Category Archives: why

Scrapbooking Goals

Scrapbooking Goals

A few weeks ago, the Scrap Gals had a podcast about the demise of double page layouts. (Episode 131 if you’re interested in listening to it.) It’s one of my favorite episodes, precisely because they are taking a potentially controversial topic and exploring it kindly, from their own perspectives and experiences.

I’m not sure that their theory is right or wrong. In my experience, I make double page layouts fairly frequently, when the subject calls for it. Usually, it’s an event with a lot of pictures. Sometimes it’s a more story based layout. Regardless, it’s a decision I make almost as soon as I decide to make a page.

recipe for disaster||

My most recent double page spread, from last month.

There is one thing that they mentioned that really got me thinking though.

When you started scrapbooking, what was your goal? Were you scrapbooking to create pretty photo albums? Were you scrapbooking to get all your photos documented and organized? Did you start scrapbooking to tell stories? Did you start scrapbooking because you loved the product, the artsy play time, and the photos and stories were just an after thought?

The scrap gals theorized that the people who create scrapbooks with mostly double page layouts are more concerned with getting their photos out of storage and out where they can be seen. Their goal is to create pretty and accessible photo storage. They may even have the unstated goal of eventually being caught up, with no older stories to tell.

While that may be true of some scrapbookers, that’s definitely not true for me. Each and every time I use a double page spread, I do so because that’s what the story demands.

I scrapbook for a very melancholy reason. I know from personal experience, that life can change in an instant, and people that we love can be lost forever. I scrapbook because I wish I knew my father’s story, and his father’s story, and I don’t want my kids to wish that about me.

I know I am not going to get every story told. I know I am not going to document the history of every photo in my possession. (Digital camera=too many photos period.) That was never my goal. My goal has always been to tell my story. I do tell a lot of stories about my kids and the rest of my family and friends, but that’s because they are important to me.

So what are your scrapbooking goals? Share them here, or over on Facebook. I’d really like to know what you want to accomplish with your scrapbooking.

Wait. It’s March?!

Wait. It’s March?!

The best laid plans have a habit of falling through around here. I was so pumped for LOAD. The last LOAD led by Lain. A reason to scrapbook every day. I was going to get so much creating done.

Well. That was the plan. What actually happened?

Four paper pages done, one digital page done, and one more page begun, but not finished.

I didn’t even make it a week people!

I blame my job. It’s emotionally draining.

But you know what? That’s a terrible excuse. And we don’t make excuses around here.

Plain and simple, life got in the way, and I let scrapbooking slip into the backseat again. And that’s okay.

I’m not into guilt. I’m not going to make myself feel bad because I didn’t scrapbook as much as I wanted to during February. Life is to short to feel guilty about not making as much time as I would like for a hobby that I love.

And that’s the thing.

I LOVE scrapbooking. I love all the bits and pieces that it’s made of, from paper and tape runners, to glitter glue and photos, and most importantly stories I want to tell my family.

My youngest asked me the other day why I don’t tell stories like my husband does. The thing is, I do. But it’s on paper. I am terrible at telling a story verbally. But give me a piece of paper and a pen, and I’m off.

punch buggy red||

My favorite page from February

Bonus: Ten years from now, when my husband can’t remember the story he told so engagingly last night, I’ll have a record of at least part of it in my scrapbooks, where we can relive the moment, all over again.


Scrapbooking Reflects Life

Scrapbooking Reflects Life

Happy New Year everyone! I hope your holiday season was filled with laughter and joy. We were quite busy here; hence the complete lack of posts for December.

Ack! Does that make me a terrible person?

Let me answer that for you: no. Was there really any question?

Any hoo….

I’ve been working on updating my Project Life album. It’s been hard to find the time to do it around the school lesson planning and kid carting and house cleaning and holiday preparations. This past week, once everyone had left, and all the presents were unwrapped, I was able to finally make some progress towards getting this fall’s photos in the album. I’ve got photos in pages, and blank cards in the empty spots, and even managed to add a few bits of memorabilia. I’ll be working on journaling and embellishing next.

Which brings me to my next thought about Project Life, and why it took so long for me to find a way for the project to work for me.

A friend who’s finalizing her Project Life album for 2015 posed a question in a private group: What should she do about a single week where she had no photos, no social media information, nothing to fill in for one week, half a year ago.

Before we get to the real meat of the matter, there are a few quick fixes:

  • Use a general full page photo as a place holder. Things like a seasonal photo or a family photo would be a great thing to fill in that space. You could even add seasonal photos throughout the book to make it seem more intentional, and less random.
  • Look up what was happening in the news that week, and do an overview of that week in history. That could be super interesting to come across when you or your family read your book in the future.
  • Do a year so far summary page. A few photos of things that have changed since the beginning of the year would be fun. I keep thinking it would be interesting to keep a running tab of how many loads of laundry I’ve done, and how many times I’ve turned on the dishwasher, but I always manage to forget after the first week of the year. (Maybe I’ll put up a tally sheet next to each appliance. That could work!)
  • Fudge it. Adjust the previous and following weeks’ photos to fill in the space.
  • Create a piece of art to fill the space. An illustrated quote, photos that have been put through an app like Waterlogue (so much fun!), or a collage of patterned papers could all work as space fillers.

However, that’s not really what I’d recommend doing.

One of the things that initially gave me problems about Project Life was the daily or weekly nature of it. Each two page spread was supposed to cover a specific amount of time. That kind of consistency really doesn’t work for me. I’m more of a batch type of person. When I get involved in something, I like to immerse myself in it completely for awhile, and then take a break and do something else.

This is how I do everything in my life. I’m a serial binger.

Having to take a photo every day is simply not flexible enough for me. Having to sort my stories into specific lengths of time seemed artificial and forced.

It wasn’t until I decided to simply document whatever I managed to photograph or take notes about that Project Life clicked for me.

Project Life, and scrapbooking in general, should reflect your life as it is. Did you not manage to take photos for three weeks? Do you have 215 photos from a single event? It happens. Just don’t let the gap stop you from telling your stories. Don’t let chronology or self-imposed rules or other’s expectations limit how you tell your story.

Your scrapbooks should reflect your life. All of it. Even the parts when you were so busy living you forgot to document them. It’s okay to miss a few moments here and there. That’s what life is like.


An Abrupt Left Turn

An Abrupt Left Turn

When the summer began, I had a vision of how the summer was going to go. I was going to get some writing done on my sister’s laptop. The kids were going to practice their writing. We’d get caught up on projects around the house, maybe even organize the workshop in the basement.

Yep. None of that happened. Although I did attempt to write, and get the kids to write too, they’ve spent most of the summer in front of screens. That laptop? Too old to support a recent enough version of Dropbox or Amazon Cloud to make it useful for writing.

And the house projects? I’ve gotten one done, and about half of another. The workshop is still a mess.

my one finished project ||

My One Finished Project

And this fall? It’s going to be wildly different than I thought it would be.

You see, I’ve got a new job.


Scrapbooking, you say? You’ve got that covered you think. And I do. I can teach Scrapbooking practically with my eyes closed. I’m not sure how I’m going to grade it though.

But Scrapbooking isn’t all I’ll be teaching. How does a section of high school Biology sound? Shouldn’t be too hard. I do after all have a degree in that. But wait, there’s more! A section of Chemistry is in the plans too. Now that’s going to be a stretch.

And for the cherry on top?

We’re going to be hosting an exchange student this year. This is super exciting, but as I said before, completely not where I thought we’d be at the end of the summer.

It’s a good place, just completely unexpected.

What does that all mean for this lovely blog? It will probably have fewer posts on a regular basis. The November month of cards is still on the plate on the moment, but that could change if I find I need to spend more time on school planning.

I will be working on my next scrapbooking book as well. It’s about half done, but the kids have completely disrupted my ability to string two coherent thoughts together, so it’s going to have to wait till after they’re back in school. Mornings will be devoted to school planning and writing. Then I’ll be teaching in the afternoons, and playing chauffeur and short order cook in the evenings.

Welcome to the new normal.

Hope you enjoy it here with me!



You know what makes writing harder? Gorgeous weather!

I live in the northeast US, and in the past two weeks, the warm weather has arrived. It’s been simply beautiful outside. Staying in my dark little corner and writing just hasn’t seemed anywhere near as important as getting ahead of the weeds this year.

So no amazing, or even just plain silly, scrapbooking insights for you this week.

Just this.

Don’t get so busy scrapbooking that you forget to live your life. The paper is patient. It can wait for a rainy day.

And, while we’re at it, how about a tulip just about to bloom for you?



Happy Spring! (Or if you live on the other side of the world, Happy Fall!)