You will know if you have seen the pages I have shared on this website and on our facebook page that I do lots of travel albums. I’m pretty organised when it comes to putting these travel albums together. My photos are well documented and sorted in Historian, I keep all the travel brochures & tickets and paraphernalia so that I can journal meaningfully in my albums. I love reliving my trips as I create the pages, and then again when the books come back from the Forever Print Shop.

When it comes to scrapping the everyday, “ordinary” events of our lives, it is more difficult to have a clear structure. With a trip there’s a start date and an end date, and usually a pretty defined itinerary. Life is much messier than that. There’s a risk those everyday photos languish on hard drives – or worse still on camera memory cards – and never get looked at again. I struggle a bit with the randomness of everyday photos – over time there’s no theme or unifying characteristic. Some days nothing interesting seems to happen, and other days I take lots and lots of photos of fun things we do. But that’s life, right? Scrapping those everyday photos is just as important, maybe even more so, as trips and weddings and special events.

In the past I have allowed myself to get blocked by trivial objections. There are gaps in my photo collection. The pages are not in perfect chronological order. I am missing the photos that other people took that I wanted to include. I don’t want to print this photo book until I’m sure I haven’t left anything out. I make pages that don’t necessarily have a place in any particular project, because I just took some photos I like, or because there’s a story I want to tell, or because I find the perfect photos for a particular Blueprint or Bright Idea and I make it without knowing where it will go and it sits on my computer unseen and unloved.

Any of those excuses resonate with you? Do you have your own excuses? If you let those excuses stop you from getting albums printed, you know what happens? You don’t have any albums. No books that tell the stories of your life, your family, your home, the things and people and places that matter to you. I figure a book that’s maybe a little messy is better than no book at all. I am a perfectionist by nature, so it goes against my grain to print something that feels incomplete. But  waiting till it’s perfect is a recipe for failure. A poster hangs in my office that simply says “Done is better than perfect”, and I try to remind myself of that often.

How many random photos do you have on your computer, or in shoeboxes? How much better would it be to have those random photos printed in a beautiful photo book? Do you have digital pages that you have made, that don’t seem to fit in any of your current album projects? My challenge to myself, and to you, is to gather those random pages together and print them in a book. There’s no law that says photo books must be themed or dated, is there?

This week we had dinner with some friends in the city, and then went for a wander to look at some Chinese lantern sculptures that are on display to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The sculptures were fun and bright and there were lots of people looking at them and taking photos. I took photos, uploaded them to my Forever account before I even got home, and here’s the pages I made using those photos. I’m in the middle of a book about my Danube Cruise last year, and these pages certainly won’t fit in that. But I’ll save them and when I have enough pages like this, I’ll be ready to order from the Forever Print Shop. In fact I already have enough old pages for a couple of books, and I’ll be ordering them very soon.

Content Used on this page: Blueprint Blue Angels by pixels2Pages, World Traveler China Kit by Forever, Fonts: Another Typewriter, Creative Type Bold



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6 Responses to Blog: Scrapping the Everyday

  1. Ann Marie says:

    Shelly, I am stuck exactly where you describe. I had started organizing all my photos into Historian albums so that they were ready to import into Artisan for books. I got to 2014 and noticed I was missing the Christmas day photos. I spent days hunting them down. Checking all my files, my camera and phone etc. That was weeks ago and I have done nothing since. Thanks for the reminder that perfection is not required. I am still bummed that my grandson’s 2nd year Christmas photos are MIA though.

    • Shelley says:

      You know they will turn up as soon as you finish the book, don’t you? 🙂 Seriously though, I hope you find them, but meanwhile, get to work on the photos you do have and you’ll feel much better for it.

  2. Lindie says:

    Hi Shelley,
    I take pictures and do pages in a similar way. I put the pages in a pretend album so when I get enough for a book or do a page that might fit in another album, I can find it. In this album I put the pages that I do that are my practice challenges or bright ideas. Thanks for the encouragement that there is no right way to scrap.

  3. Karen Jones says:

    I find the Day 2 Day project great for this issue. I see the book as a photojournal of my year. All of the pictures aren’t pretty and perfect, but they do reflect what was meaningful to me that week.

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