From photo books to time capsules, here are some ways to save and share life’s most precious moments and memorabilia
With celebrations, vacations, family and friends, life is a continuing series of memorable moments. If you have electronic devices filled to the brim with pictures and video clips, and your closets are overflowing with stacks of boxes containing can’t-throw-away mementos, you’re not alone. Overwhelmed? We’ve got practical and creative ways to display your precious memories, keep them at your fingertips and save them for generations to come.
Books. Denver-based Artifact Uprising began when co-founder and photographer Jenna Walker realized her life’s documented moments had “no true place to live on.” Walker has the ultimate quote on the company website: “What are we leaving behind?” The company’s photography-focused product choices are a combination of stylized cool and personalized warmth, and the entire website is full of design ideas and accompanying blogs on a range of subjects. There’s also a phone helpline for building a new project—ask for wedding design services and an in-house pro will create your lay-flat wedding album.
Artifact Uprising’s beautiful baby books include journal space, a pen that best complements the quality paper—even adhesive to for pictures and memorabilia. Wedding guest books include pages printed with photos of the happy couple, with room for friends and family to write personal notes.
Frames. The possibilities for framing photos and keepsakes are endless with products readily available in retail outlets and online. Complement your décor with traditional or contemporary styles in wood, metal and brass for walls and tabletops. Create a splashy wall display with uniform photo sizes and identical frames, or mix it up. A photo ledge or floating wall shelf can accommodate a series of images, framed or not. For more whimsical framing options, visit a website such as Etsy.com.
De-digitize social media and stored photos. Get those photos into one device and organize them into files. Too many, too much? Delete less-compelling images and choose your favorites to keep or display.
Digitize fragile photos. Back up fragile photos, saved for years, by digitizing them with a scanning service or device.
Digital Storage. Use a cloud service for your favorite photos and videos that can be accessed by family members and back them up with a hard drive. When you want to share images with everyone, use photo-focused Instagram or Flickr, and change privacy settings to fit your needs.
Use a professional service to clean and preserve your wedding gown or other cherished apparel to keep and hand down to future generations. Query family, friends and co-workers on their experiences to find the best expert for you. You can also repurpose your wedding dress to use as a christening gown or even a commemorative teddy bear (bowmanbears.com) for your children. Cut tiny swatches to put into a pendant or ring. Or create a clear holiday ornament with apparel material inside. A perennial favorite: Use material squares from several keepsake garments—from t-shirts to dresses—to create a memory quilt, suitable for framing.
Wedding and celebration mementos
Get creative. Place a wedding photo surrounded by dried flowers from the bridal bouquet in a shadow box. Save a bottle of wine from your reception to savor on your first anniversary—couples can create their own vintage wine and signature wine label for the occasion. Have a commemorative wedding/celebration poster created, and have guests sign it at the event. For another alternative guestbook, family and friends at wedding and graduation celebrations can write advice to honorees on stones to be kept in a stylish container (etsy.com).
If you’re artistically inclined, you’re in DIY heaven with available supplies at craft stores. Need some help with photos, clippings and your kids’ artwork? Visit a scrapbook store-and-studio, such as Affordable Scrapbooking in southeast Aurora or WLC2 (We Love Cropping 2) in Highlands Ranch for products, classes and advice.
Special event and holiday cards
So many cards! Keep the sentiment by making pieces of cards into a collage to frame. Or punch holes in each card and place them in a small three-ring binder.
To commemorate a wedding or special occasion, or to start a family tradition, gather mementos, notes and letters, photos and videos to store in a time capsule. Store it in a safe place to open on a significant future date.
Family stories on video
Hire a professional, or make a DIY version to keep and share. Not a budding journalist? Find a list of questions online to interview your eldest relatives, or just ask all family members to share their favorite stories at various times of their life.
Display collected stones and small knickknacks from vacations or a honeymoon in a clear jar. For oceanside trips collect sand to layer and label with a mix of shells.
Commission an artist for a creative project
Some special occasions and memory preservation projects call for a professional. Set up a photo shoot for a wedding, anniversary or family portrait, a video session to capture an event or family history as told by a favorite relative. Create a piece of custom jewelry to stay in the family forever, even have a song written especially for you. Take the time to choose an artist or expert who understands your goals and has a style that intrigues you and matches your vision.
720-605-8994 for project help
Daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (holidays excepted)
Store hours: Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Pros for multimedia and art-driven projects
Denver’s RinoArtDistrict.org (select “Art” and then “RiNo Artists Gallery”)
Artists span painting, ceramics, handmade jewelry, photography and music genres
Lisa Perry has been a Denver features writer and photojournalist for 25 years. She is also one of the legions with pictures and mementos that deserve to come out of a bazillion random places around her house and garage, and into creative displays.
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