Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Great Scrapbook Re-org of 2014

When I first started scrapbooking, back in 2007, I did mostly chronological scrapbooking, and I scrapbooked every photo I printed.

And I printed a LOT.

I focused on the photos, and I didn't include much journaling on my pages. Maybe a caption here and there, once in awhile a paragraph. My purpose was mainly to display my photos creatively; story wasn't much of a consideration at all.

Later, I started paying more attention to the story because scrapbooking became more about preserving memories and telling the story of my life. I still worked chronologically until 2011 when I began to organize my storytelling a different way, by category instead of chronology.

No longer did I have what I call yearbooks, albums containing a certain year's stories. At first, I really enjoyed not having to be quite as organized, concerned about where the pages fit within the album. I could scrapbook by mood, rather than the date the photos happened. It felt a little more free.

Over time, though, I became more and more uncomfortable with not being able to open an album, say 2012, and follow the thread of what happened that year. I didn't like not being able to read through my scrapbooks like I read through my written journals, which are always by date. I wanted to change back.

To inspire me, I enrolled in Shimelle Laine's self-paced class, Cover to Cover, which is about creating albums that make sense, rather than simply containing scrapbook pages. I have completed only seven of the prompts for the class, and already I'm both energized and inspired to streamline my scrapbooking process, which includes going back to yearbooks for the everyday stories of life I want to tell, as well as some albums dedicated to certain other topics, whether it's my childhood, the story of my relationship with my sweetheart, trips we take, or whatever I feel deserves an entire album to itself.

Last Friday night, I started reorganizing the existing albums back into yearbooks, and not only did it go better than I expected, it also took a shorter period of time, and it made me aware that some stories are missing from all three years, 2011-2013. (I haven't even really begun scrapbooking 2014; that's a topic for another post.)

I love Shimelle's ideas that an album isn't ever, or doesn't have to be, finished. I can keep working on any album, if I so desire, even the yearbooks, adding more stories, even retelling some if I don't think they're complete or don't like the design of the page or whatever. 2007 and 2008, particularly, complain pages that tell no story at all, so I may want to go back and remedy that.

For a long time, now, scrapbooking has felt a little too much like a chore to me, and my reorganization efforts are remedying that in a variety of ways.

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