On Being “Behind”

2004 Scrapbook Title Page by Natalie Parker

I’m a chronological scrapbooker.

Then that means I’m always “behind,” right?  Right.  And I’m okay with that.

Scrapbooking is a hobby.  It is not meant to cause stress.*  Period.

I actually find hindsight useful.  Yes, there is something interesting about capturing things as they happen.  I really value the perspective that I gain with time.  I  add details to pages I wouldn’t be able to without hindsight.

Perspective also helps me let go of excess ephemera.  If I scrapbooked my wedding within the first year, it would be twice as large and I wouldn’t have been able to part with the excess stuff I was saving.

Context is also a big deal to me.  The events in my life don’t happen in a vacuum.  I like being able to see everything from one year together — everything in life informs everything else.

Yes, I do want to make a dent in my scrapbooking so the number of years of lag time I have isn’t quite as large.  It’s really about space though.  Mr. P would like to see fewer boxes in the closet.

Some people report changing away from chronological scrapbooking so they don’t have that nagging feeling of being behind.  I’m embracing it.  I love going through a mini time capsule for a year years after it happens.  It’s so much fun!

This is what works for me.  Do what works for you!

*Except when I have an episode with my photo printer.  That is indeed stress-inducing. 

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Scrapbook Layout: High School Graduation

Graduation by Natalie ParkerGraduation by Natalie ParkerGraduation by Natalie ParkerGraduation by Natalie ParkerGraduation by Natalie ParkerThe Story: My little sister’s high school graduation.  Boy did it rain that day!  I made sure to note it in the handwriting up the side of the page.

Christmas colors!: My high school colors are red and green, which meant I got to use the paper I normally reserve for Christmas layouts.  Having those school colors was totally awesome and festive.

Negative Space: I want to use negative space more and did here with the headline.  I like how it fits very neatly with the page.

Rounded Photo Corners: I’m playing around with the best way to do this.  The photo corners here are not rounded.  Rather, I cut a piece of white cardstock with the silhouette and stuck it on top of the photos to give them a rounded effect.

The Invitation Opens: I like it when my pages are interactive.  The invitation opens all the way and can be read.

Graduation by Natalie Parker

Font: Lobster | Tools: Epson Stylus R2000 (photos), Silhouette SD (headline) | Supplies: American Crafts/Holllyday/Merry Dimples (patterned paper) | Ephemera Included: Graduation invitation.

Scrapbook Layout: Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerGolden Gate Bridge Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerGolden Gate Bridge Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerGolden Gate Bridge Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

The Story: Mr. P had a rare day off on Memorial Day Weekend, so we went to visit the Exploratorium, the Palace of Fine Arts, and walked over the Golden Gate Bridge.  We used the pictures from this day for some of our wedding reception tables later in the year.

Inspiration: This layout by Jean Manis.  I tried to layer my two pictures on the left.  Really really tried.  I just couldn’t get it to look right so I adapted it instead.

Big Map: I could have left out the map and made this a minimalist page.  Right.  Of course I was including the map!

Golden Gate Bridge Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerFonts: Courier New, Susie’s Hand, Calibri | Tools: Epson Stylus R2000 (photos) | Supplies: Crate Paper/Story Teller/Tomorrow (patterned paper) | Ephemera Included: Presidio Map.

Scrapbook Layout: Banquet

Banquet Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerBanquet Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerBanquet Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerThe Story: Mr. P and I met in a student group in college.  Every year they have a formal banquet.  We went every year as students and continued for a few years as alumni.  This was my first one as an alumna.  I blogged the layout for the last one I attended as a student here.

Inspiration:  This layout from Paislee Press.  I cut two strips of patterned paper to look like washi tape at the top and bottom of the photo strip.

Of Note: I did what I’m now calling lazy-pants-printing and printed the photo strip as one piece and glued it to the page.  I was going for a photobooth-strip look, so the lazy was a-okay here.

Handwriting: Still suffering from bunching my handwriting together when I have a huge canvas to work with!

Banquet Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

Font: Mission Script | Tools: Epson Stylus R2000 (photos), Silhouette SD (headline) | Supplies: October Afternoon/Woodland Park/Minnow Creek (patterned paper) | Keepsakes Included: none.

Scrapbook Layout: New Home

New Home Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerNew Home Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerNew Home Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerNew Home Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerThe Story: When Mr. P and I grew out of the shoebox we moved into the year before and upgraded to a bigger place.

Inspiration: This layout that was posted on Studio Calico.  I used it pretty verbatim.

This Layout Brought to You by Google: The picture of the apartment complex on the left is a screenshot from Google Street View.  I didn’t take any pictures of it before we moved away.  The map in the center is a screenshot from Google Maps.  The picture on the right is my own – it shows our new patio and plants we put in.

Of Note: I love using map pins!  I used a large one for the headline and a teeny tiny one on the map.  I printed the text directly on my page using my wide-format printer.  I added our new address at the bottom.

Hindsight: I may be several years behind in scrapbooking (hello 2005!), but hindsight is great sometimes:  the text documents how we found out we got this place the same weekend we got engaged.  It also documents that we lived there when we got married and Mr. P carried me over the threshold when we got home from our honeymoon.  Ah, memories!

New Home Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

Fonts: Lobster 1.4 (headline), Calibri (body text), Pacifico (address at bottom) | Tools: Epson Stylus R2000 (photos & map), Silhouette SD (headline) | Keepsakes Included: none | Apartment Photo: Google Street View Screenshot | Map: Google Maps Screenshot | Map Pin: Kelly Purkey Geotag.

Scrapbook Layout: Our First Home Together

New Home Scrapbook LayoutNew Home Scrapbook LayoutNew Home Scrapbook LayoutNow that the title page and intro page for this scrapbook are out of the way, where do we begin?

At the beginning, of course.

For us, that meant moving in together and starting our lives together.

The two items on the left are the front and back of our change of address postcard.

The top right photo is our apartment complex.  I was so on top of things even back then that I took a picture of our first place, right?  Wrong.  It’s a screenshot from Google Street View.  I found our place using Google Maps, made the window very very big, then took a screenshot.  The resolution will be fine as long as the printed photo isn’t very large.

The map?   Also a screenshot from Google Maps.

I placed a little pin on the map to show where we actually lived.  The pin is the Geotag from Kelly Purkey.

I added some handwriting below talking about moving in and what our life was like at that moment.

I’m really pleased with how simple of a layout says so much about a big time in our lives!

New Home Scrapbook LayoutFont: Lobster 1.4, cut with Silhouette SD | Apartment Photo: Google Street View Screenshot | Map: Google Maps Screenshot | Map Pin: Kelly Purkey Geotag.

Scrapbook Layout: 2004 Scrapbook Intro Page

2004 Year in Review Scrapbook Page by Natalie Parker2004 Year in Review Scrapbook Page by Natalie Parker2004 Year in Review Scrapbook Page by Natalie Parker3I love intro pages almost as much as I love title pages.

This page does two things:

First, it summarizes stuff that happened in our lives that year.

I added a couple paragraphs about us to capture things that may not get their own layout later in the book.

Second, it adds a bit of pop culture and news to put the year in context.

The design from this page is totally lifted from this layout.  I printed directly on the page with my Epson R2000 printer, leaving spaces for pictures that I glued on later.

Most of the pictures are news and pop culture related.  They cover things like the Olympics, the presidential election, the iPod, and other fun & serious stuff.

2004 Year in Review Scrapbook Page by Natalie ParkerFonts: Teen (numbers), Lobster 1.4 (letters) | Paper: Blue & Ivory Chevron by Canvas Corp.

Scrapbook Layout: 2004 Scrapbook Title Page

2004 Scrapbook Title Page by Natalie Parker2004 Scrapbook Title Page by Natalie Parker2004 Scrapbook Title Page by Natalie Parker2004 Scrapbook Title Page by Natalie ParkerI like title pages (see here, here, and here).

Earlier I talked about how I wasn’t sure how I was going to scrapbook “just life” without definitive periods like I did for school scrapbooks.  I realized if I created a title page for each year, it would be pretty much what I was doing before.

Plus, making title pages is so fun.  I love picking out photos for them.  I also love layouts with lots of squares.

I picked a couple of photos from my college graduation even though they’re in my last college scrapbook.  Since graduating is kind of a big deal, I wanted it in this snapshot.

I printed the pictures in 2×2-inch squares and glued those onto a navy blue cardstock background.  Below that, I added a huge strip of chevron paper and a big 2004 cut out of blue shimmer cardstock.  On top of the year, I added this strip I designed that alternates the year and roman numerals.

Not a bad beginning if I do say so myself!

2004 Scrapbook Title Page by Natalie ParkerFonts: PosterBodoni BT (numbers), Century Gothic (green strip) | Paper: Blue & Ivory Chevron by Canvas Corp.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Box of Scrapbook Stuff by Natalie ParkerI’m done with my wedding scrapbook.  What’s next?

Life, essentially.  I know, scary.

I finished my last college scrapbook, skipped over a couple years and scrapbooked my wedding.  All my scrapbooks so far have a structure of time and I was really worried about how I was going to scrapbook “just life” that’s not a school year.

I was preemptively worrying about this when I was working on the wedding scrapbook.  As usual, when burying myself in another project, I got a moment of clarity on the next task.

I decided to treat each year like a unit.  There is a box of stuff in our home office for each year since I left college and moved in with Mr. P.  I’m going to take each box out, one at a time, and scrapbook it.  They’re my time capsules!

So, I’m jumping back in time to the point where Mr. P and I moved in together and going full steam ahead.  I took the box out of the closet, organized it a bit and got going!

I’m Still a Chronological Scrapbooker

Pioneer SJ-100 ScrapbookYep.  Still am.

Chronological scrapbooking sometimes sounds like a dirty word in the scrapbooking world.  I find it kind of funny actually considering the rise of Project Life and other similar systems.

To each her own.  Everyone has to do what works for them.  For me, my mind is just organized that way.  If I don’t work on my pages in some sort of orderly fashion, I’ll go batty.  I’m an odd bird.  Plus, I prefer no page protectors and use the type of scrapbook where I permanently make layouts back to back.

All of my previous scrapbooks had definite beginning and end times.  School years.  College yearsOur wedding.  I’m sticking with the years.  I like being able to see a snapshot in time.

What about being “behind?” I’ll always be behind.  I hope I can make a bit of a dent so I don’t have quite as many boxes in the closet as I do now, but that’s really all I’m concerned with.

Do I reserve the right to change my opinion?  Always.  I have a few years to get through before I really started taking pictures of “everyday.”  I have no idea how I’ll handle the influx of everyday pictures, but the idea will come.

I’m going to stick with what I know and not worry too much about how what I do compares to others.   I find tremendous inspiration in others, but I still do my own thing.  I’m really excited to dive in to the next chapter!