Friday, November 16, 2012

Album Organization: From the Beginning

This is part 2 in a series about how my albums have evolved over the years.  This has been a work in progress for me as I am constatly inspired by the fantastic organization systems I see. I find I have to find a way to fit all of the truly great ideas in.  Sometimes I bite off more than I can chew and have to re-think things in order to get the balance back and satisfy all of my scrapbooking desires.  Part 1 was a very general overview, but now I will get into a bit of more detail.

I began scrapbooking in 1997 when my children were small.  I had moved to a new city and was needing a creative outlet. I stumbled upon this hobby when reading an article in Parents magazine. I was intrigued and off I went to Michael's where I was able to find a kit in a box.  It had all I needed to get started: an album, stickers, edged scissors, glue and markers.  I began cutting and pasting all of my kid's baby pictures.  My intention was to sometime give them these albums.  The pages looked something like this one:

I worked at these albums with my limited resources and created a set for my daughter and a set for my son. I soon discovered Creating Keepsakes magazine which gave me so many more ideas and connected me to a world of fun and creativity.  My local craft stores began carrying more supplies and I was in heaven.  And of course I created lots and lots of layouts.

 At first, the layouts were housed in some Pioneer post albums.   I kept them there for years.  In 2000, after my third child was born I began his books and again used various Pioneer postbound albums. 
I am going to fast foward to 2007 when I realized I didn't like how these albums looked on the shelf.  I had albums chock full of layouts, but the spines were not attactive.  I then decided I wanted a more uniform look and something that would distinguish what each album was from the other.  I came upon Making Memories  post bound albums.  They came in lots of colors and had a classic look that I hoped would stand the test of time. I transferred all of my kid's layouts to these albums.  The content of these albums were already complete, so I didn't consider 3 ring albums. I prefered the smaller post bound albums in this case.

I would wait for coupons and embarked on getting enough of these albums to fit all of the layouts for all three kiddos.  I chose red for my daughter, blue for my first son, and green for my second son.  So, all of my daughter's volumes are in her 6 red albums.  They document the time she was born through elementary school in detail and then they taper off to just 'year in review' pages as it got to be too much and not something I wanted to do anymore.  My first son has 5 blue albums and his detailed layouts go to 3rd grade and then I began making 'year in review' pages for him.  My last son has the least layouts so far, his go through first grade in detail and then I began his 'year in review' pages.  I don't worry about the inequity of it all too much, as my daughter, who is almost 20, now loves her pages an looks foward to having these for herself one day.  My sons (they are 17 and 12) have less pages but, for the most part, don't have much interest yet and I may never give them theirs unless they have a wife who will cherish them as I do..haha.  My children's albums are on the bottom shelf of and Ikea Expedit in our study. I still love to go through them, especially at birthdays.  I am grateful to have documented so much of the early years and if I were to stop now I am glad to have at least created these volumes.

Another project I began when my children were younger are school days albums. I believe I saw Stacy Julian doing something like this somewhere. I was a CM consultant back in 2000 and bought the 8 1/2 x 11 albums and pocket pages.  This is where the red/blue/green color scheme began. 

 Every year I place a school portrait (as awkward as they may be, I find them endearing), and a class photo and picture with the teacher for elementary years on the front and back of a page. I then put some favorite work or artwork and report cards in the pocket page. 

In middle school and high school, I added any awards or team photos or photos of school activites and of course notable schoolwork. These are super easy albums to keep up with and take very little time each year to update when I receive my child's school photos. I put very little in the way of decoration or embellishment.  Recently I've been using the school paper pack from Simple Stories (Elementary kit)  which is an awsomely easy way to quickly get these pages done. My daughter graduated in 2011, so her book is now complete and ready for her when she has her own home.

There you have what I have scrapbooked with regards to what I will give to my children. After my third child was born, and my love for this hobby increased I decided I needed to scrap photos for me.  That is when I began my family yearbooks.  I will show those in the next post in this series. 

Peace and Happy Scrapping

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Loving Layers

In Shimelle's Remix class we recently covered using layers.  This exercise has made me look at layers in a new way.  My favorite way of layering has always been with embellisments, but I have now discovered layering paper.  I have seen Shimelle layer lots of papers underneath photos in her layouts and now I find that it is such a great way to add depth and interest as well as use up paper. I have lots and lots of paper and I am now deciding what I should do with it all.  I love the new stuff, but have a hard time rationalizing buying anything new because I haven't used the old stuff.

This layering technique has given me some ideas about using up large pieces of paper.  For this page, I searched my stacks of paper as well as scrap box and came away with several that I would have never used together. I matted 2 prints on one of the sheets and stacked the rest in a disorderly fashion on kraft cardstock.

For me it's easier to put these patterns together because only bits are peaking out from the layered stack and they add interest and dimension rather than competing with each other for attention.

The finished page included layered photos as well as some stickers layered with punched pieces of paper.  Lots of layering fun on this layout.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Album Organization

I always enjoy any information I can get my hands on regarding Album organization.  My system has evolved over the years and I've finally settled on a system that works for me.  I've needed some help in this area and have found ideas from several resources, including Stacy Julian's Library of Memories class over at Big Picture Classes and Shimelle's Cover to Cover class.  I've incorporated what works for me from both of these systems after lots of thought about how I like to scrap as well as how I like the story to be told. 

Here is a photo of where my library is now housed.  I've used an IKEA Expedit shelf and have put it on it's side.  It is in the study of our home and my family and friends all know where to find my albums.  I try to label most spines so that anyone browsing can easily see what's inside.  Right now I've converted to 3 ring binders and mostly use WRMK 12x12 albums with some American Crafts mixed in for albums being used for themes such as travel or holidays.  I still have older post bound albums which are complete and I have chosen to keep them that way. I also have Creative Memory albums which are also complete.  As you can see, my system has taken some twists and turns, but I like to have it all together and all represented.  I know my own system may change someday and right now that's why I love binders. They give me so much flexibility so I can rearrange as I chose to in a way that tells our family's story best.

In a future post I will share more details about what's inside my albums and how I organize my layouts within them.