Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I am gonna be SO unstoppable this weekend... Just you wait and see!

I hope that 400 feet of adhesive will last me all weekend :)

Seriously. That's what I have prepared and I am worried that it won't last me! I am so so super excited for this upcoming weekend. I am going on my second ever weekend scrapbook retreat with friends. My first (at the Paper Dollhouse) was over 3 years ago, when I was pregnant with Marek. Probably close to 3.5 years ago to be precise. It was my Birthday gift that year, and it was one of the best and most productive experiences I have ever had scrapbooking. I LOVE to scrapbook and I even more LOVE to spend an entire weekend. When I was pregnant with Marek, my goal was to get Ardyn's first baby scrapbook completed, which I did, and worked into her first year. Back then, I didn't have a "plan" and so I would spend SO much time sitting there plotting out layouts and arranging and re-arranging pages and photos. It might take me an hour to do a two page layout.
Packing up and Organizing supplies for the scrapbooking retreat this weekend.
 Those days are gone. I scrapbook with a very consistent method these days, and I learned when trying to complete Ardyn's first year that if I do not, I will never, ever, ever be caught up... or at least even feeling like I can more forward and progress. I don't think caught up will ever be in my vocabulary. And sure, I could digital scrapbook. I mean, I am a graphic designer but I LOVE to do this with my hands. I love the physical and the raised textures and the fibers and the embellishments. I love glitter and ribbon and chipboard. You just can't get that with digital scrap.

So, I believe I have talked before about my method. Layout books. That's the way to go. I pre-print my photos, sort them into pages and categories, then choose a layout based on the number and size of the photos that I have for each category, and assign two page layouts to each set of photos. Then I shop or assign (or a combination) paper and embellishments, or at least a color scheme via paper, to each two page spread. Each of these "plans" goes into a page planner folder (Cropper Hopper, the most to die for product that I have found speeds my scrapbooking by amazing amounts) and then when I am ready to scrap, I take my folder, my adhesive, and my paper cutter... sit down with my layout book and follow the cutting measurements for my pre-determined layout, and I am on a roll and have a whole page assembled in no time. Then I often go on to the next page and stash the remnants of paper and the two assembled pages back into the planning folder and they go from my "Ready to scrap layout" folder.... to my "Ready to embellish" folder. Then the next time I scrapbook I sit down with stamps, ink, fibers, glitters, and cricut... and embellish those pages and do my journaling. Sometimes if the mood strikes I will journal when I am assembling the pages... it depends on how the mood finds me and what supplies I have at hand. Now that I don't have my own scrapbook room anymore (boo. Hiss. Sadness seeping from my pores) I can't accomplish and pause, accomplish and pause. I don't accomplish anything unless I am away on a Saturday scrap, and then I have to schlep and drag everything with me. This gets old. Quickly.

I have a friend and scrapbooking mentor who believes that layout books make your pages too generic and not creative enough. But in my eyes I know that I have to ACCOMPLISH as well as create, and for me the creative and personalization happens when I embellish, title, and journal. And so far I have been insanely pleased with the progress I am making, and the finished project... especially when I go back and see all that I have done since switching to this method.

So. This last winter I finished up Marek's "Birth" book. He is, after all, three (but then he was two, so give me a break) When I started Ardyn, I assumed that I would get like her whole first month into an 8x8 book. Ha. Hahaha. Silly me. The 8x8 book is stuffed with as many refill pages as it can possibly hold, even with a strap hinge conversion... and it's the first THREE DAYS of her life, from birth thru her hospital stay and first night home. *cough* ridiculous! So in the same spirit I made Marek an 8x8 birth book. From that point forward I moved on to Ardyn's first year, which is (get this) supposed to fit into one 12x12 album. Have I not learned my lesson yet? *sigh* Her first year is three very very very overstuffed 12x12 books. And this does not include any of her daycare photos or Christmas celebrations. She now has separate "School" album (which is full and she hasn't even started Kindergarten yet!) which includes her daycare and preschool years.... and a separate album for Dance and Violin, which I think I am going to have to split into two 12x12 albums (Dance in one, violin in the other!) because it's overwhelmingly full and I am two recitals behind for dance. After Ardyn's first year, Marek was born, and all hell broke loose. At that point in time I discovered that it might just be better if I focused on something that I could actually complete. This is when, for Ardyn, I chose to work on school, dance, and violin. This seems like PLENTY. I also (want to) do Birthdays and Christmas for sure. But lots of the other stuff, except for like a vacation, I think I am going to have to just NOT scrapbook! I don't know how to get a handle on it all!

So this weekend, my goal is to take a bite out of Marek's first year. Well, I printed photos from his first three months, and planned something in excess of 90 pages. That's 45 two page layouts... plus some of them are 4-8 page layouts... so there are more than 90 pages total. For his first THREE MONTHS. But I figure that he of course deserves the same amount of attention in his first year, when they change so much and grow so quickly, and everything is so stinking cute.
Cropper Hopper Page Planner folders containing over 45 two-page layouts, ready to scrapbook. Over 90 pages right here, ready to go.

If I could just get his first year done, then this fall when he starts preschool and she starts Kindergarten, I can focus on school and activity albums for each kid. And I should be able to keep up with that fairly decently (as I have with Ardyn because I scrapbook one Saturday each month) and if that's the case than I can use "spare" time to catch up on special events and vacations (like our trip to Key Lime Cove and to the zoo.) and I am beginning to seriously learn that a few pages per month is more than enough to document their lives properly. Just in time for a new baby to come.... and me to have to figure out exactly how to get HIS first year done properly!

So in addition to getting everything ready (which overall took me about 3 Saturday scrapbooking sessions, (so... roughly 21 hours of sorting photos, picking layouts, placing them in folders, matching up papers, and documenting all the layout information on index cards....) I now have to decide what to pack for scrap supplies and what to pack for myself for a weekend. I wont take much. I won't wear makeup. I won't have to "do my hair" as a short do requires nothing. In fact I can shower, dry my hair, and be ready and dressed in a total of 15 minutes these days.

Theoretically, as far as scrapbooking goes, I should be able to go with JUST my page planner envelopes, two layout books, adhesive, my tools, a scrapbook and sheet protectors, and my cricut with my laptop for embellishments if I decide to go that far. That's packing really light. But then there's stickers, and rub-ons, and additional paper. I shouldn't NEED additional paper at all...but if I by some chance finish all these pages, what will I do with myself? You just do NOT go scrapbooking when you don't have enough to do! That's a sin!

I am thinking of putting my big heavy paper carrier in the van and not unloading it unless I end up needing it. That way if I finish with the first three months of Marek, I can go ahead and do Ardyn's last two dance recitals, or the nutcracker ballet pages that I want to do but will require me to do some serious nutcracker cutting on my Cricut and my MTC software.

I also need to re-stick several Cricut Mats and put my name on them to take with me. Two days till blast off.... SO I have to get going!

Maybe tomorrow we will re-stick cricut mats. Sounds like a fun activity to approach with two toddlers. And perhaps I can get a list written down of what I want to take for me so that I can pack quickly and efficiently. I need to buy breathe right strips so I don't snore too badly when sharing a room with my friends. I snore terribly when I am pregnant :)

I should also get some "just in case" photos printed. My shutterfly cart is full and at the ready, but I really don't want to order them now because I know they won't get here in time. I had them ready but just didn't have the funds to order them. Same with the twinkle twinkle papers I chose for Ardyn's most recent dance recital layouts. Oh well. Hopefully I have plenty planned and at the ready.

The downside is that there is NO INTERNET ACCESS at the retreat we are going to. Yep. I'm dead serious. Isn't that INSANE? I can't access anything online, so even if I do finish my pages I can't download fonts, or find things to convert to SVG files for future Cricut uses, or even screw around putting more photos in my cart for my next round of scrapbooking. *sigh*  What type of overnight locale charges you money and doesn't have internet available? I will try not to kill anyone. I wish I could tether my laptop to my iPhone without AT&T charging me a shit ton. I should have at least 3G there, if not 4G. Boo!

Well, that's all for now. :) Can't wait for this weekend!

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