Nearly two years ago, I started working on this much-anticipated (by me!) bit of documentation – a Project Life baby book to record so much about Wonder Boy’s first year. I wrote that first post with everything thought through in my head and tried to develop a system even though I’m not usually an entirely systematic crafter at all.
Then one year ago, I was nowhere near done with the album, but I wrote again and I still had a working system. And a few months later, I did a video series with ten updates on how I was making some progress card by card. And now we’re in March 2016, which means next month Wonder Boy will be two and it’s time for me to say I am still nowhere near done with that album. In many ways, it would seem I am not even halfway there.
But I’m okay with it!
I am so grateful I decided to have a system even though I normally don’t. I guarantee if I hadn’t had a system in place, this project would be collecting dust on my shelf, no matter what my intentions. Instead, it looks like it’s not even halfway because I’m only on week fifteen of completed layouts like this. But that system has actually let me have a lot more that is already done even if the pages are not complete.
-The photos are printed up to the point where I ran out of Design A page protectors and the remaining photos are all organised in folders by what size they should be printed and what week they are for, and that is backed up in more than one digital place for safety. So that’s a big job done for the entire year of that book.
-The notes that accompany those photos are in two places (a notebook where I wrote by hand and a note taking app on my phone for when that was more convenient) and that big job is done for the entire year too. I just refer to those two sources of journaling when I’m putting weekly layouts together.
So really all I have left is the crafty part and I think it’s perfectly okay to take my time with that. Maybe I should aim to have it finished in a year or two, before he is old enough to realise how slow I am, but sarcastic offspring aside, I’m okay with it. And the biggest reason I’m okay with it is this album has taught me exactly how much I love 12×12 pages.
Don’t get me wrong: I love many things about the pocket page system. I love that you can make it totally easy and if I wanted to convert those photos and notes to a finished album with no further embellishment, I could grab a core kit and do it in an evening basically. I love that this option exists if embellishment and the crafty side is not your interest. …but it is totally my interest. I love it. And that makes me want to treat every little pocket like a full layout. And that makes me wonder where I ever thought I was going to get an infinite amount of scrapping time. Yeah, I have not found that just yet. I would rather be slow with a project and enjoy it than rush it and have it not feel like my own. (Interestingly, I know I’m not the only person feeling this way, because it is the very topic of a recent Scrap Gals podcast!)
But I also love the amount of detail I can include in that book with the weekly set up and all its little pockets. In no way am I going to record that style of information with all those specifics on my 12×12 pages. The way I have written things in this book is very different – all the things we did and places we went and people we saw rather than three paragraphs about my thoughts on one lovely afternoon. I love that I have all those details for his first year. But it’s not something that would feel true to my personal scrapbooking process in the bigger scheme of things. After one, there’s a shift to everything on full 12×12 pages and that journaling is right in line with the way I found my happiness in scrapping. I think the two can definitely coincide – one is a project where the end result will be so valuable to me (he might not care at all and I am okay with that, always!) and the rest is my ongoing creative process that has just as much value as I make the page as when I fill an album. I enjoy them both, but for different reasons.
It’s one of those feelings that leaves me thinking ‘I hope this all makes sense’.
So he’s fifteen weeks in this album now and at the same time, I’m plotting out a train-themed toddler party for next month. And I am completely content with that!
This was my answer to the mix old and new products challenge, with some older things like the cloud print paper from BasicGrey Soleil and those journaling cards that are preprinted as 2014 so they clearly can’t be that new! But the chipboard and some of the other cards are from an Ali Edwards story kit that I bought via a Facebook group to give it a try (that is a way I love to try out kits from other countries, and it works out well to give one month a try when a subscriber decides that particular kit is not her cup of tea). Some old favourites out of the stash and into the album and some fun using some new things that made me think differently! I loved that diagonal stripe card and really like how the writing turned out on those lines framed by the panoramic photo.
Okay, less of me waxing philosophical about scrapbooks and more about inspiring you to get making! Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to create something that has value to you, whatever that may be. And share it with us. How’s that for a totally open challenge? I can’t wait to see how you respond to that idea.
05 March 2016