Genealogy, Scrapbooking, & Card Making
By Ashley Ladd
When I’m not writing or reading, I like to hunt find my ancestors and learn about their lives. Whereas my mother’s family enjoys staying in touch with relatives and telling family stories, my father’s family is very secretive. You’d think they were guarding Fort Knox.
To the left is a picture of my “Cowboy Grandpa” standing on his homestead in Montana in 1918. I love this photograph. Below is my other grandpa during WWI during his service in Germany.
I spend a lot of time on finding photographs like this one, but when I’ve hit brick walls I’ve also been known to haunt graveyards in my family’s hometown of Cincinnati. Not just the offices of the big graveyards like Vine Street Hill and Spring Grove Cemetery but searching the headstones themselves for clues in the smaller cemeteries when I hit blocks.
I’ve found a couple long lost cousins through message boards on genealogy sites who have shared gems of information, who are now my Facebook friends, who continue to share historical photographs and stories.
Because I found so many awesome pictures scrapbooking seemed like a natural extension to my genealogy addiction. Once I found so many terrific photographs I wanted to showcase them and make sure my progeny would know everybody’s stories. I became a rabid avid photographer, snapping photos right and left of my kids and grandkids until they begged me to stop. I want our ancestors to know our generation too.
To the left is my granddaughter a few years ago. Saturday nights I often get together with my scrapbooking buddies and we put together pages. I’ve spent countless hours (and money) on this hobby. It’s not cheap but it’s so much fun. Often I join scrapbook challenges on as well that prompts me to take new photographs and try new scrapbooking techniques. I’m by no means an expert but I hope I’ve done a good job being our family’s historian.
An extension of scrapbooking was card making. It’s fun to play with glue, paper, ink, and glittery stuff. Sometimes I make my own birthday and Christmas cards. Here are some samples:

The monster card was a birthday card I made for my granddaughter’s 7th birthday. The reindeer card is a Christmas card.
I got a lot of practice coming up with spiffy titles for the scrapbook pages which should help me come up with good titles for my books.