I've already shared quite a bit about WHY I scrapbook. Now let me tell you a little bit about HOW I scrapbook and about my creative process. Here's my secret: I don't really have one creative process. I'm crafty so sometimes I want to do an artsy creative scrapbook layout. But I'm also a busy mom. So sometimes telling my family's stories needs to be done in a more time efficient manner. One of the best decisions I have made with my scrapbooking is that I don't scrapbook every photo I take. I DO print out lots of photos. I DO keep a little notebook where I write down ideas like topics I want to scrapbook about, sketches I have seen that I want to mimic, ideas for titles, color schemes, etc. I do not keep track of how many pages I have created for each of my 3 kids and I do not make sure that they have equal amounts of pages in their scrapbooks. And I also have no intention of handing over 30 scrapbooks to each of them when they get married (or move out or whenever I end up deciding to give them all their scrapbooks). Again, my main goal is to document our everyday lives, NOT to be a scrapbooking ninja and see how much cardstock I can use in one year.
A few years ago I started doing "month in review" layouts. I would gather a bunch of random photos from the previous month and journal about all the things we did that month. Then one week out of the year I would do a "week in review" approach where I would take TONS of photos everyday for one week, journal in great detail about our days, and keep lots of extra little goodies that helped tell our family's story (tags from new clothes purchases, receipts, grocery lists that I had written out, mail, things the kids drew, etc.....THESE are the little things I would love to have from my childhood!) At the end of the week I compiled all this stuff and did a 2-page layout for each day.
Here are some examples from one week back in 2008. My camera has a hard time taking getting a photo of a layout that is already in a page protector, so these photos might look a little cloudy, but I think you can still get the idea.
When I was designing these "week in review" layouts, I decided I wanted each 2-page layout to look similar. So, I enlarged one photo from each day to 8 x 10 and included five 4 x 6 photos from each day. I used divided 4 x 6 pocket page protectors for one side of each layout and a sheet of beige 12 x 12 cardstock for the base of the other side. Each day's layout included a bunch of journaling on what we did that day. For the remaining 4 x 6 section of the divided pocket page protector, I included receipts, grocery lists, random thoughts, my to-do list, etc.
This layout is from September 29th, 2008. The left side is an 8 x 10 photo of Macy in her baby swing. The right side includes photos of Matt and Macy listening to his ipod, the kids on the swing set, Jack playing with a piggy bank, Macy playing on the floor, and the apple selection at my grocery store. Random photos that all made up my day.
And an up close look at how I included the journaling for this day.
This was October 3, 08. The left side is an 8 x 10 photo of Matt reading a book to a bunch of our daycare kids. And a bunch of journaling towards the bottom of the page of our daily happenings. And the right side of the layout is 5 photos from our day. We happened to be at Jack's preschool that day for a Fall Festival, so some of the photos are from that. Crayons from his school, a scarecrow, Fall themed books, lanterns, and me driving our van.
This was October 4th, 08. On the left side of the 2-page layout, I slipped 5 photos of everyday life into a divided page protector. Macy standing in her crib, Jackson eating at a wedding reception, Jack and Macy playing on the couch, Jack eating a sucker, and a shot of my messy computer desk. The right side of the layout is an 8 x 19 photo of Macy coloring. Then towards the bottom I wrote in great detail all the little things that happened that day.
At the beginning of 2009 I had an idea to start what I eventually called "Project 365". This idea was something I had been thinking of for a while but didn't know how to execute. Then one of my favorite scrapbookers, Becky Higgins, created a product called "Project Life" that was EXACTLY what I had been thinking about. The whole point of this little project is to take one photo everyday and journal a sentence or two about what you did for that day. Brilliant. Becky's Project Life kits contain everything you need to scrapbook through this "photo a day" approach. I took at least one photo a day. I took photos of everything in our lives. Not just people, but photos of places we regularly visited, things around our house, prices of things (like gas!), meals I prepared, seasonal things, etc. I took my camera everywhere and just snapped away. Project Life is an awesome way to document your story. And if you use one of Becky's kits, then you don't even have to have one ounce of creativity. She gives you all the elements you need to create an awesome album using your own photos and words. I love this approach. However, I also discovered throughout the year that I still wanted to scrapbook other layouts as well, so I will not be doing Project Life EVERY year.
Here is one example of a weekly layout from my Project 365 album from 2009. Again this image of the photos looks cloudy. They aren't, its just hard to see in this image. On this 2-page layout, there are seven 4 x 6 photos. One for each day of the week. Macy in her swing, Jack walking out of preschool with his teacher, my craft room, Matt mowing, eating s'mores by our campfire, the kids playing in the sandbox, and our dog laying in the grass with his favorite ball. The green 4 x 6 cardstock shows the week that this layout is about. And the small white journaling cards at the bottom of the layout are where I journal a sentence or two about what we did each day. Simple, simple, simple. And now I have an entire album with 52 weeks of everyday stories. A little glimpse of our lives from that year.
While I loooove documenting my family and our sweet everyday stories, I also enjoy doing "traditional" scrapbook pages as well. In the next post (or two...) I will share more about my creative and artsy scrapbook side, perhaps a little about digital scrapbooking, thoughts on scrapbooking my kids' school memories and the millions of papers that come home from school everyday, and how I scrapbook on a budget.