Photo Restoration
Fort Collins Studio
1827 E Harmony Road
Fort Collins, Colorado 80528
(970) 226-0102

How to Make a Photo Album Digitally, Convert Slides to DVDs, and More

productThe Leave A Legacy team have been preserving photos and memorabilia for their customers for years —so they have plenty of ideas to share about the best and most fun ways to create lasting memories.

Our Tips and Tricks section will give you pointers about how to best use our services, as well as helpful hints for incorporating imagery into your life more.

There is also an infinite amount of information available on the Web about digital scrapbooking, photo editing ideas, and custom digital photo printing. We’ve provided you with links to our favorite sites to introduce you to worlds of digital photo preservation online!

Tips and Tricks

We’ve got loads of clever tricks and helpful tips to share with you.

After you’ve checked out the info below, consider signing up for our newsletter! You’ll get regular tips, ideas, and special savings from the experts at Leave A Legacy. We won’t share your information with other parties, and you’ll be kept up-to-date on all the latest goings-on at our Denver and Fort Collins, Colorado locations!

Table of Content

  • Try custom digital photo printing on coasters for a housewarming gift!
  • Can’t find prints of your old photos but have the negatives?  Our negative scanning service can help you preserve those memories that might have been lost forever!
Memory cards: how big & is there an adaptor that fits my brain?

Memory cards: they are the often the size of a postage stamp, they store 100’s of photos, but how big of a card do I need and is there an adaptor available that fits my brain? I don’t know about you but I could really use some added memory in my brain. Unfortunately, they have yet to make an adaptor for inserting a photo memory card of any type.tips-img11

The memory card that came with your camera is not big enough, that you can be sure of. Most of these will hold fewer than 20 still shots of a descent quality. If your camera is capable of taking video clips, be warned that they can use up a lot of any memory card.

At a minimum we would recommend that you buy a memory card of at least 256 megabytes. This card would hold around 100 jpeg images, depending on your camera settings. For a 6-megapixel camera shooting at it’s maximum resolution and quality a 1-GB card would be in order. It should hold several hundred images.
High-speed cards are available but unnecessary for the vast majority of cameras.

The amount of space that a photo will take on the card is determined by several settings on your camera. It is tempting to leave your camera on the default settings that it came with. Lowering a camera’s resolutions or increasing its compression, increases the number of images that fit on a card. If you want to print larger photos of good quality then you should decrease compression and increase resolution. If you are printing standard 4 x 6 inch prints then a medium resolution and medium compression should be suitable and will allow you to save more images on a given memory card. If you are taking images to only email or use on the internet then higher compression and less resolution is in order.

Leave A Legacy warns you against online photo posting as the quality of the image that they store for you is often web-quality (or 72 ppi) and would likely only print good quality photos that are about 1 inch square in size. We had a client who wanted to make a slide show of his photos from one of these sites and even that was too poor in quality. He ended up asking friends for photos for his own TV slide show.
Leave A Legacy can assist you in transferring your photos from your memory card to a CD so that you will have an empty card to use again. Our computers are equipped to accept nearly any size or shape of camera memory card.

Better photographer, loose weight & a cleaner house

It may not sound possible but you can become a better photographer, loose weight and have proof of a cleaner house all by carefully cropping your photos.

tips-img3Professional photographers are great at centering photos and getting good close-ups. By cropping your photos either by cutting the old fashioned way or by cropping on the computer (it’s forgiving of mistakes and lets you “undo” mistakes) you can cut out unwanted foreground, background or “side ground” and focus attention on your subject of interest.

Losing weight in photos is easy... but you have to plan ahead. When taking photos locate the large people on the edge. You can crop to the inside of their shoulder and they will lose many pounds. On our computers you can also change the proportions of the photos making people thinner, wider and even taller!
Now for a cleaner house. If your photos show a pile of unfolded laundry, unwashed dishes or scattered toys in the background simply crop them out and focus on the people in the photo.

Pixel Pointers

A pixel is a term for a single point in a graphic image. The term was created from shortening “picture element” and using the common abbreviation “pix” for “picture”.

tips-img9The quality of a photo can be expressed in pixels per inch (ppi) or dots per inch (dpi). They are equivalent, meaning, a photo with 72 ppi would have 72 dpi. Images shown on computer screens and web sites are acceptable at 72 ppi. When wanting to print your images, an acceptable print quality is achieved when a photo has 300 ppi or more. When printing an image that has fewer than 300 ppi, the image becomes “pixilated”. This means that individual pixels are visible resulting in blocky edges and general blurring. An image that is pixilated can be reduced (made smaller) which will make the pixels closer together and improve the image quality.

Cameras are distinguished by their resolution or how many pixels the image sensor contains. One mega pixel equals 1 million pixels. For example a 5-megapixel camera can make excellent 8x10s and acceptable 11x14s. If you want to be able to print larger photos you will need a camera that saves more pixels for an image.

Pixels and scanning: When we scan your photos, we typically set them to scan at 300 ppi. However, we can scan images as high as 1200 ppi. This allows us to print enlargements and maintain excellent print quality.

Removing photos stuck in albums

Magnetic Albums….seemed like a great idea at the time…but boy, were we wrong! Do you remember them? They are the ones with a sticky piece of cardboard that you laid your photos on and covered with a clear protective sheet. We now know that these were not a safe place for our precious photos. The pages have now yellowed and the sticky is either gone all together and the photos now fall out of the book when you pick it up or the glue on the page has turned to super glue and won’t let go.

If they are stuck fast, when you try to peal them off, part of the picture is likely to get left behind or damaged. The secret tool for removal is dental floss. Wrap the floss around your fingers and pull the floss down between the photo and the page. You may need to come at it from different angles or use a sawing motion. You’ll likely need a friend to hold the page while you are doing the sawing.

Once we had a client who brought in a stuck photo. After I told her the trick, she proceeded to get some floss from her purse. The photo was free in moments.

Another option is to have Leave A Legacy scan the photo while it is still attached to the page. We can “cut” it out on the computer and leave your original unharmed.

Your solution, if they are loose is to:

1. get them out of the book
2. keep them in order
3. make a stack of them
4. take them to Leave A Legacy and have them scanned, then:
° create a digital photo book
° create a DVD slideshow
° make reprints
° save on a disk and make copies for family members
° check out all Leave A Legacy can to at: www.LeaveALegacyToday.com

Scanning slides 101

Resolute resolution

tips-img13At Leave A Legacy the slide scanner never stops. You would be amazed at the number of people with a number of slides that come to our door. When scanning anything, the most important variable is the resolution. The units of measuring resolution are dots per inch or dpi. The more dots per inch you have the larger you can print the photo without it looking blocky. For good quality printing in the size that you want, photos should have at least 300 dpi. For good quality web site or TV images you need at least 72 dpi. For more info. on dpi check out our article entitled “Pixel Pointers”.
Scanning Services Most slide images are about 1 inch square. We know that you don’t want to print the image at that size so we scan them at a higher resolution. Typically we scan so that you can print at least a 4 inch by 6 inch photo.

Photo fade

The majority of slides that we receive are faded or discolored. The software that we use corrects the color for each slide. The image at right shows a slide before and after color correction.

What to do with the images once we scan them?

1. The first step is to have us create a disk of all of the individual images (jpg files). This can be put into your computer to look at each photo separately and use and print as you want.
2. To take it a step further we can create a DVD slide show that plays on your TV. You can keep it simple and cost effective for just $40 for up to 900 images. We can personalize it with titles, music and even video clips for an hourly rate.
3. We can create custom designed DVD labels and covers as well.
4. Scanned photos can be used in our variety of photo gifts. At Leave A Legacy we have a clock made from a scanned image of our owner, Marsha (she claims that it was just taken a few short years ago, but we wonder).
5. We can print the images individually or we can design and print an entire digital scrapbook from them. Don’t hesitate to bring in your slides. We look forward to making them into digital creations for you.

So many photos, so little time

tips-img2So many photos, so little time. Photo PreservationAnother year has come and gone and now you have another year’s worth of photos that you haven’t done anything with!
The mound of photos or list of photo files can be quite overwhelming. I suggest that you choose a manageable sized project; 2006, Christmas 2006, family trip, etc. and decide to work on that project only. It is always best to work from your most recent photos backwards. If you decide to make a resolution to work on all of your photos you will soon be discouraged and give up. In addition to that, you can remember more specifics (and the funny stories) from more recent events.
This would also be a great time to backup all of your photo files. We all know that your hard drive will likely crash some day. It only takes a few moments to make a backup copy of all of those photo files to avoid this risk

What are your photos saying

This common cliché has it all wrong. Otherwise we would look at stacks of old photos and tell our children and grandchildren just who is in the photo and what was special about that day. The photos you take today can have the same problem when they are admired a few generations from now if you don’t take the time to tell the basics about what is in the photo.tips-img1
My son, Clinton, took a photo that nearly was lost to the delete button but was saved when I asked him to tell me about the photo. As you can see it is not a remarkable photo, no one is even in it smiling or smarting off. But now for the rest of the story about this photo that is now included with a caption in his Boy Scout album. “This photo was taken at our campsite on our outing in South Dakota. We made the “marmot defense system” which consisted of a white line facing the north end of camp. It was said that marmots like to attack from the north and that they don’t like going under a white line. We also used the line for a clothes line. My tent is shown on the left”.
What a wonderful story, that will be enjoyed for generations.


Tips About CD’s and DVD’s

CD and DVD Rot

Last month we made sense of + x and - on your CD and DVD. This month we look at disks and discuss their longevity.

tips-img6The first disk was created in the early 80’s. Today’s disks are much more advanced in write performance, capacity, quality and price. Quality manufacturers have determined through testing that current data life spans range from 50-200 years. However, all disks on the market are not created equal. Manufacturers cut many corners in making disks that save them pennies but cost you data in the long term.

CD and DVD rot? Just one more thing to worry about! Your disks can delaminate (separation of the layers that make a disk), oxidize (when air comes in contact with the reflective layer), galvanize (reaction between the layers and coatings), and deteriorate from other chemical reactions (caused by impurities in the disk’s adhesive or aluminum coating). These problems usually occur when price-oriented manufacturers use outdated equipment and cheaper materials. Most standard disks use silver as the reflective layer and this is where the oxidation occurs.

Gold Archival DVDs have earned the reputation as the highest-quality storage media currently available. The reflective layer is comprised of 24 karat gold, which doesn’t oxidize like silver does. These disks are expected to last at least 100 years!

Leave A Legacy offers these Gold Archival DVDs to clients who seek long-term preservation of their movies, TV slide shows, memory pages (aka: digital scrapbook pages) and digital photos. Our newest gold disks also have the added protection of Scratch Armor anti-scratch coating. This coating protects your disks from scratches, scuffs, fingerprints, dirt and chemicals. Don’t worry about price, as it only cost a few extra dollars to go first class.

Cleaning your DVD or CD Player

tips-img14Dust can collect on the lens in your DVD and CD players which causes difficulty in playing disks correctly or for them to not play at all. I used to always blame the disk in having flaws or scratches but when your video skips a lot it may be indicating that it is time for cleaning the DVD and CD player.

Cleaning disks are available at any of the electronics stores. Many have little brushes on the backside of the DVD or CD. The disk spins when placed in the player and the brushes act to clean the dust from your laser lens.

DVD VCD Transfer To use the cleaning disk, just place it in your player and allow it to detect it. Then hit play and it will start to play the disk. It should run for only 15-20 seconds and then stop. Finally, you can eject the disk and your player should be clean.

It is recommended that you repeat it for every 8 hours of play. I would just do it when your images or music starts to skip. Take note that these should not be used on gaming systems that use a DVD as it can damage the system.

How to Avoid Damaging Disks

Last month we shared information on differences in disk quality and longevity. The next step to keeping your data long-term is handling your disks with the respect your data deserves.
Many environmental factors can damage your disks. These include: exposure to direct sunlight: intense heat; fluctuations in temperature and humidity; gravity; fingerprints; and smudges and scratches. By following the lists of do’s and don’ts, you can ensure a maximum life expectancy for your disks.

DO

Handle disks by the outer edge or center hole
Use a nonsolvent-based felt-tip permanent marker to mark the label side of the disk
Keep dirt or other foreign matter from the disk
Store disks upright (book style) in original jewel cases
Return disks to their jewel case immediately after use
Leave disks in their spindle or jewel case to minimize the effects of environmental changes
Remove the shrink wrap only when you are ready to record data on the disk
Store in a cool, dry, dark, clean-air environment -- relative humidity should be 20% - 50% and temperature 4 - 20 degrees C
Remove dirt, foreign material, fingerprints, smudges, and liquids by wiping with a clean cotton cloth in a straight line from the center of the disk toward the outer edge
Use deionized, distilled or soft tap water to clean your disks; for tough problems, use diluted dish detergent or rubbing alcohol

DO NOT

Touch the surface of the disk
Bend the disk
Store disks horizontally for a long period of time (years)
Expose to extreme heat or high humidity
Expose to rapid temperature and humidity changes
Expose to prolonged sunlight
Write on the data side of the disk
Clean in a circular direction around the disk

Making sense of CDs and DVDs

Last month we shared information on differences in disk quality and longevity. The next step to keeping your data long-term is handling your disks with the respect your data deserves.
Many environmental factors can damage your disks. These include: exposure to direct sunlight: intense heat; fluctuations in temperature and humidity; gravity; fingerprints; and smudges and scratches. By following the lists of do’s and don’ts, you can ensure a maximum life expectancy for your disks.
DO
Handle disks by the outer edge or center hole Use a nonsolvent-based felt-tip permanent marker to mark the label side of the disk Keep dirt or other foreign matter from the disk Store disks upright (book style) in original jewel cases Return disks to their jewel case immediately after use Leave disks in their spindle or jewel case to minimize the effects of environmental changes Remove the shrink wrap only when you are ready to record data on the disk Store in a cool, dry, dark, clean-air environment -- relative humidity should be 20% - 50% and temperature 4 - 20 degrees C Remove dirt, foreign material, fingerprints, smudges, and liquids by wiping with a clean cotton cloth in a straight line from the center of the disk toward the outer edge Use deionized, distilled or soft tap water to clean your disks; for tough problems, use diluted dish detergent or rubbing alcohol DO NOT Touch the surface of the disk Bend the disk Store disks horizontally for a long period of time (years) Expose to extreme heat or high humidity Expose to rapid temperature and humidity changes Expose to prolonged sunlight Write on the data side of the disk Clean in a circular direction around the disk


 

Tips About Organizing

How to Organize your Prints, Slides, Negatives and even your Digital Photo Files

tips-img12We all have them. We have them hidden – out of sight – out of mind – but they still exist - our photos, and boy are they a mess!
When you are ready – Leave A Legacy is ready to help you get started. Below are steps to follow to get them organized?

Collect all of your photos in one place
Make stacks or piles of each decade: 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, etc.

Now organize within a decade, by year. For instance take your stack of 2000s and sort them into stacks of 2001, 2002, 2003, etc.

We recommend that you organize all years within all decades before moving on to further organizing. Finally, you can organize within a year.

We encourage you to not get hung up trying to figure out specific dates. Fifty or 100 years from now no one will care whether it occurred on April 1 or May 1 – just place the photos between Easter and the 4th of July.

New Organizational Tools

Our client Laurie gave us some wonderful ideas to help other clients get organized. See the forms we created to:
bullet

Keep track of your child's age, grade, and year in school.tips-img10-1

 

Organizational Tools

tips-img10-2

bullet Organize your family videos and old movie films.

tips-img10-3

Organizational Tools

bullet Organize your photos for an album. This method works for print photos in a physical file and digital photos on a computer. This form will keep things organized whether you choose creating the pages yourself on one of our Aspen kiosks or if our team is getting creative for you.


 

Tips About Audio, Video and Film

How we do it: Transferring film to DVD

tips-img20-video-transfer-to-DVD_225Leave A Legacy can transfer your regular 8mm film, super 8mm film and 16mm film directly to DVD. We have both an 8mm and a 16mm projector that have been modified and are mounted in line with a 1CCD digital camera. The camera captures the image from every frame of your film and sends it to a computer. Once a whole batch of film is captured we have the computer process the individual frames, remove the flicker and compile it into a modern video file that allows editing. Eight and 16 mm films were recorded at different speeds on different cameras so it is adjusted to the correct speed on the computer. Some clients choose to have this type of file saved to their external hard drive or on several disks (this AVI file type typically takes at least 3 times as many disks as a regular DVD movie requires). In order for clients to do editing at home it requires powerful software and a lot of memory on their computer.

Most clients want to have a regular DVD that will play their movie from a regular DVD player connected to their TV. For these clients we allow them to come in to preview their films (we can easily rearrange the order that different reels play on the disk). Our computers are available for clients to use to do their own editing or we can do it for them. A whole host of titles, scene selections, animations, and special effects are available to customize your films just the way you would like them.

Additional copies of your DVD come at little cost and you can upgrade your DVD to gold archival disks if you wish. Disks come with the Leave A Legacy standard label with your title on them or we can design a custom photo label for you.

Adding Music or Narration

Music or narration is often added to DVD slideshows, silent films, and even used to replace audio in a video recording. It completes the production and adds another valuable effect to your creation!

music-&-narration-image-fb_thumbWe have 3 basic options for music:
°Free music - we have royalty-free, instrumental upbeat background music in a variety of styles
°Your CDs - we can pull music off of your music CDs. We charge for only the time to add it in.
°We purchase music on line - we charge a small amount per song.

If you have specific requests, like wanting a certain song to start at a particular image or if you want particular words to sound during a particular image, additional design time will be charged.

How we do it: Transferring video to DVD

tips-img21-audio-video-film_225Leave A Legacy can transfer your regular 8mm film, super 8mm film and 16mm film directly to DVD. We have both an 8mm and a 16mm projector that have been modified and are mounted in line with a 1CCD digital camera. The camera captures the image from every frame of your film and sends it to a computer. Once a whole batch of film is captured we have the computer process the individual frames, remove the flicker and compile it into a modern video file that allows editing. Eight and 16 mm films were recorded at different speeds on different cameras so it is adjusted to the correct speed on the computer. Some clients choose to have this type of file saved to their external hard drive or on several disks (this AVI file type typically takes at least 3 times as many disks as a regular DVD movie requires). In order for clients to do editing at home it requires powerful software and a lot of memory on their computer.

Most clients want to have a regular DVD that will play their movie from a regular DVD player connected to their TV. For these clients we allow them to come in to preview their films (we can easily rearrange the order that different reels play on the disk). Our computers are available for clients to use to do their own editing or we can do it for them. A whole host of titles, scene selections, animations, and special effects are available to customize your films just the way you would like them.

Additional copies of your DVD come at little cost and you can upgrade your DVD to gold archival disks if you wish. Disks come with the Leave A Legacy standard label with your title on them or we can design a custom photo label for you.

Determining the length of your film and videos

filmVideo_estimate_chartMovie film length is determined by the diameter (distance across) of the film on the reel. Many of the films that come to the Leave A Legacy studios are 3 inches across and on blue plastic reels. These are 50 feet long when they are full. The attached chart shows the length of film on different sizes of reels.

Video length is determined with a video tape player. Use a VCR for VHS tapes and a video camera for the various types of smaller tapes. Put your video in the player and rewind it to the beginning. Eject the video tape and then push it back in (this resets the counter on the player to zero). Press play or fast forward and the digital number counter will display the amount of time the tape has recorded on it. When the player continues to fast forward or play, but the number on the display doesn’t change you can record that number as the amount of time on that video tape.

If you don’t want to be bothered with determining the length yourself – you can rest assured that the Leave A Legacy team will do it for you before we begin transfer.


 

Tips About Your Computer

Cleaning Your Mouse

We have our hands all over them all of the time but when is the last time you cleaned your.....mouse?

We are of course talking about the mouse that is part of your computer. The older type of mouse has a small ball on the bottom. As the ball moves, your pointer on the computer moves. If you have the old ball type mouse, find the little lock on the bottom. You should twist it to release the ball. Using a rag dipped in some alcohol, wipe the ball and get the dirt and grime off of it. On the inside of the mouse, there are two small bars. Wipe the bars with the alcohol dipped rag as well to remove any gunk on them. Finally, put the ball back into the mouse and then you will be amazed at how much smoother it will work!

The newer type of mouse is the optical mouse. It doesn’t have the ball but it does have feet and boy can they get grubby. Take an alcohol dipped rag and wipe them down as well. While you are at it wipe down the rest of the mouse where you place your hand and get that grime off too. The cracks and crevices may have some build up too. You may try using a can of compressed air to blow it out. Look for the little hole at the top of the mouse where the lens is. Using a Q-Tip soaked in alcohol, work it around in there to clean the dust out. Now you have a clean and happy mouse.

If your mouse pad is looking a little tired, consider designing a creative one at Leave A Legacy. We can take photos, logo, artwork and text and make a new customized mousepad for you.

This holiday season think of giving the gift of memories. Leave A Legacy specializes in priceless gifts for an affordable price. Give us a call or email, we’d be glad to help you out.


Tips on Preserving Memories

Family memories over the holidays

Opportunities abound for you to capture, share, give, and make memories over the holidays as your family gathers together.

Capture: Ask the family elders…or everyone for that matter…to document some memory from their life. Whether it was grandpa’s years of training a trick horse, grandma’s stories of how she raised 4 young children while grandpa was away during the war. An Aunt recording all of her delicious recipes for the family to create a book and enjoy it for generations. My own task for this Christmas is to encourage my Grandma Reta (92 years old) to do a voice or video recording of her reciting the poems that she has written and are preserved in her mind only. She is resistant to doing it because she looks so wrinkled and her voice is shaky. I will give her the equipment to do it (likely just using audio since it will be easier for her to do on her own). I will tell her how valuable it will be for generations to come and tell her examples of what other families have captured from their relatives.

Share: While you are visiting relatives this holiday season, take the time to gather up all of the old media that is hiding away in their attic, basement, closets and under the bed. Take on the project to preserve these memories for later generations….you gather it up and Leave A Legacy will do all the work. We have one client who mailed us his collection of films and videos just last week. He told me how to combine the materials so that each member of the family will receive a disk this year. Every year at Christmas they will each bring their disk and make a tradition of watching the old films of days gone by together.

Give: This year give the gift of memories. What other gift will last for generations, and have priceless value and have minimal cost? Examples of gift options:

Photo gifts (use a child’s artwork or fun photos and make gifts for the young and not so young). Puzzles , pillows, tote bags, ceramic tiles, t-shirts, ornaments, pencil holder, cutting board, water bottle, and steel coffee mug are but a few of the options that we offer.

Video gifts (from your films, camcorder tapes, records, VHS tapes, photo slides, and even reel-to-reel). All of these can be transferred to DVD or CD. You can transfer one video for just $15…but the value is priceless. Additional copies just $7.50.

Photo books: take a collection of photos from a recent trip and at Leave A Legacy either you can get creative on the computer or we can do it for you and create a special book for your family. A selection of photos through the years of Mom or Dad can make a very nice tribute book. A year ago we went on a family trip to Hawaii. I have made a lengthy photo book of our trip with all the photos taken by me, my kids and the 2 grandmas. I also typed up pages of the journal that I wrote while on the trip. For Christmas, I’ll be printing out 2 more copies of the book for the 2 grandmas. What a unique and priceless gift.

Make: Remember to make and record new memories from today’s holiday celebration. Remember the still and video camera for all of the productions that your kids and grandkids perform in. Capture what the tree looks like every year. Write out what each child’s favorite gift was and take their smiling photo with it. Record what they asked Santa to bring them and their opinion as to whether they were good enough this year to get gifts.

Leave A Legacy wishes you the merriest of Holidays and encourages you to capture, share, give, and make lots of memories. We will be closed the week between Christmas and New Years.

Preserving Childhood Journaling

It’s a cliché that’s all too true: “Children grow up way too fast.” This series of articles will give you a variety of ideas of how to preserve all those childhood memories and document how they change through the years.

This month we will look at Journaling.  Journaling is a very effective method for preserving all the funny and unexpected moments of childhood.  In order to transform this from a great idea to a realized ritual a few things are necessary. You need a time, a place and the tools.

Time: when will you do it?  A disciplined routine soon becomes an ongoing habit. See if you can do it after the kids go to sleep or before they get up in the morning. Another idea would be to do it while waiting at your child’s sports practice. I did it every school night at 9pm (right after the kids were off to bed) while the memories of the day are still fresh.

Place: Find a quiet place, comfy place or a convenient place. I did it in the living room, sitting on the couch with the TV on.

Tools: Find the tools that will work best for you. Perhaps a special pen and notebook will motivate you or maybe you just want a spiral notebook. I used a laptop computer – on my lap of course.

Find what works for you and stay committed – you won’t regret this habit.  As time goes on you’ll be amazed at all the journaled memories you’ve forgotten (and preserved).

I managed to write my journal for seven years – when my kids were little.  I have since printed and bound it at Leave A Legacy, Inc.  Whenever I get it out and read it to our family we all end up rolling with laughter and with tears running down our faces.

A short excerpt from my journal dated 1/22/01:  Today while Dillon and Aspen were making their lunch Dillon told Aspen that she was getting on his nerves. She smartly replied, “No I’m getting on Your nerves,” unaware that she had just confirmed what he had said. Later we made crafty snowmen from some of Clinton’s old socks.  We used some of Aspen’s old socks for the stocking caps.

Preserving School-day Memories

Digital ScrapbookingLast month we shared ideas on how to document memories of your summer vacation. This month we turn to preserving those school-day memories, whether for your children, grandchildren or even yourself. How you go about this project depends on what stage your kiddos are at. If they are just starting school, then you can "do it as you go." If they are about to graduate from high school, then try "categorize and conquer."

Do it as you go: For each year, collect items to fill 2-4 pages to create a chronological book of their years in school. Some of the things you may wish to include each year are: first-day-of-school photo, a handwriting sample, scanned awards or certificates, scanned artwork (we can do it for you), photo of them with their teachers, class photo and photos from class parties. Make a list of your children's favorite subjects, favorite specials, friends and what they want to do when they grow up.

Categorize and conquer: Search through your stash of photos and memorabilia saved through the years for items to put in each of the following categories: hairdos, friends, teachers, works of art, awards, clubs, birthdays, Halloween costumes, schools, clothes, science/other major projects and field trips. This book will be thematic rather than chronological, but still very fun for all.

Cover page ideas: Your first page could be a grouping of school photos from each year arranged like numbers on a clock. Place the first-grade photo at 1 o'clock and follow the numbers around until the child graduates high school and put that photo at 12 o'clock. In the center of the ring of photos put an extra special photo in the center, perhaps a baby photo, kindergarten photo or a senior portrait. Another idea is to use just two photos (one from kindergarten and one from 12th grade). This idea will relieve you if you are stressing over finding a photo from every year.

Preserving Vacation Memories

Digital Photo AlbumAfter you return home, you will wish your trip would have lasted forever, but you're sure you'll remember all the good times you had for the rest of your life. But unless you have a photographic memory, some of them will fade away. We suggest recording all the special - and even some of what may seem like more mundane at the time - happenings in a travel journal. Here are some ideas on what you may want to record to make putting together a digital scrapbook following your trip quicker and easier and help you to thoroughly recall all the fun you had:

The Basics:
• Who went (ages of kids)?
• Whose idea was it?
• In order to leave we had to _______
• We wouldn’t have survived the trip without packing _________

Day 1:
• The day we left was _______.
• We got up at ______.
• We laid down at ________.
• Mode of travel:
• Cost of travel:
• What we ate:

Day 2:
• We got up at _______.
• We laid down at _________.
• What we did there_______
• We wish we had ______
• We couldn’t believe the price of _______
• The special/unique person we met was _______
• What we ate ______

Day 3 and beyond: write about the same subjects as Day 2.
Additionally, you may wish to make notes about the specific pictures you take each day.

Leave A Legacy along with American Dream Travel, Fort Collins, 970-224-5384, have created an actual spiral-bound travel journal book (including all of the questions above, photo pages and a pocket for small memorabilia) that you may pick up FREE of charge at either of our offices. It includes a coupon from Leave A Legacy for discounts on the printing of a digital scrapbook of your memories.

Protecting your memories from disaster

After a disaster, like the tornados that hit us a few weeks ago, we are foremost thankful for the safety of our family and neighbors. What you hear people say while looking upon the wreckage of their home is that, of all of the valuables lost or damaged, what we value the most are our photo, video and audio memories.

Photo StorageThree easy steps will help you to protect your memories from disaster and keep those irreplaceable memories safe.

Back Up all of your photos from your computer hard drives to CD or DVD. The disaster could be as simple and as frustrating as your computer crashing. We’ve all been told before that computer back-ups need to be done, let’s make it a priority and get it done this week.

Change the Format of all of your old media into much more compact and portable CDs and DVDs. Photo prints, slides, negatives and even scrapbooks can be scanned at high resolution. Films, cassettes, home videos, etc. can be transferred to CD or DVD. Grabbing a stack of DVDs will be much easier than digging through drawers and closets to pick out your variety of albums, photo boxes, VHS, camcorder tapes and movie films. One CD can hold around 300 photos while one DVD can hold around 3000 photos (varies based on resolution and file size). Keep all of your disks in one place or even one tote so that you can grab it at a moments notice.

The Straub family had 7 laundry baskets of photos and albums scanned. They left with 2 DVDs containing 10,000 jpg files of all of their photos. The Nichols brothers brought in 4,000 family photo slides and had them saved as jpg files to 2 DVDs. They also had 5 DVD slideshows created using them.

Duplicate your memories by making a second copy. With disks, trade the second copy with another household’s disks or put in a safety deposit box or household fire retardant safe. With your scrapbooks, consider scanning and printing a second copy and put it in another location as well.

The Straub family had a duplicate copy made and sent it to a relative for safe keeping. The Nichols brothers each got a copy of all disks so that everyone can share and enjoy the memories.


 

Tips About Other Products and Services.

How we do it: Photo Gifts

The first step is to make your photo, artwork or logo digital by scanning. We can also use digital photos that are emailed to us or brought in to our studio.

The next step is to choose the item(s) that you would like an image transferred on to. Items include:

• Business card holders
• Ceramic tiles
• Clipboards
• Clocks
• Coasters
• Cutting boards
• Fabric items (t-shirts, pillows, etc.)
• Jar openers
• Jewelry
• Mouse pads
• Mugs (ceramic & steel)
• Ornaments
• Patches
• Plaques
• Puzzles

Our transfer process offers complete customization. Possibilities include:

• A collage of images
• Text added on or around the image
• Your logo repeated all over the transfer area
Applying a photographic effect

Photo Gifts - How We Do ItWe will layout your project on the computer according to the item chosen and the transfer area available. A proof will be emailed to you for approval. Once approved, the design is printed (usually as a mirror image) using a special printer equipped with high release paper and dye sublimation inks. The paper is trimmed to size and then applied to the item with adhesive spray. The item is placed in the heat press which is heated to 400 degrees. The item is pressed at the appropriate pressure for the appropriate time according to the type of photo gift item.

Once removed from the press the transfer paper is peeled off and the item is allowed to cool.

With this process the ink on the paper turns to a gas when it heats up to 400 degrees and then chemically binds to the surface of the item. The advantage of this method is that the image is very durable. It isn’t going to crack, fade, or peel.

Photo gifts have intrinsic value. You might think, "Who needs another mug?" But when it bears a family photo or artwork, it becomes the priceless mug of choice. Kids enjoy wearing a t-shirt that bears their own artwork. Parents prize a framed ceramic tile showing the kids when they were little. Grandma treasures a cutting board with her granddaughter's one-of-a-kind painting. The wedding guests each receive a water bottle bearing a photo of the wedding couple. Aunt Sue appreciates the clock that features a photo from the last family reunion. These wonderful moments are captured forever and proudly displayed.

How we do it: DVD Slideshows and all the Possibilities

DVD Slideshow PossibilitiesCreative DVD Slideshows
Did you know that Leave A Legacy can use your digital photo files (jpg files) to produce a DVD that will play on a DVD player and most modern computers? Of course, if your photos are prints or slides we can make them digital for you.

Images usually appear on screen for five seconds and the transition between photos is usually one second. When using these time lengths it is easy to figure how long your slideshow will run. For example: 100 photos will make a 10 minute slideshow and 350 photos will make a 35 minute slideshow. The length a photo is on screen can vary, according to the length you desire, even to a tenth of a second.

Transitions determine how the screen changes from one image to the next. Clients frequently choose:

• Fade (one picture fades out while another fades in)
• Random (uses a transition that is randomly selected ex: wipe, zoom in, slide out, barn doors, etc.)
• Page Turn (looks like each photo is a turned page)
Titles are like an introduction page to your DVD slideshow. They feature text of your choice and a background behind it. Choose your background from your own photos or art or from our selections.

Captions are text that describes the photo. The caption text can be added to an empty space in the photo, or the photo can be reduced or moved to the side to accommodate text.

Video clips can be added to the still shots.

Music or narration can accompany your video clips or slideshow. Look for more about music options available in an article entitled Adding Music and Narration (coming soon).

 

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