Friday, August 7, 2009

Evolutions: Foray into the Chronological Realm

Shannon's comment after the last post about how my beautiful albums almost made her want to start scrapbooking...almost. That says it all about the kind of saleswoman I was when I very briefly was a consultant for Creative Memories Japan. I came across people like that all the time, and I seriously could find no way of breaking through to them. Oh well...thus I am no longer a consultant.

Anyway, on with Chrono albums:
Many people dream of scrapbooking all of their photos only to find it is an impossible dream. Others do it anyway.

I couldn't stand feeling guilty about not scrapbooking our lovely everyday lives, so I decided to give it a try, but it would have to be A. doable, B. simple, C. possible to keep up with it even while working a full time job, and D. interesting.

So, I did two things. At the beginning of 2008, I made a plan for 2008's Chronological Album. Remember that I did do a semi-chrono for 2005, but I made it in 2006 and I finished it late that year. There was no planning involved and certainly no separation between months. I was completely bored with making pages about things that had happened over a year before. This time, I wanted to keep up so that I would finish each month before the end of the following month - for example, July's section would be finished before the end of August.

The 2nd thing I did was to help establish the monthly Craft n Chat event for AFWJ Chiba members (and other foreigners in Chiba are welcome too!). This event motivates me to keep on task so that by the day of the event, I am ready to glue down the paper and photos.

In order to establish this goal, I decided that each month would be allowed 8 pages (1 opening page featuring a calendar and small photos showing dates and some events that occurred then; 1 double spread showing highlights of the month; 1 single spread about ME and/Yusuke; 1 single spread about Ailin; 1 double spread about Ailin & us; 1 closing spread about New Developments for our family (like, a new TV, or Ailin's learning to walk, etc.). After researching in magazines and books, I sketched in my notebook 3 possible lay outs for each of these single and double spreads. On the first day of each month, I sat down at my computer to choose which photos I would use for previous month, which lay outs for each spread, then I ordered the photos to be developed by in the necessary sizes and waited. Two weeks later when my photos came back in the mail, I would use CM paper from a certain set to create my lay outs. Very few, if any, stickers, were used and absolutely no embellishing. I did the journaling on the computer, usually during breaks at work, and later printed it onto vellum, cut it and placed it on my lay outs. The whole process usually took 3 weeks so that I would be completely finished about one week before the next month.

It was becoming like a science to me...this whole scrapbooking process, and I was quite proud of myself. In case you're wondering how I managed while working full time, I'll admit that I tried to do a little bit every day. Sometimes during break times at work because, once uploaded into my site, I could crop and order photos from any computer. Since I had broken the process into several steps, it was possible to do a little each day.

At some point, I got a Cricut machine for Xmas from my mom. I had begged for it. It's a machine which you can use to cut titles.

17 Planning Cricut - Chrono 2008
So, main things about my style in the Chrono albums: Fancy-schmancy titles cut by my new cricut machine, little to no embellishing, repeating lay outs through out.

18 Chrono 2008 March
Ah, the month that Uncle Christian (my sister's husband) and cousin Oliver visited us. I'll show the whole month from start to finish. First up is the Calendar page.

19 Chrono 2008 March Highlights
The the highlights of March. I handwrote the journaling this time, which was quite rare for this album.

20 Chrono 2008 March 2 singles
The left lay out shows us at the zoo. The right lay out shows us going out to view the cherry blossoms. The lay outs are the same but opposite, and I often do this for lay outs that are across from each other. I always save memorabilia in a ziploc bag (one for each month, and then emptied and reused a few months later), so sometimes ticket stubs and the like make it onto the pages. In this case, the zoo ticket matched the color of paper perfectly, and my cherry blossom Starbucks cup just happened to break that month. I pulled out the plastic decor from the innards of the cup and used it on this lay out. It looks very mysterious. People always ask about it.

21 Chrono 2008 March Ailin's double spread
Ailin always gets her own double spread to show some special things she has experienced this month. This time, it was naturally the visit with Uncle Christian and Oliver. That explains why the zoo the cherry blossom viewing ended up on the lay out before. Normally, I would have featured a lay out about something special Yusuke or I had done, and you'll see an example of that later.

22 Chrono 2008 March New to Us
Finally, a the section end page is always called New to Us and features anything new in our lives, including material things, but more importantly, new developments for Ailin. Why is there a large photo of a strange man holding her? Read the journaling to find out.

23 Chrono 2008 Highlights
Now that I have shown you an entire month, I'll show you just a few more of my favorite pages from 2008. This first one, entitled "Spring is in the Air" is the highlights page for the month of April. I love this lay out because it is very business-like, and it shows all the fun stuff we did this month, but you can see it was nothing huge. Nothing major really happened in April that year, but sometimes that is a good thing, right!?

24 Chrono 2008 2 singles
Here is my infamous "Me-time" lay out. By infamous, I mean that often scrapbookers tend not to make lay outs about themselves, so I often tried to include a few pages here and there about what I was up to, or what Yusuke was up to if I could get any photos of that. On the right is a Ailin's first time to visit the Narita Dream Farm...what fun. It had been raining heavily in the days before we went and so it was muddy and gross.

2008 Chrono ended up taking 2 CM albums. Can you imagine having 2 albums for each year from here on out? Plus, I was getting slightly bored and I really needed to change things up a bit.

Next up: The Challenge of Committing to Chrono Albums

1 comment:

Shannon said...

OK, let me revise my earlier statement because it was not quite right... I do WANT to scrapbook, I always have. I have always dreamed of making a scrap book of my trip to Europe in college... and of my wedding... and of Cooper. However, I have decided it is an unattainable dream, largely due to a lack of funds, time, and motivation to actually DO something about it. I am just proud of myself for actually putting pictures in an old-fashioned ghetto album. But yours are just so beautiful......