08 April 2017

Scrapbooking: Is it Possible to Catch Up?

When I started this album conversion process, I knew it was going to be tedious but let me just say....

As I have sorted through pictures and scrapbooks, I'm painfully aware that I left tons of pages undone in the past. I just didn't make time for scrapbooking as regularly as I should have (that's still a problem...) and as a result, there are years with few pages done. 

So I'm asking myself: Is it even possible to catch up with this backlog of scrapbooking?

I'm keeping the faith that the answer is YES! The first step for me is to figure out what actually needs to be scrapbooked -- ASSESS THE PROBLEM! These two boxes were full of photos from 2003, a year when I apparently did very little scrapbooking. After I removed the duplicates, everything fit into one box...YAY! 

Next I will go through the scrapbook and check to see which of these photos are already in there, so this mass (mess?) of photos will reduce in size. THEN I'll be able to start adding them to the album.

This is a LOT of duplicate photos I didn't need to be storing -- and for just one year! Multiply this by 20+ years of photos and you'll begin to see the scope of the problem. Those duplicate photos are making my backlog, while daunting, seem even worse than it is!

So to "catch up", I'm going through each year to see what still needs to be completed and get those pages in the albums quickly. And I mean that. No elaborate layouts shall be done. Just simple pages or photos slipped into pocket pages.

Here's one thing I've learned so far:

 My perspective on photos has changed. Back then, I excluded photos that seemed "ordinary". Now, with the passage of time, those everyday photos take on new meaning as they represent a particular point in our lives. I also excluded photos of my parents and their home, I guess because they were also very "ordinary" photos and at that point in time I felt like my parents would be around forever. Obviously now that they're gone and the house is sold, those photos are very special to me.

So those are the types of photos I added to the album. To do this, I quickly made four "traditional" 12x12 pages. Nothing fancy at all. One page features photos Bailey took at that young age with her new camera on a trip to the zoo (I knew there was a reason I'd bought that zoo paper!). The other three use "everyday" snapshots that I really like now, so I made simple layouts with journaling from my perspective today.

 I just tucked the remainder of the photos into 4x6 pockets and added strips of journaling. Here is something I didn't think about which has been a bit of a pain: Back in those days, printed photos were 3.5x5. Pocket pages are 4x6, so each of those smaller photos has to be adhered to a 4x6 piece of cardstock to fit in the pocket. Going forward when my prints are 4x6, this problem will happily go away!

 To make this process go quickly, I just cut up a stack of 4x6 cards in kraft and black to use for mounting. I grabbed my cupcake tin full of small doodads to use as embellishments if needed. Then I sat down at the computer and typed up very quick journaling strips using text boxes. I printed them, cut them apart, then added them to the photo pockets.

These are the pocket pages I'll be adding to my 2001 albums. I'll just slip them in between traditional layouts in rough chronological order. Nothing fancy, but at least they're in the album and not in the photo box!

So in answer to my question (Is it possible to catch up?), I think the answer is yes, if you're willing to pick away at it. Here's what seems to be working for me:

1) Using 3-ring binders which allow you to add and move pages easily.
2) Using pocket pages, which allow you to quickly add those extra photos to the album without making traditional scrapbook pages for all of them.

But I'll be honest, this project is going to take quite awhile. It's the kind of thing that I'll have to leave out and just pick away at over time.

Are you undertaking a similar project? What has worked for you? If you're bogged down, I hope some of what's working for me may work for you!

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