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Archive for the ‘old photos’ Category

Last week I was mentioning that I was stuck. I had looming homework deadlines and I was trying to create a valentine piece for “Valentine for Aids” hosted for the last 18 years by a funky, artsy coffee house downtown. I’ve been invited the last 4 years to submit. I should have said no, passed on this opportunity. But I feel that I have given up a lot of things I really love in order to juggle my family, job, and school.
Here is my final piece:

Memories Found

I had this collection of things sitting on my work table for nearly a week, moving them, stacking them, unable to break my need to use them!
The photo is one of my great uncle and his wife and is part of a stash of photos I found in the box that my grandma had given me before she died. What’s remarkable is the obvious affection there is between these two people, these are no staged, grim looking poses. These are candids of two people who loved each other. The story of them was a bit of a scandal and a mystery in the family I was told. I only have pieces of the story but she was nearly 20 years older than him and he was barely over 20. As I worked on this piece I thought about making a book about them and creating my own “memories” of them. This is an idea that I’m working on even now.

The coin purse is from a collection my father in law gave me when he was helping to clean out the house of an elderly neighbor who had no children.

Found items: memories made, and so memories found kept coming to my mind, these things were telling me the story of a couple on a special day and I could imagine the woman saving the leaves she found and pressing them in a book, saving his letters.
I could imagine it sitting on her dresser slowly aging as she remembered the time of this picture. I scratched in the wet top layers of the paint imagined memories she might have had of him, of their time together.

Overall, I really loved this piece. It’s a love story. As I went to the artist reception this week I had butterflies in my stomach, worried that my piece would be less art and more “craft”, or that it would stand out as so obviously bad compared to all of the other pieces.
But I went, alone as my husband had to take the girl to ballet and do something with the boy.

Even though I felt isolated and lonely, I wandered the shop to see all of the art displayed. And there, on the main wall at eye level was my piece, it looked lovely, and I got the same little thrill when I’ve seen something I’ve created on walls other than my own house.

It was unique, the colors were soft, and no other piece had a coin purse on it.

This

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Last summer my Grandma Florence moved out of her house into a mobile home on my parents’ property. She was 89 and lived on her farm which is pretty isolated and my parents were worried about her being by herself. I went and helped her pack some of her things up for the big move. She only moved about 2 miles but she’s a horrible pack rat (a trait I inherited), she never got rid of anything, and she had stuff packed into every nook and cranny. She had an old cabinet packed full of old photos and scrapbooks. She knows that I am really into old photos and preserving the past so she gave them all to me. I was thrilled until I saw her start stuffing a large diaper box with photos! Yikes! I took over and tried to gently pack these pictures into the box. Since then these have all been in my garage in my large scrap booking tote and I’ve yet to figure out what to do with them. I started just putting the loose pictures into general categories including one for mystery pictures.
Then I got to my grandma’s scrapbook.

organizing old photos

It’s one of those with the construction pages and string binding with photos glued to both sides of the paper. There are sections of my dad, his brother and cousin and other family members.

From organizing old photos

The largest section is photos from when Grandma was in the military and overseas during WWII. These are just priceless.

From organizing old photos

Photos of her fresh off the farm and completing basic training in Daytona Beach, FL. Then there are the photos from when she was stationed at Oxford, England and Paris, France. Unfortunately my Grandma is not interested in talking about the past or reminiscing, she’s actually much more interested in history and politics right now. But I have this terrific scrapbook that she cared enough to put together years ago
and it has most of the pictures labeled in some fashion.
I’ve tried a couple of different ways to remove photos and none really work. Whatever glue was used, really stays stuck. I didn’t try that stuff called “un-do” or whatever the name is. I was hesitant to put any liquid on one side of the paper where it could leak onto the photos on the back side.This is where inspiration struck and I thought why not just put the entire pages in new sheet protectors and make a new album? This was a really smart idea on my part, except the pages are much bigger than 12×12. I tried to trim down the pages but just couldn’t get them down smaller.

Then I remembered that Martha Stewart Crafts had these gigantic albums for sale at Michael’s.

From organizing old photos

I didn’t realize how much bigger an 18×18 album was until I picked it up, these things are enormous! And expensive, $79. Ouch! But then I discovered I could use my 40% off coupon on the album which made the price much more reasonable. I picked up extra sheet protectors which have double pockets instead of one pocket for pages to go back to back in, and these were nice pages. When I got the album home and ripped off the wrapping I found that the pages in the album were not sheet protector types like the ones I bought but were paper pages with a thin top page (like tissue paper). This threw me off because I wanted to be able to slide the pages right into the pockets. What I did instead was use the clear sheet protectors for the pages that had photos on both sides of the paper, then used photo corners to attach the original pages that had pics on only one side onto the paper pages of the new album. I kept the album in the same order that the original scrapbook was in and just mixed in the clear pages with the paper pages as I went. The orginal album is not 18×18, and the pages in the sleeves slide around a bit so I need to come up with a way to keep them from sliding out.

I still have many old photos that are loose and not identified, I’m thinking that I will add those to the remaining paper pages of the new album and try to have most of these old pictures together.

From organizing old photos

As for my regular scrap booking, I don’t see myself converting to this bigger size album I just don’t think I could store many of these giant albums or fill that big of space.

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Last summer my Grandma Florence moved out of her house into a mobile home on my parents’ property. She was 89 and lived on her farm which is pretty isolated and my parents were worried about her being by herself. I went and helped her pack some of her things up for the big move. She only moved about 2 miles but she’s a horrible pack rat (a trait I inherited), she never got rid of anything, and she had stuff packed into every nook and cranny. She had an old cabinet packed full of old photos and scrapbooks. She knows that I am really into old photos and preserving the past so she gave them all to me. I was thrilled until I saw her start stuffing a large diaper box with photos! Yikes! I took over and tried to gently pack these pictures into the box. Since then these have all been in my garage in my large scrap booking tote and I’ve yet to figure out what to do with them. I started just putting the loose pictures into general categories including one for mystery pictures.

Then I got to my grandma’s scrapbook.

It’s one of those with the construction paper pages and string binding with photos glued to both sides of the paper. There are sections of my dad, his brother and cousin and other family members.

The largest section is photos from when Grandma was in the military and overseas during WWII. These are just priceless. Photos of her fresh off the farm and completing basic training in Daytona Beach, FL. Then there are the photos from when she was stationed at Oxford, England and Paris, France. Unfortunately my Grandma is not interested in talking about the past or reminiscing, she’s actually much more interested in history and politics right now.

But I have this terrific scrapbook that she cared enough to put together years ago and it has most of the pictures labeled in some fashion.
I’ve tried a couple of different ways to remove photos and none really work. Whatever glue was used, really stays stuck. I didn’t try that stuff called “un-do” or whatever the name is. I was hesitant to put any liquid on one side of the paper where it could leak onto the photos on the back side.This is where inspiration struck and I thought why not just put the entire pages in new sheet protectors and make a new album? This was a really smart idea on my part, except the pages are much bigger than 12×12. I tried to trim down the pages but just couldn’t get them down smaller.

Then I remembered that Martha Stewart Crafts had these gigantic albums for sale at Michael’s. I didn’t realize how much bigger an 18×18 album was until I picked it up, these things are enormous! And expensive, $79. Ouch! But then I discovered I could use my 40% off coupon on the album which made the price much more reasonable. I picked up extra sheet protectors which had double pockets instead of one pocket for pages.

When I got the album home and ripped off the wrapping I found that the pages in the album were not sheet protector types like the ones I bought but were paper pages with a thin top page (like tissue paper). This threw me off because I wanted to be able to slide the pages right into the pockets. What I did instead was use the clear sheet protectors for the pages that had photos on both sides of the paper, then used photo corners to attach the original pages that had pics on only one side onto the paper pages of the new album. I kept the album in the same order that the original scrapbook was in and just mixed in the clear pages with the paper pages as I went. The orginal album is not 18×18, and the pages in the sleeves slide around a bit so I need to come up with a way to keep them from sliding out.

I still have many old photos that are loose and not identified, I’m thinking that I will add those to the remaining paper pages of the new album and try to have most of these old pictures together.

As for my regular scrap booking, I don’t see myself converting to this bigger size album I just don’t think I could store many of these giant albums or fill that big of space.

Read Full Post »

old photo fixes

I can do some cool tricks in photoshop, but I also admit that there are still lots I haven’t quite figured out. One thing I’m always trying to improve my old photo fixing skills. I had this photo of my husband when he was about three years old. I love this photo because it’s an expression that I see on our little guy. In the father’s day album I made for my husband I wanted to include this picture placed next to a similar one of our little boy. Unfortunately, the photo was really scratched up and dark. Here’s the process that I went through, I think I could do more with the photo as I learn more but I think the new photo is still a big improvement.

First, open your photo in photoshop. I like to save this as a new photo in case I need to go back to the original image. Next I go to the filter menu and I follow these few steps: filter>noise>despeckle then filter>noise>dust and scratches. With the dust and scratches option you have a couple of things you can adjust, with the preview box checked you can see how changing the radius or threshold values affect the photo. Once done you click ok. Then go back to the filter menu: filter>noise>reduce noise. Once you have the photo looking the way you want you can filter>sharpen.

The final step is to lighten up the photo. I’ve found that if I just lighten the photo it just washes out the photo. I found a trick using layers from the Pioneer Woman’s blog. First duplicate the photo twice. You can do this by going to the layer>duplicate or by right mouse clicking on the photo in your layers palette. Repeat the process twice. Starting with the very top photo in the layers palette click on normal and scroll down and select soft light. Repeat this process for the 2nd photo down selecting screen. Once you have these selected it’s time to play with the opacity of the new layers. This is a trial and error process, playing with the opacity until you have the image you want.


Final step to save as a jpg, go file>save as> jpg.
Again, I’m no expert and I still am learning, but I was pretty satisfied with the results.

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