Saturday, March 21, 2015

Compete an album in an afternoon!

The wedding — two years ago.

The photo album — completed in an afternoon.


Photo courtesy of Jenny Rowan

Read how Jenny used a pre-decorated Fast2Fab Album and slide-in pocket pages to scrapbook her wedding album, including all the extra pictures she wanted to use, in just a few hours — on the CM blog

What album have you been wanting to scrapbook, but didn't think you had the time?

I just recommended a Fast2Fab album for a friend to take to her mother's birthday celebration. She plans to have her mother's friends and family bring pictures and write notes. With the pre-decorated album and tape runner, she can put it all together right there at the party!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Review: Slide-in pocket pages

Slide-in pocket pages are a great way to catch up on a pile of photos. I was excited about the new CM Multi-Pocket Pages for 12x12 because I'd used the Picfolio Milestones album (11x14) in the past and found it an easy way to catch up on photos, but I wanted to mix pocket pages with traditional scrapbooking pages in my 12x12 albums.

(Disclaimer: I sell CM products and will benefit if you use these links and see "Elizabeth Saunders" as advisor at the top of the page. However, I use these products for my own pictures and intend to give an honest review.)

Overall, I like the new pages and intend to use them again ... and again. It's a great way to scrap a pile of pictures in an hour or two. But I did note some differences and tips to keep in mind.

The new pages are clear and have pockets on just one side. So you have to put two pictures, facing opposite directions, in the same pocket. It's not that hard once you get used to it.

Because the pages are clear (Picfolio had a blank tan background), a cropped picture will show the back of the picture or paper on the other side. To fix this, use paper from one of the Slide-in Packs behind the photo (Change in Latitude paper shown here).

You can also use the papers for journaling and to fill in extra slots.

If you have the old Milestones paper packs, or photo mats from previous paper packs, simply trim the larger papers down to 4x6 inches (as I did for the page at the top of this article).

With pockets on just one side (which keeps pages thinner so you can fit more in your album), you don't have room to stash extra pictures — you know, the duplicates, or the ones that turned out a little blurry (am I the only one who does this?).

Tip: if the pocket is getting too tight, say, with two pictures and two slide-in papers or with one "stashed" picture, trim one or two items just a little less than 4x6. They'll slide in easier.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Where do you print your photos?

I've been using Swan Photo Labs to print photos by mail. They have great quality but, unfortunately, no bulk discounts so they can be pricey. Another great thing about Swan is they still process film — lots of different kinds of film.

Over the past year I've tried local shops — Walgreens and CVS — but I'm not impressed with the quality. The pictures look like I printed them at home, or maybe not that good.

Here's a review of 10 online photo services (It's a little dated; Kodak Gallery is now run by Shutterfly). I'd like to find the following:
  • Good quality prints
  • Decent prices (eg. bulk discounts)
  • Ability to share with others
  • Free high-resolution downloads (Hey, if I took the picture, I shouldn't have to pay to download it.)
  • Reliable backup, or "cloud" service
  • Quality photobooks and page prints

What do you use, and why do you like it?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Reminisce for Christmas photos

I love the Reminisce theme that came out a few years ago, starting with a genealogy pack and going through the holidays. This week, you can get those beautiful Christmas additions free with any order!

Here's my website. Watch for new products to be added throughout January, including cardstock and personal trimmers.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Guess who's back?

Creative Memories, that's who!

Click on the image to find quality, authentic Creative Memories and Ahni & Zoe products. They’re made in the U.S.A. by the (original) team in St. Cloud, Minnesota. 

You might notice I've been inactive on this site for a few years. I plan to leave the older posts up for fun scrapbooking ideas, even though the links are outdated. Here's my current link, if you'd like to copy or bookmark it:

If you're interested in becoming a CM Advisor, there's no better time. The cost is $49 per year with NO MINIMUMS. CM is under new ownership with an entrepreneurial perspective. In other words, online promotion and social media are encouraged so you can promote your business your way. You can operate other businesses, too.

On that last note, I plan to add some digital links soon, for those who are more interested in "snapbooking" than "scrapbooking."

I'm happy to be part of this great new company and look forward to serving you!

Elizabeth Saunders
CM Advisor

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Photographers' Marks (Photographic Puzzles, part 2)

Last week I offered some tips that have helped me identify old photos. As promised, I want to share a success story.

Mr. Y e-mailed me several photos from his family collection that had no identification, including this family group. He knew which branch of the family they came from, and that they had lived in Wilson, N.C. He suspected this was a picture of his great-grandparents. Mr. Y had started with genealogical research, including census records, to get the names and ages of children in the family. He asked if I could come up with any more clues.

Photos courtesy of the Yarborough family

I wasn't sure if I could help, at first. I thought the boy in the back looked like he was wearing a military cape, but I'm not an expert at clothing clues and I didn't want to steer anybody wrong. I finally decided I would just look up the photographers' marks and not spend too much time on this lovely puzzle.

The names on the left were a little hard to read from the scan, but I picked out "Engle." I didn't expect to find him in my Photographers in North Carolina book because of the Philadelphia mark, but I looked for him anyway — and got lucky.

Apparently John F. Engle had a long, illustrious career, making photographs all around the country, including Philadelphia. He did spend some time in North Carolina, and worked with a man named Lund. Look closely: Lund is the name beneath Engle on the mark. And in the center is an elaborate E and L.

I looked up the other name. Viggo Lund worked with Engle in 1897 on Nash Street in Wilson. They worked together other years in Elizabeth City, but since this family branch lived in Wilson, the time they had a studio there would be a good assumption.

Most of the photographers in the book worked in certain areas for several years or even decades. But these two men worked together in that town just one year. Amazingly, that narrowed down the photograph to 1897.

According to Mr. Y's research and more recent photos, the young man with the mustache is probably his great-grandfather, Bud Perry. The older couple are his step-father and mother, Claiborn Perry and Zilphia Smith, who had five children at home in 1900. In 1897, the two boys would have been about 12 and 15, and the three girls age 9, 7 and 3. Bud, 20, got married in December of that year.

This cabinet card appears to be the boy on the right in the family photo, Weston Perry. The couple's youth and prominent display of rings suggest a wedding photo. Francis Marion Winstead was a photographer from 1880 to ca. 1908. This picture was probably taken between 1898 and 1908, when Winstead returned to Wilson and worked without a partner, because only his name appears on the frame. Those dates also fit the likelihood that Weston would not have been married yet in the 1897 picture (at age 15).

This lovely young lady also posed for Francis Marion Winstead. Upon closeup comparison of her face with the two dark-headed girls in the family portrait, I think she is the little girl on the right. That puts this photo toward the latter part of the 1898-1908 window.

Mr. Y is hot on the trail of his ancestors, armed with a few more clues. And once again I'm glad I invested in a good reference book that provides such useful information.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Solving photographic puzzles

Last year when I spoke at the High Point Library about preserving old photographs, I mentioned how I had identified some 19th and early 20th-century family photos that weren't labeled.

1. Learn to recognize faces. After looking at many different pictures, I learned to recognize my great-grandfather, his mother, and his uncle, even when they were very young or very old.

2. Compare frames. As I recognized my g-g-g-uncle in one photograph with a white, textured paper frame, I remembered that one of my unidentified pictures had that same kind of textured frame. That connected the person to my uncle, probably from the same sitting for a photographer. After comparing the faces with other pictures, I realized this was his youngest son, but much older than in any of his other pictures.

3. Use genealogical research to fill in other people. In a five-generation photo, I knew everybody except the little boy. I found out that the young lady in the photo only had one son and he was her first child (which would make a family want to pose for a 5-gen photo). A more mysterious photo had my young g-grandfather with a young woman, who looked nothing like my g-grandmother. Paw was an only child, so who could she be? After extensive research, I realized that he grew up in the same household with his aunt - they were one year apart. I concluded that they must have been like brother and sister, and therefore posed for a portrait together.

4. Look for clothing clues. I'm very much an amateur in this area, but Maureen Taylor is an expert. I enjoy reading her blog about how she solves photo mysteries.

5. Use the type of photograph (daguerreotype, tintype, paper, etc.) to narrow down the timeframe when it was taken.

6. Use photographers' marks to further narrow in on the year and possibly the location of the photo.

One of the people who came to my class at the library recently sent me a photographic puzzle, and step no. 6 turned out to be a huge clue. I'll tell you more about it in the coming week.