Digital Scrapbooking

Scapbooking is not new by any stretch of the imagination.  The progression from simple “photo-books” to the more embellished scrapbook of recent years has been a major transformation.  Scrapbooking today has become as much an art form as a means of protecting and presenting our photographic handy-work.  Now, with the advent of the computer, much more can be accomplished by the paper crafter to ensure a picturesque presentation of those photographs.

Computer technology has brought forward the ability to marry pictures with graphic embellishments to make them more pleasing to view, and establish some meaningful organization–themed cataloging.  That is not to say that traditional scrapbooking has gone the way of the dinosaur.  What the computer provides is another medium to be able to generate enjoyable and pleasant photo-books or pages.

The cost to enjoy traditional scrapbooking has escalated over the years as new and exciting products and tools have been introduced.  There is also a significant time commitment when engaging in the traditional craft.  The computer has provided a lowering of the cost and time commitment, as well as providing easier and simpler ways to accomplish the same thing.

With the help of specialized computer programs like PhotoMix, a crafter can engage in scrapbooking using their computer to save both time and money.  With computer or digital scrapbooking you have no cutting or messing with tacky glues, and the clean-up is a snap.

Other worthwhile considerations for those inclined to do their scrapbooking with the help of their computer, the internet or online services should definitely consider  They are equipped with a wide variety of opportunities to utilize and store your precious photos.

Scrapbooking should not be hindered by lack of opportunity, but only by lack of individual motivation.  You provide the motivation and photographs, and and Photomix will provide the other ingredients to help you complete a fantastic scrapbook.

Get going!

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Ron on January 5th, 2010 | File Under Ideas, Scrapbooking | No Comments -

Long-term Care of Photo Prints or Negatives and Digital Files

Scrapbookers have plenty to consider, but taking care of their photograph prints, negatives or digital files has to be one of the most important.


Photographs are the foundation of scrapbooking.  If you’re not taking care of your photo prints, negatives and digital files, you are setting yourself up for future problems.

How many pictures have you sorted through that have been handed down to your trust and care through the years.?  Do you have the negatives?  Do you know who is in the picture?  Where was the snapshot taken, and what does it represent?  These are issues each scrapbooker deals with.  Are you keeping adequate records and notations on the photographs you have taken?

You plan to pass these precious treasures onto your posterity.  Will they find themselves in the same dilemma you were in.  Where you can you should sort, identify and catalog each of your pictures.

You want to store these same cherished memories in such a way as to perpetuate their use and enjoyment for many generations to come.  There are methods and processes to handle these concerns.

We have provided several articles to help in discussing these important aspects of your effort–to share and preserve this photographic legacy for you and others through time.

Here are the articles you should consider to help you along the way:

Good luck as you go about presenting and preserving your photographs, negatives and digital photo files.

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Ron on October 8th, 2009 | File Under Ideas | No Comments -

Scan Photo Prints to Digitize Them For Long-term Storage

Digitizing your printed photographs can provide a way for their long-term storage and care.

Album after album, and box after box of printed photos are neatly stashed in your craft-room or on a closet shelf.  You may have vintage photographs with no negatives.  Is this best place to warehouse these precious clips of time?  Perhaps not, but they are easily accessible.  Assuming you have taken every precaution to ensure your snapshots have been placed in a cool, relatively dry and protected environment, you may still have problems protecting them for the long haul.

Our suggestion is you have them scanned for digital storage.  You can scan them yourself if you have a scanner, but the quality of the image may not be as good as one done by a scanning service.

There are a number of services available, and a quick web search will give you several to choose from.  You may even have a reliable source right in your own area.  You could check with most any reputable photograph store for suggestions and recommendations.

Two online services you may want to consider, but we have not as yet used, are:

Each of these have their strong suits.  The advantage to both is you end up with hard print photos in a digital format.    These digital files could then be uploaded to a service such as to store, and allow unique uses of future prints–including sharing them with others (family and friends).

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Ron on October 4th, 2009 | File Under Helpful Products, Ideas | No Comments -

Digital Picture Storage

Like Film Photograph Prints and Negatives, Digital Pictures Have Special Requirements for Long Term Storage and Care.

With the advent of the digital camera the world of photography has taken a giant step.  Accept for the professional photographer and photographic purest, the digital camera has nearly replaced the need for film.  The discussion of the benefits and features for each format is better served elsewhere.  Here we will share some thoughts and ideas on the long term storage needs  for your digital images.

Keeping track of digital pictures is as important, and can be as time consuming as with regular negative and printed pictures.  Don’t forget that many digital snapshots will be printed, and they must be included with all other prints you may have.  So, categorizing and catalog your digital photo files is a requirement if you ever want to find that special shot you took.  You need to know where to find it easily.  This may not be a big problem at first, but as time goes on the number of pictures you take increases substantially.

CDs/DVDs and computer hard drive are choices many photographers use to store and organize their digital images.  You can organize them chronologically, by subject or theme, etc., what ever is best for you.  They can be reorganized as you desire at anytime.

The memory card in your camera (some high end cameras have their own hard drive) will store a limited number of pictures, but they can serve as a storage medium.  You need to catalog what is on the card and file it in a storage contained with your file’s content for future reference.  This medium is considered a “temporary solution” to storage.  These memory cards can run the cost of storage up, so most photo bugs use other ways of storing their treasured photographs.  Most pictures are transferred to your computer’s hard drive.

Your computer’s hard drive has much larger storage capacity than the memory card found in your camera.  From the hard drive you can better organize your picture files as you deem appropriate and needed.

There are risks of using your hard drive for long term storage.  The biggest concern would be have your computer “crash.”  Hopefully, you back-up your hard drive files frequently!

As noted above, CDs and DVDs have come to the rescue as an additional storage option–certainly as a back-up for your picture files.  These options may require the purchase of special “burners” in order to use them.  Many new computers come with one or the other, but they can be added.  The primary difference between the two is the amount of storage capacity.  DVDs have a greater capacity than CDs.

Making prints of all your snapshots is an option.  They could be scanned should you loose your digital file.  These prints require special attention too for long term storage.

Beware, however, these methods for photograph storage do have limitation and limited life spans. All of these options for photograph storage have limitations.  CDs/DVDs generally have a shelf life of 2-10 years.  There are some new expensive discs available that are touted to have a 100+ year life . . . not yet tested in reality for 100 years.  Hard drives are prone to their own set of problems.

Our  long term storage choice is online storage companies like  They allow you to organize them, print them, share them with others, and print them on other mediums to give as gifts.  We highly recommend you look at what they offer in the way of service and products.  Yes there is a fee for some of their services, but you’re paying for what you get or use either way.  The safety, usability and ease are definitely worth the expense.

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Ron on October 3rd, 2009 | File Under Ideas | No Comments -

Digitize Photo Prints For Long-term Storage


Putting your photo prints into a digital storage format will help you keep your pictures for a long time.

Do you have boxes and drawers full of printed snapshots.? How about those precious and delicate photos that have been handed down to you over the years from others?  What about those pictures where you have no negative to print additional copies from?  These are questions that confront all of us as the years accumulate–along with the number of pictures we have.

Digital cameras have helped us to some extent keep selected photograhic material in a digital format.  There is still the long term storage of these data files created by our new cameras. 

If you treasure your vast collection of photographs taken over the years, or those given to you, you may want to consider having these prints scanned into a digital format for long term storage. 

The typical home scanner generally doesn’t have the resolution quality you need to scan delicate photos.  We recommend you consider the use of professional scanning services.  You can check with your local photography shops for suggestions of local services to help you.  There are a couple of online services you could use.  While we have used them ourselves, they come with good reputations.  Consider: and

Ultimately, we recommend the use of long term digital storage companies like to be the respository for our precious snapshots of history.  You should definitely check out their services.

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Ron on October 2nd, 2009 | File Under Helpful Products, Ideas | No Comments -

Care and Storage of Photograph Film Negatives

There are still a great number of photo negatives sitting around with your older printed snapshots.  How do you store and care for them?

film negative sleeve Care and Storage of Photograph Film Negatives

There’s a good chance you have as many photo negatives floating around in drawers and boxes as you do printed pictures.  Once we have a print why do we need the negative?  The obvious answer is so we can make copies  or enlargements if we decide or have a need to at some later date.

Just like the storage suggestions for our prints (sort, arrange, catalog, etc.) we can do the same for our photo’s negatives.  They can be stored with the prints themselves, or separately.  There is some rationale of separating them–damage to one storage area may not mean all your photographic efforts are lost.  You could keep pictures in one area and the negatives in another (separate closest for instance).

When sorting and cataloging your negatives, you should make them the same as for your prints.  That way you have an easy reference to fall back on should the need arise.  Also, finding them will be a whole lot easier–for both.

Of recent years, negatives are returned in their own sleeves provided by the developer.  They can be stored in these sleeves, but consider this a short term or temporary solution.

Longer term storage will require you to place them in storage holders with archival features–like archival paper separators, individual sleeves.  Binders and storage boxes that are lignin and acid free are a must.

Like photographs, print negatives are sensitive to light, heat and humidity.  The same care and attention should be given to your negatives as you would your printed photographs.

Plastic pocket pages should be made of a polyethylene or polypropylene.  (Do not use holders that contain PVC–a sure trouble maker for your negatives.) Older plastic or paper holders provided by developers may not be safe, and you should change them.

Deterioriating acetate film negatives give off a vineager type odor.  They may also begin to wrinkle or warp.  Once this process has begun (a chemical degradation) it becomes irreversible.  Slowing the decaying process can be aided with cold temperature storage.  Cold storage needs to be as frost-free as possible.  When removing film negatives for use be sure to bring them slowly back up to room temperature before handling them.  Carefully spreading out the negatives as they come up to room temperature will help reduce vapor collecting on them.  This process should take place naturally–don’t try to hurry the procedure by adding heat to the negatives!

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Ron on October 1st, 2009 | File Under Ideas | No Comments -

Photo CD / DVD Storage Life

The Usable Storage Life of CDs and DVDs Is Not As Long As You Might Hope or Want.

With the digital age coming into its own, many of us have turned to storing much of our information, including our photographs, on CDs and DVDs.  The difference between the two, for the purpose of storage, is in the amount of data that can be stored.  The DVD format wins.  But that is not the problem we’re really confronted with.  How long will they last in storing  precious information–including our photographs?

In a January 10, 2006 article in Computerland, Kurt Gerecke, a physicist and storage expert at IBM was quoted as saying: “If you want to avoid having to burn new CDs every few years, use magnetic tapes to store all your pictures, videos and songs for a lifetime.”

There is a wide range of life expectancy for these storage mediums:  from a couple of years, as noted above, to 100 years by the manufacturers.  The later figure surely hasn’t been proven yet.  We suspect the span lies somewhere in the middle, and most likely on the lower side of middle.

The construction of CDs and DVDs used to store photographs on is subject to the same type of deterioration that film negatives and printed pictures are.  They require the same type of storage care.  Light, heat and humidity are agents that can shorten or destroy the information burned on these discs.  Cooler temperatures seem to be the prime issue.

The quality levels of the disc’s construction has some bearing.  Higher quality discs tend to have a longer life.  The unfortunate thing is determining the quality of the disc is difficult.  Visually, you can’t tell much from a low budget discs versus a high end disc.  We would just accept they all have a much lower life span than we’d prefer.

There is research being done to extend the life of these storage mediums.  Currently, they are still being tested, and carry a very stiff price to purchase if you can find them.

Using a storage company may be the better alternative like Their services will relieve you of the stress or concern about long term storage.  We recommend you check them out.

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Ron on September 30th, 2009 | File Under Ideas | No Comments -

Photograph Storage

More Information on the Long-term Care and Storage of Photograph Prints

photo storage boxes Photograph Storage

Many of us have drawer fulls of precious snapshots we’ve taken over the years.  This is not the best solution for long term storage of these valuable jewels of our personal history.

Photographs are in fact delicate in their make-up, and subject to damage from both our handling them improperly and deterioration from the effects of light, heat and humidity.

Minimizing each of these marauders of our heirloom pictures will help make them last for generations.  Placing photos in protective holders is the first step in protecting and preserving precious snapshots.  This can also help keep them from the damage casused by frequent handling.

Albums are an inexpensive repository for storing photograph.  They can be sorted and grouped as needed, by page or book.  They can be bulky, but very serviceable.  Photo albums should be used for your best pictures.  Weed out the poor images (blurred or unfocused).  Eliminate duplicates–extra pictures can be stored in other containers with other similar snapshots.

Other photographic storage options are: folders, sleeves, envelopes and boxes.  Which of these holders you wish to use is predicated on personal preference and the frequency with which pictures would be handled.  Also, you have to consider the delicate nature of older photos . . . these require special handling and care.  A separate folder or envelope is best suited for fragile older pictures.  These individual holders/envelopes help support and protect delicate photos.  Excessive handling of damaged or worn older photos only increases their deterioration.  Adding a rigid acid free piece of paperboard will help support and protect these special pictures.

Plastic sleeves work especially well for photographs that are handled frequently.  The sleeve should be made of a non-PVC material.  Photo shops carry sleeves that are made for pictures.  Pictures stored in folders should be well labeled to reduce the handling of the pictures.  Oils from hands can be a harbor for mold.  Copies can be made of older sensitive pictures or duplicates made.

Storage boxes made of acid free paper, or metal boxes can be used to store photos.  The box used should be representative of the size of the photos being stored.  There should be little room for movement of the photos.  Pictures should be stood on end, and filler, where needed, added to void areas.  The container should be well documented with the contents of the box–a list of pictures is a good way–set inside the contain.  On the outside a general identification should be made . . . alphabetical, chronological, by subject matter, etc. –what ever is best suited to your needs.  The last thing you need or want to do is rifle through several boxes to find just the right snapshot.

Keep your photographs organized and stored in containers that provide you with the best protection and accessibility.

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Ron on September 29th, 2009 | File Under Ideas | No Comments -

Care and Handling of Photographs


Long-term Storage of Photograph Prints Requires Special Care and Attention


You have spent many hours taking those special snapshots of people, places and things.   You may even want to share these treasures with others–now and in the future.  Family history and geneolgy are captured in these photographs. 

In addition to your photographic efforts, you may already have painstakenly sorted and categorized these precious records of memorable moments in time.  But the question remains: How do you store these photographs for the long term?

Here are a few tips to help you keep these treasures in good shape, and available to your posterity for many years to come.

  • In addition to sorting and organizing your photographs, you must also take the time to identify, label or mark each shot with at least this minimum information if you have it.  We recommend you write this valuable information on the back of the photograph:
    • Use a permanent “acid-free” marker like a ”Sharpie®” pen.
      • When writing on the back of the photo.   Don’t use ballpoint pens , or any other hard point instrument–they require excess pressure–which could damage the photo. 
    • Person or persons in the photo from left to right.
    • Date and place where the photo was taken. 
    • Ages of the individuals in the photo.
    • Any other information that would be helpful to others in the future in knowing what this photograph represents.
  • Never store your photographs in those ”sticky magnetic” photo albums.  This is a sure invitiation for trouble in time.
  • Avoid handling photographs–especially older ones–because of their age they can be more fragile. 
  • As much as possible keep from touching the image side of the photograph.
    • Hold photos on the edges to keep oils from your hands getting on the photo’s surface.  This can cause damage, or allow the collection of dirt, on your pictures.
    • Use light soft cotton gloves to aid in handling your photographs.   This will help avoid contaminating  them with body oils.  This is how museum archived pictures are usually handled.
    • Older or damaged photos may require additional support  when handling them.

Ligh, heat and moisture are the sure destroyers of photograhs.  Eliminating them, or at least minimizing them is very helpful for their long term survival.  The way in which you store your photographs is an important preservation process.  Storing your photos in a climate controlled environment is optimimal, but most likely impractical for most of us. This would require purified air, a constant temperature (65°-75°F), and maintaining relative humidity (35-50%).  Generally, most of us have a cool closet, which can be a reasonable substitue.  Avoid basements (too moist), garages (too many uncontroled variables) and attics (generally too hot or to cold).

In addition to these requirements, if you can maintain them as much as possible, keep them from being exposed to direct sunlight and ultraviolet rays for any extended period.  Storage containers (boxes, albums, etc.) should be free of acidic elements–like glues and adhesives, paper and cardboard.  Use lignin free, acidic neutral (PH of 7-9), and buffered paper. 

Note: When using your photos for scrapbook projects care must be given to the embellishments and other products you use to spice up your pages. They, too, should be acid free or future damage could occur to your photographs. Using acid free sheet proctectors is benefical too.

Photo albums (acid free) are a good place to store photographs.  Boxes (metal or paper (acid free) are also appropriate.  Pictures should not be too loose or too packed in these containers.  A “filler” should be used in boxes where there are not enough photos to fill it.  Pictures should not be free to “slosh” around.  They can be damaged.  Plactic sleeve not made from PVC can be used–sandwhich bags are a reasonable substitute.  Layering photgraphs with a buffered or 100% cotton bond paper can be helpful. 

Photos that are 8 x 10 or larger should be stored flat inside boxes that will accommodate their size.  Acid free filler should be added to keep the photographs from bounce around to reduce the possiblity of damage to their edges.  Pictures that are 8 x 10 or smaller can be stored in albums or stood vertically in standard size boxes to fit their size.  These photo boxes can be stacked, but good labling is a must so you know what’s in each box . . . this lessens the need to handle fragile pictures.

Note:  Keep from using other elements that can cause damage to your precious photo memories: staples, rubber bands, paper clips, transparent or masking tape, to name a few.

Last, but not least, you may consider the use of a storage company that can keep your photograph ready to be printed.  You may want to have your photos scanned and downloaded to one of these services.  We highly recommend  Check out what they offer–both in storage and other useful services.  Time and money well spent in our opinion.

With the information provided you should be able to provide many years of enjoyment from the use of your valuable picture collection.

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Ron on September 28th, 2009 | File Under Ideas | No Comments -

Embellish with Liquid Applique

Add Texture and Depth to Your Scrapbook Pages with Liquid Applique

uchida liquid applique Embellish with Liquid AppliqueLiquid Applique is a fun three-dimensional way to embellish your scrapbook pages.  This treatment helps lift segments up off your page.  The liquid applique procedure helps give character to your stamps, letters, die cut shapes, and free-hand writing (names, word, or phrases).  You can highlight specific areas of a shape, a picture or other die cut embellishments.  The applique will help lift up items like candles on a cake.

How to Apply Liquid Applique:

  • The fine tip of the Liquid Applique allows you to apply the product sparingly.
  • Gently squeeze the tube over the area you wish to applique.  Fill in the area as needed.
  • If writing use the applique as you would a pen–being sure to not over do it.
  • Liquid Applique requires drying time–overnight for best results–use a heat gun to speed the drying process if you wish.
    • Be careful not to over heat or scorching will occur.  The applique can also become uneven or lose its adhering property to the paper.
  • Add scrapbook extra fine scrapbook glitter to give the item a “sparkle look.”  This application should be done before drying or after heating.

Like so many other scrapbook ideas and products, you will be well served to experiment with this Liquid Applique product and technique a little.  Using scrap pieces first will help you eliminate not being happy with your effort on a page you’d prefer not to have your experiment on.  This is a fun technique, but Liquid Applique should be used in moderation.

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Ron on August 3rd, 2009 | File Under Embossing, Helpful Products, Ideas | No Comments -