When she opened the present, early because she was excited to see what I created, she shed many tears and now shares the book with anyone who might be interested. After seeing what I did with her photos, artifacts, and answered questions, she was inspired to send me more stuff.
When I showed the album I made about my mother to my Aunt in Ohio, she pointed me in the direction of her photo albums and artifacts and said have at it. Amongst the items she had were photos of my grandmother's honeymoon and Grannie's high school diploma.
I have created a 'rough' draft of my family history research in a narrative format. I sent these copies to my father's cousins. When I showed up in Ohio to meet them, they were prepared to show off the photographs and artifacts they have. Now, I need to update the family history research and make some scrapbooks or more elaborate books for them. I'm sure it will generate even more things.
A photograph of my grandfather's bracelet inspired relatives
to show off the artifacts they have.
As I've posted photos that I have taken of family artifacts, both my aunt and mother have given me items to photograph to complete the story of my family members. By posting about my grandfather's military bracelet, I had access to my grandmother's mother's pin and my mother's charm bracelet.
My grandmother's Mother's Pin was shown off after I posted
the bracelet belong to my grandfather.
Then he shocked me and said he wanted my help in creating a better scrapbook of his mission. Oh yeah! The scrapbooks he had were a collection of photos and documents but no stories and such. So he's willing to write the stories and organize the photos. He wants me to work my magic on laying out and decorating his scrapbooks.
Okay, now before you think, 'You just created a big project for yourself", I'll say that's true. But I'm so excited. My husband is an amazing man and I want the kids to truly understand what made him so. As he began to open up to me about 'his stuff', he also said that eventually he wanted to work on his scrapbook pre-mission. Now that is a gold mine for me. You see, the pages are lacking, to put it nicely. I'm so glad photos and documents are gathered in a safe place. But my kids say (and see if this happens in genealogy too), "What is that picture of?" Me: "Um, I don't know. Ask Dad. Oh wait, he's not here right now."
|Page from my hubby's scrapbook. Notice: no dates, no|
location, no story. And one picture is not like the others.
So, I've sped up eventually for him just a bit. I'm wearing out my scanner by digitizing those pre-mission scrapbooks. The photos will be better organized and saved. As hubby has free time, he'll write about the mission and then work on the pre-mission days. Then I can work my magic on his stuff. During his 'eventually', I'll still have my aunt's, mother's, and father's cousin's collections to work on.
As I create more works that can be shared, I know I'll have even more access to other people's stuff. And I think that's AWESOME. It's amazing what can be obtained and learned when we access the stuff. In short, if you want access to people's stuff, create something so those you're trying to gain access to will appreciate. It might take some time before the treasure trove opens up, but if you show how much you value the items people share, they're more willing to share.
Good luck and let me know how things work for you.