Hello lovely readers. Long time, no write. There are a few reasons for this - none of which are particularly good, but they are the only excuses I have. I happen to be completely and utterly obsessed with the Winter Olympics right now. As I type, I'm waiting to see if our ladies will take the gold in curling ... and then there's the Women's Hockey Gold Medal game after that. For those of you who are not Canadian, our country will completely shut down around noon EST to watch this hockey game. Just in case you were planning on calling anyone or anything. [Amendment: we won gold in the curling; and I'm having a heart attack watching the hockey - just in case you were curious.]
Another reason I've been blogging less is that I've been spending quite a bit of time on a few new year's resolutions that I set for myself. One of those resolutions was to catch up on my scrapbooking. And that was a mighty tall order. Let me give you the back story ...
I started scrapbooking in 2001. At the time, I was a young mother of two little children and I took MILLIONS of pictures. I wasn't too shabby about getting them into photo albums of one kind or another. Then I went to a Creative Memories party and an addiction was born. I loved the journalling aspect of scrapbooking. I was already finding that I had forgotten details from my childrens' infancies, and journalling seemed to be the answer. I also liked how scrapbooks could contain memorabilia - I'm a big saver of ticket stubs, programs, artwork, invitations, locks of hair, etc. I finally had a place to put all of these things. And then ... the best part of all ... I met my dear friend Julie, who was a fellow addict and army wife ... and our husbands were both deployed ... and we could scrapbook together until the wee hours if we wanted ... and we did ... and before I knew it, I had an entire album done. And then I did another and another and got all caught up right back to when I'd gotten married 7 years before. And I made a few to give as gifts. I was on fire!
Flash forward to 2009. 3 kids now and 4 military moves under my belt, I still had managed to keep a pretty decent grip on our photographs and memorabilia. I was a bit behind .... I was scrapbooking pictures from late 2007 ... but nothing a bit of nose-to-the-grindstone couldn't sort out. But, that summer we were posted and thrown into a very new situation (won't get into the details here, but let's just say life was lived at warp speed for the next two years). I don't think I worked on my scrapbooks even once during that time. It has been two and a half years since he retired from the military and we moved back to our hometown - we haven't been nearly as busy, but this time has been filled with much-needed rest. All of that is to say ... As of December of 2013 I was still back in 2007 scrapbook-wise.
This winter, I decided to finally get back at it. Why? Because my children LOVE our scrapbooks. They pull them out constantly. I can't tell you how heart-warming it is to find my teenagers sitting on the couch together looking back at pictures and laughing about some great time we had. I read somewhere that cultivating good memories is a massive happiness booster. And family scrapbooks are an excellent way to do this!
So I needed a plan. I had years of photos on the computer that needed editing, culling, etc. I had them backed up, but that was the only thing I'd done with them in years. I spent an entire day (and I mean entire - from the minute my kids left for school until the minute I went to bed that night) at the computer sorting out all of my digital images. I deleted, edited, named and sorted hundreds and hundreds of photos. Then I backed them all up, because I would actually die if I had to spend another day of my life doing this again.
Then I made a list of the scrapbook projects I want to tackle this year. I've already done the two that are highlighted (and I forgot to include a third on my list - I completed an album for my son from his trip to the Canadian Scout Jamboree last summer)! I think this list is a bit too ambitious for one year, but I'm going to give it my best shot. And I've been amazed by how quickly I've made progress - it's only the middle of February after all.
But I'm also facing piles of stuff like this ... this laundry basket is full of childhood photos and school documents from both my husband and me. Piles like this almost make me want to cry. I can't bear the thought of tackling this project quite yet.
Thankfully, most of our memorabilia was filed in this lovely little thing. The problem was that each of the monthly files contained ticket stubs, etc. from about 6 years.
So I sorted out a couple of years at a time ... and have added the photos that I've printed from each year to this handy little purple basket.
I also spent some time sorting through my stickers and other embellishments (I even had some lovely friends pass on some of their unused stuff to me). I wanted to get a sense of what I owned - it had been an awfully long time since I'd looked at it. I sorted all of these things into logical categories, using dividers I had made from old file folders.
And thankfully, I've hung onto our calendars so that I can double check dates of when things happened!
Then I took an individual year (in this case 2009), and sorted into manageable chunks, sort of in the order I think the pages will go in the scrapbook (I'm very much a chronological scrapbooker). I even added any stickers or embellishments that I had purchased specifically for a given group of photos. So the entire scrapbook was in a couple of piles on my craft table.
And then I just got to it. Here's my 2013 album. This one is done in "Project Life" which has taken some getting used to, but I like it very much.
If you are not a scrapbooker, I imagine you are no longer reading this post ... but if you are a scrapbooker (particularly of the lapsed variety), I hope that I have motivated you to get back at it this year. I know that my kids get so much out of our albums. And who am I kidding? So do I!