PRT088 – I Scrap Dead People

How can you blend family history and scrapbooking? We have some ideas to share. Come listen!

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  • I’m so thrilled that you guys did this episode. I feel like PRT is starting to read my mind and give me exactly what I want to hear, before I even know I want to hear about it! 

    Literally YESTERDAY, I was working (at Staples’ Copy and Print Center) and photocopying a “book” for the cutest little old lady– it was an almost complete book that she had put together of her family history. It really got me thinking about how much I wanted to compile MY family history, my HUSBAND’s family history– before we have kids and have no time to do it. Of course, being a scrapbooker, I wondered how I would make it “prettier” than the black and white photos and books that I was photocopying. Maybe this show will give me some “enlightenment” 

    I’m going to listen to the episode– but before I even start, I wanted to say a big THANK YOU for doing this episode! 

  • Betsy Sammarco

    ok … i’ve only just listened to the opening of the show and have to say, Izzy is the funniest guy on the internet.

    (but that may not say much about me …)

  • Betsy Sammarco

    ok, so i’ve only listened to the opening of the show and have to say, Izzy is the funniest guy on the internet.

    (but that may not say much about me ….)

  • I hope handwriting doesn’t go away! Signatures are sometimes defined as handwritten! I think we learn to express ourselves better through handwriting, as opposed to typing. There’s something about a handwritten letter that is more authentic and touching… 

  • Totally taking the MacGyver class – talk about a cool class name! But more than that, it’s nice to learn about principles that we can apply to our situation, versus classes that are just do xyz and it’s over!

  • I’m still listening to the episode, but had to comment on the standardization of family tree charts. That is craziness because family has always been incredibly varied. I mean come on, mothers regularly died during childbirth, which is one reason blended families are nothing new. Family tree charts should be much more flexible because most people’s family’s do not fit neatly on a standard chart. 

  • I held my tongue because there were a lot of people talking and I didn’t want to take over with negativity but I do find it frustrating that they have not made concessions for this in family tree charts. I can’t believe that after all these years they haven’t made these more flexible for what families are REALLY like.

  • Amy

    This may well be my favorite of ALL Paperclipping episodes. I loved the discussion. As a family history geek, I was excited to hear you guys covering this topic. I think you helped me to solve one of my ongoing dilemma’s during your discussion … I like to create both ‘factual’ pages (just the facts) and pages that explore a topic or a situation that I don’t know much about. For example, my grandfather left my grandmother, my mother and my uncle when my mom was 13, causing a lot of good and bad things for them. He was a raging alcoholic and wasn’t a particularly nice person. He disappeared until 15 years later when his girlfriend of the moment called my mom to tell her that he’d died. I did a page about him that focused on the choices he made and how they impacted the family. I wrote about some of the things that I wondered – did he have regrets, etc. But, those pages and factual pages don’t seem to go well in the same album (which I’m working on with the intent of sharing with family members) because I don’t know that the family members I’d want to share these pages with would care to hear about my thoughts on a family member or a situation from the past. But, after listening to the show, I realized … hey, I can do it any way that I want to! So, I’m going to do both to my heart’s content. I can always just put the ones that I think are appropriate out to family members, keeping the ones that I don’t care to share in my own personal album. Given that I’m doing it entirely digitally, I have the flexibility to do it any way that I want! Until I heard you all talking about it on the show, it hadn’t occurred to me to just do both! Thank you for helping me sort that out! Thanks for the hard work you guys put into the show each week!

  • Awesome! Nice to hear a specific way the episode helped you with a dilemma!

  • Katiescottscrapbooking

    So glad you tackled this topic! And Jessica’s class sounds on point. I am still ultimately it sure how to tackle the overwhelming amount of stuff I have but maybe it’s to just start and keep doing something on a regular basis so that over time I would arrive at a place where I’d have a good handle on the family history thing.

    Different subject / if you ever revisit the topic of getting into the scrapbook business – especially the online membership model – please consider having Kim Byrnes on – She launched Bite Sized Scrapbooking – a membership site & has had to morph it into something else because of the challenge of running an online site. And she would have lots of insight about that process and what worked / didn’t work.

    Also – business idea – maybe for someone like your friend Tim Conley : you know how they (business strategy types) say “if the gold rush is coming – be the guy selling shovels instead of one of the many digging for gold”. – there are so many scrapbookers & other creative types who want to start an online business but don’t have the know how or even the desire maybe to run an online business – opportunity there is to run the business for them – maybe along the lines of Etsy but for bits / or my craft channel – but for non celeb crafters.

    Just some random thoughts for you – as always. – love the show!

  • Charts are intended to trace genetics, not living arrangements. Therefore each bloodline requires a new chart. It may not be how you think of family, but it is how genealogy defines family for research purposes. (Note – I said family, not household.) 

  • Interesting. And I just had a “well, duh” moment. Of course, genealogy focuses on genetics, they start the same way! Thanks for clearing that up!

  • jersey Girl Anne

    Just curious as to where adopted family members are suppose to fit in on these charts.

  • Nicole

    I am listening to the show & just hearing Ana talk about the reel to reel film I had to laugh. I grew up in a family where documenting our lives & knowing about history was always important. I grew up with a father who is obsessed with Titanic, to the point he always says he was a propeller on the ship. He has an old victrola and an old Edison music box, with the wax cylinders. I grew up hearing stories about my family and was always taught to put dates on everything & label who is in photos where the photo was taken. I guess it is only natural that I am a scrapbooker. I am very lucky that my Grandmother has extensive family trees and journals kept by relatives and friends dating back to before World War II. I have been trying to read through these journals everytime I visit my Grandmother & I am thrilled that my kids will have this information available to them & that my 2 middle boys are already showing interest in my father’s victrola & Edison music box

  • We have an old music box with wax cylinders, too — isn’t it awesome? Ours belonged to Izzy’s great-great-grandfather, I think. It’s amazing, and my kids love to play it.

  • HelenH

    When you don’t know much about a relative, time (year) isn’t the only context, consider location. In our family, one grandmother went to school on a train, while another walked, or rarely, rode in a horse-drawn buggy. One lived in a village in Germany, the other on a farm in the midwest US. It’s fun to wonder how their daily lives might have been similar and different.

  • Margaret McGarry

    LOVED the episode, as always. One of my favorites. So many, varied useful tips and leads. Thinking I need to get the 4S/Siri just so I can dictate a running list of everything I want to follow up on while listening to the Roundtable (while driving or cleaning house).

    Anyway, the real reason I am here is to ask a super-specific question. I’ve been wanting to get a small 4×6 photo printer for my scrapping area for a while, and based on Jessica and Ana’s comments it sounds like the Epson PictureMate is the way to go. I’m curious; which model do they recommend? There seem to be 8 or so different Epson PictureMates on the market, all presumably similar, ranging in price from $120 to $450. Any hints as to which one I should go for?

  • Hi Margaret! I recommend the Epson PictureMate Charm! It is the one I have, and it is awesome!

  • Monique

    Hi, I am interested in the class Jessica discussed but cannot find anything about it on her website.  Can you tell me where I can find out more information

  • Monique

    Sorry everyone ignore that, just found it!

  • Thank you, Jessica! I can’t wait to get it. First step: clean up the mess in my scrapping area. Second step: convince husband we do indeed need another printer. Third step: get it anyway.  Thanks for a great show!

  • Missus Wookie

    Great episode. Like many I understand the geneology stand point of ignoring anyone who didn’t contribute genes. However I also agree with Noelle there are those not genetically related who need to be in my albums. The way I saw that got around this on a paper ‘tree’ at the beginning of the album was to have another stem with the step parent grafted on and then the children continuing from that grafting. A family orchard rather than a family tree.

    I like Nancy’s pick of the week but have a couple of problems…. What if your ‘real name’ is just too easily traceable. For example if you KNOW you are the only person in the world that has that name. Whether it is due to double-barreled surnames, strange spellings of the first or a combination. It will be just too easy to track your every move around the ‘net, or to track you down IRL if you combine that easy to track real name with an even possibly searchable job. I tracked one real life friend down where we’d lost contact through a church bulletin which listed her as on a committee – I emailed the church. She was more than a bit freaked that it was possible, although thankfully happy to talk to me!Or if you know that YOU don’t mind being traced and yet your family members do, my beloved has extremely strong views on being traced. Likes having people look confusedly at him when he explains he is not ‘on’ the net at all on purpose, neither of my kids are again on purpose and I have to respect their decision. Hence my accounts/blog are all anonymous.Complicated. Loved hearing Jessica – have done so many of her classes. Fun hearing both Jessica & Ana talk about printers, just need to find space for a photomate now!

  • Hmmm — that does pose a problem when your family members don’t want to be traceable in any way — you have to be untraceable, too! Interesting.

  • Kristin

    Thank you for covering this topic on your show! It gave me some good ideas for incorporating family history stories into our regular family albums.

    Here is something for readers that I did to help my siblings and I understand “who fits where” in our parents’ pedigree charts: making ATC cards instead of a large chart with too-tiny font. (and it gave me a chance to pretty up those facts too!)

    First, my father is the genealogy researcher in our family, working on his family and my mother’s. So, I have 4 lines: maternal grandmother, maternal grandfather, etc. For each I used the naming convention of 1 for the father, 2 for the mother, 3 for the great-grandfather and so forth. With the numbers I included the initial of the last name.

    This gave me the convention: 1N, 2K, on my mother’s side, and 1H, 2S on my father’s side.

    Each ATC has a photo of the ancestor, the above naming convention, the person’s date of birth/death, and the country they were born.

    One of my nephews even used this for a class show and tell because he could readily explain the relationships of a few of his ancestors.

    Fun project!

  • Wow, cool idea! TFS!

  • youngmi

    this was such an amazing episode!! i love this topic and it’s something that i’ve been thinking about a lot the past few years. i know very little of my family history…almost close to nothing. i don’t even know my grandparents’ names! my mom is the youngest of nine (!!) and was born in korea. she and all her siblings and my grandparents came to the states i think in the 70s. i’m the youngest of my generation and our family is so big that if you ask any of us, no one will know how many of us there are. my dad was born in what is now north korea and escaped to the south during the korean war. neither family talks about the past. i think this is very common in asian families especially with koreans. there is so much family history that no one talks about and it drives me crazy. i want to know it all and preserve it but my mother’s generation doesn’t talk about the past and make it pretty clear that they don’t want to be asked. to ask would be to force them to think of painful or sad memories and that seems almost disrespectful. they don’t want their stories to be recorded, they want to leave it behind. the little that i do know has been gleaned from tiny stories that slip out at random. it’s like grasping for tiny bits of paper that are flying past you in the wind. my dad has recently begun telling us little snippets of stories from his childhood and i greedily hoard these as if they were diamonds. i worry that someday, the story of our family will be lost forever, in fact much of it is probably already gone for good due to the war and the situation in north korea today. i am in awe of people who can trace their families back to the 1500’s (whaaaat?!) and i hope to one day be able to do the same. heck i’ll settle for going back to the 1950’s. love love love this show. i’m a latecomer so i’m still catching up but please keep up the amazing work you guys do! i dread the day that i run out of back episodes and have to wait for the new ones :)

    (holy guacamole that was a long comment. sorry! i hope you guys still check comments for old episodes!)

  • Lani

    I know this is an incredibly old topic but I just wanted to say that I have been working on a family tree/history album for a long time. I just wanted to tell other scrappers that FOR ME, it is way more important to get this story on a layout than the pictures. Normally my focus is the pictures, embellishments and the story that matches but not in this case. The sad fact is my family is dying out. The people that KNOW or knew my direct ancestors are dying and I feel a NEED to obtain this information and share it before its gone forever. I have even lost young family members unexpectedly which makes it even more compelling for me to get it on paper. Not to be morbid but sometimes I think, “If God forbid something happens to me I know my family wouldn’t look in my notebooks and computer and understand my quickly written notes” (notes taken while on the phone or in person while receiving the information) the story would be gone. No one else in my family has gone through the trouble of obtaining the stories of my family. But my husband and children would immediately look in my scrapbooks. To me its way more important right now to get it on paper. My current album has barely any embellishments, and a sparse amount of photos. The fanciest part of this album is that the photos are matted. Thats it. But it is rich with information neatly typed out and translated (spanish wording is sometimes used) so my children will have an understanding of their roots. Anyway, I just wanted to put it out there that not every page needs to be visually perfect. Imy mind I know if I feel the need to redo the album in the future I can but right now sharing the information takes precedence.