Friday, September 18, 2009

Scrapbook Guilt


So are you one of those who suffer from scrapbook guilt? Do you have piles of gorgeous scrapbook paper, sheets of stickers and fancy scissors? Are you just trying to finish that wedding album so you can move onto the kids' baby albums so you can finally catch up on those
yearly family albums?


Do you never get any of it done because by the time you drag out all the stuff, and figure out which pictures you want to use, and then lay them out on the page with cute paper and then cut said paper to go under the pictures, and then glue it all down and write a few words about the pictures, you realize it is midnight and you have only done ONE STINKING PAGE!!!!!!

Yeah. Me too.

Well do I have the balm for all your aches and pains. It is called Blogger. Or Wordpress. Or Typepad. Or any other blogging tool. That's right, you need to start a blog. If the word blog scares you, call it a digital scrapbook. Call it your on line photo album. Call it whatever you want, just as long as you start doing something with those pictures and start telling some stories.

A year ago I had never even been on a blog. Then I read an article I really liked in Bon Appetite magazine. The writer had a blog. I decided to check it out. I did and I fell instantly in love. Orangette was more about food for my soul than food for my belly. Immersed in life with a newborn, a 2 year old and a 4 year old, my mind was calling out for a respite. I knew I had to start my own blog. So I did. That very night.

My original idea, to document the life of my family in a way that was doable for a mom of 3 small kids, quickly became my passion. I had to make a conscious effort not to make my husband a blog widow as I sat at the computer every night. All day long, my brain swirled with ideas for another post. Pictures sparked ideas, activities sparked photo sessions and a whole new world just opened up.

Soon, I decided to create another blog. I didn't want Lilly and the Brothers to be about more than our family life, but there was so much more I wanted to write about, to take pictures of and to explore. So Picnics in the Park began and I fell more in love with blogging. It nourishes a part of me that has been trying to get out since I was a little girl. Now I understand how Aaron feels when he stays up all night, lost in a painting. I loose track of time every night as I write posts, sort pictures and explore other blogs. I am having a lot of fun.

"But I'm not a writer, " you argue.
You don't have to be. Post pictures and explain what they are about. Even a non-writer can write a caption for a photo.
"But I don't have time to write every night."
Well, for starters, turn off the tv. You'll be amazed at how much free time you have. Secondly, do it once a week. Download that week's pictures and write about special, funny or important moments from that week.
"I don't want everyone to see my blog"
Easy. Make your blog private. The only people who can see it are the ones you invite.
"I have no computer skills. I can't figure it out."
If I can do it, you can do it. One of my biggest fears is anything "technical". I am convinced I can;t figure that stuff out. But I did. It was easy. The directions are very straightforward.

Come on! You can do it!

Lastly, if you think that a blog sounds great, but you still want to hold that scrapbook in your hand, I have the answer. There is a site, here, that will turn your blog into a book. A real life, hard bound book for you to pass down from one generation to the next. A family heirloom. A treasure. Something you can be very, very proud of.
Read more about blog books here. Or, you can just Google blog books and you'll come up with lots of stuff.

It is time to stop feeling guilty. It is time to stop wasting money on cute paper that you will never use. Put down the glue stick and put your fingers on the key board. You won't regret it. I promise.

PS. If you really MUST scrapbook, try this idea. I used a piece of wood, a picture, some of that cute paper and some other images I liked to create the collage at the top of this post. It was all glued down with Modge Podge and then I brushed thinned down Modge Podge over the top for a lasting finish.

It is a fun project, and it is art that can be hung in my house. But, it would take a lot of time to do an entire album that way. But you already know that, don't you?



1 comment:

Susan said...

ha ha ha... i have a huge bin and a giant creative memories bag (my mother in law was a consultant) filled with lovely things to physically document in page turnable form the lives of my family/children/pets, etc. but, for now, my family blog is definitely my "scrapbook". it has successfully, though not as successfully these days, documented the last three years of our life, i think. speaking of which, i ought to update it... unfortunately, we made our family blog a tumblr site (my husband's choice) and i really wish now that it was blogger or wordpress or anything else. tumblr is okay, but there are a number of negatives. one being that the sites that turn your blog into a book don't work well with it. boo rats boo!