Friday, 24 October 2008

How to Create a Legacy - Part 2


2. Make a Scrapbook!
Here is a little pic of Chelsea showing y'all how it's done! For years now (well, all the years I've been scrapbooking anyway) I've MADE the kids journal their daily activities (when we've gone away on holiday) in a mini-book that I've either made or bought for them to customize. I fear I'll have to give it up now with the older 2 as they've been digging their heels in about it lately...(I know they'll appreciate it when they're older) and already LOVE looking back on their books so far...

Scrapbooking is the best way to preserve your memories. Everything is stored in an easy-to-see format and if you standardise your albums they look great together as your collection expands. Most albums are 12" square and expandable so you can fill them as much as possible if you like. Albums come with a few "expanders" that are lengths of chipboard used to put 'in-between' your scrapbook pages in order to level out your album - so that it is not narrow at the spine and wide at the other side. As scrapbook pages can sometimes get quite bulky I find expanders very handy but actually make my own out of foamcore. This is a plastic based cardstock that is about 3mm thick, slightly thicker than the chipboard expanders that come standard with the albums.

Albums also come with "extenders" which are a couple of little screw-type 'thingies' that you attach to the existing "posts" already in the album, so that you can add more pages. I like my albums to be thick. Lovely chunky volumes as I like to work a year at a time per album if possible. Therefore I need 20 - 25 pages per album, and hence A LOT OF expanders and extenders. Ready made extra expanders are available but unneccessary and from a sheet of foam core I can cut 10 expanders so this works for me. I make the holes by marking their positions first and boring through with a screwdriver-simple. Now they can go straight into my albums, between the pages. If I'm feeling bored and uncreative I cut a whole lot ready for the next albums to come. I have a whole drawer full of the things...

I recommend starting with this standard size as it is most practical. But A4 is quite popular overseas as are 'mini' albums, 8" or 6" square. I find these lovely as gift albums, or when used to commemorate special events, but my everyday albums are 30.5cm square-12" and this simplifies the process. There is a vast array of products that make it easy to put together simple pages and as your confidence grows so will your repertoire! Adding journalling (the story behind the photos) adds a wonderful personal touch, especially is you use your own handwriting. Often people embark on their first album as their eldest child approaches 21 and they want to present him/her with a visual record of their 'highlights'. There is no better gift than one that witnesses the bonds of friendship and family and even 'minimalists' rarely toss their photos. I also find that albums or scrapbooks make great gifts for those people who 'have everything' and everyone I have presented with an album has always appeared genuinely touched. Anytime is a good time to start scrapbooking, the sooner you start the better, as that pesky photo pile just grows and grows, especially if you love taking photos like me!

Most Scrapbooking stores hold weekly classes, which can be fun from the social aspect, and a great confidence booster when everything is still new to you. Eventually your own Scrap Space becomes essential and there are a few decent magazines available that provide constant inspiration and trend updates to keep you on track. How much or how little you put into it is up to you and your available time. I find the evenings the best time to concentrate and get creative and I know a lot of other scrappers who do the same. It might not sound appealing but try it and you'll see! Occassionally I have witnessed the sun rising...

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