Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Evolutions: The Challenges of Chrono Albums

In response to Shannon, I went to a monthly Craft n Chat today and again, someone mentioned having all kinds of CM stuff she had bought in the past but never actually used...couldn't be bothered. Hey, everyone has priorities in life - what they will and won't spend money and time on - she was quilting by hand. I don't have much interest in that. My sister is absolutely crazy about quilting and is extremely talented at it, but she thinks I am nuts to be wasting my time on paper albums. To each her own, I say. I will write about more simple album projects that I have done in my next post...projects that are doable by people who don't have the time or money to spend. And, don't get me wrong...there ARE people out there are crazier about scrapbooking than I am, and I look at what they are doing and think, "Wow, that is really beautiful, but not something I could do myself."

Okay, this time I want to talk about the challenges of keeping up with chronological albums. I mean, chronos are wonderful because it feels like you are scrapbooking every photo. Actually, you would not be. I take about 200 photos a month, but I only use about 40 of those photos in my scrapbook. So, I have to choose the photos that look the best, tell the story in the best way, and can be cropped in a way that will fit in my lay outs. Sometimes, I have to alter lay outs for the sake of the photos, but mostly, I try to take photos that will fit in my lay outs. I usually have in mind, for every photo I take, exactly what that photo is for. For example, if I take photos of our disasterous Family Nites, I know I am going to use them for a nice Family Nite lay out, so I take a series of photos that will tell the story of what our family nites are like. Note: that was just an example. I am dreaming here 'cause it ain't happening yet.

However, the problem with doing 6 lay outs per month (8 pages) meant that my albums were growing to be huge. Imagine 20 years of chrono albums taking up space in your house? My solution for this was to lessen the amount of pages and lay outs for each month in 2009. So, now, each month gets a Family Highlights double spread, an Ailin page, a Luka page, a New to Us page, and if there are some special holidays or events that month, I will do an extra lay out to capture that story.

The next problem I had with my 2008 Chrono album was that I was getting bored with using the same 20 lay outs over and over, so I needed to up the ante a bit.

25 Chrono 2009 - Highlights
See any differences? Probably not at first glance, but rather than choose from a very stingy amount of lay outs for each month, I invested in 2 books (Page Maps by Becky Flick and Best of Becky Higgins Sketches) which I keep on my desk at all times and from there I choose the lay outs each month. Either that, or I get inspired from lay outs I see in magazines. Plus, I have more freedom, so if we have an especially eventful month, I can make more lay outs to capture what we did, and vice versa for those boring months (like August) where we just stay inside all day and night. I only do the calendar page if we have had an eventful month.

26 Chrono 2009 Disneyland

New to Ailin (June)

New to Ailin (May)

Still, I was getting slightly bored again. Need more stimulation, and the more I read in my scrapbook magazines, the more I realized how stuck in a rut I was, and that I was not moving forward in developing my skills for what they call "papercrafting."

Living in Japan, and being sort of closed off from meeting others who are just as nuts about scrapbooking as I am, being unable to browse through craft stores, etc. has lead to me to just rely on CM products mainly. CM does not "do embellishing" of pages; that is to say that they CM Japan does not sell anything but paper, stickers and of course albums. Reading magazines was not really getting me anywhere if I couldn't get a hold of the products, but that is no excuse.

So, I started ordering some things from the internet, and getting some things from Kirsten, who was willing to pick stuff up for me on her shopping trips to Tokyo, but I had another problem. I really had no clue how to embellish my pages, how to use these cool new products, and to be honest, I felt I had no sense for it.

Here is an example of when I was starting to experiment more and more with embellishments. It's still simple, but it was enough to impress Yusuke when he saw the pages.

27 Chrono 2009 Golden Week Adventures

Next up: Evolutions & Ventures into Online Learning

1 comment:

Michele Matucheski said...

I don't think you're at all crazy for scrap-booking. Everyone needs to do something creative and this is YOUR thing. What "srap-booking" I do, I do on the blogs. Cheers!