Unless you’re completely up-to-date on your scrapbooking, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll come across pictures of a time in your life that isn’t so happy. Whether it’s a person that’s not in your life anymore, or pictures taken around a sad event, it can be difficult to want to scrapbook those pictures.
So what to do? I’ve dealt with it a few times over the years and each time I’ve handled it differently.
When I split up with my boyfriend that I’d lived with for five years, I had tons of random pictures of him, as well as pictures of trips or events we’d been to. Once I got to working with those pictures, I scrapbooked the stuff I truly wanted to remember, making as little reference to him as possible, and trashed all the candid shots. At one point, I considered going back and redoing some layouts I’d done when we were together, but decided against it – it’s still a part of my history and important to remember it.
Last fall, I avoided working on my albums because I scrap chronologically, and knew I was coming up on a bunch of pictures I’d taken with my bestie. There were pictures of things I needed to scrapbook, like my 40th birthday, so there was no way to avoid them. We had a falling out and it made me incredibly sad to look at them and remember how much fun we’d had. I figured with some time, it would be easier to work on the pages and reminisce. On the bright side, we both got our heads out of our behinds and reconciled, before I got around to working on them, so obviously it’s been much easier to scrapbook the pictures.
I haven’t gotten to pictures from last Christmas, but once I do, I know that it’ll be hard to look at them objectively, knowing how sick my dad was over the holidays. While I try to focus on the good things in my albums, I plan to do some hidden journaling or something which talks about his illness and diagnosis. I try to keep my albums positive, but in chronicling real life, there’s going to be times that aren’t upbeat and I think it’s important to include that.
I was really excited about heading out for a scrapbooking weekend in April. I had intended on taking at least part of Friday off, but I forgot to block off my calendar, and ended up scheduled in meetings for most of the day. Things wrapped up a bit early and I was able to sneak out just after 3, then I got caught in construction traffic on the way out of the city. But I was at our bed and breakfast around 5 pm, hauled in all of my stuff and got set up. We ate dinner and I was ready to get rolling.
A word about stuff – I hoped I’d haul less stuff than when I was still doing 12×12 pages, but not so much. I had no idea how much I’d get done, so I took pretty much everything – there’s not much worse than running out of stuff when you’re away and have the time to work on things! I packed tons of pocket pages, all my pictures, cards, embellishments and stamps. The only thing I didn’t take was my Silhouette and cardstock.
The first night, I focused on finishing the journaling in my 2013 album. It was trickier than I thought it would be. You always think you’ll remember dates of events, or funny things your kid said, or the little details to use for journaling but two years on, I struggled! Fortunately, we had wi-fi available and I was able to go through Facebook and my iMessages to figure out a lot of details. It took longer than I figured it would, and in retrospect working on journaling wasn’t the best use of my time. I could have taken a completed album anywhere and worked on it. I need to lose my pathological need to complete things in chronological order and be able to work on new pages when old ones aren’t 100% complete.
Saturday I slept in a bit, and was off to a slow start, finally getting around to sitting at the table around noon. I continued to work on journaling, and finally completed it just before dinner. I started working on new pages and was really mad I’d spent so much time journaling. I stayed up till close to 1 am, then was up early Sunday to get back at it. I got about halfway through 2014, putting pictures in pockets then adding cards, before I had to pack up and head home.
In the end, I didn’t get as much done as I’d hoped. I don’t want to say I “wasted” time on journaling, but it wasn’t the best use of my time out there. I learned some other things through the weekend:
- I need to find another way to keep track of things as I go – whether it’s a journal or planner, I’m not sure, but Facebook and text messages aren’t the way to go. I’m probably not ever going to be 100% caught up, and that means I forget things.
- I did some stamping on my cards and I really liked the look of it. I need to learn how to do it better and figure out what the best ink pads to use are.
- Pocket style doesn’t necessarily equal less stuff. I’m hoping that if the retreat goes ahead in the fall and I’m able to attend, depending on our house situation, I can spend some time getting more organized before I head out, taking less stuff with me.