Wow, I’m so honored! One of my favorite sites has mentioned & linked to my blog again (blush, blush). Check it out here. I love the Organized Scrapbooks site so much. Thanks to you, OS, for the mention! Now let’s go eat some more Skinny Cow ice cream…
I just wanted to share these because they’re so stinkin’ cute:
I love 7 Gypsies products. They are so unique; there is nothing else like them on the market. They always seem to be trendsetters, ahead of the curve, in the know. They know what we like before we even know we like it. My only frustration is that their stuff sells out too fast. There have been a number of times when I wanted something 7 Gypsies just came out with, and it’s already sold out everywhere, even online. Hmmm…are they astronomically popular or do they purposely produce/release just enough product to make us even more crazy for their stuff? Well, I don’t care, I just love it! Do you?
Back in April 2007, I did a RAK (Random Act of Kindness) when my blog received it’s 3,000th hit. Well, now we are approaching 10,000 so it’s time to do another one. Here’s how you play:
Whoever posts a comment closest to the time my blog receives it’s 10,000th hit will receive a little scrapbooking goodie from me. I think it will happen in the next 2 or 3 days. The comment can be on ANY post on this blog. Good luck!
It’s been almost a week and I’m still trying to catch up on my sleep, LOL! I held my second scrapbooking crop last weekend. It was Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 10pm each day. I had an absolute blast! I know there are critics of crops and many people who say they just won’t go to one because they need to have all their stuff, they don’t like to pack for them, etc. But if you’ve never gone to one, you really should give it a try. The best thing to me is it’s like a mini-convention of scrapbookers and where else are you going to get that? Well, other than CKU et al, but not everyone can attend those events. To me, it’s not even really about how much scrapbooking I can get done at crops anymore. The pages I get done are just a bonus. It’s the networking, the scrap-chatting, the sharing of ideas, the sharing of excitement over this great hobby, looking at everyone’s pages and learning more about their lives, hearing the stories of their families, seeing their latest projects and learning new techniques. And invariably you find someone there who knows someone that you know (know what I mean?). I just love the whole ‘Six Degrees of Separation’ thing, don’t you? Anyway, there is just so much to a crop – it’s not ONLY about getting pages done!
This crop went very well, I thought. There were ladies coming and going at different times – I offered a Full Day and a Half Day option. That worked out well because everyone’s weekends are busy and this way, they could really work the crop into their schedule. One lady came for just a few hours while her daughter attended a birthday party nearby. Since she only paid the half day rate, she didn’t feel like she was being cheated of part of her fee. There were about 10-15 people there at any given point; there were 3 ladies that were there all day for all 3 days. Now that’s devotion! And many others who would’ve kept that schedule if they didn’t have other things going on.
One of the best things this time was that my LSS participated. I asked them if they could contribute anything for the goody bags and maybe some business cards. They came through with: 3 large items I used for end-of-the-day door prizes; (50) coupons for $5 off; (50) business cards; and tons of smaller items for hourly drawing prizes like mini album kits and embellishments. The grand prize was a $25 gift card to their store. I was so happy for the gal who won it – that was the best prize! I’m so amazed at their generosity and very grateful.
There was also a Creative Memories Consultant who attended for 2 days. She brought a bunch of her products to sell, and she even got some scrapbooking done. I was glad to make the connection with her and we have agreed to support each other in our consultant endeavors. She seems like a very smart businesswoman and I know I’ll learn a lot from her. I was happy that she sold some things and was able to have success from my crop. Gosh, there were many fun stories and projects, so many neat women I got to know or got to know better. There are such interesting lives being lived out there, and I love to learn about them. On top of that, I got to spend 3 days with my mom (who as always supported me through this), and with my good friend K whose table was up front so we got to talk and talk and talk.
As for the Memory Works part of it, that was also successful. I haven’t tallied it all exactly but I did make a nice little profit from items I sold at the crop, or from orders people made while there. Although it is hard (i.e. expensive) for me to have a ton of my products on hand, I did have a lot more things to show as samples or to sell this time, so that made a difference. The hard part is trying to predict which products will be popular and that shoppers will like. Scrapbooking products look nice on the internet, and even better in a catalog, but there is nothing better than seeing them in person. That’s what really convinces someone that they must have it! For instance, MW has a Crate Paper pack that looks very pretty in the catalog so I ordered it for myself. But when I got it in the mail I was like, WOW! The colors are SO pretty, the paper is SO thick, and the designs are SO fresh. It just blew me away. There is nothing like the real thing.
Many people were asking about the NEXT crop, so I will be working on that. The 2 hotels I would use are already booked throughout the summer. The first step is finding somewhere to hold the crop. I have orders coming in now to deliver (MW will ship orders directly to the customer but most of mine prefer to save on shipping costs by combining orders, then I deliver each one). I’m also hoping to get some scrapping done myself now. At the crop, I only finished one 2-page layout, and got everything done but the journaling on three more 2-page layouts. So I need to finish those. I’m also very excited about a new project I hope to start….that I learned about at the crop, of course! Three of the ladies had just returned from a CKU-Album and the project they were completing was an All About Me album designed by Becky Higgins. It’s absolutely beautiful, and so special. We took photos of all the layouts and made copies of her instructions, so K and I are hoping to create one for ourselves. We’re planning a couple Sundays together in July so we can work on it together. I hope all of your summer projects are just popping along!
Have you discovered Skinny Cow frozen treats? As someone who is on a perpetual diet but also loves her desert, I have been enjoying them much. In fact, at Costco yesterday I got a package of Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches. Half the box has chocolate ice cream, the other half vanilla. Yummers! And I see on their website that they’ve added some scrapbooking-related things. They are even having a Queen of the Crop scrapbook layout contest right now (deadline to mail your entry: 7/31/07). See, they have caught on that 1 of 3 households has a scrapbooker. They also realize that the same women who love Skinny Cow might also be the same women who scrapbook. Smart cow!
It’s times like these when I wish I were some kind of scrapbook retailer that qualified for (and could afford to attend) all the scrapbooking trade shows, like CHA. Registration has opened for the MemoryTrends Conference and Expo which will be in Las Vegas this September. Here is a link to the conference brochure if you’re interested. The keynote speaker will be Stacy Julian, talking about the wider definition of scrapbooking. Lisa Bearnson will present “an exclusive report on the results of the 2007 Scrapbooking in America survey”. I just love surveys; although most of them are NOT truly statistically accurate, they do give you some idea of what the trends are and what’s going on with any given subject. I have so many theories and opinions about scrapbooking today, it will be interesting to see if my ideas match those of the Big Survey. Alas, since I won’t be at MemoryTrends, I’ll have to wait for it to be published somewhere and hope it doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars to access like one’s in the past have. One great thing that has happened with the advent of so many scrapbooking blogs, you can experience the trade shows through the attendees. They share photos, diaries, and product reviews – it’s ALMOST as good as being there. And cheaper. Can’t wait!
Please hop on over to Scraps of Mind and congratulate my friend, Karen, on being published in a magazine for the first time! Way to go, girlie!
I was sad to receive an e-mail recently from one of my favorite stores, Gotta Crop in Lodi, CA. They are closing their doors on 6/23/07. So between now and then, they are having a liquidation sale and offering discounts on all purchases. The discounts increase as the closure gets closer. I’m just sad to see them go. I’ve visited their store several times over the years when I have been traveling in that part of the state. Every time a Local Scrapbook Store (LLS) closes, it makes me sad. If you are near to Lodi, go give the owners a hug from me and buy some of their stuff, k?
If you’ve noticed that my posts have gotten rare lately, it’s because I’m planning another scrapbook crop. The first one I did this past May 12, which was an all-day Saturday event. It went over so well that several friends asked me to organize another one, and couldn’t we make it THREE days long this time?? You ask, I’ll deliver! The next event will be in about two weeks (June 22-24, 2007). We had such good luck with the hotel we used last time, that we’re holding it there again. So I’m just in Heaven over here, taking sign ups, planning meals, shopping for goody bag items, getting my Memory Works stuff ready, and praying that lot of people sign up (so far, pretty good!).
In other ‘happy me’ news, I got my first sign-up for the Memory Works monthly kit (it’s called MW Express Kit). Well, okay, it’s my MOM but that still counts! Last week I decided to send out MW catalogs to everyone who had purchased something from me, mostly at the last crop. Those Basic Grey chipboard file sets were a big hit! I included a handmade Thank You card, the catalog, and flyers for the June crop, the June MW monthly kit, and the Sneak Peak for the July kit. My mom saw the June kit and loved it. Here it is:
For $35, you get:
8 sheets of Crate Paper/Basic Grey paper
6 sheets of Prism textured cardstock
26 Scrapworks shimmer letters
6 velvet blossoms, 6 crystal brads, 2 metal tabs, some 7 Gypsies goodies, 4 yards of ribbon
1 chipboard accordian purse kit by 7 Gypsies
supplies to make 5 cards
(and so much more I can’t list it all)
She also compared what she’s receiving in her current kit with what MW’s has and said mine has more for the money. So she’s canceling her current kit and going with mine! I’m so stoked!
Here is the July Sneak Peek:
I love that the kits are month to month with no commitment (as long as you cancel by the deadline, one week before they send the kits out). MW has been doing kits since Feb. 07 and I have loved them all. They have such good taste, and I appreciate how their Design Team posts ideas on the website for pages and altered items you can make with each kit.
One more piece of news: I’m so happy to see that my blog has rolled over 8,000 hits. When it passes 10,000 it will be time for another RAK! Stay tuned…
Tell me how things are going in your Scrap World – any crops or CKUs coming up? Any good buys lately? Tell me about it in Comments :)
Finally, someone thought to create a magazine about organizing and home organization. Wouldn’t you know that Lisa Bearnson, our favorite lady from Creating Keepsakes magazine, is somehow involved? Two of my favorite things together: scrapbooking and organization. Click HERE to see the article I found!
Edited 6/11/07 to add:
So I e-mailed them over at the Organize Magazine website. I said how much I was looking forward to the magazine (being the organizational freak that I am). And that I was doubly excited because my favorite scrapbook gal, Lisa Bearnson, was involved. I received a quick response from Joyce Dorny, the Founder and Editor in Chief. She thanked me for writing and said that I “will LOVE the
Nov/Dec issue because Lisa is our FEATURE!!!”. She said some other nice things too. Whoo hoo, I’ll definitely be subscribing now!
In this post, I included photos of my re-organized scrapbook area. Reader Crafter727 noticed the white storage cubes I have and asked about them – if they were the ones sold by Oriental Trading Company and how the quality is.
The organizational cubes are sold in the Oriental Trading catalog. They are made by Crop In Style/Store In Style. However, I got mine one by one at Michaels using 40% and 50% off coupons and think that is the way to go. I just looked on Oriental Trading website and the plain cube sells for $28 plus shipping. At Mike’s with the coupon, I paid $15-18 and no shipping of course. As for the quality, it is very good, just make sure to line things up well and tighten the screws when you assemble them. Then they will be very sturdy. They also give you stabilizer brackets you can screw into the back to keep the entire unit safe from toppling over.. I recommend the cubes and plan to get more. Btw, Target sells similar cubes but the dimensions are different and no coupons, so they cost more. I’ve seen the Target cubes and feel they aren’t as good quality but others who have them say they are just as good at the Store in Style cubes.
I use the 1-Drawer Cube to store all my adhesives. I have the Drawer Divider inside. It’s perfect for all those boxes of sticky dots, vellum tape, and random glue sticks. I have one cube with a door where I put a bunch of mini albums and little projects I’ve made at CKUs. The Filer Cube has my non-themed paper by color. As you can see in the photo, I use the other cubes just plain or with the Inserts to store albums, projects in progress, page refills, etc. Thanks for posting all these great questions – you give me ideas what to write about!
I purchased a ScrapRack about 3 years ago and really love it. It helped me to get organized in a way that was logical to me. This made me very happy because the system I had before this was not working. I used to keep my papers filed by subject in Scrapfolios (the 12×12 accordian folders with handles that you can get at Michaels).
My theme stickers and embellishments were first kept in a Creative Memories binder…
…then in “PSB’s” (Paper Sticker Binders) by Crop in Style. Themed ribbons, beads, metal, buttons, etc were kept in other separate places. The problem was when I went to choose items for a page, I was looking in 10 different places for what fit the theme I was working on. It would get very tiring and frustrating. I also had outgrown the capacity of my old system, with 3 paper takers and 3 PSBs bursting at the seams. It was time for a change…
Then one day I was at a Scrapbook Expo event and they were demonstrating this product called the ScrapRack and I fell in love! I knew on the spot it was right for me.
An Empty ScrapRack:
This is how it looks without any pages in it. It consists of a metal Base and 7 Spinders, which are like the spine in a 3-ring binder. The Spinders are attached to the Base with velcro and you can add, remove and configure them as you like. You can use the huge variety of 12×12 pages sold by ScrapRack or you can improvise. I purchased a kit which came with the ScrapRack and a variety of pages, and I’ve supplemented them with my old PSB pages (which I just moved right from the PSB to the SR) and with 12×12 page protectors for full sheets of paper.
The ScrapRack website is full of helpful information on how to best utilize it. There are organizational steps, category suggestions, room makeovers, testimonials, and FAQs. They have excellent customer service and are happy to answer any questions. They’ve really done a great job with their website.
This is how I’ve utilized my SR system:
- It’s on my desk right in front of me when I scrap, within easy reach.
- I have it divided into the categories that made the most sense to me, but you are of course free to make it your own. First, I have a kind of ‘through the year’ half which goes January through December with all the months, holidays and events. For example: New Years, Winter, Valentines, St Patricks Day, Spring, Easter, Mothers Day, Summer, July 4, etc.
- The other half is by topic in alphabetical order, for example: Birthday, Camping/Outdoors, Cowboy, Dog, Family, Graduation, Ocean, School, etc.
Here is a filled page showing how you can also use the ScrapRack to file your items by color:
I have lots of stuff and getting it all into the ScrapRack was not a quick process. I think it took about a week of evenings to gather things from their various places and get them into the pages. I took most things out of their packaging which helped them fit better into the pocket pages. The only paper I put in the ScrapRack was themed paper. So my cardstock and more generic patterned paper is elsewhere; otherwise, I would need another ScrapRack! What I love about this system is that everything from a given theme is all in one place. I just turn the pages til I get to that theme and everything I have is right in front of me. No more searching all those other places and taking 30 minutes just to see what I have. For instance, the other day I was working on an Easter page. I turned to the Spring/Easter section and found some cute Easter-themed paper, some 3-D bunny stickers, and a card of pastel self-adhesive ribbons. All I had to do then was get cardstock from the vertical holders on my bookshelf, and I was ready to scrap!
The only disadvantage to this system is that some would consider it pricey. I know I did, and asked for $$ for my birthday that year so I could afford it :). But when I considered how much I had invested in 3 PSBs, 3 Scrapfolios, and the other storage I could get rid of, it was more than worth the cost. I wish they could get the ScrapRack on QVC – then you could get a good deal for sure! As you can tell, I highly recommend this product (no, they are not paying me to say that, LOL). Feel free to ask me any questions you have about the ScrapRack.
Because of Memorial Day, there were some fantastic news shows on tv. I was watching something on Fox Channel this past weekend where they were interviewing Pearl Harbor survivors. As they spoke to these older gentlemen, who were recalling their horrific experiences, photos were being shown on the screen. As one recalled a good friend he lost in the bombing, they showed a photo of the friend taken sometime I assume while they were in Pearl Harbor because he was wearing a tan uniform and standing on a beach near the water. But I just loved this photo because, as I looked at it more closely, I noticed all these little details. He was a good-looking guy, with dark hair worn slicked back under his military cap. He was holding a cigarette down by his side (you know, back then smoking WAS cool). His belt was cinched in pretty tight which accentuated his muscular upper body, and he stood very straight, staring at the camera, as if to say, “Damn, I’m good and don’t I know it.” And it got me to thinking about how important photos are. Here, all these years later, I didn’t know this man whose photo they were showing on tv, but I “knew” him. I could tell so much about his personality, his looks, his character as a military man, his “way with the ladies” – all those things that his family probably adored about him and missed awfully much after he was killed.
Now, how can I make that meaningful to me today? I think I will try to remember how important it is to capture photos of people, of their being, of who they really are. Yes, zoo pictures and ocean pictures and birthday party pictures are good and important. But let’s try to capture “our” people too, okay? And even better than just a photo in a box, let’s keep scrapbooking them, journaling about them, and making them even more meaningful. I have lost all of my grandparents, and my father, and I only wish someone had captured their essence like this – in a scrapbook – while they were still here with us. Because now all I have is the mystery, the wondering, and the wishing that I could have known more about them. Let’s keep working to not let that happen to our kids or to the generations below us.
Sorry, I just get so emotional on Memorial Day, don’t I? But I do want to say “thank you” from the bottom of my heart to my Grandpa C (WWII) and Grandpa F (WWII and Korea). I wish I could know more of your stories. And thanks forever to my DH, who signed up for the Air Force DURING Desert Storm. Much like those who signed up after 9/11 – knowing they would be serving during wartime – he is the bravest of the brave.
(God Bless the USA!)
I didn’t scrapbook very much last year. There were a lot of reasons for that – I was working too much, I was busy with other things, I wasn’t going to crops because I was saving for a scrapbooking cruise, I was spending more time with my family, etc. But, truth be told, I had also run out of mojo. I started scrapbooking in 2002 and I really caught the bug pretty bad. I would scrap every chance I got, whether it was spending late nights at my desk, attending crops, or taking classes. I cropped at friends houses and went to retreats. I can’t say I had an awful lot of pages to show for all that time, but I was sure having fun. Looking back, I spent a lot of time socializing and shopping. And I spent too much time on certain techniques that, I feel now, really didn’t add that much to my pages. I think I got carried away, a bit caught up in what the magazines and tv shows were doing, what I was learning at CKUs, what I felt was expected of me as a “scrapbooker”.
But I have a new perspective now and my focus is back on where I think it should be: on the memories and the pictures. I’m now over the guilt of “sticking my husband with the kids” while I crop, and “spending money on supplies when I just went on a cruise”. I’ve become a consultant for a company with products that I absolutely love and am passionate about sharing with others. I COMPLETELY enjoyed organizing the crop a couple weeks ago. My stuff is organized again and I can enjoy the process without tripping over things. So, suffice it to say, I finally have my scrapbooking mojo back. I’m very happy and excited, because I truly missed it while it was gone. I think I was a little depressed without it. A big part of me was missing. I assume it’s why my house – and scrap area – got so disorganized. If you ever lose your scrap mojo, don’t worry – it will come back. Mine did.
I’ve done a few posts now regarding scrapbook organization and I truly thank you for all the nice comments and questions. I wanted to share links to some of the organizational items I’ve found very useful in my scrapbooking area:
Julie asked about the Iris project sorter, which is actually called the Scrapbook Chest by Iris.
Becca/BS asked about how to sort all those beautiful, wonderful, gorgeous papers we have. This is what I use – Cropper Hopper Vertical Paper Holders. They are the best thing since peanut butter and banana sandwiches! They hold the paper much like a magazine holder stores magazines, so you can thumb through and pull out what you need without messing up the rest of the stack. I truly love these and think anything by Cropper Hopper is genius!
Also for Becca – don’t we love ALL kinds of paper?? I recently reorganized this aspect of my house too. I have tons of gift bags, tissue paper, wrap, etc. It used to be in a large flat Rubbermaid container under the bed. But when my collection outgrew the box and I realized how hard it was to find anything, I moved it all to this. It’s the wire cubes you can find at Target or Walmart for under $20. I have a couple plastic bins on top for mini-gift bags, bows and ribbons. It’s been a good system so far. I’ll post a photo of mine soon…
Edited: Here ’tis:
While I was writing this, I received an e-mail about another cool organization tool and this one you can take with you to crops! It’s the Catchall by Croppin Cutie and MarthasChoice.com has them on sale for $16 right now. I don’t have one, have never seen it til now, but boy it’s cute. Gotta love the pink! I think this would be great to use at crops or just keep on your desktop to keep all those tools and little pieces contained.
Feel free to ask any more scrapbooking organizational questions and I’ll be glad to help!
There is a gal who frequents the CK Message Board who had some really bad luck recently. Her water heater burst while she was out of the house, and she came home to find her house flooded. Her scrapbooks were stored close to the floor and she lost several albums along with some supplies. And because Scrapbookers are the sweetest people on earth, her Scrap Friend on the board is organizing a project where we send her pre-done pages that she will slip into an album and send to this gal who lost her scrapbooks. Ladies who don’t have time to complete layouts by the May 30 deadline have generously offered to send on some scrapbook supplies. It’s so wonderful to see everyone pitching in to help. I know we can all identify with how heartbroken we’d be if this happened to us. I’m now looking for another way to store my scrapbooks…because they are currently on the bottom shelf against a wall that backs up to the water heater in the garage. It’s because I don’t have another shelf that can hold the weight of the scrapbooks, but I’m going to have to figure something out. I couldn’t bear to lose all the photos, memories and hard work that have gone into the books I’ve created. Toys, carpet, furniture, even scrapbook tools and supplies can be replaced, but not my scrapbooks. I hope our computer scrap-friend will be able to take a little solace when she receives the pre-done album, feels the love of people she’s never even met, and doesn’t feel AS overwhelmed with the recreation of her albums.
This past weekend, I held my first ever crop! It was a lot of work, but SO FUN. I had hoped for about 20 scrapbookers to attend, but there ended up being only 11 of us. The good part of that is everyone had plenty of cropping space. There were round tables that normally seat 8 people (for dinner), and there were only 2 people per table. My mom had made name tags for everyone with a little clip art that was perfect – a scrapbooker saying “I Need Elbow Room!”. The crop was at a newer hotel and their service was excellent – they were just a pleasure to deal with. When not that many people were signing up for the crop, I was going to cancel it. But I called the hotel manager and told him my predicament…and he lowered the room rental price by $125 so we could still have the crop. Here was the menu: Donuts and Starbucks coffee for breakfast; foccaccia sandwiches with turkey or tri-tip, chips and iced tea for lunch; candy and cashews for snacks; pizza and salad for dinner; and brownies for desert. Yum! Everyone seemed happy with the food. I had planned to order pizza from one place, but it turned out that one of the scrappers’ sons owned a pizza place. So she called in the order, got us a great deal, and it was delivered (vs. me having to pick it up). She said her son would kill her if he found out we ordered pizza from anyplace else, LOL. Two of the gals made a Starbucks run in the afternoon for that needed pick me up. The crop went from 10am to 10pm, so we needed lots of energy. There were goodie bags for each person. And we drew door prizes every hour so each attendee won something. Then there were Challenges – for each one met, you got a ticket to another prize drawing. That was the best part I think, because it really motivated people to scrap a lot and to try new things. I, of course, didn’t get much scrapbooking done. It’s a lot of work to run a crop! I worked on a Daisy D’s class kit and made a little board book about my mom. It had pictures of her from our trip to Rome and it’s called, “Mama Mia!” I will post a photo when it’s done (and after I get her permission to show her photos to the world!). People saw me doing the kit, liked it, and I sold all the kits I had. It WAS a great deal – 2 board books, tons of 6×6 paper, ribbons, 2 sheets of letter stickers, 2 sheets of other stickers, and metal photo corners for $13. Will post a link to the kit later… Have you ever held a crop or are you thinking about it? Tell me about it in comments!
I have a last minute request for you readers. I’m holding my first Memory Works crop this Saturday. I’m giving out prizes for those who participate in challenges. For example, the first one is to “create a layout using any of the sketches on the following page” (then I provide a sheet of sketches). Can you think of any more challenges I can use? Have you participated in any challenges at a crop – will you share please? I’m searching online but I hope you can help me too. TIA!
Just wanted to share a fun link. You can get really nice computer wallpaper for free here. If you’re an American Crafts fan like me, you’ll love this site. They also have a nice idea gallery here. Enjoy!
As I’ve written about here and here, I’m on a kick to organize my scrapbook area. I’ve made a lot of progress in organizing scrapbook supplies, but to say I was dreading the photo organization part is a drastic understatement. I finally buckled down and got it started last night…and I couldn’t stop! I was up until 1am even though I had to get up at 6. I was in such a groove, man. Wow, watch out for Ms. Organizer Geek over here!
Here is the old way I organized photos and memorabilia:
Here is the new way I organize photos and memorabilia:
The old way: When I first started scrapbooking – like many of you – my photo “organization” was a hodge podge. Yes, I did have some that were nicely chronological in magnetic albums and in mismatched photo boxes. I had some in 2-up or 3-up photo albums. And the rest were still in photo envelopes and stored in various places around the house – the kitchen junk drawer, my nightstand, the office, etc. When I went to my first crop, my friend told me how she organized her photos and it sounded good, so I adopted it. This is it: Buy a bunch of manila envelopes from Walmart; they are cheap and come in various sizes (6×9″, 9×12″ and 10×13″). File photos by event in an envelope and use the larger size if you have memorabilia to go with it. In the upper right corner, write the Event and the Date. Write any journaling notes or page idea notes on the front of the envelope. Then when it’s time to scrap, just grab the envelope and you’re good to go. In addition to photos, I keep everything else too – ticket stubs, flyers, invitations, art, portraits, letters. These are things that don’t fit nicely into your average photo box or album. That’s why her system sounded great to me, and it worked very well for most of the 6 years I’ve been scrapping. But it’s time for a change because…there are flaws in the system. The 2 main problems I’ve discovered are storage area and convenience factor. By storage, I mean that I’m running out of room to store things this way. I have 6 of these white plastic bins full of photos and the leg area under my desk is full with them. I have nowhere to expand with this system and looking ahead, I can see it’s not something I can do forever. The envelopes would file easily in a standard filing cabinet, but I don’t have room to put one anywhere. (Side note: If I would scrap more and blog less, more of these photos would be in albums, but that’s not the point!). Because I ran out of room about a year ago, I’ve virtually stopped filing new photos. I wanted to file older photos too, but there was nowhere to put them. The other factor was convenience, i.e. how difficult was it to keep up this system? I felt like I was constantly buying envelopes and spending lots of time sorting things by event. I rarely ‘pre-flighted’ the envelopes for upcoming events so as time went by, ticket stubs and photos kept accumulating in piles on my desk. In other words, it’s not an easy thing to keep up day by day; it’s a project every time to sit down and do it. Well, who has time for that?!?! In the meantime, Creative Memories came out with the Power Sort Box and it was love at first sight. I like how you can store so many photos in one place, yet pull out smaller portions of the box at a time. I know my photos will be archivally safe in PS Boxes, whereas I was always doubtful of the manila envelopes (the box doesn’t indicate if they’re archival safe or not). So, the only hold up to changing my photo organizing system (other than my dread) was purchasing some PS Boxes…and them babies ain’t cheap! They usually go for $35 each but – patience IS a virtue – I just found 2 of them on CraigsList for $28 each. Consider it my Mothers Day present, yeah? Last night after all were in bed, I plopped down in front of Desparate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters, and sorted photos into my new Power Sort Box. Every time I finished a stack, I went back into my scrap room for more. It was so satisfying to get my photos in order! I worked on 2000 through 2006 and set aside any other random ones that turned up. I used the label maker to label the 12 new dividers with ‘Jan 2007′, ‘Feb 2007′, etc. so I will be inspired to sort this year’s photos as I go along through the rest of the year. For all the other years, I used the small index cards (vertically) and labeled them the same way for each year. It’s so easy to find things at a glance now and that’s why I want to keep going. There have been so many projects that have flashed in my mind over the years and then the next thought has been, “But I don’t know where those photos are”. Well, now I will. I will eventually re-sort all those photos in the manila envelopes into the PS Boxes. Now, I have just one envelope per month which is easier to maintain. I can just keep the current one handy and not feel so pressured to label them event by event. If I have journaling notes, I’ll just jot ‘em down on scrap paper and put them in the monthly envelope also. This is actually fun (am I sick in the head?) and I’ll be working on it again tonight – can’t wait :) There are still other big photo projects to do: getting all my photos on computer, organizing them into files, and backing them up; and what to do with all those index sheets, CDs and APS cartridges? Oy, a worry for another day.
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