Sunday, March 1, 2009

Preserving the Past


Shortly after my father died 2 1/2 years ago, my mother brought this battered box out from under her bed. Inside was a scrapbook that my aunt had made chronicling Daddy's stint in the Army during World War II.

The information in the scrapbook was priceless, but the pages were tattered and crumbling. Deciding I needed to do something about it, I brought it home. Initially I bought a traditional scrapbook and thought I would attempt to remove everything from the deteriorating pages and recreate the whole thing.

The more I studied it, however, the more I decided it would be an almost impossible task. As you can see from this picture, she used Scotch tape to secure many of the items, and I was afraid of doing further damage. The scrapbook also contained numerous newspaper clippings that she had glued to the pages.

I finally decided that the most important things I could salvage were Daddy's letters and other correspondence as well as the photographs. Most of the postcards were secured with tape along one edge, so it was pretty easy to scan both sides. The letters, for the most part, were inside their original envelopes.

I spent hours with the scanner and photo editing software. I also scanned other memorablia and even some of the original pages to use as background. After creating a digital scrapbook, I had a book printed for my mother and also one for myself. The letters and postcards are easy to read, and the photographs and other illustrations help to document Daddy's Army days both here in the United States and in Europe.

Here's the cover and a couple of pages from my finished project. The book is 104 pages long and covers everything from Daddy's induction in June of 1943 to his discharge in April of 1946, just seven months before I was born.




To visit more Met Monday participants, go to Between Naps on the Porch. Thanks to Susan for hosting this event to kick off the week.

29 comments:

ellen b said...

What an amazing project to preserve this wonderful history of your fathers!! How sweet it must be to read these letters, postcards etc...

santamaker said...

This is a priceless heirloom, beautifully created.

Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) said...

Kathy...this is truly a labor of love. What a wonderful, wonderful treasure to pass down through the generations! I bet you felt your Dad's presence while you were working on it. You did a beautiful job! Susan

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

That is absolutely beautiful. I lost my mother a couple of years ago and my daughter put all of her photos on a dvd,enlarging many of them and then I had all the photo recopied so that I could have a scrapebook.I know how meaningful this project must be for you.

pammiejo said...

I like it. We have all the letters my dad wrote from overseas during WWII - that would make a great keepsake and an heirloom. Congratulations for doing it! Thanks for dropping by my blog too.

Linda said...

Now that is a labor of love and a family treasure. It is worth every hour, minute, and second you spent on it! Linda

Kimm at Reinvented said...

What a treasure, such an inspiring project.

janet said...

what a great gift to have, absolutely priceless
hugs
janet

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Kathy, what a wonderful job you did with this! I've been thinking that I need to do something like this, but then I feel overwhelmed with the job. You have inspired me. Thanks. laurie

momma said...

wow!! that is truly amazing. what a wonderful legacy and memory to have and share!

susan said...

What a gift!! This is priceless. I know your dad would be proud.

LdyDy Loves Cake said...

This is such a beautiful way to honor your father. Truly a labor of love!

Bo said...

What a tremendous collection of memorabilia your aunt saved...and now you have preserved it to last for the future generations. I know your mom must have been thrilled with the book you gave her. ;-) Bo

Mom in High Heels said...

That is amazing. What a treasured gift to pass down.

Maryrose said...

I love your post. What an amazing gift and how lucky for you to have such a precious gift. We do miss our daddies don't we? Thanks for sharing, Maryrose

Kelly said...

What a wonderful idea! You are lucky to have a piece of your fathers history like that.

Scribbler said...

You have no idea how badly I need to get after a lot of my old photos before I get too senile to remember who these people are! Thanks for the swift kick!

Scribbler

xinex said...

What an amazing thing you did and what a wonderful present for your mother. This is priceless!...Christine

Anonymous said...

Kathy..I love your custom wallpaper..you know we have the companion oil here of "Tommy on the pig"(Tommy is Kathy's bro and my DH(Laurie Eve says it means 'darling husband' but I thought it was "Dang husband")..anyway, your scrap booking is amazing..Your house looks beautiful in the snow..
Susie

Valerie said...

What a wonderful tribut to your father; one of "The Greatest Genereation"!!! Thank you for sharing the amazing transformation.

Shelia said...

what a wonderful thing to do! I'm sure your Mother loved this.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Valerie said...

Kathy, thanks for stopping by and leaving your kind comment. And yes, we do LOVE snow at our house!

BTW...your home is beautiful, especially in the winter landscape.

We are HUGE fans of Gulf Shores. We vacation there every year! (My husband even tried to convince me to vacation in the Rockies this summer, but I was able to manipulate our 4-year old daughter into telling Daddy that she really misses the "ocean" house! LOL)

My favorite thing to do on the drive down from Kansas City is meander thru some of the sleepy little southern towns. We also love to tour antebellum homes and historical points of interest.

We cannot wait until my husband is retirement eligible (less than 8 years from the fire department)and we can relocated down south. The question is...can a midwestern gal grow to love sweet tea?!!!

Take care and think SPRING!

Christy said...

What a beautiful book you have re-created. This is truly an inspiration! Where did you have it printed? Thanks so much for sharing this. ~Christy

KBeau said...

To answer Christy's question, I used the Picaboo software to create this book. However, I have since started using StoryBook Creator Plus by Creative Memories.

With the Picaboo software you are locked into their templates. With the Creative Memories software you have complete flexibility in photo and text size and placement.

If you use Picaboo, you upload the completed book to their server, and they print it for you. Same thing with Creative Memories. You upload to the Creative Memories server for printing. You can also create digital scrapbooks using PhotoShop, and then, I think, you may have other options for printing. I haven't learned enough about PhotoShop yet to use it.

The Creative Memories tutorials were very helpful.

Valerie said...

Okay, Kathy...you inspired me to create my own backgroun for my blog.

Ihave been using CBOTB for some time, but decided in Februray that my goal was to create my own background. I ordered some great digital scrapbooking materials off of Shabby Princess and created my background in PSE this afternoon.

I am running into the same problem that you encountered...my background is not stretching the entire width of my blog. I am failry new at using PSE so I don't quite understand your direction on saving as a smaller jpeg file (medium size file in PSE).

Was wondering if you could email me with further directions WHEN YOU HAVE TIME between building homes, redecorating, and blogging!!! Thank you so much, Valerie

vkueter@kc.rr.com

Linda said...

Wonderful redo of some precious heirlooms, inspiring project.
Linda Q

Chandy said...

Lovely choice for today's Met Monday! Sorry for the late visit; too many errands...

Carolyn of What Now? Tablescapes

Sherri S said...

What a wonderful treasure and work of heart! Many generations will enjoy it.

Cass said...

What a wonderful project, to preserve those priceless family memories this way. You made a beautiful and heartfelt keepsake that will be in your family forever.
Lovely.
Cass