Friday, February 12, 2010

Simplicity- Step Six

If you have been reading the blog very long or if you are a personal friend, you know that scrapbooking is a major hobby of mine. I really enjoy the process of taking pictures of the moments that make our lives special, unique, exciting, and ours (Brian is happy with one maybe two pictures and then he is ready for the camera to be put away...but my dear, you married a scrapbooker!) and putting them into meaningful layouts that we can enjoy for years to come. However, I began to get overwhelmed with the idea of scrapbooking ALL of our pictures, memories, and events. And then I inherited a huge box of my parents' pictures after Mom passed. I closed up my scrapbooking closet and didn't open the door for a while.

I was hit with an amazing realization that helped me reopen the closet door. I don't have to scrapbook every picture I have, which is the simplicity point for today (for those of you who are scrapbookers or plan on becoming scrapbookers). I went through the pictures that I already had and the ones I inherited, decided which ones really had important stories that needed to be recorded, and the rest went into (gasp!) a photo album.

After that, I began waiting until I earned free pictures from my Shutterfly account and only ordered a few of my favorite pictures from different events. I planned ahead what my layouts would look like, and, once the pictures came in, I could easily put them together and into the album. In the meantime, if I felt like scrapbooking and I had no new pictures, I could always go into the photo albums and pull out some pictures.

My favorite album as of right now is our family's 2008 album. It is really the only one that I actually put into chronological order, but that was after the fact. I gathered all of my layouts from 2008, put them into the album and then realized that I had so many gaps in the scrapbook. I was able to decide which layouts I needed to make, order the pictures I absolutely needed, and made my layouts quickly.

This year I am doing two main albums. The first is Addie's album for 2010. It is an 8x8 album, and I have a format that I am following. Each month has two main pages. One page is a digital calendar page (which I am still working on putting together- didn't have the idea until the end of January), and the other is an Addie update page (the journaling came directly from this post). The calendar page is from iKari Designs at (a free set of templates that can be used with the Adobe Photoshop programs) and is perfect for putting alot of those random pictures that I take of our family just doing what we do. Some of those pictures won't actually make it onto their own layout, but at least I can have them displayed somehow without making myself crazy.

In between I am sticking a few items from the month- an invitation to her cousins' birthday party with a picture of the event on the back, a left over piece of a page protector from another project that has been sewn to hold a sliver of her art work and a larger picture of her this month, etc.

For the main family album, I have a three ring album that is a mixture of 12x12 and 8 1/2 x 11 pages. I only order a few pictures for each event, and rather than reinventing the wheel, I use basically the same format for many of the layouts. White is my go-to background paper so I don't have to worry about finding the right color background, and I use small amounts of patterned paper which helps to stretch my supplies (Cathy, I LOVE the colored alphabet stickers. Thanks!). The wallet sized prints (of Addie girl as a 4 and 5 month old) are in the left over pieces of baseball card holders from my December Daily album.


When I feel like being particularly creative, I jump onto the computer and do a digital layout using the many free products I have downloaded from the Internet. (The two page layout is based on a layout I saw on Ali Edward's blog.)

If you are an overwhelmed scrapper, I hope this method of scrapbooking helps to relieve some of the pressure for you. Remember, elaborate is beautiful and has its place (believe me, I enjoy the occasional artistic layout), but simple gets the story down for others to enjoy now.


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