How do you get started with Scrapbooking / Memory Keeping?
As Steven Covey says in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,”Being with the End in Mind”.
Becky Higgins quotes this all the time because it is really important to consider when scrapbooking, and really when doing anything. If you don’t follow Becky, you should she is inspiring to follow because of her passion and real desire to help people “Cultivate a good life and record it”.
If you’ve never scrapbooked before, or if you are taking over where someone else has scrapbooked, I think it is important to this about what you want to accomplish out of taking on a project like scrapbooking:
Who am I doing this for? Is it for me, or my posterity? How many books do I want to end up with at the end of my life? Consider if I do 1 book a year, I will end my life with about 80 books (according to American average life span). Is that too many for me? If I’m doing these books to hand down to future kids, how many books do I want to burden them with? How many would I want to inherit if it was me? What’s most important to record – day to day minute details, main events or an over-arching story? Maybe a mix?
I remember going to scrapbooking parties that our church would hold and how much “scrapbooking stuff” everyone had to scrapbook their memories. People would get really into it and embroider things onto scrapbook pages and put like, hours, into one page which they would show EVERYONE. Now, this scrapbooking method seems too overwhelming because of the volume of pictures we take; we’d have to spend hours every day scrapbooking to keep up! People started to do shutterfly books instead, but still with the sheer volume of pictures we take it is still hard to maintain that level of creativity with memory keeping. Since it is hard to keep up – either people just give up on memory keeping all together or they are constantly “behind” and feel guilty about what they have and haven’t accomplished.
I was the memory keeper that felt guilty about what I haven’t accomplished. I know that memory keeping is important to me, because my mom didn’t do it, and I wish I had more memories of my grandma or of my mom growing up or a journal of how she felt when she was pregnant with me or my siblings. I would love to have that piece of time to look back on. Even though I really value memory keeping, I thought it had to be this intricate version of scrapbooking, so I would often start, and give up because it took too long or was too difficult. Luckily, I found Becky Higgins on Instagram and she changed my life. It sounds dramatic, but I really think she changed memory keeping in a significant way that will affect the remainder of my life.
Currently for Memory Keeping I am doing 5 different things:
Yearly Scrapbooks with Mementos and Project Life App Pages
Becky Higgins did a very long blog post about how she makes a family yearbook which is a great way to do it. I don’t do it the same way because I have different priorities. I currently make 1 book a year with all the major events and have the mementos in the book in an envelope page. Becky makes a photo book which is great because it takes up a lot less space and is easily re-printable in case of fire or other damage, but I like to include mementos like ticket stubs, and playbills in the book with the pictures.
I also only have 1 copy of each yearly book. This is partly because I haven’t started to have kids yet, so I don’t know how many copies of things to make, and partly because I don’t know that I want to pass these books onto more than one person. I am currently making the books for me, not for posterity, and if someone wants to inherit them that is great, but I don’t want to put pressure on anyone to have to inherit them. I imagine this might change when I have kids and the yearly books include more than just Shane and I, but I can cross that bridge when I get to it.
I really like the size and the quality of the pages printed from the Project Life App. There is a sale coming up for 15% off pages in the app sometime next week, so if you want to try it out, right now is a great time to get started and print a sample page at a discount.
Chatbooks of Instagrams
I have done this in the past with Instagram pictures and I plan to keep it up because it’s so simple! Chatbooks are priced really well and so easy to use. You already put in the time of making an Instagram caption for the photo, so just use that!
Project Books of Significant Life Events
I’m not scrapbooking my whole life, but I do appreciate scrapbooks for major life milestones like weddings and baby books. I love my wedding scrapbook and I spent many hours putting it together. It’s still not as intricate as scrapbooks in the 90’s, but it is just what I wanted to remember all the love I felt that day from our friends, family and my husband.
Our Adventure Book
For our wedding guestbook, I bought a “Adventure Book” like they had in the movie UP for everyone to sign. Our Adventure Book will include 1 page for each adventure we take on as a family. So far, we have adventures of our wedding, traveling and buying a house.
Scanning in Pictures from Childhood
I am using a Doxie One Scanner to scan in pictures from my childhood and my current plans are to just have them organized by year on my computer. It has taken significantly longer than I thought it would just to get the pictures scanned, and I don’t know what value having them printed would do for me so I don’t want to start until I have a clear picture of the end goal.