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Pictures are worth thousands and thousands of words

After receiving the news that my 2-Terabyte External hard drive with all of my photos since 2004 is toast, I find myself looking for a back-up plan for any and all photos I’m able to scrounge to save somewhere. I *had* backed up my photos on the Creative Memories Digital Center site. Creative Memories rewarded their loyal customers, some of whom had been with CM since it was Shoebox to Showcase over 20 years ago (ahem, I for one), by claiming bankruptcy (again) and giving us precious little time to purchase any needed supplies for finishing projects (I’m broke so a moot point) and precious little time to salvage any photos or finished digital albums saved on the site. From what I could tell when I did check the site this summer to see if my photos were still there, my only option for saving my photos was purchasing photo CDs. Again, broke. No option to download my own photos and albums for safe-keeping? Thanks a lot CM. The way I understand it, they are “reorganizing” and have “great things in store.” Newsflash Creative Memories, your consultants and loyal customers are ticked off. Good luck with that.

Anyhoo, enough of me venting. The finality of pictures of births of my precious babies, vacations, cute candids, birthday parties, zoo trips, road trips, homeschool field trips, crafts, messes, cooking together, lego constructions, Christmas, concerts, starting our business, foodie pics, friends, family gatherings, et al. being gone forever provided for a restless sleep as I quietly cried myself to sleep Monday night (okay, I whimpered a little). I keep telling myself this world is not my home but I am sentimental and I’ve seen my kids pour over the scrapbooks I have completed. It’s a huge way to pass on the story and the love. I am the curator of the museum of memories and I have failed.

Creative Memories did drive home several points that I did take to heart and need to put back into practice:

  1. Print your pictures. Even if you can’t get to scrapbooking them, print them before you can’t. I took this more seriously when I used film and became lax when I went to digital. I either need to get those digital scrapbooks done or get those photos printed. Backing up isn’t enough. I backed up my back ups and my pics are still gone (did I mention one laptop crashing and then next one being reset to factory settings? I didn’t think so.)
  2. Back up. Nuff said.
  3. Journal. We all have a story to tell and no one else can tell it. Pictures in an album aren’t enough. Example #1: I have a photo of my great, great, great grandmother in one of those old, pretty but deteriorated albums. She was a Cherokee who walked the Trail of Tears, married a white man and here I am. All I have is a photo, which is awesome but I’d give anything to know her story. I wish someone had written it down. The hard times in which she lived and how she overcame would be a story of bullying this culture can’t appreciate. She had to have been a strong woman. I just wish I knew the tale so I could pass it on. Example #2: I have another old scrapbook that I believe my grandmother made. She did some pretty creative stuff, cutting photos into shapes, arranging some on one page into a star shape, but rather than journal who’s in the photos and what’s going on, she cut quotes and captions from magazines and pasted them under the photos. I look at it and get so frustrated because I don’t know why the pictures were taken, who’s in them, what’s going on. SO many cool pics, and I can tell who my dad is and his siblings and parents, but that’s about it.
    4-IMG_20131016_132157

    No…no I cannot identify these. The irony of this page’s title confounds me…Such cool photos, though!

     

Back to backing up, I’m now reviewing all of the reviews for best photo storing/sharing sites and I will come to my own conclusions and get back to you. If anyone out there has a favorite, let me know! In the meantime, learn from my mistake. Back up your backed up back ups.

What’s not shared (and thank you, God, that I have shared photos on Facebook and my blog) is lost, lost, lost… 😦

Michelle

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Photo & Video Scrapbooking

I feel so geeky. I came up with this here idea and if it’s already been done, don’t tell me because I’m feeling all smart and stuff. If it hasn’t been suggested before, you’re welcome.

I love digital scrapbooking. It’s fast. It’s easy. It’s fun.  The thought occurred to me that it would be way-cool to have a smart phone, which I don’t, and, while looking through a digital album, be able to watch the videos that go with the story in the album by scanning QR codes on the album pages with that phone I don’t have.

BUT, if you have a smart phone and digital scrapbook, you can enjoy this lovely memory-keeping luxury.

QR stands for Quick Response and I know you’ve seen QR Codes on bill boards, in magazines, on business cards, etc. and they look like this:

This particular QR Code takes you to the YouTube video, “Is Anybody Cuter Than Seth?”

I found a couple of QR Code Generators you can use so you, too, can place a link to your YouTube videos in your scrapbooks. The first one is Smarty Tags and is what I used to generate the above QR Code. It was SO simple. Again, you’re welcome. The other one is Kaywa and is just as simple. Copy and paste the link, click, voila – you have your code. Download your code then you’re ready to add it to your scrapbook page.

FYI, I use Storybook Creator 4.0 for my album-making. I made the following page on Storybook Creator and I just grabbed the first page I came to so the video link is a little misplaced as it’s from January 2010 and Seth wasn’t born until the next month but I just wanted to give you an idea of how you could use this.

You could label the Code, if desired. You could have a page set up comic book style that’s one QR Code after another. There are so many possibilities! You could make a digital cookbook and add how-to videos. Gift albums for grandparents would, of course, include videos from the grandkids. I’m hoping that I will be starting an album for a special group of people with thank you messages from folks from all over the country (and from a few other places) scattered throughout the album. A wedding album would have all those well wishes included throughout the candid pages. Or a simple miss you message at the end of an album sent to a loved one serving in the military abroad. You just got choked up at the thought, didn’t you?

I hope you’re inspired. Like I said, I was feeling all clever and stuff and thought you might enjoy playing with this little idea. Enjoy!

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle