Guest Blogger: Tara of Tara Sroka Designs

Day two of guest posts while I’m on a blog vacay – today’s post is by the incredible Tara Sroka of Tara Sroka Designs! Tara is a talented scrapbooker and graphic designer and self-proclaimed “Memory Preservationist.” She’s written a fantastic article for you about getting started with scrapbooking… and as a professional designer, she can even help you out if the task is too daunting for you to do yourself. Keep reading and you can click her name to see some of her beautiful design work!

My name is Tara Sroka and I’m thrilled to be guest blogging here while Karen is on a blogging vacation. I am a scrapbook artist and I want to talk to you about the importance of documenting your life and your family’s moments together. Sometimes I like to think of myself as a memory preservationist because in reality that is what it’s all about. I scrapbook to tell my story, to remember days gone by and to document all the moments big, small and in between.</p> <p>Recently I was looking through old family photos with my family and came across so many unlabeled photos making it very difficult to identity the people in them. Here were people of my own family that I didn’t know anything about which made me sad. That got me thinking of how important scrapbooking and documenting your life is in order to preserve your heritage. I hope many years from now that my future family will look through my photos and scrapbook and have a good sense of who I was, where I came from and have a sense of our family history. When it comes down to it scrapbooking is all about bringing history to life!</p> <p>I started paper scrapbooking in 2004 and eventually moved to digital scrapbooking with the computer in 2006. In the beginning I wasn’t really thinking about documenting my life for historical reasons but more for the creative fun of it. I love the creative outlet digital scrapbooking (a.k.a digi scrap) provides and now love the fact that my friends and family will have these amazing books and creations to look at generation after generation. By trade I’m a graphic designer but even though I create things everyday I feel limited with my designs due to work and client requirements. Scrapbooking gives me the freedom to have fun, do what I want to do and express myself in a way I feel is comfortable to me. It’s a great opportunity for me to explore and have fun.

There are several easy ways to get started scrapbooking or memory keeping that don’t require much creativity or effort:

  • Write things down – keep a journal with you to just jot down stories and moments
  • Blog your family stories and details of your life you want to remember. It’s great for others to see and participate in and then periodically make a book from your blog posts using services from Blurb (supports most common blog applications)
  • As crazy as it sounds, keep a journal or document with all your “status updates” from your social media sites
  • If you aren’t going to scrapbook in the traditional sense try to make sure to keep up-to-date photo albums. If possible do not write on the back of photographs, as they will ruin your image over time. I suggest getting photo albums that have extra room in the margins for keeping notes.

Whether you plan to paper scrapbook or design with the computer just have fun with it and don’t pressure yourself to “get it all scrapped”.  Starting to scrapbook and capture moments can be overwhelming when you don’t know what to focus on or when you can’t find the time. When it feels right for you jump in and play around. There are lots of online tutorials and classes to learn the basics of digital scrapbooking. Check out Digital Scrapbook Place for a list of classes they offer to get you started.

If you don’t know what to document or scrap here’s some ideas to get you going:

  • What was your baby’s first word?
  • Do you have stories from pregnancy you want to remember?
  • What’s your favorite summer memory?
  • What’s your favorite holiday moment from growing up?
  • What was your first concert you ever went to?
  • How you met your spouse?
  • What one goal do you hope to accomplish this year?

Not all layouts need journaling (the stories or descriptions). Many of my layouts don’t have writing associated with them but I try to always having the date and who is in the photo. It’s hard to remember the when, where and who sometimes, especially in 20 years.

Oscar Wilde said “Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us” but we need to share them with others so they can be passed down and not forgotten. So don’t put off what you want to document or preserve for “another day” – do it now so you won’t regret it later.

If creating a scrapbook sounds like a daunting task then consider my help. I offer customized digital scrapbooks to preserve your life’s most precious moments in a professional and creative way. Taking care of your life’s memories is an important, ongoing process and I can help you tell your story. Simply send me your photos in a digital format and a memory book will be created that tells your personal story on each and every page. Your scrapbook will come with 20 pages in a hard-covered professionally bound book with a custom designed cover to suit your needs. Visit my website for more information or view my scrapbook gallery for some inspiration.

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