My blog is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.
One day I’m talking about organizing a bathroom closet, then it’s sharing free downloads to make a book with your kids’ class at school, then it’s a mushy topic like showing love, and then on to bacon. Bacon! But then it’s a health-related topic. And then I’m doing some give-away for fun. And talking about how to nurture creativity in our children. And paying tribute to photography. Then answering your random questions about … everything random.
(If you missed the bacon post, it’s here.)
So … yeah. I’m pretty random. Just the way I like it. But I’m guessing what brought a lot of you here in the first place is scrapbooking.
So let’s talk about scrapbooking for a minute. Specifically, let’s talk about scrapbooking SYSTEMS. The numero uno thing I want to say, and I believe most scrapbookers who work in the scrapbooking industry would also say this … is that there is not one, end-all-be-all approach that works for everyone. We all agree on that, right? Good? Good. Okay.
And that’s precisely why this is such a fun discussion.
The second thing I want to say is that the reason I’m bringing this up now is because I’m having a hard look at my own system right now. Reflecting on what I’ve done for the past 15 years and thinking about my personal evolution in the organization of it all.
My approach is different than yours. And your approach is different than your sister-in-law’s. And her approach is different than … okay, you get it. So let’s get to it. I’ll share with you where I am with my SYSTEM right now. These are some of our ongoing chronological albums.
I transitioned from doing these “traditional” (whatever that means) scrapbooks for our family albums in 2009. Since then, I have been preserving our family’s story with the Project Life format, which has been very liberating and really fun. Now, with the addition of the digital version that we launched for 2010, I am doing one digital Project Life book each year now. This will be our annual family yearbook and I will make copies for each of the kids. (they’re very thin books, so space is no longer a concern as it is with big albums).
Okay, so on to the kids. And the “big albums” I’m referring to. This is where I still do scrapbooking in the “traditional” paper sense.
Porter’s albums are green.
Claire’s albums are yellow.
Crew’s albums are blue.
All albums (including the red family ones) are from We R Memory Keepers.
The main reason I am keeping the kids’ books like this is because kids have stuff. The stuff needs to go somewhere. Plus, let’s be honest. Scrapbooking is just in my blood. I gotta do it. I enjoy it. Just in smaller doses than I used to. That’s why I feel really, really good about our family stories being in a different format now.
I spent years and years deeply engrossed in the creative side of scrapbooking. Now, 3 kids later, I still enjoy keeping scrapbooks for each of our kids. My pages are simple. I still get to play with pretty papers and fun letter stickers and I still enjoy the art of putting a complete layout together. But I keep it really simple. My main purpose in doing books for my children isn’t to feed my creative spirit. (Although that’s certainly a fun side effect.) It’s to record their story and tell them how loved and valued they are. It’s to document their milestones, achievements, struggles, friends, excursions, family history, and education.
Lately, however … as in the past several months, I haven’t touched scrapbooking stuff. It’s been on the back burner. It’s been a busy season and I’ve been perfectly okay letting stuff pile up a bit.
I have just been sticking items on top of the albums lately. The pile is patiently waiting for me to organize and put away in albums. And I will. I can sense those creative juices flowing just a bit. I can tell that I’m ready to do a few layouts. Still need to finish Crew’s first year (one layout per month — still love that system) and I have a few school layouts to do for Porter’s and Claire’s books.
Here’s the bottom line for my CORE SYSTEM:
[ one ] Each child has a chronological, ongoing series of scrapbooks. The big-picture goal is that each child will have about 6-7 albums total that will cover their entire childhood, from birth through high school. My school kit will be the backbone of this system and create natural flow throughout the albums.
[ two ] I am doing an online family yearbook of each calendar year (Project Life) and printing copies for each child and for us to keep here at home. Right now I’m keeping up with a-picture-a-day and I love it. The big-picture goal is that everyone will have a series of skinny yearbooks representing our family life.
Okay, your turn. If you have a system of keeping memories & photos & stories that you want to share — because it really works for you — please do share with us. Give us the bottom line CORE SYSTEM. Can’t wait to learn from you!