Welcome to my world of the practical scrapbooker

Here is ten years of scrapbooking my photos and memorabilia onto actual paper .....without major art projects or (too) complicated techniques.

I blend traditional paper and "new" digital techniques to tell the stories of my family's fun, travels, and history.

Here are my thoughts as I sort, shop, crop, organize, arrange, journal, and decorate my scrapbook pages.


Evolving Scrapbook Pages

Some rare pages I love as I assemble them, love as soon as they are completed, and love everytime that I look at them in my scrapbooks. These rare pages are (usually) finished forever.

Part of my fun with my scrapbook hobby is that my scrapbook pages usually evolve over time, a little or a lot. As I look over my pages, I can have new ideas for titles, captions, text, and journaling.
I may have found a new embellishment or another photo to work into the layout.

Inspiration for the text often eludes me, and my pages often have room in their layouts to work in some journaling when (if) inspiration does occur.

A page that seems dated or "off" becomes a target for renovation. Many of my old alphabet sticker captions are being replaced with printed Word titles throughout my scrapbooks.

While I fuss over most pages until they are "good enough" to put in the scrapbook, some pages I just know will be re-done "someday" when I find a better background paper ........or a better idea.


"Then and Now" pages

Some of my favorite scrapbook pages are my "then and now" pages -- pages that highlight people at the same place in different years.
These photos could be taken intentionally (that my daughters have learned to tolerate) or total surprises while sorting photos.

I love making these scrapbook pages. In looking at my collection, I discovered that I use three basic layouts:
  • two photos the same size
  • a collage of several photos
  • one larger photo and a second accent photo -- either the older or the more recent photo works well as the larger photo -- sometimes the quality of the photos.

Great topics for "then and now" comparisons include people:

  • at the same vacation spot at the beach, Disney, cottage, skiing
  • with the same Disney character -- even Mickey changes over the years
  • on the first day of school, especially the same school
  • visiting Santa -- one child through the year -- or several children at the same age
  • graduation photos of gramma, mom, and daughter
  • in their Halloween costumes through the years
  • in different hairstyles
  • returning to a childhood home or neighborhood
  • with all the babies who used a family highchair or baby bouncer.

My absolutely favorite scrapbook pages are those that highlight family similarities. I matched childhood photos of my daughters to childhood photos of me that my mother gave me. We are doing almost the same thing in the same pose at almost the same age, but thirty-ish years apart. Total co-incidence !


Organizing photos

My photos are the focus of my scrapbooks.
Keeping my photos organized -- in the camera, the computer, and print envelopes neatly filed in my photo box files -- keeps production of my scrapbooks smooth and fun.

  • I try to download my photos soon after every event, do basic edits, and make prints to share and put in my future pages file.
  • I use Picassa, downloaded free from Google, for my basic editing and filing, and I use Photoshop Elements, not free but worth the money, for my serious photo restoring and artistic manipulation.
  • I send my prints to my nearby Walgreens and can pick up a batch in an hour.
  • I keep files organized by event in my PC and my photo boxes. I also put original and print copies in files for special subjects -- great photos of each of my daughters get their own file, my favorite Disney photos have a file, and cousin shots, best Christmas, cake shots, Halloween costumes, grandparent shots have .
Recently my system broke down, well, actually I stopped following my system. My page production ground to a stop while I looked for wayward photos scattered in my camera, PC, and my workarea.
While assembling a collage of my daughter Anna at Disney, I spent most of my time looking in files and places that were not my Disney, Anna, or best Disney files. "Summer 2004" was not the best label.

So, my past two weeks have been devoted to photo organizaiton. I have been looking at three years of files, renaming some, and dividing some others on my PC. Plus I did a back-up !

I enjoyed sorting and filing many envelopes of prints that had migrated through-out my house.
Rumaging through several years of photos was fun. I enjoyed reviewing some very happy memories, and I thought of some brand new page ideas.