Last month, I finally sent out my 2014 books for printing. Getting them back in the mail and watching my kids look through them made me want to get started on 2015 right away. So I opened up Lightroom and got to work. The more I did, the more I was inspired to continue. I remembered how much I love this hobby and I just couldn’t stop. 7 days later, I had finished 65 layouts. Not all are my favorites, but as a whole, I love them. And even better, I’m thrilled that I’m ready to send 2015 out for printing!
65 layouts in 1 week? How is that even possible? Here’s how I did it…
1) Prepare My Photos
My photos are already sorted into Lightroom by year, month and event. So when I was ready to sit down and scrap, I could easily pull up my photos. I import both my DSLR and phone photos to Lightroom throughout the year so they are ready for my scrapping binges.
2) Make My Collages
I use Lightroom’s print module to create photo collages for each event, theme or story I want to scrap. I usually do this by selecting a folder of photos, then popping the Print module where I choose a template or two. I can easily drag and drop my photos into the collages. I export the pages to JPGs. This took me 1 1/2 nights.
3) Add Shadows
I opened each JPG in Photoshop and added the shadow overlays, text and titles from the corresponding templates I created. I was able to quickly do this in 1/2 a night. I made use of the Library feature in PS to store my templates for drag and drop access. (Select layers and drag into the Library Panel. Then hold in ALT/OPT and click and drag from the Library to the open layout, and transform to snap into place.)
4) Limit My Kits
I decided to grab my travel drive and work with whatever kits were on it. I chose not to look through my entire hard drive. This travel drive had kits I’ve downloaded in the past year. Many of them I had scrapped with before, but I decided I didn’t care. I’d use them again, hoping the pictures and stories would inspire a different layout than the last time I used those kits. This was a huge time saver because I could easily scroll through 100 kits instead of 1000! And many of the kits came from The Digi Files!
5) Smart Searches
I used journal cards to fill in photo blocks when I didn’t have enough images. To quickly locate cards when the kit didn’t come with them, I create smart folders on my mac to search on filename contains “card” and is an image and filename contains “jc” and is an image. This allowed me to scroll through all the cards on my drive at once.
6) Scrap Inspired
I started with the pages that most excited me—either I wanted to tell a specific story or work with a specific kit. Because I used my Lightroom collages, most pages ended up being a similar design, so I would choose a background patterned paper, and then a lighter mat paper which would also serve as the background for my journaling. Then I would quickly scroll through the elements, add a couple clusters, a few word strips and my favorite bits and pieces. If an alpha was included, I’d add a title. If not, I’d either set the title in text or leave it off.
7) Limit My Fonts
I chose one font that worked well for both journaling and titles. It was a typewriter font, which I love, so I knew I’d love it on all my pages. This made it easy to do my journaling when the time came because that choice was already made for me. I could just concentrate on the story. Most of my pages had just a few lines of journaling. I didn’t limit myself, but I didn’t pressure myself either. If I want to journal more, I’ll do a more traditional scrapbook page with more room later.
8) Check My Bleed
After scrapping each page, I did a quick look-over to ensure I had enough border for trimming and binding. If I make that adjustment while I have the layout open, I won’t have to spend time making adjustments later. I know I will print 10×10, so I left at least 1/2″ border, but most pages have at least an inch.
9) Shopped Some
As I cranked out my pages, it was hard to stop! It was so satisfying to finally get some layouts caught up. Eventually, however, I hit a wall. I’d gotten down to the last 20 or so pages. Most of these were events (birthdays, holidays, travel) or obscure topics. They were harder to find inspiration for. So, at this point, I allowed myself to go shopping. Since I was down to a handful of events, I could more easily limit my shopping to the exact kits I needed to finish up those pages. And, after having scrolled through the same 100 kits for the prior few days, it was fun to finally have something new to look at.
10) Remember the Why
I didn’t want to just plow through my pictures and stories for the purpose of getting it done. I wanted to enjoy the process, enjoy the pages and enjoy the stories. This process was a good reminder of why I enjoy scrapping. I love the creative outlet. I love that by making quick photo collages, I give myself the freedom to spend most of my scrapping time on the creative parts. And I love that my stories are finally getting recorded. The older I get, the harder it is to remember, so I really want to get to the point where I can scrap more in the moment. Here are a few of my pages!