Last weekend I finished putting down the pictures for my 2010 scrapbook. (If you know anything about folks who scrapbook, you’ll know we are almost always behind. And we really like to talk about adhesives.) So, unlike most scrapbook folks I’ve met, I approach my books with an assembly-line mentality.
Step 1: organize all pictures and memorabilia chronologically
Step 2: put down all pictures with some decorative paper
Step 3: journal on all pages (that’s where you write the wordy stuff)
Step 4: add all titles
This works for me. I’ve found that each of these steps requires a different sort of thinking and way of working, and when I tried to do all the steps for each set of pages one spread at a time, I got bogged down. I’m going to say that learning this (how I work) is why I am three years behind. Yeah, that’s why. (Of course there are those rare people — I know only one — who are current on their books, so they can do one spread at a time, all parts at once, easy peasy.)
So yeah, last weekend I finished Step 2 on 2010. To prepare for Step 3, I printed out all my 2010 blog posts. What a great help that is for me to remember what was going on in all those cool pictures. Today I started journaling for 2010 and was all, “Yay! Happy blog posts to help me” and then I was all, “Damn, I’ve only written about 10 posts in 2012 and 2013 combined. What the bleep will I write in those books?” This is a realization I have every six months or so, and then I start blogging again really faithfully. For about a week and a half. And then I forget. And then I finish Steps 1 and 2 of the next book. And then I remember.
An interesting thing about this is that by writing this post about how I haven’t been writing posts, I am fulfilling an inner need to write a post. But I’m not really writing about anything that would help with my next scrapbook. Unless I decided to make a scrapbook about scrapbooking. (I just had to google “a scrapbook about making a scrapbook.” I didn’t really find anything, but I didn’t try too hard.)
If I made a scrapbook of scrapbooking, what would I put on the cover page? It’d be neat to take a photo of the finished book for the cover, but how can I take a picture of it if I need the picture of it to finish it so I can take the picture so I can finish it? This is harder than I imagined!
So, the first spread could be of me going to the store to buy a book. I could include my sales receipt and maybe a copy of the craft store flier for that week; a copy of the coupon I used. I suppose before that I could have a photo of me digging through my stuff to see if I already had a book I could use, but then I’d have to take a picture of me throwing my arms up in resignation after three giant bags of yarn and a dozen paint bottles fall on my head when I open the craft closet.
The second spread would be me picking out which pictures to send to print and then getting the package in the mail and then sorting the pictures. Again we’re back to the chicken and the egg thing because I’d have to wait until I was done with the book so I had pictures to print so I could take pictures of me printing the pictures.
What next? Perhaps a spread where I take a scrapbook hiatus and make cards for a few months? Or maybe a montage from all the times I missed scrapbook opportunities with my friends because I was (a) sick, (b) snowed in, (c) out of town, (d) busy with a school or other kid-related function, or (c) incredibly forgetful.
I’d definitely need to include a spread or two of me going back to the craft store a few dozen times to get the doodads I need. And some of me climbing through the craft closets and stomping my feet when I can’t find what I need (which, of course, means I need to go back to the craft store). Perhaps I could write a short poem for this section called, “Where the bleep is my adhesive gun?”
There’d be a few pages of me cropping pictures and cutting paper and staring at paper and cutting more paper and sticking pictures and paper on cardstock and holding the results in the air and blinking a lot and sighing and pondering and going to get a snack.
Of course there would be some pages about crops/crafty days with friends. I’d journal some of the gossip (names removed to protect the innocent). I’d rate the comfort level of the chairs at the different crop locations. If I was feeling particularly spunky, perhaps I’d even do something daring like snitch one embellishment from each cropper present to use on these pages. Well, no. I’d probably just ask each person for something, and they’d give me something because crafters are generally like that.
And there would be some really dark pages there towards the end. From when I hit that super bleak spot around the end of Step 3 when I realize all I have left (ALL! HA!) is cutting 30+ titles out on the cricut and then xyroning them onto the pages. These would be tales of torture. Of the taunting light at the end of the tunnel hovering just out of reach, and no matter how fast you run the tunnel keeps getting longer so the light is always the same distance away and it’s just you stuck in that tunnel with the mechanical whine of the cricut and then you put the letters in the xyron backwards or you lose the “o” for “Snow Day” and you are all out of the exact right shade of white that you used for “Snw Day” or even worse yet your letters get all mixed up and you forget what you spelled out and then you have to play a twisted game of “Wheel of Fortune” to try and figure out what you wanted to say. These pages would be on black card stock.
The next spread would be the one where I start to wonder if the book really needs titles at all. There’d be pictures of me sitting, gazing off into the distance, thinking very hard about calling the book done as is. But then there would be a photo of me with a look of resolve on my face and maybe a rainbow sticker over my head as I realize I just need to push on.
At the end, I’d probably need to do a page with gratitude and acknowledgement of all those who’d helped me. Perhaps a list of the supplies I’d used. Because that’s what scrapbook people do. “This is the Smooshie line of paper from X,Y, and Z company. And the flower embellishments came from Flibbertygibbets.” Of course my list would be more like, “I used some paper I got from the free pile at the last crop, and the flowers were from…oh wait, was I supposed to put embellishments on this thing? Crap! Does that meant there is a Step 5? Am I not done yet! What the FNURFLE?”
The very, very last page, the one at the end that isn’t a spread but is just one page…that would be a photo of me with a gleam in my eye as I hold a stack of photos and another empty book and there would be a thought bubble over my head that says, “YAY! Time to start a new book! I can’t wait!”