I started scrapbooking about 7 years ago. I had no idea what I was doing, so I went to the Hobby Lobby and bought a scrapbook magazine. I found a layout I liked and went to the scrapbook store in search of the EXACT same things I saw in the magazine on this layout. It was a bath time layout. Once I found the paper and stickers I needed I searched for pictures. My oldest, who was also my only child at the time, was still relatively young. We took a million pictures of him in the tub, so finding bath time pictures was not difficult. I sat on my bed with the magazine flipped open to the correct page, I carefully placed all of the paper and sticker around on the bed. I picked up my first picture and my scissors and cut a circle, just as they had done in the magazine. The only problem was the circle was all jagged and looked like a preschooler had cut it out. I could not figure out how the ladies in the magazine cut such a perfectly round circle. It took me several weeks, if not months, to realize there are circle cutters. So, my first page was no where near perfect, but I liked it anyway. This sparked a huge desire within me to scrapbook.
Fast forward 7 years and another child later and I am stuck. I have so many scrapbooks I can't look through them anymore. I can't even store them nicely. And now I've come to the place that a lot of scrapbookers come to. How do I separate my albums? I was doing one album for my son, one for my daughter and a family album. I felt like I was always behind and I found myself scrapping the same pictures two or three times. It was very draining. Scrapbooking was no longer fun to me. Every time I'd get with people who scrapbook I'd ask them how they arrange their albums. I quickly realized I wasn't alone. Lots of people had the same problem I had.
Then, one Friday night in October...my whole life changed. I was talking with my friend Sara and I asked her the question, "How do you arrange your albums?" That's when I learned about Photo Freedom and Stacey Julian. Sara gave me just enough information about Stacey Julian's system to make me run right out and buy her book Photo Freedom. The basic concept is you don't have to scrapbook in chronological order. Ok, take a deep breath, I know this is hard to swallow. Also, she doesn't do books for her kids, she does books for herself! What a concept. She has her scrapbooking broken down into four main categories...People, Places, Things and Us. Most of her pages will fit into one of the four of these albums. She is not "caught up" and she does not scrapbook in order. She picks up the pictures she feels motivated to scrap and away she goes. It might be a birthday from 4 years ago. It doesn't matter! Once the page is done it goes into the appropriate album and you move on.
She also has these things called category drawers. It basically stores all of the extra pictures. You know how you took 400 pictures last Christmas and you tried to cram ALL of them on your two page spread? Well, you can stop doing that now. Find the best ones that really represent Christmas and scrap them on the Christmas page. Then store the others in your category drawers. Maybe one goes in the tab just for a specific child. Maybe another one goes into the tab specified for me and Mom. Then, one day down the road, you flip through the drawer and find several pictures of the same thing, probably not taken on the same day, and you scrap a page that represents what's going on in those pictures. It's pure Genius!
Are you lost yet? Here's an example. We carved pumpkins tonight and my husband, God bless him, was sitting at the table all alone carving the last pumpkin. This happens every single year. Bryce could care less! Hannah has a short attention span. And I go out and start taking pictures of the ones we've already carved. So, I took a picture of him. I know that I have several pictures of him, all alone, carving the last pumpkin from several different years. So, when I feel motivated to scrap those pictures I'll be able to tell a story with bits and pieces from several different years. And the best part is, I don't have to scrap it tomorrow, I can wait until July of next year if I want. Then I just put it into the appropriate album and move on.
These are my new albums. Aren't they lovely? Each of them will be given a specific task of People, Places, Things or Us. Once I assign a colored album a category that category will always be that color. So if I fill a green album and it's assigned People, the next People page I scrap will go into a new, green album. It's a lot of fun organizing all of the pictures I have, pictures I thought I'd never scrapbook. Now I'm giving them life again. Even if they sit in a drawer for four years, I know I will eventually get to them and it's ok! So now, go out and buy her book. You won't regret it!