During February, I focused my creative energy on scrapbooking. During the month, I've been sharing my thoughts and layouts on my blog (you can see them by clicking on this link). Before I turn my attention and blog space more fully to art journaling (my focus for March), I wanted to share a few final thoughts:
1. I really enjoy paper scrapbooking. I have a lot of albums (the book shelf above has two shelves of 12x12 scrapbooks, plus a couple 12x15 scrapbooks and a variety of other, smaller sizes tucked into the top shelf. I have about 10 more 12x12 albums and a dozen or so other, smaller albums on other shelves throughout the house. I make annual, chronological family albums (I'm "caught up" through 2011); albums for trips; birthday albums for the kids; school days and sports albums for the kids; December Daily/Christmas/JYC style albums every few years; and the occasional week/day in the life album. I like this organizational style and am committed to staying with it through next year (2016) when Clara graduates from high school.
2. I like making photo books but not digitial scrapbooking. During this scrapbooking flurry, I made five photo books at shutterfly (three for Clara's running seasons; one for Clara's volunteer work with animals; and one from our 2012 trip to Barcelona). For each of them, I used the "simple path" version of the photo books. Basically select background (I went very basic - subtle black/white texture for track; themed for travel and animals); select photos; push a button and let shutterfly place the photos for you in chronological order; lightly rearrange photos to better tell your story and highlight the correct photos; add journaling; call it done. For my Barcelona book, I considered using their more advanced software or making a photobook at Mixbook with a variety of digital elements. I tried a few pages and decided it just wasn't for me. I am blown away by the digital pages that people make, especially now that I've tried my hand at it a little bit. But, that's just not a creative path I intend to follow.
3. I love the fact that I basically have a small scrapbook store in my craft room and that I don't have to buy anything to make pages that I love. Also love the fact that I organized everything last year, so I could find things quickly and easily.
4. I love the stories that my layouts tell. On the left is the simple page for Clara's 15th birthday for her birthday album. When I discussed this album, here, I shared the page from her 14th birthday and mentioned that at the time "Clara was in a particularly difficult stage." And then I see her, at 15, running the half-marathon and raising money for the leukemia and lymphoma society and I say a prayer of thanks for how far she came in that year, and I appreciate that it is the scrapbook that marks that progress and tells that story.
5. Photo management/organization is a major task, especially if it gets too far out of date. I think I mentioned I had 2500 photos on my photo roll on my iphone. Huge mistake. It took hours to download, order, organize and delete them. The photos from my DSLR on my computer were easier to deal with, but still a bit of a pain. The box on the right hand side of the photo has what I believe to be all my photographs now printed out, organized by year and event and ready to be scrapped. Note to self: use your big camera more, and don't let things get so out of hand!
6. Not all albums have a natural ending point, and it's a little hard for me to live with that ambiguity. I had assumed that Henry's sports album would end at the end of high school. Now that he's played a couple of years of Club Soccer at University of Oregon, I wanted to include that experience as well. Luckily, I was able to pull a few team photographs (like this one taken at the national tournament) off their facebook page. His sports album is a three ring binder type album, and it will be easy to add photos.When making Clara's Volunteering with Animals photobook, I realized that I would probably take more photos of her volunteering at Guide Dogs for the Blind, but that it was okay to make the book with the photos that I have now. The book covers two years of her experiences there and at the Peninsula Humane Society. It tells a story, even if it isn't her whole story. I guess that's why I like chronological albums and trip albums. I can gather everything and tell a story from beginning to end.
7. I enjoy all the various parts of scrapbooking (taking the photos, editing the photos, organizing them into events, choosing the appropriate paper and embellishments to go with each event, and the actual assembly). Right now, with all those photos printed and sorted, I hope to grab some time this week to do some scrapping. I'll definitely keep doing this, even as I focus on art journaling in March.