Jan 18, 2010

Less can be plenty

** Edited 3/2/10 to say that I'm linking this one up to Kimba's DIY Day over at A Soft Place to Land. **

Last week I wrote a post about an easy way to get a lot of photos on one page in your scrapbooks, which was probably helpful only to people who already scrapbook. Today I wanted to write a word to those of you who don't scrapbook for whatever reason ... either it seems too overwhelming to begin, you don't have time, you don't have enough pictures, you don't have a good camera, it's too expensive ... whatever your reasons (all valid; no judgment here).

It's true that you do have to invest some money and do have to carve out some time to scrapbook. However, I think that a lot of people feel like it's going to cost a LOT of money and take a LOT of time, and that doesn't have to be the case at all.

Taking one picture a month and jotting down a few sentences about milestones and development and maybe a funny story would certainly be more than adequate if you don't want to take on scrapbooking as a real hobby.

I get a few of those pocket calendars from charities every year (the ones that are shaped like a checkbook), and I keep one on my desk at home at all times. I don't use it for anything except to jot down notes about milestones the kids hit (lost a tooth, took first steps, said "Mama," scored first soccer goal) whenever I think of them. I write down three or four things for each child every month, but I'm not regimented about it, really. (Jake and Nathaniel both had something written down for November, but Nick didn't have anything written down that month.)

I take so many pictures every month and scrapbook so often that I don't do a monthly All About Me type of page, but I DO do one seasonally. It's a good catch-all page for me, when I can jot down the notes I've put on the pocket calendar and use a picture or two that doesn't really go anywhere else.

Here's an example, Nick's page from Spring 2009:

I cropped a single 4x6 photo of his new crew cut into a 4x4 shape and triple-mounted it on blue and brown papers to coordinate with the background colors in the photo. I titled the page and then just journaled the information in a plain box beneath the picture.

It includes things like: "I love Boom Blox on the Wii, I don't like going to church, I like 'Aladdin' on DVD," Jonah Williams was born." [What. You didn't know February is actually part of Spring? I took liberties there because I did his winter page in January and Jonah hadn't been born yet.] "I call Doritos 'burritos.' I hit my teacher and pinched the assistant director at school."

Oh, and did I mention that I don't varnish the truth? No. I tell it like it is. You acted like a hoodlum last Spring? NOTED.

I was too lazy to take the page protectors off of these pages, but here's Nathaniel's Summer 2009 page layout:

And Nick's Summer 2009 page layout:

He'd dressed up in a dragon costume at my friend Leslie's house, and I wasn't going to use the pictures anywhere else so I decided to use them here. I liked how it turned out.

Even if your kids are older and you don't have snippets written down about what they were doing at a given time, I still think it's worth pulling some pictures and mounting them safely in an album, even if you don't know the exact date they were taken. Just noting a month and year OR JUST A YEAR would be better than nothing! Here's a page I did for Nick's album that I just titled Jan. 2009:

There are a few iconic pictures from my family life growing up, and I'd be happy to have six or 12 of those for each year in a scrapbook.

Me, age 3:

Me, age 5:

I've thought about going back and doing it myself and just asking my mom to journal the pages when I'm done, and I still might do that. Mainly I just don't want to go through all of their pictures to find the ones I'd want to use! (See? I can make excuses, too!)

Anyway, my kids all get great joy from looking at their scrapbooks. They pull them out and look at them all the time, and it makes me feel good to know that they enjoy them as much as I do. If you've ever thought about starting, there's no time like the present!


RLR said...

As someone who's fallen WAY behind on my kids' scrapbooks, this is encouraging. I like the idea of the seasonal wrap-up page or spread. I did monthly pages for my son's first two years, and I just don't know if I'll be that 'together' now that it's just so much catching up. Thankfully, I've got my blog to help jog my memory a bit!

Sewconsult said...

Love the picture of you at 5. You have 'tude!

Carli-Made by Carli said...

Hi there, your blog is beautiful, and you have a beautiful family! I wish I had the patience to scrapbook, they look great! And what a cutie you were! thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog!

Rene said...

Those pages are adorable! I love that you tell it like it is, after all isn't that the point...to capture the history? One day you will all look back and laugh at the little things. I admire you for keeping such good records and only wish that I had done the same.

Thanks for leaving me the nice comment about the chair.

Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

Ryan Leigh, I actually scrapbook less since I started my blog, but it's still 45 pages a year or so for each of my kids. (I KNOW. EXCESSIVE.) Don't be overwhelmed ... just pick up where you left off and do as little as possible to get current. One page per season or even just a couple of pages a year will do it!

Beckie, THANKS! I suppose that's where my kids get their 'tudes, too.

Carli, Welcome!

Rene, Welcome! And yes, I am blunt to a fault. ;)

Amy {The Red Chair Blog} said...

What nice pages you've made for your kids! I love that pic. of you at age 5--so cute!

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