How to Archive Family Keepsakes Blog Book Tour: Caring for Heirloom Clocks

Guest Post by Denise May Levenick, The Family Curator, author of How to Archive Family Keepsakes (Family Tree Books, 2012).

It’s not surprising that The Heirloom Registry was born when Dan and Mike Hiestand wanted to share the story of their heirloom grandfather clock. Watches, clocks, and timepieces of all shapes and sizes have been favorite family keepsakes for generations.

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Denise Levenick, The Family Curator

Houstory Publishing and I share a common interest in preserving family treasures, and I’m delighted to share a few tips for clock care from my new book How to Archive Family Keepsakes with readers of The Houstory Hearth Blog.

Join the Blog Book Tour for How to Archive Family Keepsakes January 10-26, 2013 for author interviews, book excerpts, giveaways, and more. Visit the Blog Book Tour Page at The Family Curator website for the complete schedule.

 

Saving Time: Caring for Heirloom Clocks

Timepieces are one of the most popular family heirlooms passed on from generation to generation, and with proper care and regular maintenance you can help keep your keepsake watch or clock ticking well into the next century.

Most clocks consist of two distinct parts, the clock itself and the outer case. Grandfather clocks, cuckoo clocks, and mantle clocks are often made of wood and metal parts. Decorative clocks may be constructed from brass, bronze, marble, plastic, or other materials. Wristwatches, pocket watches, and ladies’ brooch watches are usually cased in silver, gold, or a combination of materials.

Denise Levenick, The Family Curator, Houstory, Heirloom Registry, family history, family heirlooms, family keepsakes

If your antique clock isn’t working or keeping the correct time, don’t try to repair or clean the interior workings yourself. Clock repair and maintenance is a specialized skill, and your local jeweler should be able to refer you to a certified clock repair shop. They can also show you how to wind the clock mechanism and recommend a routine for maintenance that will keep it good working order.

Many antique clocks and watches require daily attention to keep running, and this is often the best way to keep the timepiece in working order. Clocks should be cleaned and oiled every two to three years to avoid undue wear of moving parts. If your clock needs replacement parts that are no longer available, or the cost makes repair impractical, enjoy it as an heirloom decorative object.

Care for your clock will depend on its construction material:

 

Wooden Clocks

Like any fine wooden furniture, wooden clocks, are especially susceptible to swelling and shrinking from extreme fluctuations in temperature and humidity. They will do best in a room that is comfortable for everyday living, not too hot, too cold, nor too damp.

Treat wooden clocks as you would fine wooden furniture. Do not use aerosol furniture polish or waxes; instead dust regularly with a soft cloth and use solid paste wax annually to keep the wood clean and supple.

heirloom clock, family heirloom, family history

The grandfather clock that inspired The Heirloom Registry

 

Metal and Stone Clocks

Care for metal and stone cased clocks by dusting and polishing with a soft cloth.

Keep china figural clocks in a glass cabinet if possible to minimize dust and potential damage.

Most clocks contain metal working parts, and will benefit from a clean dry environment.

The best housekeeping is often a routine that is regular and minimally disturbing to the item itself. Keep your heirloom clock in a location where it can be enjoyed, yet is out of the path of likely damage. A living room or dining room can be a better choice than a family room filled with active children and pets.

Working or not, clocks are time-honored family heirlooms and a wonderful reminder of a family legacy.

Find more ideas for sorting and organizing inherited family treasures in How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn How to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia & Genealogy Records by Denise May Levenick (Family Tree Books, 2012).

Guest Post from How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn How to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia & Genealogy Records by Denise May Levenick (Family Tree Books, 2012). Copyright, 2012, Denise May Levenick. All Rights Reserved. 

How to Archive Family Keepsakes (Family Tree Books, 2012) ISBN 1440322236
Paperback / eBook Family Tree Books, Amazon.com, Scribd, iBooks, Barnes&Noble.com. 10% Savings Coupon ShopFamilyTree.

 

Join the Blog Tour

Join the Blog Book Tour for How to Archive Family Keepsakes January 10-26, 2013 for author interviews, book excerpts, giveaways, and more. Visit the Blog Book Tour Page at The Family Curator website for the complete schedule.

Proceeds from the sale of How to Archive Family Keepsakes during the Book Tour will help fund the 2013 Student Genealogy Grant founded in 2010 in honor of Denise’s mother, Suzanne Winsor Freeman.

 

Blog Book Tour Giveaways

Comment on daily Book Blog Tour Post
Tweet the Tour Twitter @FamilyCurator #keepsakebooktour
Share the Tour on FaceBook, Google+, Goodreads

It’s easy to enter to win a free copy of Denise’s new book or one of the weekly giveaway prizes. All you have to do is leave a comment to the Blog Tour Post hosted at one of the official tour blogs. Random winners will also be selected from social media comments on Twitter, FaceBook, and Google+.

Each blog tour post comment gives you one chance to win; one entry per post per day, please. Leave a comment at each stop on the blog tour and increase your chances of winning. The lucky names will be announced each Saturday during the tour at The Family Curator.

 

About the Author

In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” Denise May Levenick is a writer, researcher, and speaker with a passion for preserving and sharing family treasures of all kinds. She is the creator of the award-winning family history blog, The Family Curator www.TheFamilyCurator.com and author of the new book How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn How to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia and Genealogy Records, (Family Tree Books, 2012).

The Family Curator Visits The Houstory Hearth Next Friday

Houstory is proud to welcome family heirloom and family keepsake archival expert (and good friend) Denise Levenick as a guest author next Friday, Jan. 25.

We’re honored to be the final stop on Denise’s whirlwind blog tour. To learn more, and to catch up on some of the post dates you may have missed along the way, we encourage you to read more below and to see the Blog Book Tour Page.

Denise Levenick, family curator, houstory, heirloom registry, family heirloom, family keepsake

Denise Levenick, The Family Curator

We’re looking forward to next Friday, Denise — as I’m sure all of our readers are!

– Dan and Mike

 

Organize your family history heirlooms and research in 2013

Family Curator Blog Book Tour for “How to Archive Family Keepsakes” by Denise Levenick – On Tour from Jan. 10-26

How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia & Genealogy Records will be featured in a new Blog Book Tour January 10-26, 2013. With top reviews from leading genealogy bloggers and 5-Star Ratings on Amazon.com, this new resource by Denise Levenick, The Family Curator, will help you organize and preserve your family history heirlooms and research in 2013.

Visit 14 popular genealogy blogs and websites featuring Denise and How to Archive Family Keepsakes for book excerpts, interviews, special guest posts, free downloads, and giveaways.  View the schedule at the Blog Book Tour Page.

Denise Levenick, The Family Curator, Houstory, Heirloom Registry, family history, family heirlooms, family keepsakes

How to Archive Family Keepsakes offers practical guidance for family historians:

  • Helping a parent or loved one downsize to a smaller home
  • Needing a simple, effective filing system for genealogy research
  • Interested in scanning and making digital copies of genealogy records
  • Looking for a way to preserve your family history and heirlooms for future generations

Proceeds from the sale of How to Archive Family Keepsakes during the Book Tour will help fund the 2013 Student Genealogy Grant founded in 2010 in honor of Denise’s mother, Suzanne Winsor Freeman.

About the Author

Denise Levenick lives in Southern California and inherited her love of family history along with a trunk filled with family treasures from her maternal grandmother. She is now the caretaker of several family collections and has adapted professional archival techniques to organize and preserve family keepsakes for a home situation. She is a frequent contributor to Family Tree Magazine and speaks to genealogy societies and service groups about preserving family treasures. Denise created The Family Curator blog in 2007 where she continues to write about her own family history research and preserving family keepsakes.

Join the Blog Book Tour for How to Archive Family Keepsakes January 10-26 for author interviews, book excerpts, giveaways, and more. Visit the Blog Book Tour Page at The Family Curator website for the complete schedule.

How to Archive Family Keepsakes (Family Tree Books, 2012) ISBN 1440322236

Paperback from Family Tree Books, Amazon.com; PDF eBook from Scribd

10% Savings Coupon ShopFamilyTree.


 

Looking for the perfect gift for person with everything? Help them honor the stuff — and family heirlooms — they already have

Looking for a unique gift idea that’s not just more clutter? Help your loved ones save the stories behind their family heirlooms, add texture and color to your family history and help conserve natural resources — all at the same time.

11/19/12 UPDATE: Would you like a special gift from Houstory (in addition to the gift mentioned below)? “Like” us on Facebook for a special offer, which we will make available soon!

By Mike Hiestand, Houstory Publishing Founder

I’m sure you know a person (probably more than one) who genuinely appears to have everything they need from a material goods standpoint. Both sets of my pre-Boomer parents fall into this category. Often, when you ask what they need from Santa, they honestly, sincerely and kindly tell you “nothing.” Because the truth is, we all reach a point — some much sooner than others — where we really don’t need more stuff. But do we listen? No.

We buy them something, perhaps out of guilt (which you already know is not a good reason), but more often because we genuinely feel love and affection for them. Exchanging gifts — even something very small, which they really don’t need (they told you!) — is one of the ways our culture expresses those feelings during the holiday season.

So, rather than fight the system, here’s a perfect, outside-the-box — and brand new — gift idea for 2012: Rather than buying them more stuff, help them honor some of the stuff they already have.

Show you care by helping them identify and share the stories of the things already in their lives that are genuinely meaningful to them (and probably to you as well), such as a family quilt; the dining room table that has been the center of family gatherings for generations; the cheap, funny looking lamp that your dad loves and your mom hates; family photos; a toy train; Bibles and scrapbooks — basically anything that might fall into the general category of a “family heirloom,” whose background and story make it more than just regular old stuff.

And while we understandably think The Heirloom Registry is an easy, simple and inexpensive way to accomplish this, we’re also on a two-part, nonprofit mission. And both are time-sensitive.

First, we want to stop the stories from disappearing. The interesting — and often magical — stories that can, for example, transform an otherwise ordinary, musical trinket into a priceless piece of family history, often disappear with the storyteller. And if its story disappears, the musical trinket — like Cinderalla at midnight —  changes back into just more stuff to get rid of at a garage sale — or to add to the already-stuffed landfill.

What a terrible, sometimes tragic, shame.

So, whether you permanently register the items on the Registry or not, please download the following free offline registry worksheet where your loved one can record the story of their most important things. They can just leave the completed form in the heirloom’s drawer or attach it to its underside where it can later be found. (It was such a wonderful note, written by my grandpa and left in his grandfather clock, that sparked the idea for The Heirloom Registry,  after all.) This is a simple gift from Houstory we sincerely hope you’ll use this year. Especially if it means preventing even one more story from being permanently lost.

Even better: Make it a stocking stuffer. And while the Christmas ham is baking, spend a wonderful hour with your folks or other gift recipient walking around their home, listening to their stories and taking notes. It is truly a special gift for everyone — and one that will keep on giving as future generations enjoy pieces of family history that they can actually touch. Safe from the landfill.

Which brings up the second part of our mission at The Heirloom Registry: natural resource conservation.

I’m a believer, but without question it has been my brother Dan’s passion about environmental issues and his unwavering commitment to growing a sustainable business that has guided much of Houstory’s growth and business philosophy.

We think of The Heirloom Registry as not only a useful, meaningful genealogy product, but also as a way to encourage better stewardship of the stuff we have. (And, if you think about it, our Home History Books — which tracks the story of what is usually our biggest heirloom — are just bigger, more beautiful versions of the stickers and plates we use with the Registry.)

The more you care about your stuff, the less you’ll probably want to replace it with something “new” and the more likely it avoids the landfill.

So this holiday season, give the perfect gift to the person who has everything. And feel great about it for years to come.