I like to collect things to see if they'll present a bigger picture at some point (and if they don't, I'm a fan of tossing the whole lot in the recycling bin). With Juliet, most of her seasonal pages include a ticket stub or two -- that girl attends more plays than most adults I know. After creating the Fall page I showed last week, I decided to save up the theatre stubs from plays she saw with her dad or me for a whole year; the site of all those tickets tells the real story of our "play dates."
I'm not a big fan of using a whole scrapbook page to showcase the first time my kid ironed his own shirt, but I do like to include one page just for Christmas. Somehow in the rush of the holidays, I never seem to get that one gorgeous photo I'm longing for, so I content myself with using what I do have and then moving on. The little Christmas tag on this page is actually a mini-book with (brief!) memories of our holiday written inside.
Again, not one of my favorite schemes -- too many patterns in my little bin. This is what I get when I go to Archiver's without any preconceived idea of what I want to do. You'd think that would work well for me, but it just doesn't. What does work for me? Scraplifting. There are a few scrapbookers out there whose work I really like, and then I might randomly see a page that will inspire me...I like having a starting point and then adding my own style to it. (I invent nothing, I rediscover; remember?) When I'm starting a scheme, I'll often sketch out some page ideas that can be used later. I also jot down what my intentions are as far as how I'll do the titles (chipboard letters? stitching? my own writing? rubber stamps?).
To answer Chel's questions from yesterday, I usually work on these albums only 3 or 4 times a year -- usually a weekend after the holidays, a weekend or free day in the summer, and another day after school starts. I plan ahead before I'm going to work on them by getting my photos and memorabilia ready. (And the ingredients for each scheme are kept in a large zipper pouch, so I'm never digging for that part.)
I tend to order photos ahead of time -- some for my family album, some for the kids album. I always end up with a few leftovers, and sometimes I have to reorder a photo in a larger size. The waste is still minimal, and this is the system that works for me.
For the bits & pieces, I have a drawer in the kitchen where I stash everything -- cards the kids made, ticket stubs, notes I've written on scraps of paper, whatever I think I might use in our albums. I go through this drawer a few times a year & divide up the stuff. I used to have a hard time throwing these little mementos away if I didn't use them, but I am getting better at that! (Mostly I got sick of moving the stuff around from place to place within my not-very-large studio area. Letting go feels great.)
I don't spend a lot of time on each page. First, I have parameters -- these are the tools I have to choose from (the paper, colors, embellishments). Second, I have notes I've taken -- truly, scribbles -- with things I want to be sure to include. I keep our calendar nearby in case I need more ideas. Third, I have my photos ready. My goal is to tell the story, not to dwell on it, and then get back to the amazing life I have right now, creating more memories.