My scrapbooking history – part 2

In 2009, I was surfing around the internet as one tends to do, and I came across Becky Higgins’ website.  She was always one of my favourite scrapbook “celebrities” – I loved her creative lettering, and her sketch idea books were staples in my craft room.  In the blog post that I read, she was talking about her Project 365 kit.  The idea was to take a picture a day for a year, and buy her kit with title cards, filler and journal cards, an album and pocket page protectors to slip the cards into.  Intriguing idea, but the thought of keeping up with that seemed very overwhelming to me.

So I continued on with my 12×12 pages, finding less joy in the process of scrapbooking.  I went to my scrapbook weekends and would come home energized to keep working on my albums, then would lose the enthusiasm after one or two nights of working at home.  If I had a spare couple of hours, it would take me half an hour to set up all my gear, I’d get to do one or two layouts in an hour, then spend another half an hour putting it all away.

When I found out I was pregnant and was going to stay that way, my thoughts turned to all the pictures I’d be taking of our baby.  It was almost overwhelming when I considered the two or three years of pictures I needed to catch up on, plus the certain thousands of pictures that would be coming. My plan was to do a 12×12 album with traditional layouts of my favourite pictures, then making a photobook of all the extra pictures.

When Miss A was just over a year old, I came across Becky Higgins’ products again.  She had expanded the Project 365 kit to Project Life.  There were a few different core kits and albums available by then.  I thought this would be an even better way to contain all the extra pictures I would have of her.  I couldn’t find the system easily in Canada at the time, so I ordered a Clementine core kit, album, cardstock and page protectors to my parents’ house in the US and made them schlep it home at Christmas.  The products made their way to my scrapbooking storage shelves and there they stayed.

I was still trying to catch up on my older pictures.  Our 5th wedding anniversary came and went, and I finally admitted I wasn’t going to do a wedding scrapbook – I was too afraid I’d be unhappy with my pages when they were done.  I designed and ordered a photobook and was thrilled with the outcome.

I continued to read Becky’s blog and was intrigued when the Baby kits were available in early 2013.  I’d found a Canadian source by then so I placed an order.  Again, the product made it to my shelves to wait.

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My scrapbooking history – part 1

In 1997, I had finished university and started working my first full-time job.  I mentioned to my boyfriend that I thought it would be a good time to take up a hobby of some sort.  Early in 1998, a coworker invited me to a Creative Memories party.   I went and immediately fell in love – I’ve always taken a ton of pictures and this was a fantastic way to marry my picture-taking with my desire for a hobby.

Back then, scrapbooking was just becoming a “thing” and I had very few resources.  There was one store in my city, no craft box-stores, and online shopping was a few years away.  A lot of the products I could get my hands on didn’t suit my life – most of the products were were very kid-focused and  that wasn’t anywhere on my radar.  Because of the lack of products, my layouts were always fairly simple.  That’s not to say I don’t have pages with “sticker sneezes”, pictures cropped into stars or hearts, cut with decorative scissors, or horrible patterned cutesy-froo-froo paper.  I tried to focus on highlighting and enhancing my pictures – but I also enjoyed getting more creative on certain layouts, especially as the hobby evolved and the selection of available products grew.

As time went on, I found myself becoming less inspired, and I found fewer things to be inspired by.  So much of what I saw on blogs, in magazines or posted in my local scrapbooking store seemed so focused on the STUFF on the page, and the picture (often only one on a 12×12 layout) seemed like an afterthought.  It wasn’t a style that worked for me.  I didn’t like the distressed, vintage trend.  I wasn’t really into the lumpy embellishments, like brads, eyelets, stitching, or big chipboard elements.  At the same time, I was getting bored with my layout style, using mostly cardstock, sometimes some  patterned paper, often using a Deluxe Designs color blocking template.   I loved my Cricut and enhanced my pages with titles from font cartridges and a few basic shapes, but even then the novelty soon wore off.

Life changed a lot for me in the years after I started starting scrapbooking.  The university boyfriend became an ex.  I changed jobs and found the career of my dreams, reconnected with a dear friend, bought my first condo, entered the dating world, left the dating world to join the ranks of the married folk, became a new homeowner, took up musical theatre and camping again, and after 3 years of the joint hell of infertility and pregnancy loss, became a mom.

I had more things in my life to scrapbook than ever, and yet my enthusiasm to pull out my stash and work on my albums wasn’t there.  I went to a scrapbooking retreat weekend twice a year, and after our November 2011 get-together, I was so disappointed with everything I worked on.  My pages were boring yet seemed too time consuming, and I thought I’d exhausted all my creative ideas.  I also was so far behind, and felt like I’d never be able to even start my daughter’s album or that I’d constantly be working years behind.  I was so very close to selling the whole lot of stuff I’d collected over the years, shoving all my remaining pictures in photo albums and calling it a day.