Friday, January 24, 2020

Photo Friday: Photos Scanned from Negatives

     I was browsing around on yesterday and saw this post on their other page, Genealogy Bargains, for a new way to scan in negatives. Kodak has put out a scanning box for negatives that use your phone to take the pictures. (Click this link to read the article on Genealogy Bargains) All you have to do is download the software. The box is $39.99 on Amazon; definitely cheaper than the other scanners you have seen online.
     As I read about it some more, I learned that the software you download to use this is free. So really you are paying $39.99 for a box with a light. I really couldn't justify that in my budget at the moment, so I decided to search out different ways to make this work. After some trial and error, I came up with one way myself and found another way online (thanks to an Instagram follower). I will share both options below.
     The first option is the one I discovered on my own. I tried using the light on my phone along with a piece of paper to spread the light, but the camera was picking up the fibers in the paper. So that wasn't going to work. I knew I needed something like a lightbox that would shine light through a smooth surface. Then all of a sudden an idea popped in my head. My daughter has one of those light boxes that display letters that she doesn't use anymore. So I ran downstairs to grab it and get it set up. Crossing my fingers, I put batteries in, turned it on, placed the negative on it, and scanned in my first photo. Check out my result:

     What do you think? This photo was taken in 1997. I was in the Eureka High School Color Guard and this was my Sophmore Year. It's a little blurry, but still turned out way better than I anticipated. After I scanned this photo, I began to look for more negatives to try to scan in. I knew I had some old ones from my grandma's collection. After some tweaking, here are the results.

Me and my then best friend, Sarah McKeever
cir 1985

Mom & Dad's wedding day
These were photos Grandma Ruth Wheeler took
June 14, 1980

Photos from Christmas
cir 1979?
This was when Grandma Fuchs was still alive

Grandma Fuchs & Papa Fuchs carving the turkey

     Aren't these just beautiful! While they are definitely not perfect, I am still just ecstatic to be able to look at these. I have more negatives I will have to work on, but this is just a start. I shared these on Instagram yesterday and inspired one of my followers, Lissitydee, to try the same thing. Although she came across another way to illuminate the negative. Check out this blog:
I have yet to try this way yet, but I will definitely look into it in the future.
     This is what I originally used to illuminate the negatives. You can find these at craft stores like Michaels, or discount stores like Five & Below or Dollar General. Or you might be able to find them online. I'm glad Kodak put out a different option for people to try to scan their negatives for cheaper than what was available, but like I said. I couldn't justify paying $39.99 for a box with a light at this time. If you want an easy option, go for it. The app to download is in the App store. It's called Kodak Mobile Film Scanner. Again, it's free.

     So what are you waiting for? Go get those negatives and start scanning! You don't want to wait until they disappear or disintegrate. When you get them done, please feel free to share them with me. Either here or on my Instagram. I look forward to seeing all your beautiful photos!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Throwback Thursday: Favorite Toys

     We just had Christmas and I know we are all playing with our new "toys". Whether we are 5, 35, or 50, we all have our favorites. So for this week's Throwback Thursday, I am going to share with you some of my favorite toys. Playing with my toys when I was younger brought me so much joy. It would provide an escape from reality when necessary. I have so many wonderful memories playing with them. So here are a few that I ALWAYS played with.

1. Barbies
Yes, I was an 80s and 90s kid when Barbies were at their peak. I had so many barbies, that I lost count. Just the dolls alone filled a huge container. That doesn't include the clothing, accessories or furniture. I could spend hours in my parents' basement playing with them. Dressing them up, setting up their homes, pretending they were going out, getting married, going to work, you name it. The most exciting gift I got for Christmas one year was the Barbie Motor home. This thing was huge! Oh, but I had so much fun with it. Sometimes I wish I could go back to simpler times and just play with my barbies and forget about being an adult. They never had the problems I do today haha! I finally sold them to a friend of mine for her daughters. I had a couple of huge boxes. It was sad to see them go, but I was happy they were going to a good home.

2. Quints
Have you ever heard of them? They are five little baby figures that have many little accessories that all match. There were two boys and three girls. When you got them, you could choose their names. I named them: Amanda, Steve, Alice,?,?. The accessories were so cute! Clothes, toys, bottles, blankets, all made for five babies. Sometimes I would combine the Quints with my barbies. Oh great memories.

3. Micromachines
Hey, I may have been a girl, but I loved micromachines. They were very small cars. Some had special features, while others were just regular cars. I used to build cities out of my wooden blocks for them to travel through. I think I still have a few to this day.

4. Baby dolls (variety)
I had a variety of baby dolls in my collection. Especially cabbage patch dolls. I do still have those. I love dressing them up, taking them for walks, putting them down for naps, and just playing house with them. Dressing them in cute outfits was my favorite. I would take them everywhere I went sometimes.

     Ah such simpler times. My parents kept the majority of the toys I had as a kid. While I know I don't need them anymore, it's so fun to look through the box and remember all the fun times I had. I'm all about scene memory, so sometimes just smelling the old toys brings me back to right when I was a kid and playing with those toys. A small form of time travel. But then I open my eyes and remember those times are in the past.

What are some toys you remember playing with as a kid??

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

My Two Cents Tuesday

Auntie Jen's Two Cents: Episode 25
All Genealogists Come To Their Census

Happy New Year everyone! It's now 2020. A brand new year and a brand new decade. So you know what that means? Yep, pretty soon those census takers will be out, going door to door to collect your information. Isn't it exciting? So welcome to the first episode of the new year, called All Genealogist Come To Their Census... I love that pun.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Throwback Thursday: Wheel of Fortune

     Welcome to a new weekly blog topic: Throwback Thursday. This series will be stories from my personal life. Memories triggered by questions posed in one of our Facebook groups, Genealogy Forward The Storykeepers. You would be surprised what pops up from just a question. So for the first post in this series, we are going to go back to the 1980s, when I was a little girl.

     On January 6, 1975, NBC premiered a new game show created by Merv Griffin. It is the "longest-running syndicated game show in American television" and has been hosted by Pat Sajak and Vanna White since the 1980s. Yes, that show is Wheel of Fortune! Do you know it? Have you watched it at any point in the last 40 years?
     I found this information on the website and it instantly triggered happy memories from when I was a kid. Back in the 80s and 90s, my mom and I would go visit her mom, my grandma (Ruth Wheeler) and stay for the weekend. We would order pizza, play Canasta, and then, of course, watch Wheel of Fortune after dinner. It was my grandma's favorite show. It was so much fun playing along with everyone trying to guess the puzzles.
     Not only did we watch Wheel of Fortune, but we would also watch The Price is Right, Press Your Luck, and 25,000 Pyramid. We loved the game shows so much! Press Your Luck was my favorite. That's the one with the Whammy's. But like I said, my grandma's favorite show was Wheel of Fortune. Great memories.

My Grandma and Me

Do you have any great memories of watching Wheel of Fortune?

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

My Two Cents: Who Are These People?

The premiere video in a new series on Auntie Jen's Channel. This episode focuses on those we consider family, but have no direct connection to us whatsoever, whether by bloodline or documentation.