Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Cool title, right? You probably thought I was going to write about the evolution of my personality, or my thoughts on motherhood, or maybe even my international marriage. Not so! I am going to bore you (but totally psych myself up) with my evolution in scrapbooking.

Why? I am addicted to the fairly new blog called Write.Click.Scrapbook brought about by some of the former writers and contributors of Simple Scrapbooks magazine. In their first month of blogging together, many of them shared their own stories of scrapbooking evolution, and it made me think back over the past 10 years. I wanted to share my own story with SOMEONE, so I'll put it here.

I started scrapbooking (the Creative Memories way) in 1999, just after college graduation. My friend, Carrie Lex, had invited me to CM workshop. Carrie and I had only recently reunited since being estranged from each other through high school. She was one of my best friends in junior high...long story there. So, I treaded carefully, but I wanted to see what this was all about, and I thought it would be a nice way for Carrie and I to get to know each other again.

I made my first page, and I was immediately hooked. Forget about forging bonds with Carrie. I just wanted to make more pages! (Just kidding...scrapbooking together did help us get closer again, but I am not sure how often she scrapbooks these days. She has 3 kids to care for plus a full time job.)

1 First Page Ever ... Graduation Trip with friends, in Nashville
Notice the wonderful photo shapes? What shape is that, by the way?

I continued on my with pages to create my first album...a compilation of the good times we had in college - Spring Breaks, Halloween Parties, Graduation. Then I continued to scrap about my new life as a full-fledged working adult, so page themes included things like birthday parties, summer day trips, concerts, music festivals, etc. I call it my "Back when I was young and single" album.

2 Spring Break in New Orleans
Notice the post card cut in half diagonally? Clever, right? I needed a way to use those beautiful postcards I procured during my travels, so this was a trick I often used. Also, notice the journaling DIRECTLY on the white part of the page? More on that later.

3 Growing Up - 2 years old
Wow, Ailin is 2 years old right now, so it's funny to look at this page & see some similarities. What is NOT FUNNY about this page is how I cropped the hell out of all my photos. I think all scrappers go through this phase. They fall in love with the cropping tools and then they want to crop their photos down to nothing. No wonder my dad was extremely annoyed by my new hobby. He barely looks at my albums, even now, and I think it is because he was so upset about this particular album. I should apologize right here and now to my whole family for cutting up these photos. If I could do it all over, I would have scanned them or made color copies and used those for scrapbooking. Sorry!!!!!
Also, notice journaling directly on the white portion of the page. This was before it became trendy to cover your page with mounting paper. Then, if you make a mistake or need to move a lay out, you can easily make changes without ruining the page. See how one photo has been removed and the journaling has been whited-out? I noticed later that one of the photos didn't belong on my "2 years old" page and I had to move it.

4 Wedding - Album Preparation
Ah, the precious wedding album that everyone must feel obligated to make. I made mine in 4 days. Don't believe me? I needed to finish it quickly in the time I had between the wedding and then moving to Japan, so I developed a little system. I was so proud of myself. I decided the colors (blue & yellow), and I went through my paper stacks and pulled out all shades of blue and yellow. I also had leftover paper from the cardstock I had used for the menus and name cards, so I pulled that too. Back then, triangles were all the rage for using on lay outs and behind photos, so I cut lots and lots of triangles. I also cut lots of journaling boxes. Then, I organized my photos, decided how many would fit on a page, and put them in order. I cropped all the photos.
Two things - Pre-planning entire albums in this way was not actually "trendy" until later. And, journaling boxes were not trendy either! I got the idea for the former from those mini scrapbooking kits CM used to sell for weddings and births. All the papers were pre-cut and you just followed a lay out guide. I decided a similar thing could be done to create an entire 12x12 album. I won't go so far as to say that I invented these techniques because shortly thereafter CM began promoting them for all albums. However, at a CM workshop I attended while working on my wedding album, a few of the ladies there got really snippy with me because I was finishing my pages at record speed. One lady was working on the same page for 3 hours, and I had finished about 20 pages in that time.

5 Wedding - No titles, no lay out
Okay, the bad...notice the lack of titles and the lack of a lay out. I mean, I hadn't learned yet that their are certain principles involved in lay out design.

I thought my scrapbooking days were over when I moved to Japan in 2001, as I retired all my tools & paper rather than packing it in my suitcase. This is a good time to take a break, and I'll continue my story tomorrow.

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