10 Miraculous Stories about Lost and Found Memories

Since we’re in the memory-keeping business and it’s National Scrapbooking Month, we thought it would be fun to gather up a bunch of feel-good stories about lost memories (in the form of photos, letters, and videos) miraculously being returned to their owners. These stories are a great reminder of just how valuable our memories are—and how important it is to preserve them and keep them safe. Grab a few tissues, and enjoy! 🙂

1. Long-lost Letter and Photo from Dying Mom Found in Used Book

10 Miraculous Stories about Lost and Found Memories #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #familymemories #scrapbooking #familyalbum #familyhistory #miracles

A used bookstore owner finds a letter and photo from a dying woman in an old book, and returns them to her daughter. Read more.

2. Family Finds Lost Wedding Photo at Salvation Army

10 Miraculous Stories about Lost and Found Memories #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #familymemories #scrapbooking #familyalbum #familyhistory #miracles

A woman loses a priceless family wedding photo when her car is repossessed. Four years later, her daughter finds the photo at a Salvation Army. Read more.

3. Reporter Finds Old Family Album Discarded on Street and Returns to Relatives

10 Miraculous Stories about Lost and Found Memories #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #familymemories #scrapbooking #familyalbum #familyhistory #miracles

A reporter finds an old family album discarded on a street in Brooklyn, New York. She traces the album back to the owner’s family, and in the process, uncovers a rich history of what it was like to be African American during the mid-1900s. Read more.

4. Mom Reunited with Lost Family VHS Tape

10 Miraculous Stories about Lost and Found Memories #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #familymemories #scrapbooking #familyalbum #familyhistory #miracles

A 23-year-old purchases a VHS player at Goodwill and finds a VHS tape inside with footage of a little girl’s first steps, Halloween, and Christmas. He finds the owner through social media. Read more.

5. Man Finds Trunks of Photos and Documents Hidden in Home and Returns to Family

10 Miraculous Stories about Lost and Found Memories #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #familymemories #scrapbooking #familyalbum #familyhistory #miracles

A man discovers a secret room in his old Michigan home with two steamer trunks of photos and documents. He returns the priceless memories to the family’s 70-year-old daughter. Read more.

6. Stranger Re-unites Family with Photo Album 20 Years Later

10 Miraculous Stories about Lost and Found Memories #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #familymemories #scrapbooking #familyalbum #familyhistory #miracles

A man finds a family album under the seat of his second-hand armchair. After posting about it on Facebook, he finds the owners within 24 hours. Read more.

7. Photo Reveals Adopted Son Has Twin Sister

10 Miraculous Stories about Lost and Found Memories #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #familymemories #scrapbooking #familyalbum #familyhistory #miracles

After learning he was adopted, an 18-year-old eventually stumbles across a photo from his birth mom depicting his siblings. This photo helps reunite him with his twin. Read more.

8. Woman Returns Photos to Families After Superstorm Sandy

10 Miraculous Stories about Lost and Found Memories #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #familymemories #scrapbooking #familyalbum #familyhistory #miracles

A woman collects photos from the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and starts a Facebook group to return the photos to their owners. She’s now uploaded over 2,000 photos and helped over 60 families reconnect with their priceless photos. Read more.

9. Article Connects Homeless Man with Family Album

10 Miraculous Stories about Lost and Found Memories #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #familymemories #scrapbooking #familyalbum #familyhistory #miracles

After publishing an article about a homeless street comic, a journalist receives an email from a stockbroker. He says the homeless man had worked on his home, prior to being let go for drug use on the premises, and left behind a family photo album. The journalist receives the album from the stockbroker and returns it to the homeless man. Read more.

10. Social Media Connects Man with Photo Lost in 9/11 Attacks

10 Miraculous Stories about Lost and Found Memories #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #familymemories #scrapbooking #familyalbum #familyhistory #miracles

A professor posts a picture of a photo found at Ground Zero on social media year after year, hoping to find the owner. 13 years later, she connects with the man who had the photo sitting on his desk on the 77th floor of the World Trade Center. Read more.


Which story is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below! 🙂

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13 Tips for Finding Time to Preserve Your Memories

13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart

It’s one thing to understand the importance of memory keeping…and it’s another thing entirely to find time to make it happen. Here are some tips to help you out. 🙂

1. Write It in Your Planner

Just writing down a reminder will increase your chances of making it happen.

2. Do It with A Friend

You know how people talk about having a workout buddy to hold yourself accountable? Why not have a scrappin’ buddy? You can keep each other accountable and have fun along the way!

13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart

3. Attend a Monthly Crop, Workshop, or Club

Or…you can have a BUNCH of scrappin’ buddies! By committing to a regular crop, workshop, or club, you hold yourself accountable to make memory keeping happen. Plus, it’s nice to get out of the house and away from any distractions. 😉

4. Divide Up Tasks

Sometimes it’s hard to work on preserving your memories because it seems like such an overwhelming task, especially if you’re new to the game. Breaking it into manageable steps will make it much more approachable: For example, organize a box of photos today, start working on some layouts tomorrow, and attach the photos to your layouts next week. Baby steps are just fine, folks!

13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart

5. Commit to a Specific Amount of Time Each Day

Committing to 10, 20, or 30 minutes of memory keeping each day might be better suited for your lifestyle, so try it out! And remember, spending time sorting photos or cutting paper totally counts if that’s what step you need to do next—you don’t have to finish anything.

6. Scrap Early in the Morning or Late at Night

If your kiddos or spouse keep interrupting you whenever you sit down to start working, try working early in the morning or late at night for maximum productivity.13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart

7. Make It a Habit

Whatever actions you’ve taken to implement other habits into your life, apply those same actions to memory keeping. Once it’s a habit, you’ll save time and energy just by having a rhythm. You won’t even have to think about it anymore.

8. Simplify Your Schedule

Sometimes making room for something in your life simply means cutting something else out. See if there’s anything of less value you can cut from your schedule to make way for memory keeping.

13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart

9. Look Into Quicker Options

The great thing about memory keeping nowadays is that there are a million different options for how to do it. Some of our favorite time-savers include pocket scrapbooking, our Pocket Plus™ Memory Protectors™ for adding more photos between your layouts, and our Cut Above™ layout kits, which come with pre-cut pieces for easy assembly. Even if you’re a die-hard decorative scrapbooker who loves those intricate frills—maybe even just on some layouts—there are lots of great products that make getting that fancy look take less time.

10. Set Goals

Setting goals is always a good idea when you need to motivate yourself to make time for something. Maybe you want to get that Christmas album done by the end of summer vacation, or maybe you want to finish organizing your 1995 photos by the end of the month—just having a specific goal in mind will make you more likely to take steps to reach that goal.

13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart11. Replace Social Media Time

If we were to actually keep track of how much time we spend on Facebook, Pinterest (and Farmville and Candy Crush, etc., etc.), we’d probably be very surprised. Try replacing your social media time (or at least part of it) with memory keeping…we know you won’t regret it!

12. Scrap Whenever You Watch TV

Another great way to get something done is to pair it with an activity you enjoy. Make a commitment to work on preserving your memories anytime you sit down to watch TV.

13 tips for finding time to preserve your memories #memorykeepingmatters #memories #stories #scrapbooking #photobook #journaling #ctmh #closetomyheart

13. Dedicate a Space to Memory Keeping

Productivity can often be improved just by dedicating a space for a certain task. Dedicate a space to memory keeping (ideally a place where you can leave projects you’re in the middle of), and decorate it with things that inspire you, like a vision board.

How do you find time for memory keeping? Tell us in the comments below.

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From Jeanette: Stories from the Heart

jeanette-lynton

Preserving memories is my life’s work. It’s at the heart of everything I do, from my own personal scrapbooking to the vision I have for this company. The milestones, the every day routines, the light in a child’s eye as they discover the world—these are the moments, stories, and images I seek to capture. And when I do, I carefully place them in scrapbook albums for safekeeping. Though they may just look like pretty paper and photos to someone else, they are my most prized possessions. The stories they tell are my personal history and the history of my family.

It is because of my passion for memory keeping that I’m excited to launch a new series of blog posts called “Stories from the Heart.” I want you, my readers and dear friends, to look through your old scrapbooks, find a page or layout with a story you want to tell, and then share that story with the world through our blog.

Stories from the Heart is a celebration of memory keeping, a reminder of why we do what we do, an opportunity to share the beautiful stories that fill our scrapbooks.

To launch this series, I want to share the story behind one of my favorite scrapbook layouts. 🙂

Founder & CEO Jeanette Lynton explains why the stories behind our scrapbook pages are so important. #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeepingmatters #scrapbooking #jeanettelyntonWe were doing a photos shoot for the 1998 September & October edition of I Love Remembering, a magazine subscription we published back in the day.

Founder & CEO Jeanette Lynton explains why the stories behind our scrapbook pages are so important. #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeepingmatters #scrapbooking #jeanettelyntonThe photo shoot was in western Utah (basically in the middle of the desert!), and we were taking pictures of my daughters, Aubrey and Rachel, in an abandoned pioneer schoolhouse. They had on these adorable matching outfits, including hand-stamped sweaters and backpacks, which were back-to-school crafting projects we’d be featuring in the magazine article.

Founder & CEO Jeanette Lynton explains why the stories behind our scrapbook pages are so important. #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeepingmatters #scrapbooking #jeanettelynton

The two photos on the right page of my scrapbook layout are some additional photos taken from this photo shoot. I loved all the pictures we took that day, and I wanted to preserve some of them in my own scrapbook.

The photo of the girls hugging absolutely melts my heart. It perfectly captures the love these sisters have for each other to this day. No matter how different they may be, they always have each other’s back.

In contrast to these professionally staged photos, the big photo on the left page was completely unplanned! It was a scorching hot day, and after wearing those hand-stamped sweaters, Aubrey and Rachel were melting like popsicles! They went to find some shade in the schoolhouse, and when they came back out, they had taken off their little sweaters, and this beautiful scene appeared: The rustic blue door, the sunflowers Rachel was still holding from the shoot, the sweet, tired looks on their faces—it was such a perfect moment, so I had to take a picture.

I think part of the reason I loved this shot was because it captured their cute little personalities. Rachael is staring at the camera head-on with confidence, holding the bouquet of flowers like a professional model. My sweet Aubrey is more shy and subdued, and you can see that in this photo by the way she is holding herself, legs turned in, arms tucked behind her back. She is my gentle, darling girl.

It’s still amazing to me how grown up they look in this photo. I remember being there and thinking, “I can already picture what they will look like as young women…my goodness.”

Those are the stories behind these scrapbook photos, and I hope you enjoyed hearing them. I know I loved going down memory lane as I remembered the stories of how these photos came to be.

I want to hear your stories now. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and I want to hear your thousand words! Your stories are beautiful and deserve to be shared. Help me celebrate memory keeping—and help others realize the full value of this art—by submitting your stories to us. Read the bottom of this post to find out how.

Before I sign off, I just want to take a moment to thank you all for your friendship. One of the beautiful things about memory keeping is that it brings people together, and I’m so grateful for all the wonderful stories and memories I have with you.

Wishing you my love as you tell your stories,

Jeanette


If you would like a chance to share your story on our blog, here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Find one scrapbook page or layout (please just one!) that you’d like to share.
  • Tell us the story behind the photo. What was happening? Who is in the photo? Is there something funny that happened before or after the photo was taken? Why is this photo meaningful to you?
  • Take a high-resolution photo of yourself (you can even be holding the pages or your entire scrapbook!).
  • Take a high-resolution photo of the layout or page on a flat surface (use natural lighting to improve the quality, and take the pages out of the protectors so they don’t reflect in the flash).
  • Email the photos and story to us at ctmhblog@closetomyheart.com with the subject “Stories from the Heart.” If we decide to share your story on the blog, we will contact you!

We can’t wait to start reading all your stories! 🙂

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From Jeanette: Getting the Whole Story

jeanette-lynton

I’m a big fan of “I Love Lucy.” I watch it almost every day, and regardless of whether I’m having a good day or a bad day, it always lifts my spirits. I have wonderful memories of watching this show and of how it became part of my family’s life, too. My youngest daughter, Aubrey, has grown to love it as well. It’s something we share, and I love that.

Today is National “I Love Lucy” Day, so I thought it would be a great time to share about how this television show is a part of my life, and how even trivial things like the TV shows we watch can become cherished memories.

We often think about scrapbooking as a way to document important life events: births, graduations, weddings, holidays, and so on. These are the natural moments and milestones to scrapbook, especially for beginners who need a place to start. However, it’s important to remember that scrapbooking is so much more than documenting a series of events: It’s about creating a personal record, so when your children and their children look through your albums, they get to know what you were like—your personality, your habits, your likes and dislikes, and your stories.

Close To My Heart Founder & CEO, Jeanette Lynton, shares her thoughts about what memory keeping means #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #journaling #stories #paper

That’s why I especially love scrapbooking as a form of memory keeping. Even the beautiful artwork you create is a reflection of who you are! You’re unique, and so are the ways you choose to document your stories with paper and ink.

Close To My Heart Founder & CEO, Jeanette Lynton, shares her thoughts about what memory keeping means #ctmh #closetomyheart #memorykeeping #scrapbooking #journaling #stories #paper

“I Love Lucy” is a part of who I am, and I want my children and their children to think of me each time they come across an episode.

So how about you? What TV shows, books, or other forms of entertainment are a part of your life to the point that telling your story would be incomplete without them? Write those things down and consider adding them to your scrapbooks! Then take it another step further and try writing down a list of other objects, routines, likes, dislikes, and stories that are a part of who you are. Start documenting these things in your scrapbooks to preserve your memory. I know this will bring you and future generations so much happiness.

Wishing you love as you tell your stories,

Jeanette

P.S. I’ve love to see your list, the photos you take, and your scrapbook pages. Share them on social media by using the hashtag #memorykeepingmatters.

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Close To My Heart’s Cover Boy

In only a few short days, Seasonal Expressions 1 will go live to the public! You’re going to love what this idea book has to offer. It’s chock-full of fresh products and inspiration that are a whole lot of fun. We’re excited to see what you create!

As a special treat to celebrate this upcoming release, we asked Chief Communications Officer Monica Wihongi to share the story behind the Seasonal Expressions 1 cover photo—it’s a behind-the-scenes glance with a sweet little twist!

As many of you may already know, my son Jonah is the cover model on Seasonal Expressions 1. We had been planning on using Jonah as the cover model for a while, but when the day finally came to bring him to the photo shoot, he was being less than enthusiastic about the whole thing. We pulled up to the model home and rushed upstairs to change him into his dress clothes. After we were inside the house, his attitude improved a little because of how much he loved the beautiful model home. (Let’s be honest, everyone loved it!)

But he was still acting a little reluctant, so before we went back downstairs, I told him if he did his best during the photo shoot, I would buy him any treat he wanted. He was suddenly much more enthusiastic! After we finished the shoot, he said, “Mom! I figured out what I want for my treat!” “What?” I said, expecting him to say something like ice cream or a candy bar. “I want this house!” he said.

A house?! Where does he come up with this stuff? I didn’t want to dash his dreams, but a house?! I decided to play it cool, so I said, “Why don’t we just get you ice cream or something?” “Ok!” he said, and then we hopped in the car. Phew! That was easy. I drove home grateful that a successful photo shoot was something I could buy at the price of an ice cream cone.

But what I loved the most about the whole experience is that just before the photographer snapped what would become the cover photo, he said, “Jonah, look at your mom.” Jonah’s brown eyes glanced sideways at me and immediately his whole face melted into that mischievous and adorable grin. Oh, Jonah—he always brings the cute factor!

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