Archive for the ‘Organization’ Category

So many memories, so little room

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

When I started scrapbooking a couple of years ago, almost all the pages I made were single-photo layouts. Now that I’m scrapbooking all of these hiking photos, however, I find myself trying to cram as many photos as possible on every page – there are just too many views I want to remember!

I try to cull my photos at several stages in the camera-to-scrapbook process (actually, the eye-to-scrapbook process – I’m becoming more and more critical of what I choose to photograph. With a digital camera it’s way too easy to just snap away like mad, creating more work for when you get back to the computer. Bah!):

1) Looking through my photos in Lightroom, I delete the obvious losers (blurry, grainy beyond salvation, major exposure failage etc.) altogether, and then flag the ones I want to upload to flickr. Our flickr account is where we share our photos with friends and family, and I like to think of it as a backup in case all our hard drives crash or the house goes up in flames or something. I only edit the flagged photos.

2) Now comes the hard part – choosing which photos to scrapbook. I make an effort to include photos of us and our hiking partners on every page even if it means dropping a nature photo I love, because I think they will be more interesting to us in the future. I think I’m going to make a simple album with my favorite nature photos so I won’t have to worry about forgetting them.

I also save some photos to use for non-event, non-chronological scrapbook pages – instead of including this photo of JK and the pups on the Tuck and Robin layout, I’m going to save it for something else. Maybe a page about my favorite things? Or summer memories? Or how freaking cute my boys are? I store multiple usage photos like that one in a digital Library of Memories system.

Tuck and Robin

3) Now for the actual scrapbooking part – I like to choose one or two photos to emphasize what I want to remember about the trip (these tend to be nature photos), then squeeze in the rest as supporting actors.

Since I am generally too lazy to come up with new, exciting designs all the time, my layouts tend to look very similar to each other. Case in point – the Tuck and Robin page looks a lot like the Mount Baker page I just made, and the Tank Lakes layout is based on a design from Cathy Zielske‘s Design Your Life class that I have already used on another page…and quite frankly the two layouts in this post look almost the same. I don’t care; I’m just happy to be scrapbooking and getting these memories down on paper.

Tanks for the memories

The first couple of times we went hiking, I ended up making several scrapbook pages from each trip – if I had kept this up, my shelves would be full of not-very-interesting albums. I definitely prefer this more succinct (if I can use that word about photos) style of memory keeping, especially since I don’t really have room for many albums in our house to begin with. Maybe we should just build more shelves :o)

A house is not a home

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Depression isn’t something you just suddenly snap out of; for me it’s been more of a gradual awakening. For every week that goes by my head feels a little bit clearer, my soul a little bit lighter, and I am starting to feel like I really want to participate in the world again. I feel like I wasted age 18-25 and now I just want to make up for everything that I missed.

After years of not caring about much of anything at all, I’m trying to put the pieces of my life back together.

Animals in our house

One of the big things for me is to make our little townhouse feel more like a home, so we’ve spent a lot of time over the last couple of weeks decluttering and organizing stuff. Now that I feel less cluttered as a person, I want our house to reflect that as well. Oh, and it would also be nice to be able to have people over without having to spend an hour cleaning first. Yeah…

Now that we have some progress in our living room, I decided to take some photos. The fact that I now keep the blinds on our windows completely open feels oddly significant (please stop me if I sound like a self-help book); I used to keep them shut all the time and just hide in my dark little cave.

Living room

I just got the new IKEA catalog in the mail and I think a shopping trip is in order (have I mentioned how much I hate shopping). I want to put a little bookshelf in the corner between the fireplace and the stairs to help contain the ever-growing mess that is my library – I’ve been good and very strict and am selling/donating all the books except my all-time favorites and the ones I know I am going to read again, but we still don’t have enough shelf space.

Couch potato view

If we can fit it in our ridiculously narrow living room, I also want a comfy chair that would complete a circle around our coffee table. Now it just feels so tv-centric.

Long and skinny

It feels so nice and light and airy in here now, I love it! My next project will have to be to make the bedroom feel the same way so we can wake up and feel good about ourselves every morning. Unfortunately this means going through the imposing mountain of ill-fitting clothes that is taking up all the space in my closet and sorting them for trash and donation. Bah!

Getting organized

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

This has not been a good week in the Markiewicz household. Just as I was getting better from my cold last week, JK came home with some evil bug that has kept him home for three days (and JK is never sick), and now my body appears to have decided that resistance is futile so I’m coming down with it too. Our house is full of germs. Okay, the rest of this post is for obsessive scrapbookers only. Everyone else must look away or you’ll think I’m insane.

Since I have so much free time on my hands, I’ve decided to finally take Stacy Julian’s Library of Memories class. I signed up for this in the spring, but I didn’t make it all the way through. Luckily, Big Picture Scrapbooking gives you passes to revisit the classroom later. If you haven’t read any of Stacy’s books and don’t know what this whole system is about, you can read two very descriptive blog posts here and here – it goes deeper than just sorting layouts and photos.

After a period of dissatisfaction with this hobby, the biggest point for me is to make my scrapbooks meaningful so I won’t look back on them years from now and think what *is* this crap?? There is a difference between scrapbooking photographs and scrapbooking memories, and I want to focus on the latter.

Today I’ve started sorting and categorizing my layouts so I can put them into the right albums. For such a messy person, organizing is making me surprisingly happy!

Getting organized

I have to admit that as an incorrigible perfectionist, I am also weeding out the pages that are just plain meaningless (and serve no greater purpose than taking up space) and the downright fugly ones. I’m going to try to “fix” some semi-fugly ones as well. I just don’t want to end up with 700 huge albums full of crap.

Anyway, the implementation of this system takes time and can seem somewhat frustrating in the beginning. I’m sorting my photos digitally as it seems less wasteful than printing everything (and I start most of my layouts on the computer anyway) and luckily I’ve been good at weeding my folders before, but going through and tagging all of our photos is taking forever.

I’m also having trouble distinguishing between the Places We Go and Things We Do categories (like gaaah, where do my hiking layouts go?) – I guess I’ll just have to make some executive decisions there, after all it will eventually be my personal system and there is no right or wrong. I’ll just keep telling myself that… ;)

If anyone else is using this system I would really appreciate some insight or words of encouragement!

Alrighty, now it’s back to tissues and Dayquil.

Ugh (and India)

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

The thing about depression is that even when you feel you’ve been doing really well for a really long time, it will suddenly sneak up on you and just suck the life out of you all over again.


I’m trying to hang in there by scrapbooking (usually the best therapy), but I seem to have come down with Reverse Midas Syndrome – everything I touch turns to crap. Therefore I’m posting some old stuff instead, starting with two layouts from my SoY entry. The first is one of the eight previously seen layouts:

Shore Temple

…and this is one of the 12 new ones I made:


Both of them are from our honeymoon in India. I wanted to keep the India layouts cohesive, so I decided to use the same fonts (from Quickutz) throughout the whole album, as well as sticking to easy, simple designs (most of the time, heh). Some other double spreads:

Taj Mahal

Beach Bums

Taj Mahal

This is not a typo; we were looking forward to drinking coconut water but it tasted like arse:


I also make one-pagers for the album:

Parag Monsoon

India Crocbank

How to drape a sari Tiger Caves

Ambassador Pancha Rathas

Runde vidunder Palolem Beach

Dropadi Tempel*

Alright, that took all the energy I have right now. Off for some me-time.

“Think in albums”…

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

…”not in layouts”, that is what JK said to me after he read my last post. That I should think of the fact that I am making a whole album (well, several whole albums), not just single layouts. I said “hmmm” and then sat down with my beloved Memory Dock to try to get some structure into my scrapping.

(as a side note, ever since I started getting depressed, I’ve noticed that I am craving structure in all parts of my life – I guess I need to feel that I am in control)

After jotting down some notes, I headed to the scrap room and sorted the Enormous Pile of Homeless Layouts into these categories:

- “All About Us” (idea stolen from Stacy Julian): layouts about JK, Bobby and myself

- “Friends and Family” (also stolen from Stacy): layouts about, yes, friends and family

- “2005-2006″, “2006-2007″ etc. (shuddup, the division makes sense because I want an album that starts when we moved to Seattle, plus I’ve always felt more true to the school year than the calendar year): layouts about things we’ve done and seen and whatever, organized chronologically (thank god I use 3-ring binders because I do NOT scrap anywhere near chronologically!)

- “India”: self-explanatory – this is one will get an introduction page and section headers and everything so it will really tell a story :D

I am also going to make albums from our wedding and from our year in California, an album from “the olden days” (aka 2001-2005; the part of my life with JK when we were not photomaniacs..) plus an album from when we were growing up. Oh, and mini-albums from our old vacations together. See, I have plans! I have structure! Now I just need to buy some more albums…

It feels really good to know that the layouts I make have some purpose and a place to go; a context. Oh, and since I was on a control-freak rush, I cleaned the scrapbook room for good measure. Now it just needs some pictures on the wall before I can show it to you guys :)

I would like to publicly thank my wonderful husband for his brilliant insight into the horrors of my mind, you are the best inspiration!

Hmm, apparently this post makes me seem a wee bit crazy, so I’ll stop now. ‘Til we meet again, here is a layout I made for the India album, celebrating the oooh so sexy, round 70′s bed we had the pleasure of calling ours in Delhi…


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