Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I have class TONIGHT.
I have been working towards this and planning for it for over 18 months and now it is here!
Today I need to do my hair and makeup so when I get my student ID this afternoon I don't look like a prison convict. I need to find the bookstore and buy some books. And some school supplies. A scrapping friend also reminded me to take a picture of the First Day of School so i think I will ask someone to take my photo on the steps of the main Admin building today. Need to find my missing memory card for that. And set up my school online account.
Ok so now I have the Library of Memories 16 week class starting next month, plus grad school, an while I was able to get in without GRE scores, I do need to study for it and take it to qualify for scholarships.
I woke up at 6 am and I am laying on the couch enjoying my last morning of freedom. Suddenly I have much to do!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
So this weekend I made my first ever chicken pot pie. Boy howdy, nothing combats the bitter January weather like a GIANT homemade chicken pot pie. I should have taken a picture! This is the biggest chicken pot pie I have ever seen. i have just finished rereading Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little Town on the Prairie. (I am obsessed with LIW and I read and read all her books and essays constantly.) I felt like Ma Ingalls going to the church supper with her giant tubs of food. I needed 2 hands to pull this sucker out of the oven.
The best thing is, this is completely healthy and well balanced dish. Each giant spoonful has a serving of grain (crust), veggies (fresh!), dairy (made with low fat milk) and protein (chicken). No butter or cream and just a little olive oil for cooking the veggies. The only "bad" part of it is I used premade pie crust from Target for the top. That makes it sweeter and not as savory, but it is also thin. Maybe someday I can learn to make my own crust.
I dropped 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts into a pot of boiling water and simmered them for 10-12 minutes to cook. No oil there. They came out looking like dead pieces of white flash, but if they are going inside a pie that doesn't matter as much. No oil or butter to cook these. I cut them in half to be sure they were all cooked through. Once they cooled a bit I used 2 forks to shred the meat.
Meanwhile, I chopped 2 onions and peeled/diced 4 big fresh carrots. Put them in a little EVOO and sauteed until they were softened but not brown (about 8 minutes). Then I sprinkled on 2-3 tbsp of flour as a binder, and cooked that out for a minute. Then time to flavor -- a big shot of dry white wine, about 1/2 c. I don't drink wine, so I bought a small serving size of Chardonnay in one of those little bottles.
The guy at Target ACTUALLY CARDED ME. Dude! Are you blind?? Do I look 20? (I could be flattered but I was merely AGOG.)
Once I cooked the alcohol out (about 2 min), I added 2 cups of lowfat milk to my veggies and simmered for 2 min to thicken, and that was my sauce. I then added my shredded chicken, a half a bag of frozen peas, and generous portion of dried thyme (less than a tbsp, more more than a tsp). I was supposed to use 1 tpsp fresh thyme leaves, but it is so expensive to buy fresh and if I don't use it all, it goes bad. So I bought a bottle of dried, even though I generally prefer to use fresh herbs in cooking.
So that was my filling! I poured it into my big 9 x 13 cake pan, and covered and sealed it with the 2 premade pie crusts. The pan was too big to use just one crust. Cut slits to vent, and then baked for 30 min to get the crust nice and brown. It was bubbling and brown and steam came from the vents in the crust. The whole house had a warm, meaty smell.
Usually when I have had chicken pot pie in the past, it's those nasty single serve cheap ones in the frozen foods section, or once in a while a single serving from a restaurant. This tastes soooo much better. The wine and the thyme give it a different flavor. It doesn't taste as rich, but it's pretty good. I love the fresh veggies in it. The crust could be a little more savory than sweet, but it's ok.
The dog is also enjoying it a bit, since there's no way I can eat this whole thing myself.
The recipe appears in the new issue of Real Simple. It is not on newsstands yet but now you know to go check it out. I love these one dish meals. It's been a couple days now and the flavors have married a bit more. The crust really works and gives a nice, sweet bready texture to offset the dryness of the wine.
Dood. I have been eating this 2 days and there is still a lot left.
Monday, January 12, 2009
So I am again hosting a swap for a gluebook, and this is the 2nd time the theme is "Our Daily Lives". For those who might not know what a gluebook is, it involves finding a book and glueing things into it. It's a lot less pressure than scrapbooking but I still get to play with words and pictures and scissors and glue. I actually really enjoy gluebooking at the laundromat. That's where I made this one. My local laundromat has a stereo system, so I put on the local dance radio show (all Eurotrash, all night), and they also have a large sturdy table that I can sit at. I find it really relaxing to do this there, and it keeps me from watching the clock.
When I was looking to make this book, it turned out my town has issued a calendar the past 2 yrs in a row, and I don't care to use them as calendars, but I did get some awesome photos to use in the gluebook. Usually I might focus more on the Chicago area but my partner lives in the city herself, so I focused more on living out in the suburbs. And also, how I hate it LOL
Since the pictures are big, I'll just share the links.
* Front Cover -- Mostly cover of this year's town calendar
The book actually is supposed to go the other way, but I thought it might be fun to change it up a bit. I discovered since the pages bulge a bit, you can actually display the book upright in this direction, should you choose. :-)
* Inside Front Cover -- Barrington Square Mall
Mostly a sales flyer I constantly get from the strip mall down the street. As it says -- ThE LARGEST MALL in town -- how exciting.
It says "IT PUTS THE LOTION ON ITS NOSE OR IT GETS THE HOSE". I am always sneezing, and have boxes of Kleenex everywhere, plus it's a movie quote, which was perfect.
* Forest Preserve
This is down the street from me, topped with a title from a scrapbooking flyer
Didn't even realize that promo card was for a club in this town! Actually thought it was in Chicago, oh well
* Historic Illinois -- Sunderlage Farm
I love historic architecture and historic farms -- this features a calendar page on the Sunderlage Farn down the road from me, and a bookmark from a trip to a historic home tour in Chicago
* Eating Out
A couple places I've gone in the past few weeks -- Interactive! LOL
* Summer Festival
This is what it looks like at the end of my block every 4th of July. Seriously. The traffic and parking is insane!
* Caribou Coffee and Shopping
Local coffee shop I've been hanging out at recently, and various receipts from stores where I shop
Coupons and flyers from a couple palces where I buy scrapbooking supplies
I hate these people. I get at least 5-6 of these promos in my mail a week and sometimes several a DAY, grrr
* Miscellaneous Stuff
Dog food, World of Warcraft, a local restaurant, the 7-11, the local Mac repair shop, the movie theater
* Hoffman Estates
More on the town itself
* Hoffman Estates -- Where Is It??!!?
Couldn't resist this photo and the banner, both from our town newsletter
Photo of the park down the street from me, and what it looks like buried in snow (that is, right now)
This ended up so cute -- I want to keep it! :-) Nope, it was mailed yesterday.
I'm still not over it. I'm not 100% on board with any system. I am excited about Library of Memories, but while the processes for dealing with digital photos and photo prints and layouts are extensive, the areas of memorabilia and family heritage photos are just not the focus.
When I mentioned this in a previous post, Katherine commented with an idea I have heard many times over the past few years -- scan the memorabilia and have it on my computer. Then I could digitally manipulate it into any size, find it easily, and store it all digitally. What was intended to be a short reply turned into an epic comment, because this is an issue I have a strong opinion about.
I have heard the scan it idea many many times for the past years. Becky Higgins does that and tosses the memorabilia once it's scanned. If you have numerous children bringing home dozens of art projects and papers every month I can see how this would be convenient!
If that works for you and it frees you up and excites you, then do it. But for me, I completely disagree with that approach.
My BA is in (in part) Museum Studies and Anthropology (and Religious Studies, but that's not relevant to this). In museums, there has long been a debate about this issue -- particularly in anthropology museums, which frequently have stolen items from native cultures, and human remains in their collections and on display for the public.
Real vs. Representation
If a photograph or a reproduction of an actual object is good enough, why do museums need to exist at all? Why do we need to preserve historic items, not to mention historic buildings or entire historic districts? Why do museums need to maintain collections of actual items? Why are archives themselves important when we could scan all those documents? Not only do museums require space but the environmental conditions to preserve these items are very expensive to maintain. Why should people go to a museum to see real objects if they can look at photographs on the internet, or buy a book of photos? Why should museums keep real objects when they can simply photograph them?
These are questions of much debate for any museum professional. These are issues I have thought about, researched and written about (for my degree, and later, in my museum work life).
Why? Because there is something special about The Real Thing. The actual object that you can hold in your hands and touch. A scan, like a photograph, is a representation of an item. It has it's place, obviously -- particularly when the actual item is so valuable or so fragile that letting too many people at it will damage it. But it is just not the same.
My photos have all been carefully organized and documented in archival storage -- my negatives (pre digital) as well. The main reason I started scrapbooking was specifically to organize and display my memorabilia. It was organized, to an extent. I have a plastic file bin I bought after college, filled with hanging files labeled by year. Every year I would create a new file and drop into it the letters, cards and keepsakes I collected over that year. Some of this stuff is very important to me, and some of it I can barely remember where it came from.
Though it was stored and organized it bothered me that the meaning behind these real items was undocumented. So I began scrapbooking. For my first 3 years, I never scrapbooked a photo. I have 8 (I think) completely filled 12 x 12 albums, with page after page of memorabilia glued down. I used wire bound albums without page protectors. I decorated with stickers and die cuts, and I hand wrote what the items were. All of it is in chronological order.
After a while, I tried my hand at scrapbooking some photos from a trip, with its related memorabilia, and I loved it. I was excited at the process of combining representations -- the photos and images of a time or a person -- with the actual items. It gives a richer experience, to look at a photo of a time in my life, and then be able to touch a real item from that event or time.
I could not, for example, take the documents surrounding my grandparents' being in a war refugee camp in Germany, and scan them, dump the real items and consider that the same. I could scan them and use the scans in some projects, sure. But I want the scrapbook to store the actual items, not just show a representation of them.
I am not saying this to discourage anyone else from doing the scanning thing. It works for some. But I feel strongly that a representation of something is not as valuable as the real thing. Memorabilia is important to me. The real thing -- intact and unaltered.
So this sometimes prevents me from embracing certain scrapbooking ideas. For instance, in a recent issue of Simple Scrapbooks, Stacy Julian shares an idea for scrapbooking 40 photos in 4 hours, in a mini album with only one page of journaling. I love this idea. I want to do it. My problem -- any event that would generate that many photos is going to have memorabilia associated with it. and it's not always going to be small stuff that will fit in a mini album. If it's important enough to scrapbook, I want the "stuff" in there with the photos.
Most scrapbook teachers emphasize two important issues. One is, how do you want to tell the story, and another is, what kind of scrapbooker are you?
I always want to tell the story in a way that gives a REAL experience. I am the kind of scrapbooker who values the REAL. This goes to the heart of who I am as a person and why I scrapbook. It is why I have spent 12 years working in print publishing, and i have no interest in doing websites.
In fact. I have scanned and reprinted many of my mother's older photos from my childhood and before and you know what? If it's a reprint of an image I just don't have the same emotional response to the picture. It's not just the image but that actual physical photograph that I might remember looking at and holding as a child that is important to me.
So, memorabilia.... it's an issue.
About the year 2000 my original file box became full. And I started to experiment with other storage options. In fact, I was always messing around with it. For instance, I wrote and received a lot of letters until the advent of email. Do I store them folded up in their envelopes, or unfolded and flat? Folding paper, over time, means the creases will yellow and then tear. Plus folded letters are bulky. But then, how do I keep the letters with their envelopes? Paper clips will rust over time and also create a fragile area at their point of contact. It's not a big deal for a few years but I have stuff that is now 30 years old. And I could and did toss a lot of envelopes, but I was also blessed with friends and family who like to decorate the envelopes sometimes and I want to keep them.
And that's just the letters issue. You would not believe the other stuff I have. Thinking back, I have these paper placemats from Pizza Hut. i worked there in 1988 when I was interning at the Field Museum. Two of my friends from high school came in to eat and harass me (as 19 year olds like to do). They put graffiti and all sorts of nasty messages meant for me all over those placemats. And I kept them. There is also a story associated with them, because my one friend left me $5 as a tip (a giant tip for Pizza Hut in those days) as a sort of "we're just kidding" offering. When we were all telling another friend about their visit later, I finished my indignant retelling of their visit with "and they didn't even tip me!" My friend, who also waited tables, was horrified. She exclaimed, "Yes I did, we left you $5!!! It was under the placemat!" and I replied "Oh gosh, are you serious? I just swept that giant mess you left me into a dishtub and right into the garbage! You left me $5!?!!?" Oh she was os upset to think I had inadvertently thrown away her large tip and also that I actually thought she left without tipping me. You just don't do that. (I am laughing right now remembering the look on her face.... and then the look when she realized I was lying to get even with her for harassing me at work. Priceless.)
I just cannot cut those placemats down, square punch them, or alter them... or scan them. I want them intact, on a scrapbook page, with that story. And they are pretty large. That's the kind of thing I am talking about.
I don't have kids and I don't really idolize the beauty of my day to day life as it is right now. Yes things change over the years but I am not trying to capture anyone's childhood or anything. The whole reason I want to scrapbook is to tell THOSE stories. They are all floating around in my head, and driving me absolutely crazy. Thanks to blogging and emailing photos I don't feel the driving urge to scrapbook my current photos and events as much as one might think.
What sticks in my head are the old stories. The feelings and memories and stories of my own past. How a photo and a piece of memorabilia can immediately make me feel 19 again. Or 9.
Once I started scrapbooking, and the file box was still full, I tried all different ways of sorting and storing the memorabilia to make it more accessible and usable when scrapbooking. I have tried putting items in page protectors in binders with notes attached. I have tried bankers boxes. I tried special storage for specific types of memorabilia -- for instance i have always collected business cards and matchbooks from places I've gone and I've tried separating those out into their own storage. Since birthday and Christmas cards made my file box fill up sooner thanks to their bulk, I tried pulling just those out, and clipping them together by year with a binder clip, and they all sit in a plastic drawer. That was my effort to keep that file box from filling up.
About 2000 I tried switching to individual file folders with closed sides for each year. Individual folders were far more portable than a big file box. I could have just the most current folder handy for that year, and older folders could be put into long term storage. Of course that worked great for dropping stuff into from that year when I got it... but it did not work and is not working for me now, when I want to scrapbook those photos!
This year, I tried buying a pretty basket that sits in my scrapping area, and putting memorabilia into zipper bags and labelling them, before dropping in the basket. This is soooooo not working for me.
So right now, as I work on the pre-class assignment, and I start pulling together highlights of the last decade to print and then to scrapbook, I find myself frustrated because I know I have memorabilia for all these photos. I know that memorabilia is all in storage (3 years ago I put my place on the market so I could move, but no one bought it... so everything still sits in storage).
And I am also finding, thanks to Library of Memories, that a strict chronological storage is not working for me. For instance, I would really like to create a small album in memory of my godfather, who died several years ago. I'd love to include samples of his handwriting, cards he sent me, stuff from places we went together, along with the photos. But it is all spread over 30 years of storage. I'd like to create a theme album about all the museums I've worked at... and I'd like to include some memorabilia. But we're talking 8 years and many different institutions. It's all stored but....
Stacy does address memorabilia to a certain extent in Photo Freedom, but her approach to and use of memorabilia is just not the same as mine. I think most scrapbook teachers keep telling us, even an imperfectly told story is better than no story. As an anthropologist by training and nature, inside I scream NO NO NO at that.
I think what I need is a combination of Storage Binders and Category Drawers for memorabilia, which is going to be difficult because there are so many different sizes of things.
I just re-read Photo Freedom tonight and Stacy has a section where she talks about her School of Life albums and how she stores memorabilia for those school-related albums. She uses a large clear Rubbermaid tote which holds hanging folders.
I am wondering.... if I bought a bigger file box? Like the Rubbermaid one. My file box was actually one of those pink crates from like 1992, with no lid. I am thinking, maybe if I had a bigger box, I could put in it a file for every year AND I could create some categories. Like a file for different topics I'd like to scrapbook, or for people, places and things?
I need to figure it out before I deal with pulling things out of the storage I already have. I also don't have a large amount of space in my scrapping area and I am not sure a giant plastic box will work for me.
Any other ideas -- even if they won't work for me! -- gladly appreciated. I might not want ot scan my stuff but I appreciate the idea. Maybe some other approaches will spark something in me.
Since I have organized professionally in the past, I feel like I should be able to come up with a solution! But you know what most professional organizers would say? "If it's been in storage for 3 years and you haven't NEEDED it, then throw it out!"
I think not.
The whole reason I started scrapbooking was to get the MEMORABILIA out of the file box and store it and organize it and display it. The fact that I haven't been able to figure out a good solution to this issue (well I could, I just need a whole room for scrapbooking and a lot more storage options than I will ever have) really bugs me.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Today I saw something that started turning the wheels in my brain. I am not sure if anyone on here has done a Project 365 or was caught up in the brou ha ha over the 365 kit Becky Higgins created and promoted in her blog. Anyway the short story is, no one was manning the phones on the date the kit went on sale, after everyone overseas was told to call a certain number at a certain time to place their orders. So there were a lot of seriously ticked off people.
The plus of this is, as a result Becky and CK have offered a FREE DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of Becky's designs for the kit -- the journaling cards and week cards and such.
This blog post has info on Project 365 plus a link to an article Becky wrote on it:
This blog post has the link to the free digital download
The great thing about this is, you can download it and make your own Project 365. If you don't have a printer at home, a lot of elements are on 4 x 6" canvases, so you can send them to be printed at any online photo developer (like Walgreens.com or Costco.com).
Now this would be GREAT for a PAGAN THEMED album. A year of your Pagan life. You don't have to take a picture every day. You can use any album you like and every week take 1-2-3 photos related to your Pagan life and beliefs. Include some journaling or captions.
* pictures of the Pagan touches around your house
* stuff on the walls
* your book shelf
* the book you are reading or using most
* pictures of nature and you can then include journaling about your thoughts on the seasonal changes
* the moon, the ocean, the lake, the meadow, the yard, the flowers, the snow, the whatever
* pictures of your family traditions
* your favorite jewelry or what you wear daily
* your kids dressed up
* festivals or events you attend
* anything you collect -- crystals, stones, tarot decks, witch figurines.
* have the kids or family get involved -- the kids can draw pictures or make craft items which you can photograph. The kids can do journaling on a card and you can include it.
* how about memorabilia? business cards from Pagan shops or businesses?
* pictures of Pagan friends or your local community
* print parts of emails you like
* color copy pages of books you refer to
* print out parts of websites you visit for reference
You don't need Becky's kit or the digital downloads to do this but if you use her ideas it will give you a nice framework. You don't need the page protectors her kit features. Just use sheets of cream or black or white or green cardstock. No decorating necessary. Tack pictures and other items onto it at some later date.
I have never done a Book of Shadows because it seemed too big a project for me plus, I don't define myself as Pagan so much as mystic. I just use Pagan forms to celebrate my spiritual life. I can't define or encompass my beleifs in a scrapbook. I DO scrapbook pagan things like handfastings I have officiated at, and festivals I attend.
But I think this is a great idea! DOCUMENT YOUR PAGAN LIFE. The life you are actually living as you live it!
It doesn't have to be a big 12 x 12 album either. There are 52 week cards. You can take ONE photo per week and do a small album, like 6 x 6 or 8 x 8. You don't even have to take a photo that documents that week. For instance, you can take 20 pics around your home of your various pagan touches, and then you will have 20 pics you can use to "cheat" on weeks or days you don't have a photo to take.
And if you think "I don't do that much" then THIS will be your EXCUSE for actually going and doing things this year.
Wow the thought of a bunch of Pagans documenting 365 days of living as a Pagan is so so exciting to me! What an awesome reference for future generations -- your children or Pagans in general! What a treasure!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
So here are some things I'd like to do in 2009.
I think I'd like to make a blank scrapbook for my sister's birthday in May --a Baby's First Year album, since her first child is due in April. We just found out it's a boy and his name so I was waiting on that.
My best friend's son will be 18 in Jan 2010, so I'd like to give him a scrapbook of his childhood. I am going to make color copies of all the layouts I've done on him and/or his parents since he was born so I can put them into an album give that to him as a gift at that time. I know I'll discover a lot of layouts I missed doing along the way, so I'll do those. For instance, I'd like to finally scrapbook his parents' wedding, especially since I was in it! When their family went to Italy for a month a couple years ago, I took my laptop and scanner to their house, took apart the giant wedding photo album, and scanned about 100 photos that I wanted for myself, so I guess I could get started on printing some of those.
I've already made a good start on an album for him, color copying about 10 layouts on him. I found a great place near me that makes 11 x 17 color copies on glossy paper for 57¢ each, so recently I copied about 25 pages I've scrapbooked for various Christmas gifts. And because of LOM I have made a couple layouts on The Boy's childhood I'd been putting off -- including a 2 page spread encompassing the first 10 years of his birthday parties!
[PHOTO DELETED BY REQUEST]
I also had an album I bought for his sister's 10th birthday but I was not able to color copy the layouts and put them in it at that time. I did slip into it the layouts I wanted to include, and I gave her the album to look at on the day, but I had to take it back so I could color copy the layouts. It's been over 2 years since so I guess this first part of the year I need to dig it out of storage, copy the layouts, put the copies in the album and give her the album. I want to do that by her 13th birthday in April. then I will take the original layouts and resort them into my LOM albums.
I also had a total scrapbooking SCORE at Archivers a few weeks ago! I want to do an 8x8 album of my childhood memories at our family lake house in Wisconsin. I was looking for an album to use but they were all almost $20. Then I found this awesome
Chatterbox kit -- a suede 8x8 album and all the papers and accents for a family album -- for $9.99! So maybe I could start on that. I at least want ot be sure I have scanned all the photos I want to use. I have all of my mother's photos from that time on hand.
I've also been writing down I want to do an album of my internship at the Smithsonian for the past 2 years running. I have scanned all the photos, I have written all the journaling and done a bookmap and loaded the photos into the right sections of the bookmap. The one issue that I have, which LOM does not really address well, is the issue of memorabilia. I don't want to scrapbook just photos. I love scrapbooking because it allows me to include the real things associated with photos -- tickets, brochures, invitations, postcards, business cards, etc. While LOM does address how to deal with digital photos in detail, I find my memorabilia organization is not keeping up with my photos. I have a lot of memorabilia and the reason I started scrapbooking was solely to organize, label and display all my memorabilia. Therefore I have many albums I created just of memorabilia. So the big projects I'd like to do, I end up not doing, because I am unsure how to proceed. I also have all my memorabilia pre-2000 organized and on hand. What is in storage is all my memorabilia associated with my digital photos.
SO for example, a couple years ago I pulled all my Smithsonian memorabilia out and put it into a project file, along with the original, labelled photos. I also bought supplies I wanted to use. And that project file is buried with all my other scrapbooking stuff, in storage. Thus, I stay stuck on it, since I can't move forward.
Another issue when scrapbooking with memorabilia is size. For instance, I'd like my Smithsonian album to be smaller in size, like 8 x 8, but much of the memorabilia is larger than that. I don't want to fold up my acceptance letter, for instance, and tuck it into a pocket. I want to open up the album and be able to read it. And so on.
I'm hoping maybe the class will give me some ideas on these issues.
I don't know, these are all up in the air. I might be moving in the next few weeks and if I do I won't really have any scrapbooking space so who knows if I'll do any at all in 2009.
As a side note, I spent the afternoon at the movies, seeing "Doubt" -- it was fantastic! Of course if your taste runs to mindless action movies, you may find it boring. It's just people talking. No sex, no violence, one swear word the whole time. About 3 different sets total, and everyone wears the same outfits. But I completely forgot I was watching the great MERYL STREEP THE ACTRESS. She so completely inhabited that character. And PSH was fantastic as usual. They had nothign to hide behind. It was all about the characters and the script. I was completely blown away.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I have NO idea who it is! I got a note signed "Me". I thought....maybe Stacy was going to give me a free class?! So I emailed BPS... they claim no one from them sent it to me.
Which means some incredibly generous person paid for me to take the Library of Memories 2009 class, and did so anonymously.
I am so so overwhelmed by this. 2008 was the crappiest year ever. And 2 days before Christmas I broke up with my boyfriend (who, if he happens to read this, would be unhappy by my even using the word "boyfriend" for him, so you can see the problem right there...). Christmas 2008 was one of the saddest days of my life. And now my best friend of 20 years is not speaking to me either.
So if this person is on here, I just wanted to thank you and tell you I am overwhelmed beyond my ability to explain and thank you thank you thank you, so very very much.
I am signed up! After I was 110% sure I was going to have to skip taking the class this year. I am so so happy! Even though the screen on my laptop died and now I can't organize my digital photos, I am still happy!!!
Photo: Hooray! More Regular Season Games! From: "Stuff You Should Know: NFL Labor Negotiations." By Adam Tod Brown. TheSmokingJacket.com. LINK
Friday, January 2, 2009
I personally absolutely need to rename my photo files correctly in order to use them. Sifting through a giant mess of files with numbers for names is a nightmare of epic proportions to me! I don't care that my car is a black hole in space and that I haven't washed dishes in 2 days, but those photo files MUST be in order! I have a degree in museum studies so numbering systems for archiving collections is one of my passions.
So I answered the question myself and here's how it works for me. I went through a lot of trial and error to get this far, and there are still things I thnk could be better but I am trying to not be too obsessive about this.
My file names all start with a 4 digit number. The first 2 digits represent the year the photo was taken. The 2nd two digits
represent the month.
Therefore all my most recent Christmas photos start with: 0812
All my photos taken in Dec start with 0812
Photos I take this January start with 0901
Photos from my college graduation are 9005
And so on.
After the 4 digits is a space and then the file name. Starting with numbers like this means all the photos will automatically sort in chronological order on my computer. I put photos from the same event (or you could do the same month, if that works for you) into a folder, which also starts with the 4 digits of the date, then a space, then the name of the event:
0812 Aunt Barb's Bday Party
0810 My Birthday
and so on.
Occasionally I might use a longer number if I know or need to know the exact day of the month. I mean, Christmas is always the 25th, but for maybe a wedding or something I might have the date
990609 Joe's Wedding
So that is June 9, 1999. But that would only be on the folder. On the photos themselves I only use 4 digits on the file names, to leave more space for the name of the picture. My Mac limits the number of characters I can use in a file name.
Usually my file names themselves are brief descriptions of the photo and/or names of people in the photo. I try to include names of people in the photo every time. Sometimes I put a short indicator of what event the photo is associated with or something else to help it stay somewhat grouped with similar photos. If I have a few similar photos, they all have the same name, with 1, 2, 3, etc at the end.
Here's an example. Say I have 100 photos from my brother's wedding in June 1999. They all start with 9906. But I have numerous pictures of my brother and my Mom-- some portraits, some from the reception, some from the ceremony, etc.
In that case, I will name some photos:
9906 P [name of who is in picture]-- portraits
9906 C [description or names] -- ceremony
9906 R [description or names] -- reception pictures
It works like this elsewhere -- like the 100 photos I took of my trip to San Antonio this fall.
0810 AL -- Alamo pics
--> 0810 AL me Iza1.jpg
--> 0810 AL me Iza2.jpg
--> 0810 AL me door.jpg
--> 0810 AL sign.jpg
0810 GF - would be Germanfest pics:
--> 0810 GF me Mike1.jpg
--> 0810 GF me Mike2.jpg
--> 0810 GF beer.jpg
--> 0810 GF polka band.jpg
--> 0810 GF Iza Mike dance1.jpg
--> 0810 GF Iza Mike dance2.jpg
0810 JG - Japanese Gardens
0810 RV -- Riverwalk
and so on.
So then on my HD I have a file listing that looks like this:
---> 0802 Mardi Gras NOLA
---> 0804 Chicago Botanic Garden
---> 0805 Ani's dance recital
---> 0806 Tutti Inseme Solstice Festival
---> 0807 Wisconsin Dells
---> 0808 Improv Comedy Club
---> 0809 Arcola Broomcorn Festival
---> 0810 Claire's Halloween Party
---> 0810 My Birthday
---> 0810 San Antonio trip
---> 0811 Thanksgiving
---> 0812 Aunt Barb's Bday Party
---> 2008 miscellaneous
---> 2008 scrapbooking
---> 2008 x-stitching
The reason this works for me is, yes most of my photos are by event, but they all have everyone's name in them. So say I want to do a project on my nephew Jake. I can do a search on my HD for every file with "Jake" in the name. Every photo that comes up has the date as part of the name -- so I know if the file starts with 02 then Jake is a baby, and 08 is a more recent photo.
I don't know how it would work on a PC but on a Mac, when I do a search for files, and I get a listing of files with that word in the name, if I click on the file, at the bottom of the window I can see the file listing -- so I can see what folder the picture is in and what event it's associated with, because that's the name of the folder.
Last winter I pulled photos for a birthday party invitation for my mom, ranging from 1958 to 2007, in about 15 minutes this way. I did a search for "Mom" on my computer. Every photo I had with her in it came up. If I had not had the date in every photo I could not have told immediately which ones were from her childhood and which were from more recent times. And then I copied the photos I wanted to use into a new folder, and again, the dates came with them.
It might sound like a lot of work, but when i upload photos, I just copy and paste. Like Christmas pics, I'll start off with:
I'll copy that and paste it onto every file one at a time. Once I've hit "Paste" (using a keyboard shortcut, not the mouse), then I'll hit my back arrow (not delete) to move the cursor to that space I left, and then I'll type in the descriptive file name, and then move on to the next file. It takes a couple minutes.
When I started using iPhoto after reading Stacy's book, I just dragged these folders all into iPhoto and the names all came with them.
It's not a perfect system and a few photos fall through the cracks, but it mostly works really well for me.