Specialty albums are very fun to create. They always inspire emotion, because you’re either walking through the past, or you are working on an album for someone else. In a previous issue I touched upon album themes and briefly touched upon wedding albums and heritage albums.
I consider these specialty projects because you more than likely will have a lot more pictures to include, perhaps you will have less information to journal, if any; and these are a bit more formal in nature.
For wedding albums you might find some great paper that will help accent your photos. Weddings are special moments in our lives, so make these albums special as well. If working on a personal album, shopping for papers and embellishments should be fun. You can tie in pieces that you like and that will match your wedding’s style. When working on someone else’s, more than likely it will be someone fairly close to you that you will be able to pick out pieces that will compliment their style. Specialty papers on the market come from very detailed, to simple. Vellums will look wonderful accenting pages, paying attention to colors included in the wedding. Always include an invitation. Most these days are printed on acid-free paper. A good idea would be to include a letter on the experience from your perspective. Whether it be your album, or your daughter’s album, or even that of a friend. Including a letter would be a special addition. If this is a personal album, you could have your husband include a letter of his own to compliment yours.
Special stickers and other embellishments are also readily available. Usually you can find a whole wedding section in specialty stores, websites, or at conventions. For specialty albums I would put more effort into adding special embellishments, even those that make me cringe. These are much more formal events and I would make the effort to include items to help the album stand out and share the mood of the event.
Heritage albums take a lot of planning. I’m assuming that if you’re working on a heritage album that you have a good amount of older photographs, know who the people are and either have a pre-made family tree, or have started working on one. Family history is so informational and intriguing to me. For so many families memories are lost and pieces of the family history start to fade. Luckily, my grandparents come from large families and the heritage has been forwarded on. My grandmother’s family came from Italy. My grandfather’s from France and Germany. They have pieced together about a 12 page family tree for me to work with. My husband’s grandmother also comes from Italy and married into descendants of the Lee family, although we’re not sure exactly which “side” our family fought in the civil war. Just in that brief description there is a great deal of history. I haven’t started on my heritage album yet. I still have some researching of my own to do before I sit down and try to piece information. My dilemma is that I don’t have a lot of pictures and those that are in the family, are already in albums. I am going to use the pictures that are available to me, make copies of what we do have and tell a lot of family story and use very antique looking supplies.
Heritage album supplies are also very popular, as people do work on these often. My suggestion would be to purchase a magazine or small book that highlights heritage albums. This would give you some great ideas to start with in creating your albums. It will give you some ideas on laying out your albums, even including how to organize the different sides of your family.
The one thing you will need to focus on when creating these albums is preserving. Pictures weren’t made the same as they are today. They do fade and yellow. Make sure to use page protectors and protect your pages using mats and other acid-free materials. Many people choose to use natural or black pages as a background for their albums in addition to including mats and other specialty papers so that any acid from pictures included doesn’t discolor their white paper so much. Remember, scrapbook paper on the market is usually lignen free and pages are buffered. They do often absorb acid from pictures and other non acid-free items.
While these albums may be more adorned, they still should be fun to make. When working on specialty albums I like a fresh, crisp look with very simple shapes, mostly squares and rectangles. I do journal, when information is available to me using a word processing software and print out my prose on card stock.
Baby books could also be included as a specialty album, because often included are special embellishments that you might not include in an everyday or timeline album. Mine are more simplistic because my kids go through them on a regular basis. However, if you didn’t have the ability to work on an album for your children as they were growing up, going back through time to work on the album, you would be able to include special items to share with them now. Baby albums are by far my favorite to work on and share with friends and family.
Other fun albums that I’ve seen are retirement albums from a child that for each letter of the alphabet they include words to describe their parent and include a picture or two that would help explain. For example, you could use Caring Candidly.
Children’s albums are also fun using the ABC’s because you can do so many things with them. When children are younger you can simply focus on adding pictures that associate with specific letters. As they age, you can get more detailed and include occupations for each letter of the alphabet. This would be a creative adventure. I’ve seen this done using paper dolls. While I’ve steered from major paper-piecing in the past. I would do this if all pieces were included in a pre-made package.
No matter what type of album you are working on, they are sure to be special. Specialty albums to me are special events, happenings, or lifetime events that could fill an entire album. These are fun projects to work on and get involved in, especially heritage albums. I definitely will have one made by the time my kids are old enough to pan through them and understand pieces of our family history. Good luck on your projects