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The BackStory: Handle With Care

Hello and welcome to the Backstory.  This blog segment is all about “the story behind the photos!” What is happening in your particular photo and why is it important to tell this story? What is missing from the story that we need to explain in our documenting process.  The backstory is often overlooked but we think it is just as important and often required to understand “what we are looking at!”


Looking through old photos is a look into the past, a treasure when discovered and a trip through memory lane time and time again.

When I thought about what photos I would like to scrapbook with the new Switchboard collection, I first thought of our current family, my daughter, us.  And then I wondered if any of my sisters would have old photos of my Mom as a switchboard operator.  That was my Mom’s profession since she was a teenager at the Phone Company.

The photo on the left is an old photo, but the photo on the right is from an old newspaper.  With today’s technology, and thanks to my big sis for finding these, she snapped a photo of each with her iPhone and then texted them to me.


I saved the photos to my phone, then uploaded to my computer.  I opened them in Lightroom and while still in the Library window, I did an auto correct for white balance.  They are old so I was not looking for perfect lighting, that adds to the character of them.  Next, I went into the Develop window of Lightroom to brighten the exposure, adjust the curves and shadows, then printed.  Since these were old, and my printer will print darker than what is on my screen, I overexposed the photos.  I also chose my smaller Epson PictureMate to print them because the quality of the color and the paper makes photos look professionally printed.

Although the Switchboard collection, the photos, and the story I chose worked perfectly together, I found that Switchboard also worked with the time period of these photos. Switchboard is well balanced in florals, ledger and phonebook papers with a wide variety of ephemera, stickers, and chipboard that I worked into this design.


I gave the layout a very retro feel, adding lots of layers at the top near the photos, and adding an interesting twist to how I put my title and journaling.  This gave me plenty of room to talk about my Mom as a switchboard operator.  She loved to talk!  I measured a piece of vellum to fit, then typed the journaling on my typewriter.  Added stitching to hold it in place.


The Switchboard collection is full of neutrals with pops of orange, red, pink, and navy that could work with a girl or a boy page.  And as you see, can work with your priceless vintage photos perfectly as well.


Thank you for joining me today for the Backstory. Think about this the next time you create a layout and see if it changes your creative process in one way or another.

Pink Paislee Collection used:  Switchboard


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3 Responses to "The BackStory: Handle With Care"

  • angie gutshall
    March 20, 2014 - 10:11 am

    Love all the little details! You did a fabulous job!!

  • Jean A Marmo
    March 21, 2014 - 2:14 pm

    This is so cool!My mom was a switchboard operator back in the 40s and 50s. Wish there were photos of it!

  • Lynda
    March 22, 2014 - 8:29 pm

    Meaningful layouts like this are the most special. How cool that you could tie your design work into such a personal project!