Heritage. What they call “heritage kits” in the scrapbook stores don’t really fit my heritage and that’s what was totally screwing up my creative brain both in the SAS contest and in trying to do this kit. What are termed, in the scrapbooking world, heritage kits are Victorian era kits or a little later, definitely upper class for the time. The look and feel of these kits are old, antiquey, but not heritage or even heirloom to me. My heritage is definitely not upper anything!
During that era, my roots in the US, Poland and San Marino were farmers. There wasn't lace and pretty baubles for the ladies and the men smoked pipes made out of corn cobs, seriously, not fine lacquered stuff, farmer stuff. The dresses were prints that were worn on Sunday for church and then next year for every day when a new dress was made. By the time they were worn out, the colors were faded, but they were still colors. They had to be so they didn’t show dirt so readily. They had to be practical. The "good stuff" didn't come to our family until after Wold War 2 or immigration to the US.
But the biggest trouble I had in the contest, the reason I felt I had to drop out was the depressing color palette. To a farmer, brown was “no harvest.” No sun, no rain, no green leaves or ripe vegetables, brown was devastating. Even in the more recent times, the early to mid 20th century through World War 2 and immigration, the dresses were deep jewel tones, the flag was red, white and blue with 48 bright stars on it and the Statue of Liberty was bold, welcoming, green. Just because the photos are black and white didn’t mean our great-great grandparents were color blind!
I have spent this year doing a lot of heritage layouts. I have old black and white photos and stories my Dad remembers hearing from Noni and Nono and the stories Grandma shares with me. They tell me those stores in brilliant color, so I choose papers and elements that correctly represent that color, they tell the rest of the story that black and white didn’t capture. Yes I romanticize my history, everyone does, that’s why we do beautiful scrapbook layouts instead of just writing our histories in a book. But, I’m too proud to romanticize my heritage away from the odds my people beat when times were tough.
The bottom line of all my studying is everyone’s heritage is unique to their own family. It’s really not possible to create a kit that will lend itself to someone else’s whole ancestry. This is a decent sized kit and it doesn’t represent all of mine. But what I have done for my heritage kit, is combined elements from my own 19th century and early 20th century multinational history. There is a little something for everyone because the wonderful thing about diverse backgrounds is they tend to overlap with lots of other backgrounds.
The Old Stuff,” which shares it’s name with a Garth Brooks song, represents parts of my heritage. It’s a journey back, taking you in an artistic time machine to give your pages a little bit of the feel of what it looked like “when the old stuff was new,”
The files were a little big, so I broke them up. Be sure to get all the parts! I really think it turned out pretty well!
Download “The Old Stuff”
Sorry, this link is expired.Of course I'd love to hear any feedback on this effort. Please leave comments here rather than at 4-shared, so I'm sure to see them and if you use "The Old Stuff" in a layout, I'd LOVE to see it!