Workshop at Bud Werner Library, Steamboat Springs, CO

I’m looking forward to tomorrow when I’ll be doing a workshop for some enthusiast genealogists at the library in Steamboat Springs, CO.  I spoke there earlier this year and am excited about the return invitation.  Many thanks to Yin from Yin Design Templates who has offered a discount of 25% on her templates for the use by the group.  Can’t wait to see the outcomes of their endeavors!


So many ways to share your story!

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I’m currently attending SCGS Jamboree in beautiful Burbank, CA and I must say it’s one of the best conference I’ve attended in awhile.  Everyone seems so friendly and willing to help others.  And the sessions have been filled with great content. There’s a lot that can be gleaned from the wealth of information offered by this talented group of genealogy enthusiasts.

As you may already know, I’m a firm believer in the fact that you need to share your research with others!  You’ve worked had to find out more about your family history and it would be a sad state of affairs if it were to remain in a file drawer or on the shelf in a binder.  I’ve had a great opportunity over the course of the past 3 days to share my digital genealogy scrapbooking ideas as a means to help others share what’s been found about their ancestors. In a couple of weeks, I’ll be conducting another workshop at the Bud Werner Library in Steamboat Springs, CO.  I hope if you’re in the area .. you’ll plan to attend.

I’m also working on a few other things that I look forward to sharing with you in the near future, which will make it even easier for you to have your digital genealogy scrapbook created so you can share your family history artistically.

 

 


How rewarding!

There’s nothing I enjoy more than seeing the results from someone that attended one of my Genealogy conference sessions and proceeded to take on the challenge of creating a family history album.  I thought you might enjoy seeing the page that was created by one such inspired person about her new grandchild.  I’m very proud of her initiative and the results:

Adelaide

Just think how Adelaide will feel when she reaches an age where she’d inquisitive about her family and see’s this first page in the family history album, created by her own grandmother, who tells/shows the details surrounding her birth!

Although the 1st page may take awhile to create, as you learn the process, the rest become easier as you go along …. just like riding a bike :)

I hope more of you will share some of your pages and that those of you who keep saying to yourself “I need to do that” will take the plunge.  My feeling is – there is no greater sadness than to see the research you’ve uncovered remain in a file or a binder, perhaps to be lost for the generations that follow.  Don’t let that happen to all your findings!


Your Family History Album

By Creating a Digital Genealogy Scrapbook you help to preserve your Family History in an interesting and artistic way.  One of the first steps is to determine which ancestors you’d like to include in this album.  Will it be set up to show the information starting with the most recent decade or with the earliest generation that you’ve been able to uncover?  The choice is entirely yours.

Album Cover

You might choose to make your album entirely about one individual – recording what you know about their entire life.  Or you might decide to work with one Surname and describe the various individuals beginning with a great, great grandfather to the grandfather to the father and then the sons.  Or trace those sharing MtDNA from great, great grandmother to grandmother to mother and then daughters.  Maybe you just include your immediate family.  If you have created multiple family trees, then you might want to create an album for each of the tree you’ve recorded.

It’s best to make the decision about who you will include and how the progression will go, before you start to work on your album. Then create a brief outline as I described in a previous post called “Where do I begin“.  Once this is accomplished you’re well on your way to designing your creation that will likely be shared for generations to come!


Photo Editing Software

I was recently asked if one must use Photoshop when creating a Digital Scrapbook.  The answer is no, certainly not.  However, I would say that if you are concerned about the expense, then give the Photoshop Elements software a try.  Adobe offers a free trial version of Elements 12 at their site - The link is located on the right side panel under Digital Scrapbooking for your convenience.

I am currently using Photoshop Elements 11 because I am unable to afford the upgrade every year.  I am fairly certain that other photo editing software will be able to perform certain tasks that are required in order to produce a digital scrapbook, but I am not familiar with other software products.  I favor Adobe Photoshop because of its capabilities, the wide variety of techniques it it incorporates into the software program and because there are so many tutorials to help a novice along the way.

My recommendation is to give the Adobe software a try or to read the manual that comes with your current software to determine if it will accomplish the task.

For those of you who have already begun your Genealogy Scrapbook, I’d be interested in hearing from you … are you a Photoshop user or have you made use of another photo editing software program?  What challenges have you faced so far in your project?  Thanks for your input!


“Yesterday”

Yesterday ... 1963

I’ll be attending SCGS Jamboree in Burbank, CA this year.  As part of their 50th year celebration they’ve asked attendees to recall a memory to share from the 1960′s.  As you know, I could just write out what I remember from back in the day … But I think you’ll agree – when you share your memory as a digital scrapbook page, it lends a lot more interest and invites the reader to “dive in”.  Here is my submission.  Wish me luck … hope I win :)

 


So, why should I?

The big question is … why should I?

Why should I make a genealogy scrapbook?

Why should I make it a digital scrapbook?

… and most importantly Why should I buy the Guide to take me step by step through the process?

As a fellow genealogist, I know what goes into the sometimes laborious task of searching through records, visits to courthouses and other repositories and deciphering what you’ve uncovered on microfiche.  Once you’ve made sense of it all, you are likely anxious to share with other family members.  I know I am.  Along the years you’ve probably had grandparents, aunts, cousins and other share the stories of your family.  Now think about it… wouldn’t it be sad to know that without putting all this into some format that help to carry it forward, it could all be lost one day?

The best part of creating a digital scrapbook is that it is so easily shared.  If you’re going to put your history together for others to view, then going the digital route makes it very easy to share – via email, blog, web, print, book and more.

Finally, I can only encourage you to buy your own copy of this helpful guide. First of all, after making the investment, you’ll be one step closer to creating your own family history album.  Secondly, it is a very helpful step-by-step guide that walks you through everything you need to know to make a digital genealogy scrapbook that will preserve your history in an interesting and artistic fashion.  Best of all … it’s now available for your kindle at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J3I60IQ.  Just read the reviews and see what others have to say!  Then get started today!!


Now you can Read it on your Kindle

Here’s some exciting news …. I’ve just published BarbwireDigi’s Guide to Creating a Digital Genealogy Scrapbook on Amazon!  If you’re interested you can now get this guide on your Kindle for an introductory price of only $7.99!

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Get yours today at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J3I60IQ

My book offers detailed, step-by-step instructions to help you create your own digital genealogy album.  Don’t let the stories, research and supporting documents you’ve collected about your family remain hidden in a binder or a file drawer!  It’s easy and enjoyable and you’ll be rewarded with a project that will not only preserve your family history artistically, but will create a work of art you’ll be proud to share with family and friends.  One that will live on for generations to come.

Screen prints, diagrams and photographs are used to illustrate what is being described so everything can be easily understood. There is also a chapter on incorporating video into your album so you can include interviews you may have conducted or other audio visual materials to make your scrapbook “come alive”.

Just think what your children’s children will find when they open the cover. Unlike a printed  journal, this creative album will be interesting as well as informative. You know a lot about your family – this is the perfect way to share what you’ve found using a digital format that can be easily shared via email, blogs, the web, Powerpoint® slide presentation, print, album or commercially printed book. Best of all, your digital genealogy scrapbook will be a one-of-a-kind created by you!

 


Tools you’ll need for the Job

It’s fairly obvious that the most essential piece of equipment is your computer.  Preferably one that is relatively fast and able to handle graphics.  A sizable monitor is also helpful in viewing your work as you proceed.

Secondly, you’ll need to scan any documents that are not already in a digital form.  Don’t forget that items such as maps, postcards, brochures, letters, newspaper articles, obituaries, church documents and other memorabilia make great additions to your family history album.  Obviously, photographs are important but when they are lacking or few in number, you can use any of the above items to add interest to the page and help tell the story.

You might also use a digital camera, especially if you’d like to include current day materials or a video of an interview that you’ve conducted.  More on how to incorporate videos in a future blog.

I always recommend using external storage of some sort – not only for the important documents which you’ve uncovered during your research but also for your digital genealogy scrapbook pages.  After you’ve worked hard to create your work of art, you don’t want to lose it due to a computer malfunction.  It’s wise to use three means of back-up – I use a flash drive, the cloud and an external hard drive.  Trust me, one is not enough!

Last but not least, you’ll need a printer – if you chose to print the completed digital pages.  However, if your pages are 12 inches by 12 inches, you may wish to use a commercial printing service instead. I highly recommend scrappingsimply.com.  They are very reasonably priced, offer a high quality product and are able to process orders quickly.


Organization is the Key to Success!

Alright, so I’m ready to get started on our Family History Album.  I’ve got a lot I want to share with interested relatives and hopefully an artistic work of art that will be of interest and enjoyment for generations to come.  I’ve got the photo editing software downloaded and am ready to begin.

But wait .. there’s one more thing that can make the whole process so much easier and have the added benefit of helping with ones genealogy research.  What is it?  Well, it’s organization. Yes, I need to be sure I know what I have gathered about each ancestor, each generation, etc and more important .. where it is on my computer.  Once you know what you have and where it is, the process of putting it into the album is a lot more efficient and enjoyable.

My recommendation is to take a look at the information supplied by Sassy Jane Genealogy.  I purchased her guide:  Organizing Genealogy Research to learn how to get some semblance of order for all the documentation that I’ve found over the years. I’ve used her six folder digital filing system on my computer and it has proved to be an excellent means of storing all my genealogy records. Without organization, you’ll waste a lot of time trying to find something that you know you have but just can’t put your finger on where it is.  The added advantage is that by organizing your collection of documents and sources you’ll find where there are gaps and do a better job of researching each ancestor that you’ll be including in your digital genealogy scrapbook.

I think you’ll find, as I did, that if you organize first, you’ll have a much easier and enjoyable experience in the long run. So give it a try .. I don’t think you’ll regret it!