I woke up early this morning and did a little radio spot on the Martha Stewart Morning Living show.
The producer called me yesterday and asked me to send over my recommendations for basic tools and a list of my top tips for getting started. I thought this might be something fun to share here on the good ‘ole blog. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, this will feel like a review, but then its good (every so often) to revisit your core philosophies about things — even things like scrapbooking.
In case you don’t know, there is a “Stacy Julian” Basic Tool Kit at scrapbook.com. Learn more by clicking on the link.
For me, getting started scrapbooking is NOT as important as sticking with it and avoiding what seems to be unavoidable guilt. Here then are my top ten tips for starting scrapbooking and sustaining a healthy attitude about telling your stories.
Scrapbooking is simply telling a story with pictures and words. Storytelling is as old as humanity. There are no rules for telling stories—no right or wrong way to do it. Don’t forget this!
Anytime you pair a photo with a memory, you are scrapbooking. This means scrapbooks come in all shapes and sizes and all kinds of formats, from traditional paste and paper scrapbooks to beautifully designed digital family histories, to personal blogs—it all counts!
Don’t start at the beginning. You do not have to start at the beginning of your life or anyone else’s for that matter. Start with a great memory or story and find some pictures to illustrate it and move on to the next story you want to tell.
Don’t work in date order. Trying to tell stories in chronological order can be overwhelming and it turns out chronology really isn’t that interesting after all, so don’t force yourself to arrange photos and words in chronological order – especially if it is stressing you out!
Don’t worry about the lifetime of pictures. Seriously. I know you have pictures in drawers and bins and under your bed, not to mention the 10,000 images on your computer. Get over it. Decide that you can’t do something with all of your pictures, but you can do something with some of your pictures. This is an exciting notion and one that will help you live a more present and happy life.
Do scrapbook yourself. Scrapbooking isn’t just for brides and new moms. You do not have to have children to scrapbook and if you have children, you are not obligated to make them scrapbooks – in fact, the only story you’re truly qualified to tell is your own story. If you do have children, what they will most want from you is your story, told with pictures and lots of your perspective.
Do scrapbook people. The people we love and the relationships we enjoy are what life is all about. Take and use pictures of people. Write about who they are, how they are unique and why you love them. Scrapbooking personalities and relationships with great attention to detail is the most gratifying kind of storytelling there is.
Do carry a notebook. Tuck a small notebook in your purse and place a few others around your home (in your nightstand, your kitchen junk drawer, etc..) When something triggers a memory, or someone says something funny, capture it. Use these notes to inspire individual scrapbook pages or projects.
Do create a Photos I Love book. Gather 10 to 15 of your MOST favorite pictures that span your lifetime. Sit down at your computer and write a short paragraph or two about each one, add some color and some decorative touches (optional) and put everything together in a smallish album. As you work, notice the creative energy swelling up inside of you and pay attention to your desire to share this book with anyone important in your life.
Do spend time with your pictures. The most important thing you can do to inspire and motivate the storyteller in you is to enjoy the pictures you have. Pull out a box of old photos and set them on the coffee table. Set up two or three digital photo frames and load them with recent digital images. The more you surround yourself with happy memories and the evidence of the good things in life, the more you will want to celebrate both. We make time to do things that feel exciting—get excited about your pictures!
Naturally, I plugged Big Picture Classes at the end of my interview and I mentioned my Start Here with Stacy class.
If you or someone you know is just getting started or needs a refresher or simply a perspective shift, this class is perfect.
Have a great and productive day!