29 June 2004

A Page A Day

Anna over at The Stitch Bitch, has asked me how I am able to do on average 300 pages a year when scrapbooking. It's a hard question to answer. Here are the strategies I think help me:

1. KISS - Keep It Simple, Sister!! While I can appreciate the end results of the doyens of the scrapbooking world, for most people achieving those sorts of results just isn't practical - they take too much time. It can be done but you will only ever get a few pages ever finished. I tend to keep my layouts simple. If you were to look through my albums (I have 14 finished, 12x12 albums) I'm sure a pattern would emerge of say 4 or 5 basic layout designs that repeat themselves over and over. I don't really feel the need to have ever page a unique masterpiece. You may think this would lead to bordem, but it doesn't. Variety is given to the pages by the photos and the changes in colour. Also, when I do an album for a specific event, such as a holiday, I tend to pick one page layout for the whole album and then individualize the pages by changes in colour, inclusion of unique memoriblia etc. I finished my Northern Territory album in just under 4 days. That was 44 pages, 12x12, with each page having hand cut title letters. (If your in Australia, check out No 5 of Scrapbooking Creations, there is a page from that album in there). So keep it simple, you don't have to create a masterwork with each page.

2. Time - It sounds silly but making time or setting aside time is a great way to get pages done. I don't have kids, so my time is pretty much my own. I don't have a problem finding time to do my pages. But one strategy is scrapbooking weekends. If you can work in crowds and don't need alot of "stuff" to do pages, a couple of days away from home can be very productive.

3. Planning - Have a plan. This isn't necessarily an idea of how the page will turn out, but what page you are going to do. What photos you are going to use, what papers, tools, embellishments etc.

4. Cull - Be ruthless and realise you don't have to scrap every photo you own!! You can only effectively fit 6 photos on a double 12x12 layout, so if you can "capture" an event in that many photos, dispose of the rest (give away to other people in the photos, give to kids to play with or make own albums, chuck in recycling!!). You save yourself alot of time and grief once you can cull what you are scrapping.

5. Tidy up - I find I work better if I clean my desk after every layout. This isn't so important when doing a theme album, but if you are doing unrelated layouts, clean everything off the desk between layouts so you have a fresh working area. It helps mentally, and practically (you can find things quicker if you know where they are!)

I think those are the main things I do that keep me sane and let me get alot of work done.

BTW, my record is 40 12x12 pages in one day at a scrapbooking retreat (no journalling though - but that wouldn't have added much time).

A few pages to give you an idea of my style: