Saturday, January 23, 2010

Winter Weekend on the Way

Strawberry Chocolate Tea: what I'm serving my guests at a Valentine card-making party


- Fill car with gas, visit an ATM for cash for the weekend

- After all the holiday cooking last month, do your knives need sharpening? Do your scissors need to be sharpened after all the gift wrapping you did? This is an excellent chore to pass off on a man - they actually like sharpening knives!

- If you are a blood donor, have you made an appointment for this next quarter's draw?

- Empty wastebaskets in bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms and kitchen if needed.

- Declutter living room/family room, empty off dining table or breakfast nook table if needed

- Spray some home fragrance if you like that sort of thing.

- Put out fresh flowers

- Rent movies for the weekend, or update Netflix order for the next couple weeks.


Do you have several messy, disorganized boxes of old family photos that desperately need to be sorted, documented, and put in nice acid-free albums? I do!

Is your laptop full of new pictures you've offloaded from your digital camera, but never sorted, labeled, or backed up onto another computer and onto CDs or memory sticks? Are your relatives anxiously waiting for pictures of your children because they haven't gotten any in several months?

Winter is an excellent time to get your photograph albums in order. There isn't any beautiful sunny weather outside to distract you, and long dark winter nights lend themselves to creative projects. You can even sort photographs while you watch TV and movies, listen to music or visit with friends.

Your photograph albums are a gift to your future family members (even ones you haven't met yet), and to current family members who are very young right now. When you're long gone, your nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and cousins will be able to document their family history in part because of your albums. It's especially important to label photos with names, dates and locations, because someday you'll forget, or you won't be around to tell people that important info.

This newsletter is certainly not the place to go into all the technical aspects of photo preservation (Acid-free paper, not using magnetic photo albums, acid-free inks, not writing on the back of photos with ballpoint pens, etc), but the Internet has a wealth of information on that topic.

Damask Photo Storage Box, at Amazon

For my fellow shopaholics on this newsletter, try to avoid using photo storage and preservation as an excuse to buy more stuff. You probably already have a few archival quality photo albums and photo storage boxes around the house as it is. Wait until those are filled before buying others. Don't fall into the trap of wanting all your photo storage boxes and photo albums to match, either. If you're buying one or two boxes at a time, even if you go back to the same store next year, you might not be able to find the same exact kind of box. So what. Let it go, and spend your time worrying about actually sorting your photos.

I personally do not scrapbook my photos. I think scrapbooks have a very low ratio of photos-to-pages. If I'm going to have several big, bulky albums taking up room on my bookshelves, I want them to hold lots and lots of photos, not two or three on a page, surrounded by a bunch of cute stickers. I'm thinking that scrapbooking should be done with duplicate pictures, not single originals.

I'd personally rather have a well put together album with typed documentation next to each photo. Who is the person in it, when and where was the photo taken, what was the occasion? Any other pertinent information could be on a small typed white card. Although purists scream at the thought of writing on the backs of photos, even with archival inks, I tend to want to do that on every one in case they ever in the future fall out of their albums or get separated from their card. Already, my grandmother is forgetting names and faces on many of her older photos. I need to sit down with her and ask her who all the people in those black-and-white pictures from the 1940s are. We'll write them on the back (with the correct kind of archival pen!) and add a documentation card to the album too.

Come up with a sorting system that makes sense for you. For me, I can't throw a bunch of photos all over a room and sort them over the next few weeks. My cats would ruin the pictures, they'd get stepped on, and I'd miss the use of my living room. So I'm sorting photos first into individual boxes by person or by era (1940s, 1950s, etc) and then will move them into albums in the coming weeks. That way I can keep everything, including the smaller photo boxes, in a couple large Sterilite boxes. That way they're all together, and I can haul them out every time I can grab a couple uninterrupted hours to sort. Which isn't very often!

Probably people younger than me don't have a bunch of photo albums laying around. Lately all the pictures I take are digital, so I'm archiving them on multiple computers and in CD folders. But I do tend to print out a lot of pictures so I can frame them and look at them around the house. I also prefer looking at photos together with family sitting on the couch flipping through albums, rather than huddled around a laptop to stare at the screen.

LOVELY BLOGS: Blondie and Brownie

This is a nice cooking/foodie blog by two contributors. Currently they are celebrating National Pie Day, blogging about eating healthy, sharing their experience at an Ethiopian restaurant, and showing off a red velvet doughnut they baked.

Blondie and Brownie

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