The one thing I hear most often when I tell people that I like to scrapbook or make hand-stamped greeting cards is “Oh, I don’t have time for that.” You know what? I’m super busy, too. But when things are important to you, you make the time to do them. That’s how I feel about stamping, crafting… and especially scrapbooking. This is about your legacy. This is your mark on the world. Scrapbooks will still be here long after we’re gone and when you have kids, I think it’s even more important to leave them the stories about your life and their heritage.
With all that said, I’m struggling to keep scrapbooking on the table these days (ha, ha — no pun intended). Life is busy — full-time job, an increase in custom orders, more classes and a very exciting scrapbooking retreat are all on my table, too, right now. So as I was heading home from a recent getaway (that’s me parasailing in the photo above — on the right), I brainstormed some ideas for how I would get some more scrapbooking time in… and I thought you might find some of these ideas helpful, too!
1. Get up/Stay up a little earlier. Let me be totally honest here right now. I. am. not. a. morning. person. Ever. My bed is ridiculously more comfortable in the morning, I swear, but I developed some of the photos from my recent trip and found some very unflattering photos of me. So, I made the commitment to start eating healthier and getting more exercise. So I’ve been getting up at 7:15 (a whole hour earlier than my normal waking time!) and exercising each morning before work. Because this was important to me, I made it happen. And after just a week, it’s already becoming a routine. Now since, I’m already using this time for exercise, it won’t be where I personally work in some scrapbooking time, but maybe this is something you can do for your scrapbooking/crafting.
2. Create a “To-Go” kit. One of the things that slows me down a lot when I’m scrapbooking is the journaling. So I’m putting together a little “kit” of items that I can have with me for those little pockets of time that crop up throughout the day (lunch break, waiting in a doctor’s office, sitting in my beach chair, etc.) where I can write down some thoughts. In my kit I have some journaling markers, journaling tags, a small notebook, some white and vanilla cardstock (some cut in different shapes – circles, labels, etc.), a pen and a few “spark” photos. What I mean by “spark” photos is those pictures that really resonate with you — each time you pick them up you think, “Oh, I can’t wait to scrapbook that photo.” That way when you’re waiting for something or someone, you can pull out a photo and start jotting down some thoughts… why is this photo so special to you? What is the story behind it? Who is in the photo and why are they special to you? Just jot down all the thoughts that come to mind about this photo in your notebook — everything. Just write without thinking. Then once you have that list you pick the story that is the one you most want to tell and write the actual journaling for the scrapbook page using your journaling tags or cardstock. Ta-Da. You have the journaling already done next time you sit down to scrapbook.
3. Create a photo system. Another thing that tends to take a lot of time when I actually sit down to scrapbook is photo selection. As you either upload your photos or print them, take the time then to analyze each of your photos. Which ones do you need to scrapbook? And which are just “filler” photos. Find the pictures that tell the story and put them in either a folder or box/drawer to scrapbook. I like to print my photos rather than have them all just digitally. When I go through them, I have photo drawers where I put the “must-scrap” photos by either event or person (sometimes both if I think I might want the photo in two different books — say if I have a great photo of my husband then I may have that photo in a “to-scrap/vacation” file as well as a “to-scrap/hubby and me” file). I may put some of the “lesser,” detail photos (what the street looked like, the food I ate etc.) in the file as well until I scrapbook the page — that way I have it if I need to set a scene, but can then transfer it to my general photo albums (or sometimes even the trash … gasp!) if it doesn’t make the scrapbook page. I’ve adapted my photo system from the book Photo Freedom. I highly recommend this book. It’s very helpful for getting organized to scrap.
4. Schedule “girl” time. There’s nothing more motivating than scrapbooking or card-making with friends. We generally make the time to see our friends and family — because it’s important to us — so why not schedule time to not only see friends, but also get caught up on scrapbooking or card-making at the same time (I’m having a Creative Escape in November that would be perfect for this!). I attended a crop in June and I had so much fun and actually started my wedding album (a task that has been on my to-do list for the past seven years!). Tasks don’t get done if we don’t plan to do them — and sometimes that applies to things we want to do as much (and maybe even more so) than the items we have to do.
5. Set an appointment with yourself. When my Mom died last year I was so surprised to find the mountains of genealogy research she had done. I knew she was writing a family history and that she had done some work online to discover more about all of our relatives, but this woman had binders and binders and binders of stuff — photos of gravesites, articles from old newspapers, copies of birth certificates and death certificates. My Mom worked full-time up until the year before she died. She loved to shop and spend time with friends. Her house was always spotless and yet, she still had time to do all this research and writing. I was in awe. She obviously made time with herself regularly to work on this project because it was important to her. So, even if it is not every week … maybe even just once a month … put a crafting project or task on your calendar as an appointment and DO. NOT. MOVE. IT. Treat it like a hair appointment or a job interview. These are things you don’t normally move. You can just schedule it as a generic hour (even 30 minutes — whatever time you can spare) and work on whatever crafting project inspires you or get specific. Write: 2 to 3 p.m. create 2 pages for my wedding album.
We so often make the time to vacuum the rug or sweep the floor, but honestly if you were to die tomorrow do you think your family would be comforted more by a clean rug or reading your thoughts from the day before?
So how do you make time to scrapbook?