PRT209 – Micro-Scrapbooking and Macro-Scrapbooking

This week we’re talking about macro- and micro-scrapbooking…

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  • McKenzie McGehee

    This comment is for Izzy. You mentioned that you’re learning about memory and I thought you might be interested in Radio Lab, they did a very interesting episode on memory.

  • Hi Noell

    You asked if anyone knows someone doing Project Life for *just* memorabilia :)

    I do that!!

    Here’s a few of my PL memorabilia pages.

    I plan to put digital my digital pages alongside the memorabilia when/if I scrap them

    For example

  • Sue Althouse

    When I saw the title of this episode, I thought the topic was going to be 12×12 pages (macro) versus Project Life pages (micro). Instead, Noelle wisely allowed each panelist to define the terms for herself. The result was a much richer discussion. In addition, it allowed the listeners to define the terms for themselves. I’m not done with the episode yet, but already know I will be listening to this one again. I’m sure I am not grasping the depth of the discussion the first time around. It also might have something to do with the fact that I’ve only been awake for an hour. ;-)

  • Just wanted to jump in and say how much I am appreciating the discussion. I haven’t finished the episode yet, but I know I will listen to it again as it has given me a lot of food for thought.

  • Gwynn Asbury

    I had to jump in and share with something related to your discussion about memory. Karen had talked about memory being fragmented, and this is true, we do not store a complete memory all together – think of memory being stored like Stacy Julian’s Memory File System, our memory is stored in fragments based on a mental dictionary – i.e. all the memories with your childhood home, the home would be a fragment. When you remember one fragment you are then able to recall other memories tied to that fragment. Also, what Izzy was sharing about memory being not very good, it is true and not true. Our memory is actually influenced by how people ask us questions related to an event in addition to how many other memories are tied to one specific reference point. J. Loftus at the University of Washingtion made her entire psychology career identifying aspects of memory that can be influenced and aspects which are not. Just had to jump in and share the intellectual piece!

  • So, apparently I have like 3 different sign-ins under disqus….. In honor of your request, A PICTURE!

  • This is my third year doing project life and I recently went back to my first project life album to gather up some info I needed for my daughter’s baby book. I really enjoyed seeing the “the big picture” and the reoccurring things that were different 2 years ago. It inspired me to create some scrapbook pages of what I now would consider “macro” topics (but at the time I thought they were micro). It reminds me a bit of Stacy J’s library of memory system’s category drawers – she advocates letting your photos “age” so you find connections later. Thanks for hosting another thought provoking discussion!

  • I have to say that every week my husband asks me if I’ve listened to the Paperclipping show. I think he likes to listen to Izzy… their humor is similar and I think he likes that he’s not the only husband immersed in scrapbooking. :)

    I think it’s interesting not just to write down a memory again after you’ve already put on a page, but to re-scrapped the story/photos entirely without looking at the original page. I have done this with several stories/photos always being amazed with the differences between a memory scrapped while it’s fresh and one scrapped a year or more later. I’ve noticed when I scrap shortly after taking the photos and having an experience, it’s more of a who, what, when, where and why page I create. After a few years have passed, it’s less of those bullet points and more the visceral story, with today’s matured perspective and insight. Artistically speaking, the pages are also completely different, at times polar opposites. I highly recommend some form of retelling a story without looking at the original. I know it sounds kinda silly at first, but I think together you get a rich insight into both the micro and macro stories when you do it.

  • Marie-Pierre Capistran

    I like the idea of redoing a page after time has passed. I like your idea that the page in the moment would be more bullet point style and the second would be more visceral. Probably I would make more pages if is think about it this way. When I make a 12×12 page I’m always looking for a visceral story. Even if the story is recent. I’ll go check out your pages. :)

  • What a great idea!!

  • Yay! Thank you!!

  • This is so interesting!

  • Thank you for sharing! The second two links aren’t working and I would love to see them!!

  • We love Radio Lab! Sounds like a cool one to listen to (we don’t listen to them as regularly anymore)!!

  • Tammy Shupard Brandt

    I was thinking that if you did digital, then you could have your pages printed out in 12×12, versus a photo book, and add one of those pocket/flap additions with adhesive strip onto the outside of the page protector. You could do this with a bound photo book as well, but it may burst the binding if you added too many.

  • It is! There are even shortcuts you can use to get more accurate memory – primarily by focusing on the senses. Your brain parts that are most involved in emotion and memory storage (they are next to each other) are triggered most effectively through your visual and smell memory because in order for episodic or emotional memory to be stored, it has to first pass through the parts of the brain that process visual and smell. Not to mention that our memories are actually influenced by our own personality and previous experience. Our minds are just fascinating.

  • Finished listening to the episode for like the 3rd time…… And it was such a great discussion. I think that all of you were spot on talking about how pocket page scrapbooking has really facilitated a new perspective on memory keeping. It has really enabled us to document the really small moments which on their own have no meaning and when placed in a larger context provide a complete and totally new understanding of that one moment. I have found in my own scrapbooking as I have finally tried the whole pocket page thing that I have more freedom in sharing the longer stories on traditional pages and really my everyday ramblings and thoughts about life in Project Life style. NOT to mention that my husband looks more at my project life, he is more interested in the little moments….. And honestly when I think about my own childhood, the things that have stayed with me are really this small little moments that were fleeting. Sometimes when I say something about these moments, my mother is very surprised to see that what I remember was this small moment. Micro moments make Macro experiences.

  • ldmccarty

    Noell, I’m SO glad you did this episode. I’ve listened twice already and will likely listen again. I love “systems” episodes :*) I’m such a geek.

    Here’s how I think about it. Hope it’s OK to link a picture.

    I started thinking about this about 2 years ago because I mostly scrap chronologically – the small moments in the large format. But once pocket scrapping came along, I shifted to it for the “small moments” and have really been trying to scrap some large format/large theme pages. I’ve only done a handful, but I love the new distinction and how it lets me capture the small themes (what did my office look like in 2013) and the large ones (how did I get to where I am today).

  • I’m not done listening, yet, but I had to stop to let the Scrappy Jedi know I caught her 42 reference! I haven’t scrapbooked this memory yet, but here is a photo from my Instagram feed (@StudioScrapping) that was taken on our 24th Anniversary. The caption was “He’s the answer for me!”

  • Ok…I have no memory of a 42 reference. Did we all miss it?

  • Marie-Pierre Capistran

    Hi Noell, just to let you know that I have made a blog post following the episode with some example of macro and micro pages if anyone is interested. :)

  • stampartiste

    I found this discussion (and the comments) so interesting! It’s sometimes hard for me to balance between which events to document: the “forest/macro” or the “trees/micro” events of our lives.

    I have been thinking a lot lately about how I’m preserving memories. Recently, two things got me to thinking about this: The first thing was reading this article ( on memory recall about the effect of taking too many photos as opposed to just experiencing the moment. The second thing was my mother rediscovering daily diaries that she kept during my childhood years. She and I spent many delicious moments together recently reading her diary entries. Even without photos, the events and patterns of my parents’ lives came alive for me.

    Both of these things are making me think that a quicker, more in-depth picture of my life might be better preserved in a daily journal. Then, I can let a little time and distance determine which moments to actually scrapbook (I would already have the preserved memories of the events in my journal). Just like today, one of my granddaughters said to me, “Remember when we made cupcakes at your house?” Her recalling this event from several months ago made me realize this is one of those small “trees/micro” stories that I need to scrapbook.

    Thank you for another great episode!

  • stampartiste

    As a fellow geek, I love your “Stephen Covey Time Management” type chart to convey the different options we have in preserving our memories. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sandy Baldwin

    Hi Sue, I can totally relate to your comment! I listen when driving into work, and normally have breakfast there as well. So driving in on an empty tummy, no cup of tea had as yet, I assumed the discussion was simply PL versus 12×12. But no, when I noticed the conversation getting heavier I hit pause on my iPhone and decided to wait and listen after breakfast as I couldn’t do the content of the show justice on low blood sugar! I still have to listen to the rest of the show but some very thought provoking stuff said so far.

  • Noell, yes, you all just kept going on with the conversation about you getting your age wrong. I just wanted Melissa to know there are nerdy scrapbookers out here who caught it. ;-)

  • Hmm, here’s another try! The water fun page is digi – the Sea World one is memorabilia

  • Well, I did try to upload images directly here within Disqus. Not sure why they don’t show up :(

  • Sandy Baldwin

    Yay! I’m heading home soon and will get to listen to the remainder of the pod cast!!

  • This is awesome!

  • Such gorgeous pages!!!

  • I didn’t get to see your samples until now (images don’t show up in my email and I have to actually come to the website to see them). It’s really cool to see these two pages and the journaling and what a different take you had on it both times! Thanks for sharing. I love your pages!

  • ME TOOO! :)

  • Oh well, now they are showing up twice! Ooops! :)

    I found a couple of other posts about my PL/digi albums – just in case anyone is interested.

  • love this!

  • Charity Donaldson

    It’s a reference to the book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” The number 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of the life, the universe and everything.

  • Thanks, Charity — I know what 42 is (I have a few geeks in my family), I just didn’t notice that Melissa was referencing it when we were talking about my age. :)

  • ladywing

    Interesting topic. I probably do about 50/50 micro vs macro scrapping. I do let some stories “percolate” and part of that is rescrapping the same photos from time to time. At different points in time, I see them differently. One of them that comes to mind is a photo of my son at about 2-1/2 YO in the dirt with a handful of dirt in one hand and poking at it with the other. It’s created so far at least 3 different pages. First, the immediate one of how much he was a boy in the dirt. Then, a couple years later, a story about how in the dirt or sand he always was his first few years. Moving ahead to high school, I noticed how this same boy found his place in ceramics – more “mud” for him. And now, as an adult, he’s found his place, still in the mud and sand, working on specialty concrete repair and as a mason. This 4th, I need yet to do. I think as memory keepers, we should be able to see these relationships as time goes on and we revisit the photos. It’s truly the “big picture” when it comes to our history.

  • Terri Torrez

    I just wanted to comment on automatically importing into Lightroom – this post totally improved my workflow as well. However, I use the PhotoSync app instead of Dropbox to move the photos from the whole family’s iPhones and iPads to my computer. And I use Eye-Fi in all of my cameras. So now all of the photos in our house go into one folder and auto-import into Lightroom. Best workflow improvement ever!

  • Gabrielle McCann

    What a great blog post … and your pages are so beautiful!

  • Marie-Pierre Capistran

    Oh thank you so much!!! Your beautiful comment on my blog this morning made ne start my day with a big big smile!!!! :)

  • Gabrielle McCann

    You are so welcome! I’m so glad I visited your blog … now I feel like i know you a bit better when I listen to you on PRT!

  • Curlywiggles

    This was a great episode! Regarding the comments about looking at past pages and wondering why you’d ever made them. I just wanted to add, that I have no room for regret about past pages I’ve made. The subject matter must have had enough meaning to me at the time to warrant my investment in time and creative energy, even if it doesn’t now. It’s all part of the story.

  • I understand the sentiment of not having time for regrets. I ask myself these questions, not to lament the past, but to help me make better choices now. Asking myself these questions have helped me refine my storytelling and given me a much more fulfilling and enriching experience as I scrapbook now.

  • Curlywiggles

    Hi Noell! That’s a great point. When I look back on my earliest pages which were just paper + photos it always reminds me to make room for journalling on my pages. There are always things we can learn from to help us grow as story tellers.