Preserving Memories: Civil War themes, beautiful embellishments, faux ephemera

By Patti Swoboda Premium

Happy Old Year!

January rings in a new year — but most of us are still scrapping the old one! Sticky Stax from Colorbok give you a fun way to record important dates in your heritage album. They come in stacks of colorful self-adhesive numbers and shapes, as well as coordinating photo mats. You can use them as they are, or adorn them with decorative scissors, corner punches and stickers. Prices range from 50 cents to $6. (800) 366-4660, <>

Scrap Speak: layout

Layout describes the preparation and planning of your scrapbook page — the arranging or “laying out” of photos, keepsakes and decorative embellishments. Layout is to a scrapbooker what a building plan is to an architect: It’s a preview of how your heritage page will look when you’re through. Before you adhere them to your page, lay out the pictures of Great-aunt Ethel and Great-uncle Herman, along with their photocopied marriage certificate and your chosen stickers. That way, you’ll avoid mistakes such as running out of room or using too many embellishments.

Scrapbook Q&A: Battle Cry for Embellishments

Q. I am searching for stickers or stamps to embellish my pages about visits to Civil War battlefields such as Gettysburg, Shiloh and Vicksburg. I have pages and pages just waiting for embellishment. What would you suggest?

A. Finding embellishments for specific wars can be an uphill battle. But if you broaden your search to patriotic and geographic subjects, you should find many suitable stickers and stamps for scrapping your pictures. Here are some places to start:

? Look up this column in your August 2003 Family Tree Magazine for details about State of Mine Stickers, which offers stickers that depict state, town and historic landmark names. Use these to highlight the location of the Civil War sites you visited.

? Look for Civil War stickers from Mrs. Grossman’s (shown). These colorful stickers depict Abraham Lincoln, Gen. Robert E. Lee, flags and soldiers. Call Mrs. Grossman’s at (800) 429-4549 to find a store near you.

? Try shopping the Internet. A nice selection of stamps and stickers appropriate for pages about America’s historic wars is at <>. Explore the patriotic category for “In God We Trust” and “One Nation Under God” stamps. This Web store also offers Pledge of Allegiance, Liberty Bell, American flag and patriotic heart stumps. Look tor red, white and blue border stickers, as well as stickers with patriotic phrases and images of Old Glory.

? Search the Internet for Civil War-related clip art, and print the images onto acid-free paper. A good site to try is <>.

? The American bald eagle and the Liberty Bel! are important, well-known symbols that will work on scrapbook pages about the Civil War and other historic battles. Stamps and stickers depicting these images are easy to find in many stores.

Now all you need to do is decide which embellishments to buy. Just be sure the ones you use are acid-free and scrapbook-safe.

Emphasis on Ephemera

Sometimes, it takes more than pretty paper to showcase your family history in an album. Aunt Isabelle’s photo might need a little something for balance, and to add interest or color to the page. The Ephemera Book from Design Originals is an excellent source for vintage images you can clip, copy or scan, and use to embellish your heritage layouts. The book has 42 pages of images, including advertisements, labels and receipts. You’ll also find sources for vintage collage elements and special images in the back of the book. (817) 877-0067, <>

Creative Cuts

Add a romantic touch to your heritage pages with Cardeaux Trimmings. These exquisite, vintage-looking laser-cut embellishments have a felt texture that gives your page dimension. Because they’re made from sturdy cover stock, they’re durable enough for you to add that “just right” touch of color (see Title Treatments, below). They also look great with no coloring at all. Use a craft knife or scissors to cut apart the Trimmings, then apply them to your page with double-sided foam tape (included). These decorations, titles, frames and borders sell for $4.50 and $5.50 per package at scrapbook and hobby stores. (800)741-7915

Title Treatments

Express the past in colors of your choice by enhancing your pages with archival-safe products. Chalks, markers, rubber-stamping pigments, iridescent inks, watercolor paints and embossing powders can help release the artist in you.

For example, to create the elegantly embossed look shown at right, first use a dauber (a fat-tipped stamping-ink marker) to color your embellishment. Then sprinkle the wet ink with embossing powder, shake off the excess powder and apply heat with a heat gun.