both DH and I keep too much. It is really hard to purge but I’ve been working on it! Photos can help. I just took a picture of those darling white lace shoes I wore to my wedding and sent them on to Sallly Ann. They did not fit any longer so could not be used by me.
    Now, my mother’s wedding dress and headdress are not going, I “rescued” them from my Mom’s charity bin. Ooops! LOL!
    Stacy, as a gynecologist, I think that letter is fascinating. I’m sure the history archives of the American College of OB-GYN would love to have a copy (probably would love the original, really) but your family story would be wonderful to include with a copy of the letter. It adds context and meaning to the history of medicine. That was a meaningful story.
    I’m visiting my Mom right now. When asking her questions I found out how proud she was of the poetry she wrote as a young woman. Those poems got lost in a move long ago. It was something new that I found out about this woman. She has some dementia that mainly affects her recent memories so I’m glad I can still learn things about her past. The poems themselves, though, would have been wonderful to include with a page about this memory.
    As always, love the picks of the week!
    Great show, wonderful topic!

  • LOVED this show! PRT never disappoints.

    I create my pages digitally, and I've shifted over to mainly creating 8.5 x11 pages (that I print out and slip into sheet protectors). I also have a shoebox and large envelope to hold memorabilia. When I come across something new or while cleaning out a drawer and find something interesting, they now have a place to land. Eventually I sift through them to add into my albums – their final home.

    The chronological storage system I use allows me to add in either printed digital creations or memorabilia where they belong whenever I get to them (I don't scrap chronologically). Here's a blog post I wrote to explain a bit more about how I have it set up:

    I hope others share what they do to include their memorabilia as I'm always looking for inspiration. Thanks for all you do!

  • Hi, Carla. It takes a bit more to set up the live taping: 3 video cameras,
    lighting, another computer is required etc (one person is devoted to each
    panel member, plus one for the video feed), so I'm not prepared to commit to
    it on an every time basis. We do enjoy it and think it rocks, so we'll do it
    when we can!

    Getting the others on video will require more bandwidth and I'm not sure
    that is feasible yet. Last I knew, we are already using the maximum — or at
    least that was my understanding. Izzy knows, and that was the idea he gave
    me. Making sure all of our guests have a video cam would be another
    requirement, though I bet a majority of them have that.

  • Sue

    Another great episode! I was so inspired, I posted about ephemera and memorabilia on my blog. Linked back to the Paperclipping Roundtable, of course!

  • Sue

    I also meant to say that I loved the story Stacy shared about the letter from Dr. Kinsey. Amazing! Besides the main topic, the mail is my favorite part of the show. Great reminder this week about being true to yourself as a scrapbooker and not just follow the latest trends, unless of course, that's what you want to do. I love a hobby like ours that allows for growth and change as we experience life.

  • carla callahan

    wow, ya.. i can see how you would be hesitant to do that every week! i didn't realize how much was involved! =) Well, a once in a while thing is awesome too! thanks for the response… you guys rock!

  • I love the mail segment too!

  • kpoirier-brode (ladydoc)

    I did say I liked the picks but I really really like the art journal blog by Julie. Thanks so much for the pick Nancy – just fabulous!

  • NO_Mom

    Loved this episode!

  • deanna_munger

    Ok, I loved this one (it would be pretty easy to say that about all of them). But especially, some of the lines in this episode really struck me:
    “I have all this texture to share”
    “dimension helps comprehension” (when she first said this I immediately jotted it down and then loved that the panel liked it too!)
    I'm going to be pondering on those…

  • Deanna, you can share your favorite quotes any time! I love that! I don't
    remember the texture one. That is awesome.

  • Mande

    Memorabilia is a great topic. I used to use it more, but since switching to doing more digital pages, it is a little more difficult to fit it in. I mean, what would digi scrappers do? Add it in over the final print out, or scan it first and then add it in digitally? To compromise, if there is some memorabilia that I especially want to use, then I just make a traditional paper page. Like Stacy, I kind of stopped caring so much about “archiving” and making sure my memorabilia never touches my photos.

    Things I tend to save: bits of wrapping paper or ribbon from presents, name cards or name tags for special events, hand made birthday cards, cards that actually have handwritten messages, clothing tags that look kind of vintage-y, movie ticket stubs, postcards, maps, letters, brochures, drawings or artwork, etc.

    Where I store it: I have 12 clear ziploc bags (that gallon size) and they are labeled for each month of year. During the month, any memorabilia I collect goes into the ziploc and at the end of the month when I am planning my lay outs, I look through the ziploc bag and decide if I want to use any of the stuff.

    Anything that doesn't get used gets sorted according to family member. I have one canvas box for each family member and I collect memorabilia for them in there. My kids are small now, but I can imagine when they are older, they will be interested in looking through their own boxes. I also put extra prints of some of their photos in there too, so they can enjoy seeing random, non-scrapbooked photos of themselves mixed in with their memorabilia.

    (By the way, I am just listening to the Stacy's story about Dr Kinsey. This is absolutely wild!)

  • Coloredsprinklegirl

    Hi there!!! This episode was right up my alley. I am always saving bits and pieces from trips, parties, newspapers, birthday cards, etc. It was great to hear that I was not the only one with a container full of memorabilia that has yet to be used but is cherished so much. After this episode I feel inspired to break out all my bits and pieces and possibly put them all in a mini book(or a few actually), shadow box, or start using them on some layouts with pictures or even no pictures. I love the fact that I keep all of these items, I know that when I go to an antique store I am always drawn to old postcards and letters. I love to think about who the person was that wrote them and saved them as well, and how a part of them still lives on. Kudos on another great episode. I always learn a lot and always have a good laugh here and there:)

  • Andrea Johnson

    I have been listening to your show since before you changed the format and love it. I had to comment on this show because when I listened to it today at work I had to share a handy little tip. I do all my scrapbooking chronologically so for me it makes sense to store memorabilia in boxes by year. I know exactly where to go as I am going in order. There have been times however when I have either forgotten about it until later or do not have room to incorporate it into a page. I discovered that since I work with 3 ring binders, in these cases, it works for me to just laminate whatever ticket stub, pamplet, postcard, etc using my xyron and then hole punch it and place it in between the pages that it applies to.

    I have also really been wanting to ask you all a question and am hoping that you can help me out. Although I do have a printer at home I do not like the quality of the prints I can do on it. I love love love the look of having all different size pictures on one page. Is there anywhere, website or store, that you know of that someone like me can go to and have a picture printed a non standard sixe (example 3×3)?

    HUGE fan
    (Also in Phoenix AZ)

  • Beth Sutton

    I'm a digi scrapper mostly, but I loved this show. With back to school shopping it was incredibly timely. I pulled a bunch of tags out of my daughter's trash, arranged them artfully (I hope) and snapped a photo. I kept one tag from the skinny jeans (so now!) but the rest went in the trash. I'll include the photo in the digi pages I make at the end of the school year. The tag I kept went in an accordion folder I use for storing some of her writing, papers, report cards and other memorabilia each year. Thanks again, you are all great company as I walk my dogs!

  • Oh, and one more thing, I'm totally in love with Evernote!!!! It is the coolest app ever, it's on my desktop, laptop and phone and I'm finding new uses daily!

  • Barbara

    I LOVE this show! I haven't even finished listening yet! This is exactly what has been bothering me since I switched to digital scrapping. I really enjoy the freedom to mess up my pages in digi (I never felt that way in paper), but I have missed terribly working with all my bits and pieces, ie parking stubs, tickets, tour brochures, maps, receipts, etc. I heart that stuff. So, this really has me thinking that I need to figure out a way to make it work for me.
    And, I loved the part about “messy” scrapbooks, ones that aren't so pretty and perfect, but are so very real, like the Velveteen Rabbit. That's what speaks to my heart and that's the kind of scrapbook I want to make.
    I just found a scrapbook that my father made in 1938, when he was stationed in the territory of Hawaii in the Army. He wrote captions under the photos in a silver pen on the black pages–it's amazing. There's even a photo of him in front of the Thurston Lava Tube; I'm going to scan it and do a layout of me standing in the EXACT same spot 60+ years later.
    I'm off to finish listening while I get dinner ready.
    Thanks SO very much.

  • rosann

    I so want to see a sample fat book. Anyone? :)

  • Here are some examples…

    <object width=”640″ height=”385″><param name=”movie” value=””></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”></param><embed src=”” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”640″ height=”385″></embed></object>


    <object width=”480″ height=”385″><param name=”movie” value=””></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”></param><embed src=”” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”480″ height=”385″></embed></object>

  • That is awesome about your Dad's book and you standing in the same spot! I
    also LOVE your reference to the Velveteen Rabbit and scrapbooks. I need to
    remember that one!

  • tes

  • I am an avid podcast listener, and I was thrilled to find out a month ago about PRT (through a link on Stacy Julian's blog). I have been listening to all the back issues of PRT and PDS, and I am not looking forward to the day when I catch up and have to wait each week for a new episode.

    I absolutely loved your episode this week on memorabilia. (I listen to your archives out of order and try to keep up on your newest shows because they sometimes contain timely information.) It was the perfect topic for me because I am currently working on a scrapbook from a trip I took to Australia and New Zealand when I was pregnant six years ago. I saved all sorts of ephemera, including brochures for the B&Bs we stayed in, maps, cards and receipts from restaurants, tour tickets, postcards, menus, and even pages ripped from my guidebook. I quickly put together a photo album of our trip when we first returned (just before I had my son), but I haven't had any time to work on the memorabilia portion of the project until now. I am currently creating a 12×12 paper scrapbook that features memorabilia I collected. I create a 12×12 spread for each area we visited that has all the ephemera on it. (I'm creating lots of pocket pages and adhering items like brochures in a way that you can still unfold them and interact with them in the scrapbook.) Then I am including one 12×12 photo pocket page in the middle of each spread that includes my favorite pictures from that area. I am even adding fun grungy/vintage frames to the photos in Photoshop before I print them so the whole album has the same old-fashioned scrapbook look and feel. I have completed about a third of the album so far, and it is quickly becoming my favorite album because it's full of “texture” as well as photos and stories.

    One more thing: When the panel was talking about ways to cue yourself about ephemera that goes with photos, I don't think I heard anyone mention writing that note into the caption or description field for the relevant photos in their photo management software. This can be done much the same way Noelle described capturing notes about week-in-the-life, or any, photos in a previous episode.

    Thanks again for the awesome podcast. I look forward to listening to every episode.

  • fancyscrapper

    How interesting that you would do a podcast on this topic. Just last night my 16 yodd was looking through my Story Album of when her Dad and I met, got engaged, and married. She loved finding the actual football ticket on the layout, along with small menus, newspaper articles, and flyers from the time of the beginning of our romance. I told her that I didn't start scrapbooking until about 8 years into marriage, but I still had these bits and pieces of memorabilia that pertained to that time in my life.

    I love that seeing my album inspired my daughter to begin saving more scraps of life for her own story. She had thumbed through that particular album before (it's been done for 10 years or more!), but it never hit her like it did last night, perhaps since she is coming into her own.

    Anyway, thanks for the inspiration (as always).

    I loved that you had Liz on since I actually got to participate in a Fat Book she hosted last fall, so I have a piece of artwork she made right here in my Happy Place! How cool is it to hear her share her thoughts and ideas after having interacted artistically with her and many other talented artists.

    Thank you again for making this weekly delight possible.

  • Great idea! And tour album sounds awesome!!! I'd love it if you posted a
    picture or two of some of the pages!

  • Crazymathchic

    Great show guys. When I am scrapbooking, I often think about the old-time SCRAP books that my dad's aunt made. They are full of newspaper clippings, letters, and ticket stubs from the lives of her family, and we treasure them now. I have collected my own memorabilia for years, and try to include it in my scrapbooks whenever I can. A few years ago, my husband and I took our children on what was a once-in-a-lifetime dream trip for us, to Europe to meet some of their ancestors, reconnect with their Dutch heritage (through my husband's side), and also see some parts of Germany where I visited when I lived there as a small girl. (It was AMAZING!) I took advice from my sister-in-law and took a small baggie with patterned paper scraps, some stamped images, a glue stick, etc. and created an ephemera book/art journal as we went along. Each night I went through all of the ticket stubs, receipts, booklets, and postcards I had collected and ripped interesting or meaningful parts out to glue into my book. Sometimes I drew, sometimes I made collages, sometimes things hang over the edges or unfold from the center, and I always wrote at least a little something. Now that is one of my most treasured scrapbooks. There are no pictures, but just seeing the remnants of our journey, next to my own thoughts, brings everything back. I have done this for almost every trip since, and I still love it. My family just knows that everywhere I go, I will be collecting “stuff” for my book.

  • Crazymathchic

    Oh, and where is the “purse-sized” art journaling kit, Nancy? I looked at the Balzer Designs link, but I'm not sure where on the page (or which link) it is.

  • I would LOVE to see pictures of this book. This is something I've been
    wanting to try lately and haven't had the chance yet. Izzy and I want to
    take a trip up to Portland and maybe I could be prepared to do it there. I
    love the idea.

  • June

    Hi Andrea,
    I have had great results printing photos and digital layouts at
    They have so many different sizes to choose from.

  • Steph H.

    I so enjoyed today's show as I have been thinking a lot about where scrapbooking started. The old scrapbooks (books of scraps) are so amazing. I love finding them and looking through them. My dad has one with all his clippings from high school and sports he played and the beginning of his military career. So cool!

    I loved the stories everyone shared, especially Stacy's Kinsey story. What a hoot!

    I also loved Noell's comment about wine labels. Before my grandmother (she's from Germany) passed away, I was able to visit her in Germany and go through some boxes in her attic. I found a box of old postcards she collected and cards she received from people. In that box were also a bunch of wine labels (new, never used). I asked my mom about them and learned that my parents ran a wine shop out of their basement back in the 40s and 50s! How cool is that? Most likely without finding those labels and asking my mom about them, I never would have known this piece of family history. And, that's just one of the many reasons ephemera rocks! :)

    Thanks for another fun show.

  • I think it's interesting that you save vintage-y clothing tags, because I tend to save new-age looking stuff, because I feel years from now, what we consider to be “new age”, “modern”, etc. will be interpreted as looking vintage. For instance, I have started saving ski lift passes. I think the logos and bar codes etc. that are trendy now will look vintage years from now. Plus they have the added benefit of already having a date stamped on them!

    Similarly anything with a url on it I think will look dated in the future, in a very cool way.

  • I wanted to comment on the memorabilia product picks – I agree that it helps if it is open. I use just a regular inbox that I got at my office supply store on clearance and keep it near the door to my scrap space. That way I can just pop something in as I am putting stuff away around the house.

    Hope you are seeing all the Paperclipping Roundtable love in the gallery at the Big Idea Festival at Big Picture Scrapbooking! Looks like a lot of people are listening in and scrapping about it!

  • Also check out this post at the Daily Digi for journaling prompts for a travel journal:

  • HeatherC

    Holy cow — this episode was so inspiring. I am partly kicking myself for not keeping items in the past but do not want to waste any more time and I am going to start my memorabila notebook today! I am going to WalMart anyway and going to just pick up a binder and start — I love the permission that it does not have to be pretty, it just has to be. Love it when Stacy is on — she is auditory energy!!! Thanks for the continued inspiration.

  • Jenway9

    This is a question for Izzy. Would there be any reason that when after downloading the shows and listening to them on my droid phone that sometimes the recording would speed up and you all sound like chipmunks? Should I re-download to see if that fixes the problem or do you think its something to do with my player. I've never had this happend before and I have been listening since Episode 1. This episode is the first time this has happened. Thanks, Jennifer

  • Jennifer, I remember this happened to someone else, though it might have
    been on their iPhone and if I remember right, it turned out that they had
    pressed some button on their phone that had caused their episode to go on a
    faster mode like that. I wonder if that's what happened to you? I'll try to
    remember to mention this to Izzy in case he doesn't see it and if he knows
    of anything different, he'll get on here. You're the first to mention it,
    though, and the episode has been released for a full week now, so I'm pretty
    sure you set it to fast-mode somehow by accident.

    Maybe you could google it with keywords like “droid” “podcast speeding up”
    or something like that?

  • Cynthia, what a great point. I love your examples of specific things you
    look for!

  • Great point!

  • Jenway9

    Thanks Noell! I will try and research it too. The problem with the speed thing is that its not through the whole episode its just every once in a while throughout the whole podcast.

  • Marilyn

    You made me laugh, Robyn….I just got caught up with PRT and am now bereft….I will have to now wait for each week's show, too… I just started listening about a month ago and even had my car hard-wired to listen to my iPod without static, just so I didn't have to leave the house without the round table! Now I am going to start in with the videos, but those might prove to be too distracting while driving! I guess it's back to the neglected Kim Komando podcasts that I've been saving for those in-between times!

  • Marilyn

    Oh man… now I am enabled… I do have boxes and boxes of stuff I've been saving for years, but now I've been given permission to keep it up!!! My nest is empty now, so the flow has lessened, at least until there are grandchildren, anyway! I really do need to sort it into some kind of system, though. Thanks for all the great ideas and inspiration… I've laughed out loud many times while listening in the car…oops! Love your guests and all the great information…glad to be a part of this! Thanks!

  • That is really weird! There isn't anything unusual abt the show file. I told Izzy that it's going back and forth and he has no idea why it would do that on your phone either. I wish we could give you a better idea of where to look. :(

  • Emily

    I love every PRT episode, but this one was my favorite. I loved hearing everyone's favorite stuff they had saved. I have a dozen “memory boxes” – essentially shoe boxes full of memorabilia that I have been collecting since I was in middle school. Everything is neatly organized and in chronological order. I had no idea that 20 years down the road I would be a scrapbooker and I am so happy that I saved these memories. I've saved some really fun things too. I have every movie ticket stub starting from 1990 when I first got the idea to keep them. 3 of those are for Titanic (yes, I saw it 3 times in the theater!). I also have important notes that friends wrote to me in high school study hall, including one that was written on a series of straw wrappers. One of these friends sadly passed away, so again, very glad I saved this memory. There are many more items like these that spark memories that I now have the ability to capture in layouts and probably a few mini albums.

    Also, I wanted to mention that Big Picture Scrapbook has a class just for this topic! It is a self paced class by May Flaum called Vacation Memorabilia. Of course I signed up for it because I felt like it was created for me. It is worth checking out!

  • Kimba911

    Hi again, Everyone! I love this topic. I personally believe that memorabilia adds true dimension and interest to our pages. I use these items once in a while, when I can remember that I have them. This is where Stacy's organizational system really helps out. I was very surprised to hear that so many people think of memorabilia items as things they have to fit on a page, and are worried about them fitting with the particular scrapbook products they bought?? Scrapbook products are there to complement our memories, pictures, and yes … memorabilia. I start with these very precious items, and then choose the products, colors, papers and embellishments, to suit the highlighted memories. The products should not be the leading character … they are the supporting cast. And my doing this does not, in any way, mean that my pages are any less attractive than others … In fact, they are all the richer for it.
    One obstacle that was brought up was brochures that are too large for the page. I have color photocopied brochures, at a smaller size, and used them. Also, sometimes just using particular verbage that was on the item … instead of the actual item … is a valid option. I recently typed out the itinerary of a scrapbook weekend away onto a piece of cardstock, and it made a terrific background page!
    Again, thanks for this incredible podcast! I look forward to future episodes. :)

    Kim C
    Simi Valley, CA

  • Catching up on episodes…thanks for doing the podcast first of all!

    I love collecting ephemera, but also fall into the trap of forgetting to use it and having it all pile up. The reminder idea is a great one…or to somehow make a place for it amongst all our scrap tools – because then we will see it and use it!

    Also, wanted to say thanks for mentioning me as I did one of the guest posts during Julie Balzer's art journaling week. I have to say that scrapbookers are art journalers with an emphasis on their photos and stories…but it's the same thing. It's all about memory keeping!

  • Straw wrapper notes! That's totally the kind of nutty things that kids do —

    especially teens and pre-teens — and definitely something interesting to

    save! Love taht.

  • I love the way you put it : the products are supposed to compliment our

    photos and memorabilia. Our photos and memorabilia are the leading roles.