Learning to Use My Flip-Pal

It’s been a while since I posted. April is always a very crazy month for me and that carried over into May this year. Things have settled down a bit now though and so I’m returning to the Album Rescue Project.

One of the reasons it was hard for me to get to this project lately is that all I had was a flatbed scanner that was inconvenient to use for such a long-term and large project. I decided it was finally time to buy a Flip-Pal scanner and I’m already falling in love with it.

I can work on this project practically anywhere now. I’m currently camped out on my couch, watching TV.

I was really impressed by the stitching software that comes with the scanner. I’ve got the same capability with my flatbed scanner, but never used it, so I didn’t know what to expect. One of the first photos in Album 2 was too big for the Flip-Pal. I scanned it in two pieces and then opened them with the EasyStitch software.

That’s all I had to do! When the software opened both images, it automatically stitched them together and they came out perfectly (see below). I’m sold.

My first stitched photo using my Flip-Pal scanner.

Scrappy Saturday: Wall Prints

(c) 2010 Bayside Research Services, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

This week, I’ve posted about a research project that I did for a local B&B. The innkeepers wanted more than just a write-up about the building, however. They wanted something they could hang on their walls that would show off the building’s history.

Click on the image for a larger version. (c) 2010 Bayside Research Services, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

After researching the property, I went to the local historical society and found several old photos of the building over the years. After purchasing copies of these photos, I used Creative Memories’ Storybook Creator Plus 3.0 to create wall prints that the innkeepers can frame for the hallways of the bed-and-breakfast.

Through Creative Memories’ Digital Center, you can get prints of individual photos, standard 8×8″ or 12×12″ scrapbook page prints or even posters. Below is a design I created that could be printed at 16×24″.

Click on the image for a larger version. (c) 2010 Bayside Research Services, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Since delivering the prints to the inn, I’ve had the chance to eat dinner there. The innkeeper was so excited to show me the framed prints, which they’ve hung where all of the guests can see them. She said she’s incorporated them into her tour of the building.

If you would like to learn more about how to make wall prints from your photos, feel free to contact me!

Scrappy Saturday: Framed

Getting ready for Scanfest.

On the last Sunday of every month, genealogists and others set aside a few hours for Scanfest. We gather our old photos and documents, set up our scanners and scan away while we chat online. It’s a good practice to scan as much as you can, for preservation purposes at the very least. Having the scheduled time set aside to do so helps me to make sure I get it done.

This past Sunday, I decided to take all of my old family photos out of their frames and scan them. I was dismayed to discover that a photo of my grandma, my mom and one of my aunts appeared to have moisture damage. The bottom of the picture has the tell-tale warp of one that’s gotten wet.

The photo won't lay flat due to moisture damage.

On the back of the frame, I noticed what look like mildew spots. Perhaps this photo was stored in a box that got wet or was simply on display in an environment with high humidity.

In the bottom-left corner are mildew spots.

Closer shot of the mildew damage.

I scanned the photo and decided to ditch at least the back of its original frame, plus the cardboard pieces that were used to stabilize the photo in the frame. I put the photo (which I think may actually be a scan and not the original) into a photo-safe storage box until I can find a new frame for it.

When you find photos like this, it’s best not to put them back in the same environment that caused the damage. You should try to isolate the damaged photo from other materials because it may still retain moisture that can spread to other photos and papers if you are not careful.

In general, it’s best to keep photos, books and documents in a place without temperature fluctuations and with low humidity. Since that is not always possible, I recommend setting aside time to scan your family photos and other heirlooms. At the very least, you may want to take inventory of the older photos/frames that you have and check them for moisture, dust and other damage that could be causing your photos to deteriorate.

If you are interested in joining a future Scanfest, watch the AnceStories blog for the announcement of the next session and a link to the chatroom. Scanfest usually takes place from 2-5 p.m. EST/11 a.m.-1 p.m. PST.

Sunday ScanFest — Why It’s Important

Today, I took part in my first ScanFest, a monthly online event hosted by Miriam Midkiff of AnceStories. A bunch of us chatted as we scanned in family photos or other items to be preserved electronically for the future. It was a lot of fun — very helpful to have the distraction of friends to chat with while performing what can otherwise be a monotonous task.

Events like this are extremely important. I know how vital it is for me to make copies of my family photographs, but I always put it off. Today, I was able to scan all of the photos and some other documents that I had previously put into a scrapbook about my dad. Some of the items date back to the 1800s. There are others in my family who have copies of some of these photos, but not necessarily all.

In a way, it was even more important for me to scan more recent photos (from the 1970s and 1980s) because these are the only copies I’m aware of — the negatives have long since been lost or forgotten.

Beyond just scanning my images and documents onto my computer, I took the extra step of saving them in a vault I’ve created in Memory Manager 3.0 software by Creative Memories. This program helps you organize your photos, journal your photos digitally and then print them online or at home. The software works with Creative Memories Storybook Creator, where you can create digital scrapbooks to share online or prepare professional-quality printed copies through the CM Photo Center. It also provides a means to store video and audio files. Memory Manager even has photo editing capabilities like re-sizing, red-eye reduction, color correction, etc.

The vaults can be backed up by saving them to CD or external hard drive. The software helps you to create shadow copies for extra security.

If you are scanning your photos, that is a good first step, but please make sure you are making back-up copies, no matter what your system. If you are not yet using a back-up system, please consider Creative Memories’ Memory Manager software. It provide so much more functionality than just a folder on your hard drive.

If you have any questions about Memory Manager, etc., please feel free to contact me!

Treasure-Chest Thursday

Some of my most treasured possessions are the hand-written recipes my mom and grandma left behind. I miss them both terribly, but can bring back wonderful memories of them by cooking their recipes. I recently started scanning many of these recipes into Creative Memories Memory Manager software, to make sure I’ll always have a copy. This has allowed me to start a digital cookbook in CM’s Storybook Creator software as well. I’ll be able to share this cookbook both online and in print form with friends and family when I’m done. If you’re interested in seeing my cookbook or learning how to create your own, please contact me!

Flank Steak Marinade