Do It Yourself!

We help families tell their stories.

 

I’m a serious believer in do-it-yourself family projects!

Depending on your talents, there is a lot that you can do. If you need/want some help, of course give me a call!

A Few Ideas

Organize your printed photographs – I prefer using a small box with a lid to arrange photos because they are much easier to handle and protect from damage than in a bulky photo album. I tear slips of paper to use as labelled dividers. You can use a small post-it note on the back of each photo if you wish to label. Clean your hands. Handle photos by the edges only. I don’t like using gloves because bare fingers are more sensitive and gentle.

Make oral recordings – Use your cell phone, computer or other recording devise to make oral recordings for an oral history collection. What seems to work for me is about a 30 minute session that is focused on a particular phase of life. Another good approach is to think of a story from your life and tell the story in the recording. Even one oral recording will be a treasure for your grandchildren and their children, etc, etc.

Keep your recordings in a safe place. I suggest saving them on a couple of different online drives, as well as on an external hard drive. Don’t use CDs or other magnetic media because they last only a few years and are prone to damage.

Digitize your photos – Most home printers double as scanners and can be used to digitize your old prints. Then store them in the same way that you store your oral recordings.

An alternative to scanning yourself is to organize your prints into boxes, and then pay for a digitizing service in your locale. The cost is a few cents per photo and, if you have a lot of prints, this might be the best way for you.

Write a short story – This is a personal favourite for me. Think of one of your cherished memories and write it down for posterity. You can turn it into a children’s story if you like, and even illustrate it if you have a little talent that way. Check out ‘A Family Story for Children’ on this website for an example of what can be done. (Don’t think you need to be a professional story teller or illustrator. Your family is going to really, really appreciated any contribution that you make.)

Hold a family reunion – It doesn’t have to be big and complicated. Maybe just a Sunday dinner. It’s a great way to help each other remember the stories, take photos and record a group ‘oral history’ conversation.

These ideas will get you started. The most important part is to get your memories recorded, because memories are perishable. After you have your memories, you can focus on turning them into beautiful presentations.

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