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You're Not Just A Scrapbooker Anymore! (Part 3)

Digital Workflow with Stacy Julian

This article is the third and final installment in my series on digital workflow. I hope in the previous articles, I’ve sold you on the notion that you are the Chief Memory Officer (CMO) in your home and that in this role, it is critical for you to set up and nurture a process by which you can track images from camera to creativity. I also hope that you are realizing the myriad of options you have (from Facebook and Flickr to digital photobooks and traditional scrapbooks in all shapes and sizes) for diversifying your portfolio of memories—remember, it all counts!

“Perspective is one of the most elusive and valuable commodities
on the planet.”

David Allen

During this busy holiday season in which you will likely take hundreds of new digital images, I’d like you to pause and consider what makes a scrapbook page in 2010 really valuable. We know instinctively that scarcity creates value. This is why you’d be wowed if your sweetheart gave you ruby or diamond earrings for Christmas. This is also why you’d be upset if you received a lump of coal! When something is rare, it is special and prized.

An effective CMO understands that because she is taking thousands of digital images in a year, an individual photo is not as valuable today when compared to perhaps a dozen individual photos she may have from her great grandmother's life. Because they are not scarce, pictures alone are no longer prized, valuable possessions; pictures in the context of a scrapbook page are more valuable—especially if some personal perspective has been shared. When you encounter a scrapbook page that shares an authentic personal story, one that is illustrated with pictures, true value or meaning is created. For me, the whole goal of establishing a digital workflow is so that I can put my hands on the photos I need, to tell the stories I most want to tell. I am particularly interested in using pictures from different time periods to draw connections that are unique to my life.

Looking back on 2010, one of my highlights was a weekend in the spring when my mother, aunt, sisters and sisters in law gathered at my home to relax and enjoy one another’s company. To help you recognize and create value-added scrapbook pages more often, I’ve created three different layouts using photos from this girls’ weekend. I wouldn’t normally create three pages from one event, but I want to illustrate how the photos and title/journaling combine to lend each layout progressively more value.

This first layout uses several similar photos to quickly document that we enjoyed a girl’s weekend out. It’s cute, it’s colorful and it’s complete! If your scrapbooking hobby is an endless game of “catch up,” it’s easy to fall into get-it-done mode and feel the need to crank out pages like this one.

supplies: pattern paper (KI Memories); flower brads (Doodlebug); chipboard letters (unknown); journaling pen (American Crafts)

For layout #2, I selected photos that differentiate this girls’ weekend from others we’ve enjoyed in the past. My focus is our location and the fact that we celebrated and appreciated my sister-in-law Kristin’s new love of photography. Even when all the photos and details are not shared, value can be added with a sentence or two of personal perspective. Pages like this one, especially in the context of an entire album contribute well to your overall scrapbooking story.

supplies: alpha stickers (American Crafts); pattern paper (Little Yellow Bicycle); pastel crayon (Stampin Up!); scallop circle tag (Etsy); yellow shipping tag (office supply store); fabric brad (Crate Paper); chipboard button; fabric flower

As I spent time with my girls’ weekend photos, I kept coming back to one where my daughter Addie posed with us, as one of the “girls” all lined up and ready to go. She looks so little in this photo and yet she already senses she is a part of this “girl thing” in our family. I decided what I really wanted to document is the anticipation I feel for continuing this weekend tradition when Addie is grown. Because I have invested time into my digital workflow, I was able to easily put my hands on photos of my mother and I in 1967 and my sisters and I in 1985. I was also able to find and use a group photo from our girl’s weekend in 2003. I paired this collection of mismatched photos with a letter to Addie that talks about how much I love and need the females in our extended family.

supplies: textured cardstock (Happy Colors collection by Core’dinations); doily and ric-rac trim (Little Yellow Bicycle); tickets and chipboard button (Jenni Bowlin); epoxy button (Queen & Co.); transparent journaling circle and gingham flower (Maya Road); crepe paper trim (The Girls Paperie); fabric brad (BasicGrey); paper flowers (Bazzill Basics and Petaloo); date stickers (7 Gypsies)

Now, please don’t think that my scrapbooking efforts always result in pages that draw these valuable family connections. The fact is, we have TONS of pictures and because scrapbooking is a fun and creative escape, most of the scrapbook pages we create can and will be standard fare. With a little workflow planning however, some of our pages can be really wonderful and a few can be truly remarkable. A good CMO understands that it is her memories (and her hopes, dreams, feelings and oft-told stories) that most need to be scrapbooked—not her pictures. She will invest time and money into remarkable over standard at least some of the time!

As you look back on 2010 and, more importantly look forward to a new year of scrapbooking, think realistically about the time you have for creating pages and projects. Does it make sense to dedicate a portion of that time to nurturing a digital workflow so that you can draw more personal connections and celebrate the people, places and things that you love most with layouts they will value more?

I think it does.

Stacy Julian is founder of online education at Big Picture Classes (bigpictureclasses.com) and she blogs regularly at stacyjulian.com

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