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Recently my father’s side of the family had a Family Reunion. The last one was 22 years ago! My gorgeous cousin got in touch with me and asked me if I would prepare the invitation to be sent out to all the relatives that are now spread across Australia. My Dad is one of eight children so there were a fair few relatives that needed to be advised to “save the date”. Not all of Dad’s siblings are still with us, but there are plenty of cousins, and their children, and some of their children have children too! All in all, four generations to get in touch with. I loved creating the invitation, using Artisan of course. Detailing everything on two A4 pages, ready to print, with information and photos included. The fact that Artisan is so flexible and easy to use when placing text on a page, inserting photos, and some paper backgrounds (and a few embellies) made everything look visually appealing, and hard to say “no” to!

Coming from the country it was great to revisit the old country hall where the main event was happening. BBQ lunch, afternoon tea with gorgeous home made country style favourites and then a dinner that was catered for and a DJ providing music to dance to. We had a wall of paper to enter all of our details for the extended family tree. Tables set with gorgeous roses in bloom. Paper table cloths and crayons for the littlies to entertain themselves (and it wasn’t just the littlies using the crayons!). Then the following day we all travelled an hour out of our country town of Haven to Zumsteins in the Grampians for a picnic lunch. We have all had many camping trips and memories from that area which started with my Granddad and Grandma taking their family there for holidays.

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My cousin did an amazing job co-ordinating everything for the day and evening get together, including asking everyone to send through to her USB sticks or CDs with family photos. Her daughter put a fabulous slideshow together that had everyone reminiscing, laughing, and telling fabulous stories about the lives and memories from 70+ years ago right through to recent times. I was lucky enough to be able to take that slideshow home with me as there were photos there that I had never seen before. Photos that I can now use in a Digital Book that I started recently. I have done a traditional album for my Dad, and while I was making copies of those photos for the reunion, I started making a digital version as well. I am so glad I started that project, now I can add some of the new discoveries of wonderful memories caught on film from many years ago right through to today. Some of the photos are not in fabulous condition, but for me it doesn’t matter so much – I have those memories in jpg form now to put into my newest project.

I ended up being the “unofficial” photographer of the weekend as well – gathering each family group together for a group photo, as all 8 siblings on my Dad’s side were represented. I can add these photos into the digital book as well. The best part about the family reunion were the two full days of catching up with my cousins. Even though some I hadn’t seen for so long, we still had plenty to chat and laugh about. Then at the end of it all, we vowed not to leave it another 22 years for a reunion, so we could all still remember each other, and be able to get up and dance the night away and laugh and share old and new memories.

Here are just a few of the photos that I’ve discovered that are now treasured memories. Yes – that’s me in the top left photo, and the bottom left photo in the cart with my brother that my Dad originally made for his young nephew! I have a lot of sorting and many more photos to go through before I can start putting them on pages, I just need to schedule some designated time to get this important project underway and keep the momentum going. First step though was getting these photos into Historian. But now, I need to organise the photos I took on the reunion weekend and share them with my cousins, so they have the most recent memories of our fabulous weekend.

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7 Responses to Blog: Memory Lane

  1. Jan says:

    Gathering with family is so much fun – definitely don’t wait so long until next time. Beautiful page, too!

  2. Carolyn says:

    Stunning use of sepia and black and white combine. Make it a challenge if it hasn’t been already. 🙂

  3. Alison says:

    I’m so glad you’re doing this album Janice so we can enjoy the pages, and the stories, along with you!

  4. adakallen adakallen says:

    WOW!

  5. Jo says:

    Hi Janice

    I love your page. I have researched both my husband and my own family trees. It is such a privilege to ‘meet’ the courageous family who came before us and helped create our easy lives today. I know that you will have lots of wonderful memories to showcase from your get together.

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