Monday, May 14, 2007

A little bit of planning goes a long way!

I was talking with my mum recently about what we would do in the way of scrapbooking layouts when we next got together at the end of this month.

I go and stay with her for a few days with my 3 year old daughter every 5-6 weeks “ish” and we like to do some scrapbooking layouts together. The trouble is that we can’t get stuck in to anything until my daughter has gone to bed!! I can hear all those mothers out there nodding their heads in agreement!

Then we eat our meal and tidy up, but by the time we get the stuff out all over the table and begin it’s already starting to get late and we end up going to bed in the early hours. But also, what usually happens is that my mum gets “the boxes” out (you know the ones… the large boxes of old photos and boy, there’s hundreds in there!) and proceeds to start sifting through them to decide which ones to put on a scrapbooking layout. Of course, time ticks by as she reminisces and basically by the time she starts a layout, she can’t keep her eyes open!

Sound familiar?

A bit of Planning

So apart from arranging to eat with my daughter earlier in the evening to make the most of child-free time, I told my mother, “You need to do a bit of planning. Go through your pictures before my next visit and choose which ones you would like to scrap. Just choose a few pictures or groups of pictures. Then resist the urge to get “the boxes” out!”

“I’d like to scrap some of the pictures of the girls [recent photos of my daughter and her cousins],” she replied, “but there are so many old photos I should do, and then there’s all those of my mothers, it’s a bit overwhelming.”

Now this is a comment I have heard before, and felt myself.

We feel we should give equal attention to every picture in our huge stack of photos and the task seems so daunting that we don’t even start a scrapbooking layout. And there is also the fact that we are adding to the pile all the time with new photos of events, children, pets and basically… Life!

I made the same suggestion to my mum, as I have to other people when asked “where do I start?”…

Firstly, don’t try to scrap your old photos first, just because they “came first”! Start with some recent pictures that you “want” to scrap. Not only will the memory be fresh in your mind for journaling purposes, but they are usually more exciting photos than the “old” ones and are more likely to get the “creative juices” flowing.

There are various ways to sort your photos and various ways to scrapbook them, these are just a few!

Sorting those photos

1. Chronological order.
Now if we are talking about the old photos, you may not actually know in what year order they go, so sort into “rough decades”. If you have (or can find out) the details of who is actually in the photos all well and good, but it’s not always possible, so don’t worry as you don’t have to journal anything specific on a scrapbooking layout, if at all.

2. Sort by Occasions

Weddings, birthday parties, new year’s and the like, great sets of photos for a single scrapbook layout or a even mini album if there are a number in the set.

3. Themes

Themes are great for mini albums, ie, paper bag books (although do watch the acid content of some paper bags) or concertina albums, or tag books, the list is endless actually. Themes for scrapbooking layout can be…
Sports for a particular family or even a specific family member if they have been particularly sporty through their life.
Clothes changing through the decades.
Couples - showing photos of couples through the ages
Siblings – group shots of brothers and sisters together
Houses – pictures of different family homes
Pets – self explanatory!
A child’s firsts - self explanatory!

TIP 1 – if you find one particular picture could be useful for a number of Themes, scan it and use the scan (or parts of it) for other scrapbooking layouts/albums. For instance you may only have one photo of Auntie Marge and Uncle John standing in front of their house with their pet dog! It covers 3 of the above themes!

TIP 2 – if your original “old” photograph is too big for your layout, and you don’t want to physically cut it up (crop it) then scan it, or photocopy it and crop the copy to use on the page/album. You can store the photo in a pocket on the back of the page.

4. Sort by individuals

Span the lifetime (thus far) of a particular person, or maybe just a crucial period of time in that person’s life.

Scrapping those photos

My scrapbooking layouts are in all sorts of sizes, it just depends how the mood takes me and what the photos “tell me”. I think the most satisfying for me are mini albums, such as paper bag books (which are great for storing extra photos by the way), 6x6 albums made from card and book rings, 4x4 concertina books, etc. With a small amount of paper, the photos and a handful of embellishments your album takes shape really quickly.

So try not to be overwhelmed by your numerous boxes of photos… you don’t have to scrap them all, just pick out the ones you like and get started. Remember you can always store similar pictures in a pocket with the pages. Dive on in..!

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