Winners and more answers!

Here are the winners, randomly selected from comments yesterday. You have each won, one set of the Croppin Companion drawer files. Please email me with your address, and let me know if you would like 4×6 or 5×7. Congratuations!!

Posted by: Nancy S. | 27 May 2008 at 06:34 PM
Just got your book and can't put it down. My goal this summer is to catagorize, catagorize, catagorize!
So. . . it would be helpful to have those drawers!

Posted by: Michelle B | 27 May 2008 at 12:11 PM
I love Photo Freedom! I have organized my flickr pictures using your system. check it out:
Thanks for being you!

Let's start today with another fun email. This one from Kelly.

Okay, I admit it: After my first reading of your new book I thought "this woman can't seriously think I'm going to abandon four years of a chronological scrapping mindset!". Well, then I started really thinking about your system and what kind of changes it would make in how I approach my hobby and I realized something: there have been numerous times in the past 6 months or so that I have resisted the urge to grab my camera to capture a moment. Why? Because I didn't want to face yet another page of the baby crawling or the older one dressing up like a princess. And I knew if I took the pictures I would feel compelled to scrap them. That was my "ah-ha" moment. So I'm getting things set up. I'm laying the foundation for the Library. It feels like I'm about to jump off a 1000' cliff into nothingness. But I'm kinda looking forward to it!

One of the things I love most about my system and especially category drawers is the fact that I have a place to "age" random, everyday photos, so that A) I don't have to do a whole page about messy pudding face, or dinosaurs and legos — or whatever and B) I don't have to keep track of specific pictures and page ideas. All I have to do is select key photos to store by category and then essentially forget about them until some spark of inspiration urges me to revisit a category and there find instant connection and the illustrations I need to bring authenticity to a story I want to tell. The magic girls, is in our photos — we just need to harness it and unleash a whole new kind of creativity.

Question from Sara
I'm curious why you use the storage binders and category drawers. I might be missing something, but that seems to be a redundant step to me. I'm sure it's not, though, so if you could please explain why to me, I'd appreciate it. Also, will you be offering another class online? If so, what are the details?

Storage binders are temporary, chronological storage for printed photos that I want to consider scrapbooking. I print pictures if I'm 90% sure I'd like to scrapbook them. Once printed they are stored temporarily (up to 5 years or so) in a binder, where I can easily see and use them on (primarily) event or chronological layouts. 
As time goes by and I browse these binders (over and over) pictures and memories are prioritized, without me really even being conscious of it. I automatically pull and scrapbook those pictures and stories that "feel" important. As pictures are pulled and used on layouts, I invariably have leftovers. These leftovers often live on in my category drawers. Quite often, pictures in my storage binders get picked over and even passed over, time and again and as this happens I pull a picture here and there and place it in a category drawer. Storage binders then are active short-term storage that help me keep pictures flowing through my consciousness, whereas category drawers are long-term storage designed to show me a photo outside of the context in which it was taken and in fact, show me that picture alongside other pictures that will teach me about the people, places and things that matter most.

I need both types of storage to sustain and enrich my creative process.

also, I offer my Library of Memories course every year, beginning sometime in January or February. As long as you are registered at BPS, you'll get the notifications that we send out.

more tomorrow!


  1. the one day i miss checking in and you do a giveaway :-(
    Regardless I got your book a few weeks ago and as my photos are already gathered and in order I’ve begun work on my timeline (my version :-)). The book has already been so helpful. I have over 30 yrs of pics so I needed help because I just wasnt getting what I wanted accomplished. Here’s my question (you knew it was coming): I have my photos is photo boxes (and larger boxes for enlargements etc) – I am feeling it would be redundant for me to move them out of those boxes and into 3up albums. I’m feeling as if I can use those boxes as you have used the 3up albums. Is there any benefit to the 3up albums other than to see the pics a little quicker (instead of pulling photos out of the box to view)? Am I missing something Stacy? Thanks again. I knew this book was going to be just what I needed – I have your other books and this one tops them all :-)

  2. HeatherC says:

    These Q&As are interesting. I just got your book BIG PICTURE from a friend — we are both in love with your system. I love Photo Freedom and it is funny that you wrote Big Picture first, because to me, BP takes PF further. Unfortunately I have discovered this at a time when my family is moving so I am having to put my ideas on hold — I am writing everything down!!! I am working on my digital files. I am sure I will have more questions when I really dive in, but right now, I am basking in the glory of wonderful new ideas!!!

  3. Caroline says:

    My understanding is that you flip through your binders and scrapbook what you feel like. When you put them in your albums at different times, do you rearrange in chronological order?
    For example, something from 2007 goes in your child’s book and then a week later you scrapbook something from 2006. Would you rearrange in order?

  4. I’m tellin’ ya, you are my new best friend. I even thought, “Hmm, I could move to Washington, its only a state away.” I realized that was bordering on stalking, though! My local friends tease me about you, but they don’t have a passion for documenting their lives as I do. I get excited at the thought of my great great grandchildren getting to know who I am through the scrapbooks I’ve left behind.
    I am taking teeny weeny baby steps toward making your system my own.

  5. This is totally off the subject so I hope you can answer my question. I finally found your post about “summer fun” clipboards and was going to make them for our family. Is there anything you would have done differently to make it more effective or efficient?

  6. Jeannette P says:

    Happy Wednesday! I ordered 1 set of the file drawers last night (5 x8) and am looking forward to them getting here next week. In the mean time I spent a few hours today pulling more memorabilia out & sorting into piles. Labeled a few more drawers so I’m not tempted to throw everything in one when I’m doing a quick clean up even when it doesn’t belong. I simply can’t do it if the drawer is labeled. And now Tonight I’ll be kicking my feet up and putting my memorabilia into top loading sheet protectors that are in cheap binders (for now) so that it is organized enough that I can see things. Tomorrow I have a few more containers to open up & pull memorabilia from. I keep tossing stuff too. And I can’t believe how many stray photos I’ve found. Almost ashamed to admit it. But so glad I’ve found them & sorted them out of the hiding places they’ve been. I’m making progress & I LOVE THAT!!!
    I can’t wait to see more questions & hear more a-ha moments from other LOM people. Gotta run, the baby is done eating & calling for a wash up & to get down.

  7. YOu picked me! Oh Joy! :) !!!! :)

  8. HeatherC says:

    I just thought of a QUESTION as I was looking at your books — what type of pens do you use to journal??? I love your style of writing and how you use a fine point and a bold tip.

  9. HeatherC says:

    Question – What journaling pens do you use?? I love the mix of fine and bod points

  10. I am enjoying your blog very much. I hope it is ok with you that I put a link to your blog on my blog.

  11. Kristin says:

    Love love love the book – so many ah-ha moments for me. Thank you!
    I have a quick tactical question – in the book I couldn’t tell – do you journal in the storage binders? In pen or pencil and what do you do when you remove the photos?

  12. Amy Dow says:

    Stacy, wish me luck…my photo albums arrived 2 days ago and last night I started with my first binder…I am already struggling! Some photos I have all ready scrapped…do I store the extras from that event in the binders or do they go directly to catagory drawers? Help…it sounded like a relatively easy task when I started but as I go through photos of events I have made layouts for I am unsure what to do with them??? Help!

  13. I am totally cool with the non-chronological scrapping. I made this change about 4 years ago and it was very freeing to be able to walk away from the “I have to scrap this next” mindset. My question is this:
    If I don’t have enough pictures to fill the album and the boxes (I am pretty up to date), which would you use? The album or the boxes? I could see the album (easy to take with you to crops) might be more beneficial but the box would take up less room on a shelf…
    My other question is:
    Do you ever finish a spread and throw out the pictures you didn’t use? I know recently, if I get to the end and the remaining pictures are cute, I have been sending them out to family. If they aren’t cute enough to stand alone, I pitch them. Do you ever do that? Do you ever go through your box (long term storage) and pitch pictures that no longer interest you?

  14. I just needed to chime in and say that the Photo Freedom is a scrapbooking life-changing concept, from someone who “drank the kool-aid” a couple of years ago. I read your BP book when it first came out, and the ideas just spoke to me and how I wanted to scrapbook, but I wasn’t sure how to make it work, how to change my process (which was NOT working for me at all). I was in the first LOM class, and I can say that I am still scrapping-happy with my system. I love to re-read my class notes, and reading Photo Freedom has inspired me to add a few things to my system (love the Start Here Jar), but the basic idea is so awesome, I know it will work for me from now on. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  15. Karen C. says:

    darn, i wanted more today! lol!
    so, i have your book, and love it. i am trying to implement the system myself.
    i think i may take a slower approach at it though! i have started by getting 2 of the pioneer 3 ring albums and am on a qwest to find the drawer system. i have been doing research to find a good set of drawers. lol!
    but, for now, i am going to put those scrappable pics that inspire me the most in my 3 ring binders and then probably file the others in their walmart envelope in my basket of previously developed pictures.
    this is what will work for me now, but i really look forward to doing the rest.
    you are such an inspiration Stacey!

  16. Bobbi Jo Nichols says:

    Love the Photo Freedom scrapping. What a big relief to be able to do it this way and still feel organized. Being somewhat OCD I have struggled with this as I read a lot of scrappers do. Thank you for all your wonderful advice, ideas and just the fun things you share. Hugs, Bobbi Jo-Arizona

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