Life Before Scrapbooking: Telling Our Stories, Pt. 2

In Part One of this series, I talked about why it is important to go back and scrap our older memories.  Unless we started at birth, there is a time in our lives that was “before scrapbooking.” Those memories are still very important and they deserve to be scrapped.  The question is, though, how do we go about conquering this huge task?

I would like to suggest that the first thing that has to be done is to develop a plan. You need to decide exactly what you are trying to accomplish and why, as well as being realistic about the amount of time you want to/are able to put into it.  Let me give you a few examples of how you could scrap your backlog of stories, along with a brief look at the pros and cons.

1. SCRAP AS USUAL: Simply put, you just scrap your old photos just like you would your current ones.

Pros: cohesiveness in your albums, possibly using old kits you bought specifically for something, and the fun of the process.

Cons: Extremely time consuming.  This is especially true if you are a one/two photo a page scrapper and you also like to scrap most of your photos.

2. SCRAP ONLY IMPORTANT EVENTS: Only focus on scrapping important events like birthdays, holidays, and vacations.

Pros: Faster than scrapping everything, highlights milestone events.

Cons: So many stories and memories happen in the “in between” moments and it would be a shame to lose them.

3. PHOTO ALBUM STYLE: Put all of your photos in a photo album (with maybe a date and name(s) on the back and call it done.

Pros: Fast, easy, and it actually gets done! Great if you have lots of prints.

Cons: The stories of the events aren’t told and people looking at the pictures 50 years from now will most likely not have any idea what is going on.

4. PROJECT LIFE STYLE: Use a mix of photos and simple journaling cards to quickly record memories in style!

Pros: Can be quick, records photos and words, allows you to easily add in scraps of paper, momentos, etc, a great way to save a lot of photos in not a lot of space, great if you have lots of prints.

Cons: Could be time consuming (depending on the person), can get expensive (all the plastic pages and albums), requires printing any old digital photos.

5. SIMPLE ALBUMS: Group like-events/time periods together in simple digital albums and then print into a hardbound book.

Pros: Fast, simple, and easy to do.  Little to no decision making as cialis professional far as kits, papers, elements, etc.

Cons: Not very “pretty” or “fun,” difficult if all of your photos are already printed.

You are definitely not limited to the ideas mentioned, but these methods would all achieve the same end purpose: getting your photos and memories preserved.  Depending on your time, desire, resources, and personal style, you can pick and choose the right approach for you.  You also have to decide what is most important to you and feel free to leave the rest.  For me, I knew I had to have photos + journaling.  Everything else was secondary.

Many of you mentioned that you were going to tackle your older stories Project Life style.  I LOVE it and yet, as I thought seriously about my life (which involves homeschooling five little kids and moving from Indonesia to the US in three months!), I realized that doing Project Life for my older stories would just never work.  So, I chose option five: SIMPLE ALBUMS.

I know that I just don’t have a ton of time to devote to this project.  When we move, I really want to leave behind the boxes of photos that I have and in order to do that, I have a LOT of stories to tell in the next three months!  I also have a lot of photos that I already had scanned, so I knew that I would be off to a great start with so many older photos already digitized! So, I chose a very simple and effective approach.

I decided to use my album templates from my Just the Basics Album.  I figured that since I already created the templates, I might as well use them. I will have to tweak here and there, but at least I have a great place to start! And I made the tough decision to not use any paper or embellishments. I want this to be a fast process, and if I dive into the world of pretty papers and cute flowers, I may never return.  So, “Just the facts, ma’am” is how it has to be.

After deciding on a design approach, I decided to choose just three fonts to use on all of my pages.  I wanted fonts that would work with any page, regardless of the subject, fonts that had would add some style to the page, and fonts that I actually liked.  In the end, I decided on Rockwell (titles), CK Cursive (subtitles), and Century Gothic (journaling).

I also had to make a decision about my photos: to edit or not to edit. In the end, I decided that while most photos will be left as-is, I don’t mind a 20 second edit if they really need it or even longer if there is a photo that is significant.  I don’t want this project to overwhelm me, so I have to settle for accepting the photography skills of my past!

And that was it! After just a little soul searching and reality accepting, I found my approach.  And once I had it, I decided to test it.

This layout took me 13 minutes!  Woo hoo!  With a design approach chosen, templates created, fonts decided on, and a “bad photos are okay” approach, this whole idea of scrapping life before scrapbooking doesn’t seem quite so daunting.

This one only took me eleven minutes, including choosing photos and template, and modifying the template!

So…how about you?  Have you decided how you are going to tackle it?

Does the thought of not using scrapping supplies scare you or thrill you?

Could you ever just print out photos, put them in an album, and call it a day?