What to Scrapbook?!

Are you new to scrapbooking or a seasoned pro? Do you have a plan of which pictures to use or is this something you struggle with? Personally, I’m somewhat in the middle between having a plan and struggling with what to work on.

General Plan – My plan in general is to work chronologically (I’m currently in 2004) through my pictures.  I don’t feel pressured to ‘catch up’ mainly because I am enjoying the memories from these sweet years (my boys are 15  & 11 now – not so sweet/cute anymore!) My layouts are generally geared toward albums for my boys.  In 2004, my younger son hadn’t come along yet.


Once we get to 2005 – I’ll start duplicating layouts and just flipping the perspective depending on whose album it will go into.


For example, the duplicate for this layout will take the middle picture on the right and swap it with the bigger picture on the bottom left so my younger son is the focus (really the cat is the focus – I’m not kidding anyone!)

Exceptions to the plan – As a CTMH consultant, I work with the current featured paper pack. Sometimes the paper theme doesn’t fit into my picture flow, so I have to decide which pictures to use. In these cases, I start with the paper theme to see what pictures I have.

The No Worries paper packet was a good example of this. My boys haven’t been to any lush tropical locales/beaches and I’ve already created layouts of their first (and only so far beach trip – we’re just more mountain than beach people). So I looked back through my pictures for a trip my husband and I took to Hawaii in 1997.


What do I do if I have themed papers that I don’t have pictures for (or just haven’t taken the time to find pictures for)? I have created the layouts anyway in hopes that one day I’ll figure out which pictures to add to them.  Some are in WIP albums and others are in a stack!

I’ve also created a list that I can refer to that identifies the paper, layout titles, and photo sizes needed.  This way, as I work through my photo library, I can look at my already created layouts and see what I can work with.


I have other pictures that don’t quite fit into either of the above options. These will require more time/thought or special attention – maybe to find just the right paper or to be in the right mind set. Not sure how I’ll tackle these yet – I think I’ll know when I get there.

Do you have a plan for working your scrapbooking or are you more of an ‘in the moment’ kind of person? I’d love to hear how you set about to play!




Finding Time

Do you have a list of things you’ll do when you ‘find time’? Does your list ever shrink or is it always getting longer? I’d bet those things on your list rarely if ever get done – why? Because how do you find time? Our days are packed full of things that need to be done. Once we finish the things that need to be done, we all want to spend time with our families. So, the things we plan to do when we find time just sit there because we have to ‘find time’.

Well forget it. It’s really not possible. There’s no way to find time. There are only 24 hours in a day (unless you’ve figured out a way to time travel – then by all means, PLEASE contact me immediately!).  We all have that same 24 hours – there’s no way to find more. Instead of finding time – we have to make things a priority. Yes, family and household responsibilities are at the top of the list. We all need to sleep & eat. But we also need to take time for a hobby or something that helps us unwind from the daily grind. There are ways to do this, get up earlier, go to bed later, play while the kids are napping… this is totally a personal choice.

When my kids were younger, I tried to pursue hobbies when they were napping on the weekend or after they went to bed (their 7 PM bedtime was very helpful for this).  As they got a little older, my hobbies mostly went on hold because I didn’t make them a priority. I did decide to put away my quilting supplies & focus on scrapbooking. That at least helped me focus on just one thing.  I would still get to scrapbook occasionally, but it was a struggle because I was unorganized. I’d try to work on a layout & wouldn’t have the pictures, couldn’t find the paper I wanted to use, or my tape runner ran out. It was really frustrating.

It was during one of these days (when my tape runner ran out) that I came up with a plan. Since I didn’t have any adhesive, I planned out a bunch of pages (pictures, papers, die cuts) and took pictures of each layout. I put all the elements in a paper keeper with a divider between each page. That way once I had another free afternoon (and refilled my tape runner), I could pull up the pictures on my computer and recreate the page – this time with adhesive, stickers & other embellishments.

This worked well for me. I had a plan and could work from it. This helped for those days when I only had a short amount of time. I didn’t have to use my brain to be creative – I had already done that when I had a larger block of time available. I could just put everything in place quickly & move on. Then on days when I was able to set aside more time, I could focus on the creative side – pull things together and plan a few more pages.

My planning & scrapbooking have evolved a bit over the last few years, but I think the key for me has been to have a plan. I’ll share my current plan in another post, but wanted to get started with how I came from being haphazard and unproductive to making a plan to create.

I hope that you are able to make yourself a priority. You are important, you need a moment away from the daily grind. Don’t wait until you find time to do something fun – plan for it. Even if it’s just once a month – plan it – schedule an appointment for yourself – and then make a plan so you can feel like that time was well spent – because YOU are worth it!