Happy Talk with Jan McCallum - how digital scrapbooking works in my life at pixels2Pages.net

I’m not too big on New Year’s Resolutions, because like many people, I’ve already “failed” to keep them before the end of January, and I don’t like that feeling.  I am big on setting goals, though, and dreaming big.  There is a difference, at least in my mind.  I used to enjoy the ‘clean slate’ feel that came with opening up a brand new calendar, full of promise and devoid of appointments, schedules, and responsibilities, but now that most of my calendars are on my computer, I realize that there really is no end point or new beginning – life just moves on!

That doesn’t stop me from taking stock of what’s working in my life, what’s not working, and what’s missing, but that’s something I tend to do more often that once a year.  As I looked back over the past year, I realized that even though I make pages for my work here at pixels2Pages, I’ve been really remiss in just making pages just because I want to.  I’m really bad at actually COMPLETING projects.  I have started (I only wish I could say ‘half-finished’, but that would be a huge exaggeration!) more projects than many people have art kits.  I have twice that many that haven’t been started, and tens of thousands of digital images that have been looked at and enjoyed once (if then) and are now sitting in their shoebox in the sky.  Yes, friends, it is a classic case of the cobbler whose children have no shoes!

You may have gathered from some of my previous blog posts that I am not the most organized person on the planet; in fact, I’m in the running for the opposite title.  My tagging system consists of frantic Facebook messages to other Pixies – “What kit has a pear?  Are there any good elephants?  I’m looking for a good baby girl kit that’s not too fussy…” – and thankfully, I get multiple, immediate, perfect responses.  But I know this isn’t something I should count on or expect.  I also know how slow the creative process can be if I have to spend hours looking for that perfect paper or element.  My computer filing system is a disaster; if you don’t believe me, ask Shelley.  On the rare days that I decide to de-clutter my computer files or revamp my filing system, I devise the perfect, easy-to-remember system that will be THE one.  And then, invariably, I’m interrupted midway through, and I don’t even remember what my brilliant system was meant to be by the time I get back to it (days or weeks later).

My photos are not in much better shape, although thanks to Forever, they are getting better.  I love the ease of uploading my images from my computer to my Forever account using Valet, and I use the Forever app to make sure the images from my phone and iPad are uploaded to my account.  When I have ten or fifteen minutes to spare, I pop into my Forever account and delete the images that don’t need to be there (screen shots, boarding passes, some food photos, blurry photos, multiples) – it’s really not that hard to do a day or two or even a week at a time.  I’ve found that I even have time to tag things and drag them into albums most days!  Soon, I’ll be ready to tackle my huge collection of full memory cards and upload them, too!  (I warned you.  I’m seriously delinquent!)  One of the things I am really loving about Artisan 5 is being able to grab photos from my Forever account and pop them right onto my page.  I love how nicely Historian plays with Forever, too, since most of my images are in Historian.  Somewhere.  Except for the ones in iPhoto….

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If you have not given up on me yet, you’re probably thinking that it will take me the rest of my life to get organized enough to scrapbook, and you would be right – it probably would.  Which is exactly why I decided that I would do my best to make one page every day.  You heard me.  I’m just diving in.  One thing that I realized I really missed was the feeling that comes from creating a page and completing it, and then posting it – or not.  I’m not sure I have it in me to plan out a whole book or the whole library of books that needs to be done, but I can make pages.  They won’t be the fanciest pages I’ve ever done, but they’ll have photos and stories on them. I can decide what I will do with them later, but I know I can make calendars or page panels or even a book that may not be my typical “two page spread, everything flows” kind of book.  But you know what they say – done is better than perfect!  And thank goodness for pixels2Pages Blueprints!

I can hear you naysayers out there – I’ve not once made it past February when trying to do a Day2Day album, and by February I mean I haven’t even remembered to take a picture every day!  And try as I might, Fitbit and all, there are many days I don’t walk 10,000 steps.  But my Fitbit has taught me that awareness and goals are part of the process – if I only walk 5000 steps one day, I know how many I need to walk on other days to reach my goal.  Or I’ll miss it, and the world won’t end.  I think that is one of those things that comes with living long enough – I really only need to worry about disappointing me.  So this week, I’ve made a page every day but one, so far.  So who knows, maybe today I’ll do a two-page spread and I’ll be caught up!  And during our crop (which starts a week from today!) maybe I’ll get a little bit ahead!

Will I end the year with 366 pages?  Who knows?  I could enjoy it so much I end up with 500, or I could get so busy that I’m lucky to do a page every week.  For now, though, I’m enjoying my time at the end of the day, when I curl up with my laptop and create before I head off to dreamland.  My take home message for you is this – do what makes you happy!  You don’t have to wait until ____________  – your content is organized, your photos are organized, you’ve finished all of those projects you started in Artisan 4 before you allow yourself to start playing with Artisan 5, you have time to sit down and work for hours at a time, your new computer is set up perfectly, your children are grown, you retired from your job, you won the lottery – just fill in the blank.  You have some pictures you want to share with someone?  Make them a page.  Found a fun quote that inspires you?  Make it into a page – use a kit you’ve never used and find some fun fonts and just play around.  You see a challenge and realize you have the perfect photos to go with it?  Make a page.  You took a special trip that you want to remember?  Make a page about the best day.  You can do it!!  And guess what – at the end of the year, I’ll bet you’ll have a book.  Or four.

Have fun with it!

PS  If you want a place to share your pages and stay accountable, join our Plan2Scrap Facebook group.  Only the people in it will see your pages.


Here are my pages for this month – I’m on track so far!  Click on the images to see the content and fonts used.

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10 Responses to Blog: A Page a Day? A Lofty Goal for 2016!

  1. Suzanne says:

    I have really loved seeing all your pages this month! I am also more behind than I would like to admit, but am excited to start on the new Kenya book. I hope to get my mojo back working on something fun again!

  2. Ola Otto says:

    Great post, ,Jan! Sounded like me, too. Many projects not finished, content not yet tagged, tons of content, zillions of photos…..
    I’m interested in following along and encouraging you as you work towards this goal. Hope you’ll keep posting your projects, and your pages (at least some of them). Beautiful work!! VERY inspiring.
    Blessings, Ola

    • Jan says:

      Thank you, Ola! I could do a page a day and barely make a dent in my backlog…. And it’s so much fun, so I’m enjoying it. It’s usually how I end my days now – with a great sense of accomplishment.

  3. Nanette Shipman says:

    Thanks Jan! It gives a bit of hope to the rest of us disorganized folks who are way behind where we think we should be! I’ve been spending hours tagging and tagging and I don’t think I’ve ever had everything tagged…….and yes, I spend way too much time looking for the right paper or embellishment. I have a hefty number of half-done, unfinished or “in-process” projects too. As someone who never much liked the idea of New Year’s Resolutions, I appreciate your perspective. It’s really not an end point or even a new beginning. Life will be moving on. I’ll take stock, evaluate, modify and keep on keeping on!

  4. Alison says:

    Go Jan! That’s a terrific goal, and I’m glad you have given yourself permission to be real about it. I’m cheering for you!

  5. Ruth Bell says:

    It’s good to know that you pixies are human. And I thought that you had it all together!

  6. Carolyn Walker says:

    I thought I was reading about myself! So pleased to know that I’m not alone. Thanks for sharing

  7. Karen Weaver says:

    Enjoyed the read. Great points. Cheers to a page a day.

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