September 11, 2014

filling in the gaps

Last Friday it was my turn to host the blog for Simple Stories. In that post I shared a project that has been on my mind for quite a long time now. I don’t keep a Life Documented album... Honestly, I find the whole concept completely overwhelming. There is just no way I could ever keep up with such an endeavor. Because as I've mentioned before, scrapbooking is something I never want to have to "keep up" with in the first place. But something that I’ve wanted to do for many years now is to find the best way to include all the “extra” photos into our family scrapbooks. You know, the ones that never make it onto layouts.

I knew that I wanted to use divided page protectors to accomplish this, but for some reason I always thought that I would include the extra photos by month. Don't ask why. That's just where my mind always went, but thinking that way just seemed to make the project too overwhelming. Finally, after putting it off for, right, years, I realized that I should just do a yearly summary. So that's what I did. These are the photos and stories that fill in the gaps of 2013:

Even though the idea behind this project was to include my extra photos, I knew that I needed to set limits in order to make it manageable. To start, I decided to use only two Simple Stories Design 3 page protectors which altogether make 32 slots for photos or journaling or title spots. I knew that to keep the project doable, I wouldn’t be able to include all of our extra photos. When choosing photos from the year I aimed to pick somewhere between 25 and 28.

Again, part of why I put off this project for so long was because it seemed too overwhelming. In order to keep things easy, I also limited my product choices deciding not to use any embellishments other than stickers, and keeping mainly to using Sn@p! Collections already in my stash. I relied most on the Him and Everyday collections, but also used Baby Boy, Family, Christmas, and Summer.

As you’ll see below, I also included two cut-out elements cards from Sea to Shining Sea. I think Gabe must have seen this flag cake on "The Martha Stewart Show" back when it ran on The Hallmark Channel. He's been asking to make one for a long time. I really wanted to include one photo each of Gabe and Nathan creating the Fourth of July flag cake. So these photos got half a page to themselves.

The boys had so much fun doing this, but I never made a scrapbook page to document it. It feels good to finally have that story recorded!

I don’t take tons and tons of photographs, but I take enough that they can’t all make it onto layouts. Plus, some of them, while cute, aren’t all that great. Perhaps they are too dark, or maybe out of focus. Sometimes, there really isn’t enough story there to warrant making an entire layout. This third page includes a few photos that fit into those categories.

And, while I don’t create my layouts in chronological order, I do store them in my albums in chronological order. When I created this fill-in-the-gaps project, I decided to put the photos in order as the year progressed. On this last page are photos from fall, Halloween, and Christmas.

These two pocket pages will be placed behind the year-in review spread I make each year (which is more a highlights layout of photos already scrapbooked), and together they will give a more complete picture of our year. Some more close-ups of the pages, here is a birthday photo of Sam:

As it says in the journaling, we had a very simple celebration at home. And because Sam did not like the cupcakes (a good thing really... turns out he is allergic to, lots of things, and shouldn't have eaten them anyway!), I really didn’t have all that many photos of him celebrating. But again, it is good to finally have at least one photo in our albums documenting that special day.

The photo below is from our first day of school last year:

In this case, I actually do have more photos from the day and have meant to scrapbook them, but have just never got around to doing it. I may go back and to do that, but if I don’t, I’ll at least have some record of that day.

Finally, in some cases there really isn’t much to say about a photo. I do get bored sometimes scrapbooking the same types of stories over-and-over again each year. For example, I love our annual trip to the pumpkin patch, but carving the pumpkins isn’t really my thing. But I did take a photo of the boys cleaning their pumpkins last year:

The photo is pretty self-explanatory, but I decided to embellish it simply with some stickers from the new Frankie and Friends collection.

As I worked on this project I kept repeating to myself, keep it simple! There are so many product choices available to scrapbookers today. And the Life Documented/Project Life inspiration available online in galleries and places like Pinterest is likewise a bit overwhelming. I'm glad that I stuck with my instincts and simplified my choices ahead of time. I am super-pleased with how this project turned out, and the end result is in keeping with my style.

The best part of completing this is that Gabe and Nathan saw the pages on our kitchen table as I was photographing them, and they were so happy to see all our memories from the previous year in one place.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

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