Scrapbooking is not my main hobby, but it is something I’ve kept up and down with, more or less, ever since I began taking photos with my Instamatic 126 in grade school. About once a year or so, I’d sit down with my envelopes and boxes of photos from the developer and put photos in albums that I’d buy at the drugstore. I was pretty diligent with it through grade school and college, and continuing on through early adulthood and all the way until my second son was born. Until then, it wasn’t too hard to find some time each summer to catch up with my photo albums. So, they weren’t fancy, but they were reasonably up-to-date.
Then, Eric came along. That scrapbooking sort of fell of the table for about five years wasn’t his fault, of course. It was the combination of having a second child, trudging off to work at a law firm, and dealing with all the activities that a dual-career couple with young children, that did me in. I was doing very well to label those photo boxes with the approximate dates, never mind put photos in albums.
Years passed. Photos accumulated in storage boxes, even though we are not prolific photographers. I felt reasonably secure that one day, I’d be able to go back and make photo albums, because I’d at least labeled the approximate dates on the photo boxes. For Christmas 2002, my husband and I bought ourselves our first digital camera as our main Christmas present, so from that point forward, I’d have a digital archive of photos in addition to the older, printed ones. But actual albums? Who had the time?
Enter Creative Memories. One of my neighbors was a consultant, and invited me to something called a “crop.” I initially demurred, thinking I had so many photos to go through that I couldn’t possibly make any sort of forward progress on a Saturday evening at her house. But, she persisted. “Where do I even begin?” I wailed.
“Start where you are, and then move forward. Go back and scrap the older photos as you have time,” she calmly replied.
Hmm. Seemed like a sensible approach. With the first half of that current year’s photos in hand, I showed up at her house for my very first crop. My consultant let me borrow her tools and showed me how to put together fast, simple layouts so that I could indeed make forward progress.
I became a scrapbooking regular. My main hobby was, and still is, knitting. Knitting takes up most of my discretionary time. The regular crops at my consultant’s house, however, allowed me the time to keep up and down with the flow of family photos.
Over the years, I’ve managed to keep up with the yearly photo albums, and have begun tinkering with the idea of digital photobooks, which obviate the need for printing out photos. Being caught up with recent photos, I decided to go back and scrap the photos from the time Eric was born up until I resumed scrapbooking five years later.
2003 seemed like the best year to start with. Those photos were all taken with the digital camera, so dating them wasn’t an issue. I bought a PicFolio Milestones album and a kit or two to go with it. In less than a weekend, I had a complete photo album that wasn’t fancy, but looked nice. Most importantly, it was done.
The next batch of photos would be more challenging. These encompassed three years, from 1999 through 2002. Dates were squishy, and becoming more difficult to pin down with each successive year. I avoided the task for that reason, but it was the last album I’d have to do with printed photos. Once those were in albums, I could go all-digital as a reward.
It was a ton of photos. I had my own, plus envelopes of photos taken by family and friends that I’d been handed over the years. Photos were spread among my organizer boxes, hanging file folders of the boys’ preschool and elementary school days, and other odd places. It took several weeks’ worth of discretionary time — yes, cannabalizing my precious knitting time — but I finally had them in a state where I could scrapbook them.
My original consultant and I parted ways years ago, when we each moved to different parts of the country. Since then, I’ve scrapped with other consultants as time has allowed. This past weekend, I did just that, finishing the 1999 photos using an expandable PicFolio album and assorted kits. Again, not fancy, not overly creative, but done.
Next up: Photos from 2000-2002 beckon.
Of course, so do my knitting and a score of other home-related sewing projects. An update on knitting: I haven’t had time to blog about it, as the Klondike fleece hat project was pretty all-encompassing for the past weeks, but I have made progress on all of my knitting. The first sleeve on the Saxon Braid Aran is almost done. The second border on the Rosebud Shawl is about halfway done. I’ve got a few more rows to do on the first Flamingo Mitten. I’ll do a photo session when I have the Saxon Braid Aran sleeve done.
For now, though, I’ve got to go deal with the swath of destruction I left in the sewing room, which I left as I rushed to go to scrapbooking this weekend. It’s a study in too many hobbies, too little time (but it’s a good problem to have, I think).