Welcome 2017 (a little late)

It’s  been a while since I’ve posted or updated the kit checklist.  It was a very busy fall and winter with me taking on a new role at work, Miss A starting Kindergarten, starting a new show with my theatre group and ongoing work as the treasurer.

I deciced not to do a look back at my 2016 goals or set any for 2017.  I find that it just bums me out when I look back at what I (didn’t) accomplish.

What have I been doing, besides the above?  Actually scrapbooking!  I’ve been much better the past couple of months at taking an hour here and there to pull an album out and catch up on journaling in the albums where I’ve got all my pictures and cards in albums – I’m working on Summer 2015 right now, and I have everything ready to go up to the end of last summer.

But I’m finding this kind of batch process isn’t working for me.  Putting pictures and cards in is great, but having to go back to embellish and journal is the tough part.   Because I’m not working on current stuff, I’m forgetting a lot of details and things I want to document.  It’s hard going back over Facebook and old text messages to put the story together.  I get frustrated that things take so long, and I say “screw embellishing”.  Going forward, I’ll put pictures in the pockets, then do cards, journaling and embellishing at the same time.

While I haven’t set goals, I have a general plan in place for the next couple of months.  I’m going to get caught up on the journaling I need to do, and at the rate I’m going it should be done by the end of April.  Then I’ll start my new process when I start putting photos in that are still in boxes.  I’d like to get close to current before the summer starts, then spend some time catching up on Miss A’s albums.

Sometime this week, I’ll go through and update the kit checklists and printouts.

 

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Scrapbooking time!

I didn’t get any time for scrapbooking in September – between finishing up yard work and landscaping, getting Miss A settled into a new routine with school, starting another musical, and spending some extra time at work evenings and weekends, as usual my time seemed to fill up.

I’ve been feeling burned out with everything that’s gone on the last six months, so I decided  I’d take a week off in October to recharge my batteries and take some me time, which meant lots of scrapbooking.  Last weekend was a long weekend here as it was Thanksgiving on Monday – I took some time to start sorting through Miss A’s art, and got everything purged and organized by date.  Now I need to decide what I’m scanning/photographing and what I’m keeping the originals of.  I also had my photos from April to August printed and put them all in pocket pages.

As for the rest of the week scrapbooking-wise, I feel like I was pretty productive.  I got all the Project Life checklists updated (I hope), finished redoing Miss A’s baby album, and have cards in my albums up to the end of March 2016!  I’m hoping to have cards and pictures done until the end of August by bedtime tonight.  I ignored the damn cruise album, because I wanted this to be enjoyable me time, and between finding that project frustrating and knowing how sad I’d be looking at pictures of my dad, I put it away for now.  I do have a plan for getting it done over the next few weeks.

Once the cruise album is done, I’m going to focus on embellishing and journaling which needs to be done from 2013 or so on.  With some extra time I’m booking off over the Christmas holidays, I’d really love to be caught up on my own books by the end of the year.

So enough rambling, I’m heading back to my office where my albums, a mug of tea, and Season 4 of Grey’s Anatomy awaits!

 

Rejigging 2016’s goals

I set some big scrapbooking goals for myself this year…then I decided to audition for a musical in January.  It took a lot of my time between February and June.  On top of that, I took on the role of treasurer for the Drama Society, which took me a bit of time to get sorted out.  Then the last night of our shows in June, my dad passed away.  Needless to say, that’s taken over a lot of the summer, along with landscaping our yard and trying to get a bit of camping in.

Things like cleaning the house and laundry have taken priority in the small bit of free time that I’ve had this year.  Other than the good start I got in early January, my weekend retreat in April, and a couple of evenings over the spring, I’ve done zero scrapbooking.

So checking in on my plans:

Projects:

  • One of my lifelong regrets will be that I didn’t get my parents’ cruise album done before my dad died.  We thought we had more time, and I was insistent that once the show was over it was going to be done.  I am committing to finishing this by the end of September, so it’ll give my mom something to work on (the journaling) over the winter.
  • our engagement story, my month-by-month pregnancy layout, and besties page will be the next thing I work on after the cruise book
  • I have pictures and cards in albums from December 2013 to November 2015, and pictures done up to March 2016.  Journalling and embellishing will come next, as well as catching up for the rest of the year.
  • Miss A’s album needs pictures for 2016 and cards added.

Memorabilia:

  • Still in a bin; as I work through 2014 and 2015 I’ll add it to my albums.
  • I’m implementing my system for handling paper in September, when Miss A starts Kindergarten.  I’m putting a folder in the kitchen for her artwork and papers.  Everything that comes in will get date-stamped.  Once a month, I’ll go through the folder and keep, photograph, scan and toss.

Organization:

  • I’ve been good about limiting purchases.  I do have my eye on some of the newest kits but I’ve already got a person from a Facebook group to split them with.
  • I bought a small coil-bound calendar to start recording things daily or weekly – it’s not been successful.  It doesn’t help that it’s tucked away in my scrapbooking room.  I’m moving it to my nightstand with a pen, and going to make it a habit of writing something everyday.

Time:

  • Make better use of my evenings – I had a couple of nights where I took an album and cards into the bonus room and worked on albums but most of my evenings/weekends were filled with Drama Society and regular life stuff.
  • Schedule a half a day every month where I spend time in my scrapbooking room – will start this in September.
  • Use my friends – again, haven’t done it, but will plan to do it.

Updates to come

The kit list web pages need to be update as well as the checklist, and I hope to get to it soon. My dad lost his battle with leukemia on June 25 so I haven’t had a lot of time or inclination to work on the blog.  Hopefully in a couple of weeks when things start to settle down I’ll have some free time.

 

What would you grab?

You’re given fifteen minutes’ notice that a raging wildfire is encroaching on your home and you have to evacuate.  What do you take?

This was the scene in Fort McMurray, just five hours northeast of where I live, on May 3, 2016.  A small wildfire broke out in the forest surrounding the city on May 1.  Evacuation orders in a couple of neighborhoods were changed to shelter-in-place orders the evening of May 2, as the fire appeared to be moving away from the townsite.  At noon Tuesday, the fires shifted and entered the city; by 6:30 pm, the entire population of 88,000 was under a mandatory evacuation order.  Ten percent of the city – 2,400 buildings – was destroyed by the fire; in one neighborhood, 90% of the homes were destroyed.

The fire shifted extremely quickly and some residents had less than an hour to evacuate their homes.  As I watched the news reports all night, it got me thinking about what I’d grab in a situation like that.

Of course, our first priority would be to ensure Miss A, Wilson, my husband and I were safe.  After that, as a scrapbooker, obviously I put a high value on pictures.  I have several albums I’ve made with pictures that I took prior to digital cameras, and I don’t have the negatives anymore.  I also have a couple that are from digital photos, but I didn’t keep the digital files.  Those would be the albums I’d reach for first.  Anything where I have the digital files saved, I could recreate at a later time.   I’m diligent about backing my photos up to a cloud server, but I’d still try to grab my laptop just in case.  I’d also try to grab the box of Miss A’s artwork that I haven’t had time to do anything with.

ID, credit cards, passports, my jewelry, maybe our insurance policy if I could grab it fast enough, and that’s probably all I’d take.  It would be devastating to lose everything, but the bulk of the things in our home are replaceable.

#ymmstrong

 

 

Scrapbook weekend in review

Another fun weekend scrapbooking is under my belt, and I’m happy to say this time was pretty productive.

I left work early Friday, went out for lunch with my bestie, then headed out to the bed and breakfast that we stay in.  I was out around 2:45, got my truck unpacked, set up my spot and dug in.

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I had two CTMH medium organizers with PL cards in my Crop-In-Style bag, as well as a couple of idea books, my trimmer, stamps and stamp blocks.  The loose organizers were one with cards, and one with some cards, extra adhesives, stamp cleaners, etc, and half full of embellishments.  The 12×12 Cropper Hopper tote was full with my 5 albums.  The Thirty-One organizer had basic tools like my Fuse, rulers, post-its, pens, and adhesives.

All set up.

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I got through putting cards in about half of my first album Friday, then called it a night relatively early.  Saturday I was the first downstairs, right to work by about 9.  I took a break after lunch for a rest – I ended up napping for over 2 hours.  I finished the first book and got through 2/3 of the second one Saturday.  Sunday, I finished book 2 before I packed up to leave around 2 pm.

I loved having all of my pictures already in pages, and focusing solely on choosing cards.  I have to remember for next time that picking cards takes more time than I ever think it will.  In the end, I’m happy with what I got done, and where it puts me going forward.  I have three albums, covering December 2013 to November 2015 that have photos and cards done, and now I can work at embellishing pages and journaling.  December 2015 to March 2016 needs cards added, and anything after March I’ll need to start with pictures.   Plus Miss A’s album has pictures up to the end of December 2015, and it’s easier to do since I’m using one kit.

The only bummer of the weekend was when I was leaving Sunday, the telescopic handle of my workhorse CIS bag broke, and it’s beyond repair.  I’m debating whether it’s worth investing the money in a bag for the one or two weekends a year I leave the house with my scrapbook stuff.  I think I can figure out a way to use other things around the house.  If I do buy one, my number one choice is the CTMH bag which fits their organizers.

Scrappy weekend is a go!

We had our usual spring scrapbooking weekend booked for this weekend.  When my friend who coordinates it sent out the email, only three of us were able to go.  I was completely prepared to pay the cost to split the hall and rooms three ways – I need a weekend away so badly!   A bunch of people said it was too bad it wasn’t the next weekend because they were free.  My friend remembered that when we booked, the weekend after also was available.  She called the B&B where we stay, and sure enough, it was available.  A quick email to everyone, and we were good to go with 7 people.

I started to organize this week – I want to be as prepared as possible to make the most out of my time.

  • I’m not taking my Silhouette, cardstock or patterned paper. I’ll load up on Post-Its and mark where there’s things I want to add.
  • My pictures are printed until the end of March 2016.  I’ve been putting pictures into pocket pages and I’m hoping to have everything in albums before I go. Then I can focus on getting cards in and embellishing.  It’ll be nice not having to take a pile of pocket pages either.
  • I’m focusing on my books.  If for some reason I get myself caught up (hahahahaha), I’ll have Miss A’s albums with me to work on.
  • I have an album that only needs journaling done which I’ll take but I won’t be working on it as a priority.  I think I’ll leave all my journaling to the end.
  • I’m taking the damn cruise album.  Although it would be nice to focus on this and get it done, I won’t enjoy the weekend if that’s what I work on first.  It’ll be a last resort project!

EDIT April 18, 2016:  Holy crap, I did it!  All of my pictures from January 2014 to March 2016 are in pocket pages.

Debating Digital

I can’t believe the thought crossed my mind, but I was mulling around the idea of switching to digital Project Life.   My first thoughts were around purchasing the kits digitally and then printing them.

There’s a few things that led me down this train of thought.

  1.  Price.  The Canadian dollar is in the tank versus the US dollar.  The most recent releases were $42 CDN for a core kit at my LSS.  Compare that to about $22 per digital kit in Canadian funds – a big savings.
  2. Availability.  It seems like new releases are becoming even slower to make their way north of the border (oh how I miss Scrapbooker’s Inner Circle).  Ordering directly from the Project Life site is a no-go – $50 USD shipping is utterly ridiculous.  Most other US-based stores have a surcharge to ship PL kits internationally too.  And the damn exchange rate rears its ugly head.  So I pretty much have to be patient and wait for the kits to cross the 49th parallel – not my strongest suit.
  3. The ability to be selective.  I can print cards I like and skip ones I don’t if I go digital.  I also don’t have to go through the trouble of splitting kits and selling them.
  4. Square corners.  All the digital products are being released with square corners now, giving us the option to round or not.
  5. It’s still physical, keeping me away from my computer for the most part, and letting me play with the pretty paper.

Buuuut…there’s a lot of buts.   There’s an added cost to print cards.  I don’t keep full physical kits, so by the time I pay for half a kit, the cost of the digital kit plus printing will likely be higher.  And this is supposed to be an easier way of scrapbooking.  Having to print and then cut out cards takes away most of the simplicity.  If I want any of the extra coordinating embellishments, they’re not available digitally, so I’d still have to buy them.

Then I considered going completely digital – not the app, but Photoshop-digital.  To do that, I know I’d want a bigger screen than my laptop.   The cost of purchasing a big monitor to hook up to my computer is at least $200 so there’s another cost.  Printing 12×12 in Canada is ridiculously expensive – the cheapest option I’ve found is $5.99 a page at Costco.  I could order from a US site, but there’s always shipping plus exchange rates to factor in so again, not much cheaper.  A large-format printer is at least another $300 if I decided to print at home.  What do I do with the kits I already have – wait till I use them up before going digital?  Repurchase my favourite ones?   And of course, there’s the first and foremost reason I didn’t go digital at the start – I don’t want to be tied to my computer for my hobby.

The app holds no interest for me –  I need to work on something bigger than my phone or iPad.  All the other Photoshop downsides apply to the app too.

So in the end, the debate in my head came to a relatively easy resolution, and I will remain a physical product scrapbooker.   The patience thing does have its benefits – by the time product gets here, the card references are up and I can have a really good look at the cards to decide if I truly want a kit.  There’s a couple of new releases I thought I wanted from a quick peek, but a deeper look at references meant the kit stayed on the shelf!

Off to a good start.

So far, 2016 has been good on the scrapbooking front.  On New Year’s Day, Miss A headed to my in-laws’ for a weekend sleepover.  I spent the afternoon in our office, reorganizing some of my supplies into my new storage bins from Michaels.  I’m much happier with these bins, since they actually fit my 12″ rulers and other longer supplies.

I pulled out Miss A’s artwork bin and sorted through it, getting rid of probably 3/4 of the pieces.  What’s left will be scanned, photographed or kept original.  I realized that since she moved into the pre-kindergarten room at her daycare, they don’t date her artwork.  That’s definitely something I need to start doing when things come home.

Once I sorted through that, I went to work on my 2014 album.  Although my #1 goal is to get my parents’ cruise book done, I really struggle with working on it, so I wanted to have some fun and have a positive kick-start to the year.  By mid-Sunday, I got photos into sleeves from July to the end of the year, and did cards for June and July.

Next, I worked on Miss A’s book for May 2014 on.  Since I’ve been more selective about printing photos, I don’t have a lot of leftover photos for her pages.  For the rest of the weekend, and a couple of evenings that week, I went through pictures on my computer, choosing which ones to print and planned my spreads out using planning page templates.    I ordered these reprints along with all of my other pictures from October to December – yay for Costco 10 cent print sales!

As of last Thursday night, all of my pictures are in my album to the end of 2014, in Miss A’s album to the end of 2015, and my 2015 pictures are completely printed and organized in a photo box.

I didn’t have any time this week to scrapbook, but now that I’m in a bit of a groove, next week will involve working an hour or so each night on my mom and dad’s book in the evenings.  I feel the need to watch the Harry Potter movies, so I can set up camp in the living room and do both.

 

Getting serious…2016 goals

I was kind on myself when I set my goals for 2015, knowing the year was going to be busy with our move.  It took a huge bite out of my scrapping time and energy – more than I expected.  I’m going to set a few loftier goals for 2016 now that we’re settled and I feel the need to get back at my hobbies.

Projects:

  • that damn cruise album will be the first thing I finish in 2016.
  • our engagement story, my month-by-month pregnancy layout, and besties page will be finished
  • I want to finish 2014 prior to going on my scrapbooking weekend in the spring, both in my album and Miss A’s book. I have photos in my albums up to August 2014, so there’s not a ton left to do. Then I can concentrate on 2015 while I’m away.
  • I’m setting aside the idea of weekly for the year, as well as working on my Me: The Abridged Version or Project Real Life projects in order to focus on getting caught up.

Memorabilia:

  • Miss A starts Kindergarten in September so I know it’s only going to get worse going forward.   As I work through 2014 and 2015 I’ll go through the bin and add pieces as needed.
  • Instead of letting things pile up and needing to do a major sort-through, I’d like to come up with a system to handle things as they come in the door.  Whether I save it, photograph/scan it or toss it, I’d like it to become a habit.

Organization:

  • I’m going to continue to limit my purchases this year.   With the Canadian dollar being in the tank, the price of core kits is going to increase at my LSS.  Combined with the number of cards I already have, it’s necessary to be really picky about my choices when I buy something.
  • I bought a small coil-bound calendar to start recording things daily or weekly – not just what happened during the week, but funny things that Miss A did or said.  I want to round out my journaling with those types of stories and this will be the easiest way to remember for when I have the time to sit down and scrapbook 2016.

Time:

  • Although it’s last on the list, it’s my number one goal for the year.  More time for scrapbooking.  I’m going to do this in a few ways:
    • Make better use of my evenings.  I usually have some down time each night, once all the everyday life stuff gets done.  There’s no reason I can’t drag an album and box of photos into the bonus room and start putting photos in pockets while my husband and I watch TV.
    • Set aside half a day every month where I spend time in my scrapbooking room.  Schedule it in advance and stick to it.
    • Use my friends.  I have a few girlfriends who scrapbook, and I want to start organizing the occasional crop with them.   I always seem to get more done when I’m with other people.  Whether we go to a local store for an evening or get together at one of our houses, time with them will be a good motivator.