`

Album Progress + More Observations

Progress


Going through my entire collection of scrapbook layouts a couple weeks back (read here for details) was quite an experience. Now that things have settled a bit from the initial craziness of pulling all the pages out I have moved on to actually putting them in yearly order (with a couple theme-based albums mixed in for good measure).


As you can see from the photos above I have made some progress: those albums are 2002-2006.


Not sure about whether this location will be their permanent home (especially since there will be more), but I like the idea of having some sitting there with a small basket of minibooks. I could rotate the large albums in and out seasonally. Lots of options.


And as you can see in the second photo, I still have more to do.



One of the things I am being mindful of as I put the pages into the albums is this: what's missing from my work?


I am taking this opportunity to take stock in what I have created so far and where I want to go next.


Whether you scrapbook once a month, weekly, or daily (or whatever your creative endeavor entails), taking a step back to look at the entirety of your work is so worth the effort to refocus and figure out what you are missing.


Ever take a look at a layout and think (or literally know) that there is something is missing? I definitely had many of those thoughts come over me as I was looking through my piles. How about taking that one step farther and seeing what is missing from the overall "body" of your work? Maybe the words are absent. Maybe it is a particular person or topic (maybe it is you). Maybe all your photos are up close or maybe they are all far away. Maybe what is missing is real content rather than just a bunch of pretty embellishments. Maybe it is a sense of experimentation and fun and playfulness.


This is what I know: I want to continue to strive for balance. Balance between in-depth stories + fun embellishments. Balance between close-up + far away photos. Balance between stories about Chris, stories about Simon, and stories about me. Balance between creative experimentation + pages that are purely words and photos.


I believe, as you may know, that there is no right or wrong way to document your life or the lives of people in your family. We will all be missing something in our pages according to someone. Every one of us should have our own way of scrapbooking – for some that will be detailed and precise while for others it will be more organic. The key is to not be afraid of finding your own way and embracing it and taking some time to evaluate yourself as you go along.


In looking back on my own work I can see (and remember) periods of time where I was being influenced by other designers and/or concepts and/or products, or where other things were happening in my life that seemed to have a direct effect on my personal creativity. I have found that sometimes finding your own way means trying out lots of different options along the road.


I can also see when I was doing a layout more for the sake of showcasing a product or technique rather than telling a story (a potential occupational hazard when your job and your hobby become one and the same). This is my personal reality and something that is on my mind especially now after looking through all those pages. I want the photos and the story to always be first on the list. I want the products and the fun stuff to enhance and support my stories rather than take center-stage.


Will I go back and adjust any of those layouts where I feel something is missing? Probably not. My first thought is that they are what they are. They represent a time and a space and piece of my life not only in what they show on the page but also in what they say to me without speaking. In so many ways they are the perfect reminders of what I don’t want to be doing – and direction for what I want to see on my future pages. Here's my current thinking: if I feel like the design is horrible but the story is there then I will leave it; if the story is completely missing and is not told elsewhere in the albums (such as a "looking back" sort of page) than I will probably do a new layout at some point that more completely tells the story.


Today I invite you to reflect a bit on what is missing from your layouts, from your creative life, from your photography, from your everyday life? Are the words missing from your scrapbook pages? Are the everyday photos missing? Is a particular person missing? Are the pages themselves missing because there is always something else that needs to be done before you can get to your creative time? After reflecting a bit (or literally going through and looking at all your pages – which I completely recommend to everyone), write down your observations. These are invaluable as you move forward.

Sign in or sign up to comment.

61 thoughts

  1. April says…
    02/20/2008

    You give us lots to think about! Love it!

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Debra Orozco says…
    02/20/2008

    Did you buy a bunch of the same album for this renovation of your scrapbooks? What happened to all the albums that the pages originally lived in? The uniformity is nice, but I think I would miss the uniqueness and color of a variety of albums. You have made amazing progress if all those albums were empty and are now organized. Wow!

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Leigh says…
    02/20/2008

    According to my mom, she's missing from my albums.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Jenni says…
    02/20/2008

    I have been thinking about doing this too. My albums are all chronological already, but I just don't really like the albums that I have them in. The albums seem to not be able to stand up the the rigors of being looked at by an 8 yr old.
    I know you've posted it before, but what albums do you use again?

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. patty c. says…
    02/20/2008

    I have a refinished wooden bowl that I have always loved and recently I put it out on my coffee table and filled it with my mini albums - anything from a Halloween one to a Christmas one to a beach album. I noticed immediately that people will pick these up and go through them. And they love them! But they never did this with my old big 12X12 albums that are on a shelf nearby. You talk about this in your post today - putting the minis in a basket - do it, you won't be sorry.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Emily J. says…
    02/20/2008

    I also keep my albums organized in chronological order...It seems your work is mainly 1 page layouts (mine is usually 2 page) but, I do do 1 page layouts sometimes - it just throws the page order out - I find myself having to "find" something to scrapbook that transition between the single page layout and the double page-Any suggestions?? Anyone? I don't like seeing the back of the double page layout while flipping through the album....Something I wonder if anyone else has a dilemma on...
    TFS your process.
    Emily

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Alexandra says…
    02/20/2008

    You mentioned 'balance' - seems like so much of life is about BALANCE. I'm trying to find a balance between obligations and creative time. Even trying to find a balance between experimentation and waste - ridiculously reluctant to waste a good product or a good photo. Somehow there's got to be a way to achieve a happy balance.
    Thanks so much for sharing, Ali - you make it all seem so organic.
    A.

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Nicky Anderson says…
    02/20/2008

    Looks great Ali, and inspiring - I still need to find an ideal spot and have to go back through the albums. I know the main thing missing in my books is pictures and stories of me, I am the picture taker, story teller and have not had a chance yet to add my own story. One thing I know that I need to work on.
    Thanks again for helping the process along.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Beth says…
    02/20/2008

    I so had to post a comment today. I have read your blog every day since 2005, since a friend told me about you posting about Simon (she saw some similarities to my son who was younger than Simon at that time and thought reading your blog would help me and it did!).
    I have continued to come back because you inspire me in so many ways. I want to tap into the creative side of myself, but something(s) is/are holding me back.
    Your question:
    Are the pages themselves missing because there is always something else that needs to be done before you can get to your creative time? REALLY HIT HOME!!
    That and perfectionsism, fear... I don't know what. I have scrapped all of 4 pages in 3 years!!! I can't get started. I agonize over layouts, products to use, pictures, etc. My camera isn't good enough, whatever.
    After reading this today I need to take a hard look at what I really want to do. And ask myself what I am waiting for. Thanks. ANy suggestions on getting started?

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. tena Sprenger says…
    02/20/2008

    looks cool ali. I need to get some albums all my art is in ugly boxes presently waiting to be put in albums so we can enjoy it. You have given me a little push to do that. tena

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. sue says…
    02/20/2008

    Awesome work!
    Sue

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Cel says…
    02/20/2008

    Something that's missing on my layouts are heartfelt journaling. Now I've learned that journaling may come first prior to actually starting a layout. That way, I can balance the embellishments to be used knowing that I already have a journaling to go with it. Thanks for this inspiration Ali!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Erin says…
    02/20/2008

    SUCH a great post, Ali. Thanks for sharing the "big picture"-it's a great reminder. Erin :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Rebecca says…
    02/20/2008

    thank you! you are awesome!

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Bree says…
    02/20/2008

    The pages themselves are missing for me right now. Thanks for the reminder to make creativity a part of my life everyday again.

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Marty says…
    02/20/2008

    Thank you for your inspirational words. I have been having seedlings of those type of ideas swirling around in the back of my head but hadn't gotten around to actually formulating into a complete concept as well as you did in your blog. I really loved seeing the stacks of all of your layouts lined up on your dining room table. Just thinking about how my stack would compare to yours made me very envious. I am going to take the time to review my "body of work" :) to determine what is missing and continue adding more stories to accompany the pictures. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and ideas.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. jmbmommy says…
    02/20/2008

    I like that you are constantly "keeping it real"...I try really hard to do that myself... especially like the "behind the curtain" photo...because that is life, isn't it?

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Jill says…
    02/20/2008

    So true! I took Stacy's BPS class last year and it was great to look through all of my pages to see where there were holes. I've also discoverd that I don't like my albums displayed in my office. I'm having shelves and cases built in our living room so the albums are easily accessed from anyone that comes into our home. I can't wait!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Emily Hoadley says…
    02/20/2008

    After reading your first post about sorting your pages I got inspired to get all my pages out of page protectors and sorting them into basic piles: 06, 07, jack, clara, other. These went into albums and when I was done I really pleased to see that I had really told the story of the almost two years of my twins' lives. Some of the pages I did I still loved and some not at all but I am not re-doing because I don't like the style of something. The sad thing I found is that my husband and I were married for 10 years before the kiddies came around, and there are less than a handful of pages that even show our lives. So, my new goal is to start gathering some of those old "film" prints and start telling our story BK: before kids. Thanks for always inspiring me with a fresh perspective.

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Gaby Acosta says…
    02/20/2008

    I have visited you since last year, but only looked your pics and your layouts. When febrary began i decided to read all your post, my english is not so good (you already know, je) so i read slowly.
    I admire you, your ideas, your proposal to work scrap, your vision about life, art, daily moments.
    In this moment i think a lot of things, for example... which would be my word for the year? what is missing in my work? (i´m beginer) could i count my story in this work?
    You are an amazing woman. Thank you Ali for share those thinks.
    Besos =kisses=

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Brooke says…
    02/20/2008

    I read "The Scrapbook," a novel by Peggy B. Baker, last weekend and it totally inspired me to get my values and messages down on paper for my kids. I really feel some urgency to pass on the story of my career choice, motherhood, etc. If (when) something should happen to me, I don't want all I left behind to be birthday party layouts.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Artful yogi says…
    02/20/2008

    "Are the pages themselves missing because there is always something else that needs to be done before you can get to your creative time?" Yes. Perhaps you have an advantage as this has become your job. i love both yoga and photo art. I teach and practice yoga. The art gets done when it is squeezed in. Frankly, I think my husband would rather i spend more time cleaning than creating. It is tough. Deciding where to make/spend time is crucial. I don't watch any tv and it is so hard to make time to do what i love to do. This year i did vow to spend less time wandering around craft stores and more time using my current supplies. That has worked so far. Thanks for your frank prompts.

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Leah Zahn says…
    02/20/2008

    You know, I really appreciate that you have kept your 2Peas gallery intact. You are my favorite scrapbooker (since I saw your HOF entry and had never heard of you before) and looking back through your gallery is so inspirational to me. It looks like we started posting around the same time, and our sons are the same age-actually within a few days of each other. Somehow that parallel has kept me drawn to your art, and I love seeing your progression as a scrapbooker. I'm glad you don't have too much intention to change past pages; I don't either except, as you've said, where you really feel something important is lacking. As always, thanks for the inspiration.

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Molly says…
    02/20/2008

    I don't have a "body of work" yet to look back on, and right now am in the mindset of just getting some stuff done; getting some thoughts and pictures down. I'm focused on a strategy of "begin with the end in mind", as Stephen Coveys says. What do I want my kids to see, read, feel when they look at these pages when they are 18 ... 25 ... and older? That's the question that I keep coming back to as I do pages, mini-books and projects. I think about it as I go along. It's my hope that my efforts in scrapbooking bring understanding to questions, comfort, and love when I am gone.
    Thank you, Ali for bringing these thoughts from the back of my mind to the written word.

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. sandee says…
    02/20/2008

    I love your work - I have also had thoughts about re-doing or adding to previous pages but then I think that that was who I was then - they way I designed, the elements that were available, the style...all that evolves and has evolved so when people look back - Simon when he is older - if you leave things as is, he will see how you evolved, grew as an artist. Thank you for always inspiring!

    Reply 0 Replies

Sign in or sign up to comment.