Archives for November 8, 2022

Tutorial Tuesday (Potpourri)

Calling All Genealogist/Scrapbookers!

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At the end of this week, Commonwealth countries will be taking a moment to remember our war dead. November 11th is Remembrance Day. (In the US it’s Veteran’s Day, a slightly different theme.) This time of year I think about all the people I’m connected to who have served in the military, not just the ones who died, but all of them. That got me thinking about how scrapbookers are family historians, whether they chronicle the current generation or dig up bones many generations past. Reading some discussions in the Forum has told me there are a lot of GingerScrappers who are interested in genealogy, and I’m sure many of them have treasured family photos of long-deceased ancestors. So today I’m going to talk a bit about scrapping with heritage photos, and share some scrapbooking collections I think are especially suited.

Photography came into being almost 200 years ago, with the first permanent image captured by Nicéphore Niépce, but it wasn’t 1839 and the invention of the daguerrotype by Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre that it really got attention. Over the next couple of decades, many innovations were developed that allowed photos to be taken more quickly and for them to be printed on paper. Long exposure times meant that people being photographed had to remain as still as humanly possible for several minutes – motion blur was a real problem. It’s harder to smile consistently for several minutes than it is to keep one’s features relaxed, so most early photos with people in them looked pretty grim. Then too, life in those days was pretty harsh for the average person, so maybe smiling didn’t come naturally. If a family had the financial means to be photographed in the mid-1800s, they viewed it as a status symbol. Matthew Brady changed the photographic world forever when he captured the horrors of the War Between the States (nothing civil about it!).

Very few of us can claim famous ancestors. Mine were labourers: farmers, thatchers, miners, factory-workers, servants. Days were long and they worked hard. Clothing was utilitarian; dark colours were preferred because doing the laundry was a HUGE chore. And many dyes were very expensive, so only the wealthy could wear bright colours. Even when they wore their Sunday best, most people’s clothing was plain. My 3x Great-grandmother Sarah Ann Rump was a dressmaker, so she was dressed a little more fancy. Here’s a swatch to help you see what I’m talking about.

Furnishings were handed down from generation to generation. Upholstered items typically were also darker in colour to conceal the day-to-day dinginess that came from not having a vacuum cleaner. All of these things can be used to help date a photo if there’s no information about it. It can be a lot of fun trying to decide when a photo was taken, and it helps narrow down who the people could be. Then… the real fun begins! Turning the photos into memories preserved.

GingerScraps is lucky to have a very talented pool of designers whose heritage collections are treasures in and of themselves. I’m going to introduce you to some of them, and show you some impressive kits they’ve created. I know you’ll love them!

First, Diane of ADB Designs is the QUEEN of historical collections. She has one for pretty much every era and facet of life in North America. In the interest of keeping it reasonably fair, I’m only going to show you three of her collections. Each of them will be linked to the store so if you see something you like, you can go right to it!



Cottage Retreat

Aimee Harrison is another designer with a sizeable assortment of beautiful kits. Here are two that I particularly like.

Old Lace

Somewhere In Time

Returning to GS after a few years’ hiatus, Cheré Kay Designs too has some very charming collections.

Thrifty Treasures

Connie Prince is prolific. She just cranks out amazing collections one after another!

Faded Memories

Heritage: Ancestors

Heritage: Ancestress

Dani, aka JB Studio, is quickly becoming a favourite designer for me.

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Kristina, whose designs are labelled Kristmess, has some very elegant kits in her store. This first one is a selfish inclusion – half of my DNA comes from Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

Celtic Charm


Memory Mosiac is Joy, one of our November Spotlight designers. I think I need this collection…

September Past

Ooh La La Scraps is one of the brands designed by Katie.

Remember When

And finally, Tami Miller Designs has some beautiful choices too.

I Collect Memories

I’ve barely scratched the surface here! And I’ve got the scrapping itch. Excuse me while I go peruse my photos… I think Sarah Ann needs a layout.

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