Sunday, January 17, 2010

I'm NOT "Caught Up"

Lots of people in scrapbooking today are always talking about how they're not caught up with their scrapbooking. They feel overwhelmed; often to the point that one day soon, they're considering stopping this wonderful hobby of memory-keeping. I'm so sad for them because you see, I'll never be caught up either, and this is what makes scrapbooking so exciting to me!! So, if I am caught up, it'll be a sad, sad day.

My friends, there's just so many hours in the day . . . and if our life is in perspective, our families and friends often come before scrapbooking . . . and therefore, we just don't scrapbook all day long, every day. Hopefully we're out there taking more photographs and making more memories - more often than we may have a chance to scrapbook.

The point here is:
Are you scrapbooking your MOST IMPORTANT memories?

Every time we add more photographs to our collection, our priorities have a chance of changing with what the most important events are to scrapbook . . . and even then, are the events really at the heart of scrapbooking? Our priorities change . . . maybe that vacation we took four years ago doesn't need an entire 12x12 album; maybe I can just slip them into a Photo Album Scrapbook or pick out some favorites to put on just a two-page spread. Maybe ALL those sports photos just get uploaded to a Shutterfly Share site for the team to enjoy instead of making an album for the coach. Everything I WANT to do just isn't going to happen. It's time to move on and accept that fact.

I've also learned for me that I really truly don't need a layout on every event we do - especially if we do them A LOT. Sure, I still take photos, but I don't always print out every photo from that trip. The photos I do tend to still print out are very personality-based; or location based . . . and are a lot of me just working on my photography skills.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that we WILL NEVER scrapbook all the photos we have. Currently, in my digital organizer (I use PSE 7.0) I have 14,978 photos. There is NO WAY I even want to scrapbook all of those! I want to keep them to browse through, but I'm even in the process of working through and {gasp} deleting a lot of them that aren't "favorites." When I upload images from my camera, I delete some immediately. From there, I take favorite shots (not all 25 shots from my son's soccer game but maybe 2 or 3) and move them into a highlight tag for that season. These are the photos I choose to upload to Shutterfly and store for longterm archives. Shutterfly doesn't delete your albums if you don't happen to place an order within a 12 month period which is why I go with them; and it keeps all of my online backup in one location too. From there, I only print select photos (maybe 3/4 of what I upload) to do something with in real life. Will I scrapbook even all of those printed photos?? Nope, probably not even close, but I want to have them here in case I am inspired to scrapbook them at some point. Many of these photos end up in what I call category drawers: places for themed photographs (like everyday things, or sports) will age and end up being mixed together from all different time periods. Wonderful connections are made through things like these drawers; connectioins that may not have otherwise been captured as a memory.

If I had been caught up on scrapbooking, I'd miss out on a whole lot of connections of my children over the years; I'd have missed out on scrapbooking a layout of my husband pretending to be a train engineer and my older son also doing the same thing; and have it recorded for future generations years down the road for them to also compare their own son's actions on pretending to be an engineer! :-) Not being "caught up" has its privileges! I can now go back through and put lots of photos from different Christmases at my grandmothers house together on one layout and not worry about yet another Christmas layout from 17 years of going to my grandmother's house for Christmas Eve. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED the tradition. It's very close to my heart. But I do NOT need 17 layouts of going down there when one or two will explain my memories in journaling and photographs over the years.

I'm more excited about scrapbooking than ever before!!

Then to add to that, when you realize that there are lots of solutions before you about how you "scrapbook" your memories and photographs, maybe it'll be a little more freeing.

What is scrapbooking to you? You must define this within yourself, and decide to either open your outlook to incorporate lots of different ideas; or struggle with the concept of putting limits on.

To me, I view scrapbooking as anytime you record a memory or place value on a photograph as being important. Sometimes (and most often) that is putting words + photos together (in a layout), but other times, it's making a photo album scrapbook, making an album from somewhere like shutterfly, or even uploading to a Shutterfly Share site.

I think when you're oversaturated with something, you tend to put less importance on them. I don't want the value of photographs and memories to be watered down because there are too many. I have over 14,000 photos just on my hard drive and if I were to scrapbook every one of them, I'm afraid my children wouldn't appreciate what they have in scrapbooks nearly as much. They'd never go through half of them . . .

These days, my children are looking through our albums more. And I love that. THIS makes my heart sing and I feel like I'm doing something worthwhile when I scrapbook. Of course, I KNOW this in my heart, but this is when my head is in unison with that. I never thought it'd be my two boys that want to create layouts with me in my studio; but it is. I can't get my daughter near the place . . .

Sorry for the rambling . . . I hope you take something away from this, because I have had a lot of these thoughts jumbling around in my head for the last month or two and I needed to start getting the ideas "out there."


bcre8uv said...

Well said, my friend. :)


Cheryl said...

Such a great post, April. And I love the pic of your son looking through your album!