My Scrapbooking Journey – Part 2 (Reigniting A Passion)

In my first post, I wrote about how I discovered scrapbooking, how I grew in my knowledge and excitement for the hobby, and then hit a giant wall when my first son was born.

When my second son arrived in late 2013, my scrapbooking room was a glorified storage room.  It was full of toys, junk and a mountain of supplies and unfiinished projects.  It was daunting to open the door and gaze at the mess inside.  Where the heck would I even start to restore it?

Slowly I moved out the toys and sold off the ones my son didn’t like.  I found homes for the random junk and slowly it regained its feeling of calm and creative promise.  The next task took me nearly a month.  I decided I need to go through every bit of my stash and purge.  I had acquired a lot of paper, tools, embellishments and projects from the many scrapbooking stores and events I visited, and I needed to make sense of it all.  I was ruthless and set aside everything I didn’t love or think I would ever use.  The result was a large pile of castoff items that I was able to sell for nearly $200 through some local mommy boards.  I reorganized everything, labelled colour and tool drawers and put all of my unfinished projects in a rubbermaid bin so they were all in one place, but covered so they weren’t piled up and intimidating me every time I entered the room.

What a transformation that was!  Not only did I purge the things I didn’t like, but I also rediscovered a lot of pretty things that I forgot about.  I could feel the excitement building to get back in there and play!

But where to start?  There were SO many projects to finish, and so many I wanted to start.  I decided to visit Michaels to check out the new products (it had been years since I looked in their scrapbooking aisle) and get some inspiration.

That’s where I stumbled across Project Life by Becky Higgins.  Very simply, it’s pocket scrapbooking and meant to simplify how you record your memories.  It looked very familiar…I used a Creative Memories photo album to record our honeymoon in Aruba, and it was pocket scrapbooking style.  I remembered how easy it was to assemble, and decided to try it out again!  I purchased some pocket page protectors and decided to cut down some of my massive paper stash to create the cards.

My first Project Life project was a birthday album for the boys.  I had a lot of photos I wanted to include, and this was a fantastic way to do it.

But what a pain to cut down the paper!  So back to Michaels I went.  After much deliberation, I purchased my first Project Life Core Kit – Honey.  It’s SO pretty!  I also went onto Facebook to see if there were any Project Life groups where I could get some inspiration.  There are a few!  Including one just for Canadians.  It was there that I discovered that I could swap portions of my core kit for other core kits to build up my supply and round out my collection with other styles and colours.  Little did I realize that this would turn into an obsession!

Over the last six months I’ve built up quite the collection of kits from Becky Higgins, Me and My Big Ideas, and We R Memory Keepers.  I’ve tried to buy kits that will work with predominantly boy and family photos, but I couldn’t resist the odd girlie kit!

And not only is it pretty, but it’s so simple to use!  I’ve scrapbooked nearly 100 photos and I’m still excited and full of ideas.  Many people document week by week, but that seems to become a challenging task and you’re always behind. I prefer to work in monthly batches. After all, in ten years, will anyone really care which week we went to the beach? I’m not putting down the people who do it that way, to each his own, but for me it’s just too much pressure when I have very little free time.

For me, the easiest route is to group the photos by category within a one month period, and then add them to the page protectors.  Then I go back and add the cards, journalling and embellishments later.  For me, the hardest part is sorting the photos and choosing which ones to use and how.  Separating the tasks keeps the fun part…fun!  Here’s some samples of the pages I’ve completed (most recent ones are at the top):

IMG_7343 IMG_7345 IMG_7346 IMG_7347 IMG_7348 IMG_7349 IMG_7350 IMG_7351 IMG_7353 IMG_7354 IMG_7355 IMG_7356 IMG_7357 IMG_7358 IMG_7359

As you can see, you can add as many or as few embellishments as you fancy.  Some photos stand well alone, while others need a little sprucing up.  It all depends on my mood and the theme of the pages. Sometimes I feel like playing or trying out a new technique.  And I try to journal on every spread!

I still love traditional scrapbooking, the 4 – 6×6 page protectors challenge me to be more creative, and I love adding 12×12 pages and other items to give my album more interest.  But I what I really love about Project Life is that I can document our lives quickly and in a way that my kids enjoy, and I can have fun doing it!

If you are a scrapbooker in need of a little inspiration, or someone who wants to begin the hobby and you’re overwhelmed with all the options, I encourage you to check out Project Life!  You won’t be disappointed!

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