Monday, March 4, 2013

Scrapbooking - how I got organized to catch up

Hey everyone!

Ahhhhh monday.  I kinda like Mondays in a way.  New week, fresh start.  I think of all the things I am going to do better for the week.  Usually by Thursday or Friday I am thinking oh eff it I give up!  Maybe next week I can do it!  Hahahhahah!  It's like the New Year's resolution scenario but in a smaller scale.  I am very much a routine oriented type but having a small child with you all day can really make it tough to be that way.  So can Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Message Boards :P  It's like entering a time warp!

So speaking of New Year's resolutions...who is behind on their scrapbooking???  *hand waves wildly in the air*  When we hit 2013 I realized I was now 3 years behind and I do not like that.  I got into the card making and coping coloring and the scrapbooking went by the wayside.  Making cards is so much quicker and easier, little planning and instant gratification.  However I could now brighten someone's day every day until I am 200 years old with the mountain of cards I have made.  And it makes me feel guilty.  Waste of time, waste of supplies.  But scrapbooking has a useful purpose so I wanted to get back to it.  But how to catch up?  Now I know all about Project Life and checked it out when I was hanging out at my buddy Suzanne's (ScrapBitz).  I totally see the appeal but it is not for me.  Since I am no longer making cards I want the creative outlet of designing my pages and really "working" on them as a creative process.  Ok so how do I get caught up?  And how do I keep myself going?  I did not have such a hard time when I first began my scrapbooking journey.  I think when you get behind the task appears insurmountable!

Now one thing I do is print my own pictures.  I like to edit them myself and I like to size them anyway I want.  I use sketches RELIGIOUSLY, especially Page Maps sketches and those have pics of all shapes and sizes.  However this means there is alot of "prep" time involved when I scrapbook and I think that is the part that I get stuck on.  Or worse, I plan it out, find a sketch, choose and size my pictures and then forget so I have to start over.  Around the New Year y'all may recall I managed to get all of my 2010 pics scrapped.  I sat down and did it all at once!  And while it worked and I did it I wanted to make it a little less of a HUGE undertaking.  It is also difficult to scrap a large time period in a short time - I was wrangling with ALL holidays and ALL seasons at once.  I felt like I would never catch up with myself because I couldn't make time stop while I worked on everything I was behind on!  But I have come up with a new approach AND a way to organize that makes it doable so I thought I would share it with y'all.

First of all I decided to take it one month at a time BUT one month from all three years.  Or two.  So right now (for the crop I went to Saturday - good motivator - I am working on ONLY pics from January and February but from all three years - 2011, 2012 and 2013.  This makes for a much more manageable and attainable goal and it also helps because the themes of the pics and time of year is the same so I am only grappling with a few paper types and embellishments and such - winter, birthday, and a few other misc things - this time cake baking and a few cat pages.  Plus I am doing current pictures too, which I like because those are fresh in my mind.  I believe I came up with a total of 8 spreads - some 2 page and some 1 page.

Now as I mentioned, a huge part of this is the planning and there is nothing like forgetting what I planned to make me throw up my hands and quit because I don't want to re-do it!  So I came up with a method that I think is going to work really well.

  1. Pick out your pictures.  In this day and age of digital pictures we take zillions of pictures.  Now there is no way you can scrap that nor would anyone ever want to look through them all.  When I download pics to my computer I have it set up to group them by date.  This way it's easy to just go in and look at all the pics from January of each year.  Within that folder I make a new folder titled pics to scrap.  I pick out all of my pics I really like and want to scrap and group them by layout.  Then I look at them to get an idea of how many there are, the orientation and think about what size I want them.  Are they all the same?  Is there one I want to focus on and others that are just support pics and can be small?  Put them all in their own folder within your "Pics to scrap" folder and title it what you want to call that layout.
  2. Pick your sketch.  Then with that in mind I go out and find a sketch I like on the internet to fit them.  You can go to the Page Maps site, CK magazine, Pile It On challenge lists, Pinterst boards or just google scrapbook sketches in google images.  When you find the sketch you like save it to the same folder you put your pictures in.  Be sure to label it where you got it so you can give credit later.
  3. Edit and re-size your pictures.  Now you have an idea of what size your pics need to be for your sketch so open them up and edit and re-size them.  There are alot of programs out there to do this so I won't go into that unless someone asks me to.  Re-save them back in that same folder so your layout stuff stays grouped together.  This is an important point for me because I am interrupted CONSTANTLY and that is why I am always forgetting what I am doing.  This way my stuff stays grouped and I can go back to it later.  If you have a lot of pictures in one folder and more than one sketch for them then group them together by the way you name them.  For example I had a bunch of kitty pics this time around.  So when I saved the sketch I named it "bubba sketch"  then the first picture was "bubba 1" etc.  Then for the next set of kitty pics it was "Bubba Pez sketch"  then "Bubba Pez 1" - this way the sketch and the related pictures stayed together in the file and I will explain why that is important in a minute.
  4. Print your pictures.  Print out all of your pictures.  Again there are a number of ways to do this but since I like to make mine all sorts of weird sizes I find the best way for me is to print them myself.  I simply open a Word document, insert my pictures and print them off.  I have never researched it or anything but I feel quite sure this is not the cheapest way to do it but it is the way I do it because like I said - I want the size variety, I want instant gratification and if one does not end up looking quite right or needs any sort of adjustment I can fix it and print it off again.
  5. Print your sketches.  This is optional.  I don't tend to bring my computer into my studio with me or if I do it is too watch TV on it.  But especially since I was going to this crop I needed to print my sketches.  I also know that one of my BIGGEST sticking points is I print my pics, print my sketches and then forget which sketch I wanted to use with which pics.  UGH!  Then a light bulb went on.  Remember how neatly we organized our files - the sketches and pics are grouped together because of how we named them?  Screen shots!  So I open up a second Word doc and then I take a screen shot of my file with my sketch and then corresponding pics right after it and save that in the same file.  Next I insert the screen shot and then I insert each of the corresponding sketches.  Ta da!  Handy reference sheet!  Print that out too.
  6. Journaling.  At this stage you can even do your journaling.  Because you are working with a sketch you can usually get an idea of the size and space you have for your journaling and can type it up too if you are one who types it like I am.  However I found that alot of the sketches don't have measurements on them so it got harder to guess the journaling too.  I decided to leave this part until last.  Or it could be that this is my least fave part and I am just procrastinating....
Here is what one of my files looks like - the screenshot:
 By using the screenshot I can come back at any time and know what my plan was so I don't have to start over!  Now I just got to get in there and SCRAP!  I did far more talking than I did scrapping at the crop but I did get the basics of four layouts onto the page.  Now I just need to do finishing touches/embellishments and the journaling.  The other hurdle I am battling is that I can never seem to settle on papers.  And when I finally do settle on the patterned paper - I have no matching solid cardstock.  HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?????  I have 37 different shades of blue but none that match my new Bo Bunny Winter Wishes paper?  Really???!!!  hahahha!

Do YOU have any good tips for me on getting organized and catching up????  I would love to hear them!


  1. Sounds like you have a good system going. I'm waaaaaaay behind on my scrapbooking and, like you, I tend to put aside and make cards instead. I store all my photos by date as well and I have a folder for each of my children's family, holidays, etc. But, like you, when I print the pictures out I can't remember what layout I wanted. So, I've started to print out a thumbnail of each picture, cross out the ones I don't be scrapping, grouping the ones that I then want on one page - and that's as far as I've got! LOL - Obviously a work in progress!!!

  2. What if you're relatively new to scrapbooking and you have years and years of photos of your kids to go through? I have sorted by each child into boxes as well as some just by event/year. Help!

  3. This is going to help me out in many many ways. It will KEEP me organized during the process. I think it will actually help me stay on track making it quicker. Love that!!