PRT135 – Your Weekly Date With Yourself

This week we’re talking about what you can do with your big collection of albums. Come listen!

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  • Ruth

    Haven’t finished listening yet, but wanted to offer a compromise for the intro… perhaps Izzy could just use a falsetto and attempt to sound like Noell? *grin* I’m sure that would be very inviting to new listeners! (j/k)

  • Noell & Izzy, just wanted to let you know that I’ve had difficulty downloading this week’s episode. I tried at home last night on my laptop and it kept timing out. I’m trying from work this morning on my iPod and it’s making slow progress. I am on the eastern side of the country, so I don’t know if there are any effects somewhere from Sandy-related power outages, etc. Just figured I’d mention it, if you noticed lower than normal downloads this week! :)

  • -m-

    Great episode! Not sure I was that concerned about all the space my albums were taken up until I heard you talking about it. Now I’m a little freaked out. lol I was asking my daughter (age 17) while listening to the show what she thought and thankfully she said she likes them like they are and wouldn’t want to digitize them. Of course she did say too that she didn’t want them at HER house though unless I was dead. So good to know. lol Guess they’re taking up space with me until then! She has one album for each year of her life so that’s 17 now. One more real album to go for her for her senior year and then I think I’m moving on to JUST Project Life for me. She can do her own scrapbooking from that point forward!

  • Kim Brown

    Here is the way I do my albums: I have one album per year of my child’s life. If I make a layout from when he is 5, it goes in his 5 yr old album. The album itself isn’t chronological, it just goes in the page protector available. I do from birthday to birthday for each album.
    I have one album for my husband and I together. If it grows out of that album, I will seperate us, but for now, one is enough.

  • I have always been concerned about how many albums I’m generating. I know I’ve mentioned this before in a comment, but my grandmother was a lifelong old-school scrapbooker and had made literally hundreds of albums. At some point, she decided we wouldn’t want to be burdened with them, so she started secretly burning them. By the time we discovered this, most of them were gone. The few that are left are treasures. She passed away 8 years ago (a few weeks before my wedding), so the albums are even more precious. While I don’t know what I would have done with her lifetime of scrapbooks, I do wish we’d had a chance to go through them together before she decided none of us would want them.

    I’m a paper scrapper and don’t want to switch to digital, but I scan all my layouts so that if my son chooses not to store all the albums after I die, he will still have a digital record of what I deemed important enough to scrap. I upload all my scans to my blog and to an online gallery, so the albums themselves aren’t critical. Because of this, I don’t worry about a lifetime of memories vanishing if we ever had a fire or a flood.

    Great topic!

  • Allison

    Enjoyed the show as always! I had a similar space-related freak out about a year ago when my family moved to a smaller space. At about the same time, my 1st installment of Project Life spilled over into a 2nd album. When it came time to do my 2nd installment (I go birthday to birthday rather than January 1st – December 31st), I decided to go a route that was similar to the one Karen took. I shifted from two Design A page protectors (4 4×6 and 4 3×4 slots) per week to one Design F protector (1 4×6 and 10 3×4 slots) per week. I add additional pages of varying sizes fairly frequently, especially if we’ve gone on a trip or something like that, but at this rate, one album should be enough this year!

    Moving to a smaller space has been a blessing in some ways. I like that I’m more conscious and purposeful about what I purchase and what I create. My new mantra is ‘clutter in, clutter out.’

    Thanks for another thought provoking topic!

  • Chriss

    Wonderful show, as always. I had the same freak out about 5 years ago, just before I had my first child. I had a mountain of layouts and we lived in a tiny flat. I was generating layouts for design teams and not giving a lot of thought to the long term situation. I decided to go 8.5×11 and at the same time I went through my stockpile of 1000 or so layouts. I was ruthless. Some of them (about 10) I kept in tact and they almost all relate to facts about us at certain ages. Many I was able to cut down to 8.5×11 without an issue since I had a thing about huge amounts of white space for a long time. Others I recreated, often being more selective about photos and added more meaningful journalling (often reusing photos, papers and embellishments from the original layout). Others I binned because they meant nothing. Coincidentally, I moved to an LOM style of system at about the same time.

    Moving forward, I started scrapping layouts that really meant something. Important moments and events, relationships, etc. In addition to regular 8.5×11 page protectors, I use 4 pocket pages and 9 pocket pages to fill in those smaller stories that don’t make it to a layout. It takes up a fraction of the space and those wonderful little moments are captured. They work great in travel albums, as well as personality albums. Great for those little stories as well as those snapshots you love and want to include in your album but don’t necessarily want to use on a layout, and also for those extra bits of ephemera that didn’t make a page (I’m not a PLer). I’m not a chronological scrapper, though my albums are in ‘rough’ chronological order.

    I currently have about a 15 albums and I figure each child will have 4 or 5 albums by the time they are 18. I am also in the process of digitising all my layouts so that they could be either viewed digitally or made into photo books if my kids (or we) decide that the original albums are too bulky, or if something were to happen to the original albums.

    Thanks for discussing this topic.

  • Hey, I have to say that as someone without kids, I found this week’s show pretty interesting. There seems to be this general attitude in the scrapbook community (general, implied, whatever) that most people out there see scrapbooking as a legacy they’re leaving for their children. I know you’ve had a lot of guests in the past who have spoken about how this is a hobby for the scrapbooker and we don’t have to have kids to leave our albums to, etc, etc… but let’s face it, there is still often an idea of this being a hobby that we are leaving our kids.

    I thought it was particularly interesting to hear/reflect on the question of whether or not kids will really want these albums (particularly after a lifetime of avid scrapping). If the answer is potentially no (or rather we know that this is a possibility even as we make these pages), it further reinforces that this is something that we do because we love to tell stories, take photos, and play with paper, regardless of what may or may not come of those albums.

    I don’t know, it seemed reaffirming, on a shared level that unites scrappers from all groups, as a reminder that we should worry less about the final destination and just enjoy the process. I dig it! :)

  • Joanna

    As a childless-by-choice woman living happily in a small space this discussion of “where will all the scrapbooks go when I’m gone?” touched on several issues that concern me. I like to do memory keeping for myself with journals and photos, and I used to make 12″ scrapbook pages. But I don’t have space to display big albums, my friends don’t want to look through scrapbooks when they come to visit, my family lives overseas, and I don’t have anyone to create a “legacy” for – I have one nephew by marriage, no close young “blood” relatives. I think this is why some people without kids don’t scrapbook – not because they think their story isn’t worth telling, but because they’re not sure who they’re telling it to or for.
    My own solution has been to create photo books. I use I usually make a 7″ square softcover book for each major trip we take, a couple each year for pictures I’ve taken of my nephew, and for an end-of-year review Xmas present book full of silly self portraits and photos of us having fun. I can make multiple copies and mail them to friends and family around the world and the format is small enough to flick through casually – I take them to work to show around too. I’ve seen my books out on recipients’ coffee tables, ready to be shown to anyone who visits, which is a very good feeling. The books are also archived online so they can be replaced if they wear out or get damaged.
    I also love the Project Life look, but not the bulk of a massive binder so I’m doing it digitally and posting the results to my blog. I don’t really have any intention of ever printing it.
    For the paper crafting urge, it’s no solution, but for memory keeping and sharing it works really well.

  • AnnieB

    I love PCR and am a huge fan. I often go back to older episodes and re-listen again and again.

    My response to Izzy’s “solution” of have a shared self-storage unit for people with too many albums and issuing “access cards” : Hmm. Sounds like a public library to me! And actually how cool could that be; prolific scrapbookers upon their death, or even when they no longer have space, could leave their albums to the local Scrapbook Library and for a small fee (used, of course, to maintain said library) could obtain an access card and sit in the comfort of the library and peruse to their heart’s content!

  • Tiffany Mitchell

    I went through a similar realization after moving a few times of how many albums I had created. The latest move my husband voiced his concerns and we had a discussion about it. Many points that you touched upon, like if I continue to create at this level, how many albums I would have accumulated in my house. I have 24 albums (been avidly scrapping since 2002) It was at this point that I decided Project Life was a route to go.
    My husband said he would much rather have photos in a photo album than my scrapbooks because he is afraid to break my pages. I thought the PL pages were a good compromise. He gets to look at the photos and I get to tell the story.
    I only made one or two mini books before realizing the space issue for them and decided to not make anymore.
    I still create pages along side my PL album. More for the joy of the hobby than anything. I do make conscience choices about what pages I create before I start. I pray that my children want some of the pages that I have created for them, but I know that the reality is they won’t want it all.
    Thank you for addressing this topic! I always wonder what people are doing with all of the pages they create. Especially those that focus on being caught up!

  • L Squared

    I really enjoyed this weeks episode, I have been scrapbooking since middle school and though I’m young and without kids as of now (27) I do have a a few albums. When I was back home a few months ago my mom was going through her own “high school/college box” and was thinking about throwing away her scrapbook, I told her not to do it. I loved seeing it and all the things she saved as well as how different our high school experiences were.

    I have recently converted more towards digital scrapbooking, mainly because of storage space for supplies in our little apartment. I also love how many layouts I can fit in an album. I still do a paper December Daily and cards, as I love to get messy. I have thought about doing Project Live, once we have kids – or for a baby album, and found that discussion most interesting. I think that someone who already scraps viewpoint on project life and the extra albums is different than someone who is using it as their only form of memory keeping (or as a photo album PLUS). I love how my mom has so many photo albums, and I know that she tried hard just to keep them up to date and in order but I wish there was more recorded story. I wish there had been project life for her, even though she doesn’t like scrapbooking. I think those of us recording stories in other forms, especially layouts probably need assess the role of project life in our memory keeping eco system a bit differently. I loved all the ideas.
    Thanks for another great show!!

  • L Squared

    I love the idea of doing PL digitally and just posting on your blog and not even worrying about printing – still preserved and shared, but not taking up physical room. Great idea! We are so lucky that there are so many ways to keep memories these days – digitally, blogs, Facebook, and with paper.

  • kathyinmn

    could you guys IM along with skype? So if someone is talking and sounding like a robot, you’ve have another way to alert them?

  • Angel

    I have been a long-time listener and love the show. I especially love Izzy’s laugh! My comment is about putting pictures in frames. I used to feel the same way the panelists do. I would start to go through my pictures trying to find the EXACT perfect ones to put in the frames and hang up. Invariably I would get so overwhelmed with all the choices that I would give up. But then I realized that NO pictures ever made it into frames this way. So I started just scanning through a few directories of pictures and picking some good ones. Who knows if they are the BEST ones to frame but at least there are some pictures up now. And you can always take the pictures out and put in new ones. At least this is what I’m telling myself. Will I ever do it? Not likely but the option is there. Great show as always and love the new format.

  • Thanks for the encouragement — and now that i think of it it’s very PRT-ish…you’re telling us to just let go and stop being so perfectionistic about it! Love that!

  • daney

    This is similar to my approach. I do 3-4 kid years per album, thinking they will have 6 when they graduate (baby album stands alone). I started this way from the beginning. When I was first pregnant with my oldest daughter, I attended a crop where there was this incredibly nice lady with 3 growing daughters. This was 11 years ago and everything wasn’t quite yet digital. She maintained 4 albums at all times, one per year per child and one for their family. Every roll of film was printed with 4 copies and she did a 2 page layout of everything for the family album, then replicated a single page version (same elements and colors, etc) for each girl’s book (focusing on photos of that particular child). I watched her and thought – HOW???? so, I let go before I started and set up a system I could maintain and that means the girls won’t need a UHaul to take their books to their own homes someday. My highlight books are similar to Stacy’s School of Life books. I do 12 specific themes but am not regimented about it, and I swap if there’s something I want to do that’s different any year.

    I do some special layouts that don’t fit in the highlight albums (story layouts) that I keep in special themed albums that are for me. Someday, the girls can sort those into 1 book for each of them – there won’t be hundreds. If they let go of our family books, I am ok with that – their stories are in their books and there are only 5 or so albums that cover time they weren’t here for (my heritage albums, my childhood book, etc)

  • Thanks for the idea, Kathy. I think it would take Izzy at least as long to IM them to tell them they’re robotic and that they need to unplug and then plug in again — especially if they’re newer to the show. Plus, they’re not always looking at the window (we do actually IM guests once in a while regarding other problems).

  • I’m still in the middle of the episode but I have to share! I’m taking a class right now where I am creating two layouts a week. I put Command strip hooks on the wall in my office/scrap room. I put the layouts in page protectors “sideways” so the holes of the page protector are at the top of the layout. Then I pop them on the hooks! It lets me (and everyone else) look at the work I’ve done before I stash them away.

  • Mel

    Loved the episode and the new-ish voice of Lisa along with my fav Karen! Just counted my albums and coulen’t believe I had twenty – gulp. Also trying to cram project life into just one album. Thanks as always for a great show.

  • Susan Manohar

    First, love the show as well as the membership videos! You really have created an outstanding service :-) Regarding albums, it’s interesting to me how physically enormous in size so many of the 12×12 albums are. I love the concept of a 3-ring album, but I’ve found the ones that I’ve purchased are too unwieldy to look at easily, especially for small children. So for trips and specific events, I’m making more photo books. I still haven’t settled on a specific album style for my everyday layouts. I’m wondering if others feel the same way, as well as if they’ve come up with a good solution? My only solution now is to stick with post bound albums, but I’d welcome any suggestions. Thanks again Noell and Izzy for another great episode!

  • Jana_NJ

    I always Love when Karen is on she is very real, I agree with her I’m also actually buying another album for project life so my first year will be 2 albums, as I live in a condo I don’t see this as a good sign as well I love love project life but I also will have to find another solution I’m thinking to use digital pages and do just 1 spread and use plastics for the memorabilia. I have to decide yet. I wished she would come out with some 8.5 x11 pockets.

  • Karen Schreiber

    It was interesting hearing you talk about the problem of your growing album collections.There are two ways I have avoided that problem.I have older children (27 and 30) and years ago I purchased for them their own blank albums. When I make a page about them, I give it to them for their album. The second way is to make albums for others and then you can give them away! I have made one for my mother and father-in-law about their early years of marriage; one for my mother about some special times we had as a family; one for my daughter about her 4 years of collage; one for a friend about the house she grew up in; one for a friend’s daughter that went off to collage; and one for my daughter’s friend who’s mother passed away. Each of these books I know were special to the people who received them. I see them opened on their coffee tables and know that they look at them often.

  • Jen Campbell

    Haven’t had a chance to finish listening yet either, but I also needed to chime in before I forgot! I haven’t counted my albums but I’m guessing I’m up around 15 (mix of 8.5×11 and 12×12) since I started scrapping in early 2004. Recently I went back through some older post-bound albums and moved the layouts into D-ring albums. And while I was doing that I trashed a bunch of the older layouts. I got some serious flack on some online message boards about that, but I was TOTALLY ok with it! I am by nature NOT a hoarder. In fact – I am ruthless about only keeping things I need and love since we are a military family who moves every few years. My scrap stuff is by FAR my largest collection, and although I am ok with that, I realized that a lot of the older layouts that had nothing on them but some pretty pictures of scenery weren’t things i “loved” enough to keep. Also, I totally agreed with Karen when she made the comment about her future daughter-in-laws having the final say on her albums! I would be wonderful if my 2 boys (5 and 2) want to keep few of my layouts, but I also subscribe the idea that I do this hobby for me, not any potential future generations. That being said, I recognize that it will be my job as a parent to convey to my kids that they are welcome to keep only what they want from my albums – no guilt involved if they decide to trash the rest when I’m gone. I will likely ask them at some point if they would like to sit down with me and choose some layouts that speak to them so that they can enjoy a few instead of feeling burdened by the massive collection of what is MY hobby – not theirs.

  • I’m another NON_HOARDER by nature! I tell my kids all that time that they’ll better enjoy the things they love when it’s not surrounded by so much clutter that they don’t. So that resonated with me when you applied that to layouts for our kids to inherit.
    I know there is guilt around the community about the idea of throwing away layouts. I’m glad the Roundtable can be a voice for supporting those who feel they’re better off without the pages that mean nothing to you.

  • I can really relate to this episode regarding organization of our albums and having enough space. I also stopped creating minibooks because I didn’t know how to keep them. I’m starting to think that minibooks will be “extra” and disposable for me – in the sense that it’s to show and tell, rather than keep. I like the neatness of having everything in albums and just recently blogged about doing my december daily in my album as pages, rather than separately. It made me wonder if people stop scrapping in their normal albums when they create a separate december daily? Or do they expand on specific stories on traditional pages in their albums in additional to the december daily album?

  • This makes me curious about how you compile your albums. Are they chronological? Will you have separate 12×12 pages for December? Please share!

  • I scrap on regular sized paper (A4 here in Europe) and scrap whatever I fancy at the moment. But I organize the finished layouts by date as well as a select subjects – All About Me, About Us, Italia – those subject ones are sort of general, all encompassing and date doesn’t really matter. It’s a mix, but all in album format, so they can sit on my shelf together and neatly. I’ve been rotating my display of minibooks in a common area that I semi-decorate for the season. So that works to showcase my scrapbooking to others as compared to the bookshelf where the “permanent library” lives.

    For December Daily, I have a template prepared and will simply scrap daily pages and add into my regular album. So those pages will look similar… but not be in a separate album. Although I could take them out and put them together if I wanted to for whatever reason.

  • It was refreshing to hear people in the “industry” talking about how overwhelming Project Life is–not just in terms of doing the project and “keeping up” if it’s a weekly/daily thing, but in terms of the physical volume it occupies. Sometimes it feels like I am the only one who had a real concern with this!

    I am doing a photo-a-day approach this year (the first full year of my daughter’s life; in lieu of a baby book), and as we are getting to the end of the year, I’m realizing that my album is overstuffed, and I really don’t want to expand into two albums… so I’m going to have to go through and re-think some of my inserts.

    I did a photo-a-day Project Life in 2010, as well, and it fit well into one album because I didn’t get fancy– I just used the cards (provided with what are now the “core kits”) and the photos. But I was also satisfying my “creative” scrapbooking itches by doing layouts for other years at the same time.

    Sometimes I wonder what people’s album collections look like who do (multi-album) Project Life projects year after year after year (sometimes on top of other scrapbooking!!). I find it very fascinating and rewarding to look back at the details of our lives in the two times I have participated, but I don’t think that I will ever be sorry that I didn’t preserve every small detail for a span of years (and years). And if you’re passing it down to your progeny? Oh my, how overwhelming! I will do the project again if I have another child (so that he/she has the same detail for the first year), but otherwise I think it’s something I would only revisit occasionally (every 10 years? if that?). Right now, I would rather dedicate my time to making “regular” layouts about big and small events. Maybe those albums will take up more space, but not only will they be what I have determined to be the important (big and small) things, but they will also be my creative outlet.

    P.S.Just for the sake of including my (12×12) album count: I have 1 album from a trip to China in college, which has never been finished (so SO sad about that), 11 scrapbook albums (including 2 dedicated albums for our wedding) for 2005-2011, excluding 2010, one finished Proj 365 (2010) and a Proj 366-in-progress. I’m not counting the photo albums, photo books, and jury-rigged photo-album-scrapbook-mashups from earlier in my life :)

  • Adel O

    Hello all,
    I have finally counted my albums- at least 25 12 x12 albums and about 10 minis. Trying something new for my son’s special trip to San Diego, I bought and used a mix and match album from Simple Stories. I loved it. Then I had just finished my daughter’s third album, and as she gets older (15), a 12×12 just seemed too much. Maybe the new Snap album would work, as well. After listening to the show, I asked myself, why couldn’t I use a Snap album for Project Life? The kids love flipping through it and I know that a full 2 page spread is usually too much per week. And as extra confirmation, Cathy Z. had a field journalling (8×9 size) give away – a place to catch stories, patterns of life and pictures and bits of life. I am getting very excited to try out the Snap album as a smaller version of PL for 2013.