Wednesday, December 12, 2018


For many years I enjoyed scrapbooking.  My Mother made both my sister and me a simple one that I added to as I was growing up.  I loved pictures and mementos!  One of my favorite things to do when I would go to my Grandmommie's house was to get her photo album from Hawaii and look through it.  It was like a different world to me.  Seeing her in a muu-muu, getting a kiss from Don Ho, seeing hula girls - it was all very eye opening.  She brought all her grandchildren many gifts when she came home from the trip as well.  My mother started both my sister and me a scrapbook with our school class pictures and I added to that.  As a teen I made my own scrapbook out of wallpaper. Later in high school, I was on the yearbook staff.  I learned more about layouts and editing and throughly enjoyed it.  It reenforced my love of scrapbooking.

When I became a mother in 1989, of course portaits and photos were important to me.  I took as many as I could afford with my little Kodak Instamatic.  Then came DOUBLE PRINTS.  Hallelujah!  You could pay just $1 more and get two of every print. Thus began our problem with storage.

Long story short, I got double prints of every roll of film for about 20 years!  My justification was that Grandmas wanted some of the pictures and I would also make albums for the kids after making my own.  God forbid my kids ever forget any moment of any experience we provided for them!!!
So here I am, years later, with all my kids in their 20's.  I've never made them that album.  I quit making myself albums around 2008.  (I actually did make each child a special themed album for their 16th birthday) Everything was going digital and it didn't seem practical to get prints anymore.

With all the decluttering I've been doing the last three years, I kept avoiding the "SCRAPBOOKING ROOM."  Why?  You know why.  It means I have to get all those double prints out and make the books or give them to the kids in a big mess or toss them (which I could never do).  As life got busier, all those precious memories had become a burden to me, and so I determined I would get those memories in albums.  This year, 2018 was going to be the YEAR TO GET IT DONE.

When I first started back in January, I had no idea how I would go about it, but after fumbling around for a while, I developed a system.  I have three children, so the goal was to make three albums.  I came up with some rules:

1.  Use only the BEST photos.  Throw away any blurry or bad ones.

2.  MAKE JUST ONE ALBUM.  Do we really want to burden our children with a library of albums?  I had a 50 page album for each child.  That means, there will be a few pages of baby days, a few of school days, a few of family, a few of holidays, sports, performances, and vacations.  You can see how this will help you choose only the best photos.

3.  SORT by child first.  This part went relatively fast!  Look through pictures, noticing which child was prominent in each photo.  So, for instance, vacation photos from 2005 involved an epic road trip to California.  After sorting through them, I had four piles: Vacation pics for Child #1, Child #2, Child #3, Extras.  Store the pictures for Child #2 and #3 in other boxes for their albums to be done later.

4.  SORT by events and seasons second.  For example, I got all of Child #1 pictures sorted into the following categories:  Toddler, Family, Birthdays, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, School days, Sports, Music, Performances, Friends, and Vacations.  (The seasons included holidays)

5.  THINK AHEAD.  I looked at what I had and determined about how many pages to dedicate to each category to make it work for a 50 page album.

6.  FORGET DATES.  I think one reason I avoided this so long is because I thought I had to write dates on each page.  I basically did a book based on the seasons, starting with spring.  Spring had 4 pages of Easter time through the years.  Plus a page about LTC.  Then came summer.  I did a big collage of misc. summer pictures, then had 2 pages of swimming pool times, 2 of lake times, 2 of Fourth of July celebrations.  When you do this, you find that most of the pictures you took were pretty meaningless and it helps you choose the best photos.

7. DECORATE (a little).  How you do each page is entirely up to you but my system was to do basic pages with a little cropping of photos to try to get more on the page, maybe some colored paper, and sometimes a sticker or die cut to add some embellishment.  Occasionally I did a more intricate layout if the pictures lend themselves to it. But in the words of my friend Delise, a CM Consultant, just "get it done!"  A done album is better than no album.

8.  BE PREPARED for some emotional fatigue!  Going through these reenforced the fact that I'm getting older and my babies are grown up!  I had to take breaks - it was hard to choose between all the Kodak moments. In some cases it was easy, though.  I realized that year my child played baseball that it didn't turn out to be his thing and so 1 or 2 pictures of that was plenty.  It was a bittersweet process!

9.  FINAL TOUCHES.  After getting the album basically done, I went back through, page by page and noticed where I might add some embellishment.  I also put titles on many of the pages, some with letter stickers and some in my own handwriting.  I was torn on whether to journal for them or let them fill it in with their memories.  You can decide.

10.  GET OVER THE IMPERFECTION.  I realized I didn't have as many pictures of a certain child on this or that and I couldn't find hardly any graduation pictures of one!  Also, as I moved on to do albums for Child #2 and #3, I didn't realize it, but my style changed.  I did more collage type pages and that is just fine. Anyway, I didn't worry about it.  Remember, just get it on the page!

Maybe they won't appreciate it, but my mind is feeling good and a burden is lifted.  I'm glad I was able to put them together, and the rest of the pictures?  They will go in a box for each child.  I just can't throw them away!  But there's not nearly as many anymore and they are sorted.

Now I'm wondering if I could be a Scrapbooker for hire!


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