Monday, April 14, 2014

Cleaning Out the Cobwebs

Pardon the dust and cobwebs flying around as I do a bit of Spring cleaning!
Image courtesy of ID-1004852

My name is Tessa and I neglect my blog. There I said it. I've heard that admitting you have a problem is the first step toward recovery. But all kidding aside, I have been so busy on Google+ (and please I know that Blogger works with Google+ - I just have not worked out the best way to share) and with three great groups - the Guild of One-Name Studies, Society for One-Place Studies, and Legacy Virtual Users' Group Community - that I was not tending my personal family blog. How does everyone else get it all done?

It is so quick and easy to engage in the Google+ Stream, Communities, and Hangouts-on-Air either with my laptop or my mobile that I was simply forgetting to get back to my blog and post some of my comments right here at home. As a result Scandia Musings resembled that dilapidated house at the end of the street with broken shutters and an overgrown lawn. Well it was time to make a decision - did I want to continue with my blog or put it out of its misery? I thought about it why I started blogging in the first place and gave myself a good shake. Then it was time to roll up my sleeves and start cleaning, painting and moving the furniture around here at my blog.

I also gave some serious consideration to my time constraints as well as what I want to do with my family history and genealogy. I know that blogging is the best way to find those unknown cousins and share stories with my own extended family members who (for some reason) do not enjoy going through family group sheets or pedigree charts but love stories and photographs. I need to give a bit more focus to my own family history and remember to make time to blog. That said I am making no grand resolutions (those usually crash and burn in a few months' time). I am going to start small and build up those unused blogging muscles.
  • You may have noticed that I have spent some time sprucing things up here and my blog is a bit more minimalist. Although I am not quite finished, Scandia Musings is definitely headed in the right direction.
  • I plan to focus on my family by using a family history calendar (an idea borrowed from Linda McCauley and Cheri Hudson Passey - thanks). Using a birthday and wedding anniversary calendar I will be able to blog at least once a week and scatter that cousin bait at the same time!
  Okay baby steps - see you back here next Sunday when I start publishing the calendar.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

SNGF - Ancestral Homes 150 Years Ago

It has definitely been awhile! Although I have posted on Google+ and been active in the Guild of One-Name Studies and the Legacy Virtual Users' Group, I am afraid I have let my blogging slide. Well it's time to get back in the saddle and why not start with some of Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.

The mission that I accepted (and yes you are hearing the Mission Impossible theme music) was as follows:

1) Determine where your ancestral families were on 1 June 1863 - 150 years ago.
2) List them, their family members, their birth years, and their residence location (as close as possible). Do you have a photograph of their residence from about that time, and does the residence still exist?
3) Tell us all about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status or Google+ Stream post.

Here are my answers for the Norwegian, Swedish & Slovenia side of my family:

My second great-grandparents, Peder Eriksen, Hastajerdet (1833–1913) and Mali Pedersdatter, Rolfengbergene (1835–1881) resided on the Lille Kleven farm in Hegra, Øvre Stjørdal, Nord-Trøndelag, NORWAY. I have mapped the location of their village, and I have a photograph of the farm (Lille Kleven) and it still exists. In 1863 the household included my great grandaunt Mette Pedersdatter (1860–1961) and Elisæus Pedersen (1862–unknown) but my great grandmother Josephine Eriksen (1875–1905) did not arrive on the scene until 1875.

My third great-grandparents, Erik Ivarsen, Medkilplass/Hastagjerdet  (1796–1875) and Marta Zakariasdatter, Berget (1796–1895) resided on the Hastagjerdet farm in Hegra, Øvre Stjørdal, Nord-Trøndelag, NORWAY. I have mapped the location of their village, and I have a photograph of the farm (Hastagjerdet) and it still exists. In 1863, none of their children resided with them (as they were adults and married).

My second great-grandparents Elof Larsson (1833–1922) and Marit Larsdotter (1829–1906) resided on the Ormliden farm in Fastnäs, Norra Ny, Värmlands län, SWEDEN. I have mapped the location of their village, but I do not have a photograph and do not know if the farm still exists. The household included my great grandfather Lars Elofsson (1860–1926) and his two sisters Karin Elofsdotter (1856–1946) and Anna L. Elofsdotter (1863–1942).  

My second great-grandparents Anton Zagradisnik (1839–1918) and Anna Pevec (1840–unknown) resided Nova Stifta, , Slovenia, AUSTRIA. I have mapped the location of their village, but I do not have a photograph and do not know if their home still exists.  My great grandmother Antonia Zagradisnik (1886–1928) did not arrive on the scene until 1886. 

My second great-grandparents, Francis Kocevar (unknown–unknown) and Jenie Prisel (unknown–unknown) resided in Šmartno ob Dreti, Nazarje, Slovenia, AUSTRIA. I have mapped the location of their village, but I do not have a photograph and do not know if their home still exists.  My great grandfather Valentin Kocevar (1874–1955) did not arrive on the scene until 1874.

To check out the Irish side of my family go to my other blog, the Keough Corner.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tech Tuesday ~ Do Something Digital With Those Photos!

Over the past couple of Tuesdays I've shared how my family digitized our slides, photos and jpegs and how we organized all those lovely images. Today I have two posts for you ~ one here at Scandia Musings "Do Something Digital With Those Photos!"; and one over at The Keough Corner "Do Something Traditional With Those Photos!" You have worked hard to preserve, protect and organize your images, but unless you do something with them no one else will be able to enjoy them. And that is what it's all about! Please check out both posts as some of our ideas might give you some ideas ~ above all, do something with your own photos.

Now back to our story . . .

I maintain both a Family Media Library (all the images from our slide and print scan project as well as the more recent images received from my parents, siblings and extended family members) and a Personal Media Library (all my images relating to my travel and genealogy research) with Memory Manager.  How I organize my Personal Media Library is a story for another day/blog.
  • As a result of organizing in Memory Manger, I can quickly find, use and share our family images for digital projects.  Some recent examples include
    • framed prints/posters of family photographs as wall art
    • digital photo albums (now that we have scanned our photos we are making our scrapbooks digitally; we are working on an updated family recipe/history book)
    • 2012 calendar that includes family photos and birthdays/anniversaries
The following examples are all using the digital software – StoryBook Creator
Like many families, we have members who live in all over the country.  Digital sharing through social media and software programs has vastly improved in the past 5 years what with online photo sharing, emailing presentations and slideshows, and remotely collaborating on digital projects (wall art, albums, calendars, and posters).

This is StoryBook Creator’s Welcome screen – note open projects are 
listed along the bottom of the screen – albums, calendars, posters and cards; 
news & tips are listed at the right column.

This is StoryBook Creator's Workspace - note the page elements on the left, 
the workspace in the center where photos and captions are added the page being worked on,
and the album pages and selection of paper and embellishments on the right

Wall Art

To make these framed posters out of old family photos, we chose jpegs from our Memory Manager Media Library of both my mother’s and father’s side of the family and started a project in StoryBook Creator.  We then chose the background color by copying the texture and color of the trim on my parents’ drapes and adding it as a background page for each poster, edited the jpegs by shadowing them for a 3D effect, selected a font style and color to complement the background chosen (the software uses any font on your computer), added names, dates and places to the poster to identify the family members (see the close up example below).  We had the posters printed through Creative Memories and purchased ready made frames and the vinyl wall art from a local craft store.  

One of the framed posters shows my mother’s Norwegian and Swedish ancestors
(that’s my mother as a child with her parents)

A close up showing the shadowed photos on the textured background and script font
(this is a print on photo quality paper)

Photos of my great grandfather’s farm (taken in color and edited to black & white)
again using ready made frames

A framed photo of Crater Lake that my father took which we had printed 
It was professionally framed  

Our 2012 Calendar

This is an example of putting together our 2012 family calendar in StoryBook Creator – October is the month shown.  I included jpegs (simply drag and drop) of various family members dressed up for Halloween (from the event sort box) as well as the three family members whose birthdays are in October (from the birthdays sort box).  We added birthdays and anniversaries in the calendar section (at the bottom of the page).  Note the background for the calendar section is another Halloween jpeg.  On this 2012 calendar - the top (photo) pages are 12x12 and the bottom (calendar) pages are 6x12 – on photo quality paper.  Once the year is done, the monthly pages could be used for a “year in review” family scrapbook.  

A larger view of October 2012 calendar page

A larger view of December 2012 calendar page

And just for fun (and to make sure our projects have our signature on them) we made 3 inch decals to attach to them.  Use your imagination, lots of color and have some fun!  Ours read:

Another Exceptional Endeavor by Those Sensational Snappy Sisters
(we know who we are and we love alliteration)

I know that there is a variety of excellent photo organizing software available.  Many people use online or dedicated photo editing software (Google’s Picasa or Adobe’s Photoshop), or the photo software that came with their computers (Windows Live Photo Gallery for PCs and iPhoto for Macs).   However, I started using Memory Manager and StoryBook Creator in 2008, I like working with them, and the updates have been excellent.  

Creative Memories has been in business since 1987 and they focus exclusively on preserving photos and providing excellent products (both traditional and digital) to share those photos.  The integration of Memory Manager with Storybook Creator (their digital scrapbook software program that we used to make the above projects) is also excellent.  I think their software is reasonably priced and they have a free trial period so you can play around with it and see if it works for you.

Creative Memories’ website lists their products as well as several video tutorials and pdfs (for those who like to read and watch how to do something) that clearly explain step by step how to do a variety of things (backing up media, editing photos, organizing and printing & sharing your photos).  Check out their pdfs here. I think these are great whether you use their products or apply the lessons to your own software program. 

Whatever you do, USE & SHARE THOSE PHOTOS!  I would love to hear about and see what you do with your photos, so please share with the rest of us. Cheers.