Thoughts on scrapbooking

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking220 Comments

So I’m gonna talk about scrapbooking today. And generally speaking, you know me: I don’t front. Generally.

I have been watching Becky Higgins on Creative Live and the first thing that comes to mind is: man, that is a stressful thing to do.

That would be the introvert part of me. The part that sweats profusely in public speaking situations. The part of me that wishes I could find a way to fall in love with in-person, live teaching but the part that knows, “Girl, you HATE that s#%t!”

The second thing that comes to mind is she’s doing a really great job and it’s clear she’s on a real mission to make this process easier and less stressful for people who want to save their memories.

The third thing that comes to mind after seeing some of the things the studio and online audience is bringing up, and this is specifically what’s on my mind today, is this: are people that stressed out about memory keeping?

I have worked in this industry for more than 10 years and sometimes, I feel like I’m really out of touch with what the average scrapbooker is looking for in her hobby.

My therapist would say that is because I’m so self-absorbed, and while she has a point, I also think my motivation for scrapbooking creates this perspective.

I started scrapbooking because it was ridiculously fun and I got to make stuff I really loved and the bonus was saving a memory here and there.

I started scrapbooking because I did very dull, corporate work as a graphic designer and this hobby let me use my mad typography skills in ways that were so much more interesting and creative.

I started scrapbooking because I adored photography and had some really cute kids and it seemed like, “Why not?”

I started scrapbooking because I loved to write—still do, in fact—and it simply gave me a broader context in which to document my life.

I never felt behind. I never felt like I needed to go back and “retro” scrap stories—like my wedding, or the birth of my kids, or my school years, though I did make a mini album about my high school years that I never finished.

As soon as scrapbooking felt like an obligation (like starting a high school album), I knew I needed to reframe my approach and let inspiration guide the process. Sometimes, that meant not scrapbooking for—gasp—months.


Today, I primarily do Project Life. I’ve been doing this approach for almost two years. Most of the time, I do it every week. Add my photos and stories a little here and there. For the past half year, I’ve done it all digitally.

I really love the approach. I love that I have a document of everyday life that covers every week of the year.

Part of me wishes I had done this in the olden days, if only for the everyday life detail it lets me save; stuff I know I couldn’t remember if I tried.

I love it because I’ve made it simple, fun and creative for me. I’ve tailored it to my style and taste.

Now lately, I’ve been falling a bit behind on it, and while I won’t say I’m stressed out I definitely have let it drop its place on my priority list. But I’m not too worried. I plan on catching up this week. Digital makes it so simple for me.

I guess what I’m wondering about you, the people who read my blog, do you find scrapbooking to be stressful? Is this hobby something that causes you consternation? Is it all fun? Part fun? What are your or were your motivations for jumping into the hobby?

I’m going to be thinking about this myself, while watching Becky do her thing on my second monitor and working on the few weeks of catch up scrapbooking that are waiting for me.

By all means, leave a comment and tell me your thoughts.


Cathy ZielskeThoughts on scrapbooking

220 Comments on “Thoughts on scrapbooking”

  1. #1
    Margie Visnick

    no-scrapbooking is more of a stress reliever for me-I love being creative, and every memory that I record is one more than my kids had before! The only way it stresses me out is if I allow myself to spend money on supplies more than I have time to create with. I decided a long time ago to enjoy this hobby and the pretty things that come with it when I have the time.

  2. #2

    For me, if I ever feel ‘stressed’ about it, it is because I have so many different albums going! I do a yearly album that combines all stuff for the family – outings, events at school, birthdays, etc. If we take a trip together, that usually gets its own album. I take trips by myself, and those have all gotten their own albums so far. Plus, I am doing Project Life just for myself, so that there’s a record of me actually having a life beyond the scope of being a mother. Sometimes it seems to require so much time and space, but when I think about letting any of it go, I just can’t bear it.

  3. #4

    Stressed? I got hives by the fifth paragraph. Full-on fight-or-flight response with a deep sense of loneliness and isolation combined with sleeping too much or too little and persistent neuralgia. Why do you ask?

  4. #5

    This is the #1 complaint I hear about scrapbooking: they find it soooo stressful. Too many pictures and they cannot figure out what to eliminate. They don’t like that they are behind. All of this stresses them out. And mommy guilt. Goodness, all of the moms I know talk about this. I do PL so I find this super simple and stress-free. It’s my stress-reliever. 🙂

  5. #6
    Kim Thomas

    It’s not supposed to be stressful. We are supposed to be enjoying the process. That’s why I don’t do PL, it’s too much for me. I’m happy to just scrap my memories as I saw it happen, when I have time, and then I get to play. 🙂

  6. #7

    I love scrapbooking – I love memory keeping – I love telling stories – I love creating pages about the random stuff in life. My only problem is I wish I could do it everyday and all day. Work and life does get in the way. I don’t think it is stressful but it is overwhelming. I know that I find it hard to keep up with a project (i.e. Project Life) but love the concept. I traditionally scrap and digitally scrap. I have a few work in progress and a few projects that are completed that I love. I want to figure out a digital version of project life that doesn’t overwhelm me but captures those monthly moments. One year I used your monthly page layouts but I am having a hard time finding 8.5 x 11 printing options digitally. Thanks for all your inspiration. ~Ann

  7. #8

    Definitely non-stressful for me. It’s a creative outlet. I’ve never felt obligated to get everything scrapped, I let inspiration lead me to when & how much to scrap. I figure anything that. I do is an improvement on doing nothing. I also sometimes don’t scrap for months. Sometimes it’s every week. It all depends on what else is going on in my life. Make it about living and loving it rather than an obligation. We have enough obligations in life without taking on another, unnecessary one.

  8. #9

    Am watching Becky as well (multi-tasking while working)…I want to say there is no stress, but that would not be quite true. However, I have made some significant shifts (in the last 3 mths) in how I view this hobby we all love.

    I am not caught up – and probably never will be. That is okay.
    I scrap what inspires me at the time – and then it gets put in albums chronologically. (did some 2013 pages and 2003 pages at a crop this past weekend!)
    I am now combining PL with traditional scrapbooking (12×12) – I scrap layouts of the “most” special pictures and then supplement the story PL style.
    There is no one way to do this…it is 150% a personal choice!!

  9. #10

    I’m thinking digital PL may be the way to go ….. much easier and convenient to work using my computer instead of getting myself all set up downstairs to work on projects. Could you give us a little more insight into how you’re set up….folders on the computer, templates, process….. I thrive on organization and if I could just come up with a “system” for myself then I’d be on my way. Unfortunately, my attempts at doing this have failed. I get so caught up in “setting up my system” that I don’t get anything done. Can anyone else relate?

  10. #11

    I’m in my 3rd year of PL and I also make time for traditional scrapbooking. I have any number of projects on the go at the same time ~ 2013 family album, on-going album for The Boy Child, Florida holiday album, December Daily foundation pages. I even have an A-Z of Me: The Abridged Version on my shelf. The foundation pages are all complete, but it’s been waiting for 2 years for me to fill it with info on The Boy Child. I did actually complete the A-Z about me!
    My point is this: we have no family in the same city as us and the Boy Child has Autism, albeit high-functioning. This life of ours is full and stressful and difficult, but scrapbooking restores my equilibrium.
    And it’s way cheaper than therapy!

  11. #12

    I am leaving for a long weekend scrapbooking retreat with frineds. I think we all take a pretty relaxed approach to our projects and what we get done. Sometimes there is a mission, (this weekend Christmas/Holiday cards)but in general none of us feel like everything needs to be done chronologically (or even at all). I am not sure if anyone beyond me will ever look at or care about most of the things I scrap, but I have worked with my niece and great-niece to put together some heritage albums to at least document the backbones of our family before it is lost and to add onto as the new genrations come along. It is relaxing, creative and certainly not a perfect art as I do it! At this point I am doing the papercrafting method of scrapbooking – love to play – layouts sometimes take way too long, but that is my fun.

  12. #13
    Jen J

    I really enjoy sitting down to scrapbook but that is because it is almost always with friends. It is like knitting or anything else you can do with your hands while socializing. I met Becky Higgins a couple of years ago and when I told her that I spent three years working on an album for a one-week Disney trip I thought she would fall out of her seat. Part of me enjoyed the time spent and but another big part of me was obsessive about using all my photos and supplies. I put together weekend scrapbook retreats and there are always conversations about how much we got done or how far behind we are. I think it does stress people out. Maybe we just need to look at it for what we get done, not what we haven’t gotten done.

  13. #14

    I’ve just watched the 2nd segment on Creative Live. I now only do PL – I’m behind but have jumped in again starting last week but will go back and fill the missing weeks as and when I have the time. Life is busy – my father’s had a stroke, my daughter is on her own with 2 little ones so I try to help out as much as I can and I still have 2 “children” (17 & 25) at home. I don’t want to give up because I love looking back at the PL pages I’ve made in the last couple of years. I’m now doing hybrid pages which is about the closest I come to digital. I just need to organise all my digital files to make life simpler

  14. #15
    Paulette I don’t feel guilty about my stuff or the time I spend in my studio! I “try” to give my kids “equal” time in my albums but for the most part,it’s just a pure joyful process:o) It’s all paper,tape runner & embellishments! I do have a SD Silhouette & when I decide to use it, it takes me all day to make what I want lol! Do I care? Maybe a tiny bit but wow! what a sense of accomplishment when I finally get it right! I love to write & tell stories, I don’t do PL but I use lots of PL stuff:o) WHAT I LOVE MOST is the COMMUNITY… I have laughed & cried my way through some pretty special blogs since 2000! I’ve made some great connections & very special friendships on line and at workshops.It’s such an important part of my scrapbooking lifestyle! Lucky me:o) Thanks for listening Cathy!

  15. #16

    I have to say that I have NEVER understood those women who complain about being behind and how they are never going to catch up with their scrapbooks! I like to do crafts for the enjoyment and creative lift it gives me and that’s the only reason really. If I make a card or gift/tribute album for someone and it makes them happy–even better! My photos have been sitting in boxes or drawers for years–some of them over a hundred years (ancestors!) and they’re not going anywhere unless I move them or my house burns down!

    Now, if you were asking about stressful hobbies–let’s talk rubber stamps! I have collected probably a thousand rubber stamps over the past 20+ years and hardly use any of them anymore. I’m having a hard time figuring out the best way to get rid of them! Suggestions welcome–although I’m to the point where a garage sale next spring and then Goodwill for what’s left is sounding pretty good right now.

  16. #17
    Jenny in Wellington, NZ

    Yes. It stressed me out to the max. The traditional scrapbooking, and the circles I was revolving in, made it feel very competitive. It was about producing jaw-dropping layouts. It was about using all the latest products, tools, having the right stuff. Who inspired me most with really clean, linear layouts with great journalling and pics? Cathy Zielske. I bought all her books and followed her ideas. I’m still following her right now on her blog 🙂 I’ve had the priviledge of meeting Cathy in NZ a few years back. You rock. But, despite the inspiration of a crazy, amazing lady, I still struggled.

    I stumbled on Scrapbooking as I was looking for a way of storing and keeping my school reports and cards and photos and memories of days gone by. I never did get to that.

    Then Becky brought out Project life. I died and went to heaven. This gave me the best of everything I was looking for: easy scrapbooking, the opportunity to be creative if desired it, the linear Cathy Zielske-esk approach. There was a pocket for every size document, photo, keepsake. I could do my school years here.

    I haven’t done that special album yet. I’m currently doing 2013. I’m still following that Cathy-chick and she still inspires me, but frustrates the hell out of me with her digital stuff that I don’t have the progs to use to do too. I’m also not working at present and so that slows me down a little from getting things bought and stuff.

    But I’m no longer stressed about scrapbooking. Becky has cracked it. Cathy is still the one to watch. Ali is still gorgeous. Life is good.

  17. #18
    Sherry Carr-Smith

    I started scrapping 8 years ago after my first husband died because I absolutely knew that I would forget everything in our son’s life if I didn’t have back up. I did a book for each year of my son’s life, but no general scrapping or a family book. When I remarried and had another child, I intended to do one book just about him for his first year of life (2010) and do a family album as well. And then life got in the way and I got super stressed about it. It took me three years to complete our younger son’s book and I never did anything for the family book until I started PL for 2013 (a full year after I got it for a Christmas present). Having done PL for our family this year, I haven’t felt stressed at all. Even when I was 3 months or so behind, I knew that I could catch up (and I did). I think PL appeals to me because I’m a fairly simple scrapper too. Now the only stress I feel around scrapping is when I don’t get to do it because it is such a great outlet for me, not because I feel behind. So…yes?

  18. #19
    Sally Kemp

    Project Life used to stress me out until I slowed down with it and really focused on making the colors and embellishments work together on each weekly layout. Digital PL has made all of that so much easier, and actually less stressful.

    The other thing that stresses me out is not having enough time to spend on this hobby that I love so much! I work a full time job, and I feel like when my brain has some downtime, I’m *always thinking about scrapping. I am not obsessed with retro-scrapping, as you put it, and always just scrap where the inspiration strikes. I love that approach, since I never feel “behind”. December Daily is definitely going to challenge me in this area, but I’m trying it this year anyway.

  19. #20
    Patti L

    Generally no it’s not a stressful thing, but I do find stress creeps in when I have projects waiting to b finished & I just don’t have time to get to it… That said, it’s kind of silly bcz the reason I don’t have time to get to it is bcz I’m busy living my life! Making new memories. I’m attending concerts, going on vaca, sporting events, and now the great holiday prep. I do other things– read, crochet, fiddle with my photography equipment, bake. I have to sometimes just tell myself to relax & I will get to it eventually. I don’t do PL religiously but I have a way of using divided page protectors that works for me. I keep up with printing photos & taking notes (sometimes on paper, usually on my iPhone). I do my best to keep it orderly (also a challenge) so that I can get to it when I have time. So I don’t stress but I sure do wish I had more time for the creative outlet. And I am a hybrid scrapper.
    I don’t understand y ppl get stressed, but I think everyone has to find their own method & what works for them. Probably took me a good 10 years to figure that out. (With scrapbooking & with life in general really!)

  20. #21

    I think that I do let the “must be caught up” attitude stress me out, but then I read blog posts like this one and I breathe a little. I lived for 35 years before I put one single photo in an album. If I tried to fit that many years of catching up into the rest of my lifetime, I’d be screwed. I am going to print out your blog post from today and post it right above the area that I scrapbook at. When I feel the need to “catch up” – I’m reading your words, and then I’ll breathe and enjoy the process.

  21. #22

    I used to stress…alot..not so much any more. I started out with scrapbooking/project life for the first time this year. Every week, I filled the pages but then I let it get away from me. I kept buying supplies but not scrapping and feeling guilty. Then two significant events occurred that made me change the way I will do project life going forward. One my mother, who was diagnosed with dementia, moved in with us so I’m doing December Daily to document her first Christmas living with us and possibly our last in the house we’re in. I also took the opportunity to make a mini album for my in-laws who live overseas and haven’t seen their family here for umpteen years. That was so much fun, collecting the pictures and words from various family members and creating the album which they totally enjoyed. Especially since my 90-yr f-i-l has Alzheimers. That brought back the joy to doing project life for me. So next year I’ll probably fill the pages by month just documenting what was the highlight within that time and not stress about filling each week. I’ve also managed to identify in this time the type of memory keeping I like – yours, Amy Tan and Ali Edwards. That makes life so simple.

  22. #23
    Renae B

    I find scrapbooking extremely relaxing. I get stressed when I need a release and just don’t have the time to sit for a few minutes and create. This was my first year at project life. I still do traditional layouts. I love both. I am currently 3 months behind on project life and yet that doesn’t stress me out either because I’m a nerd and have a spreadsheet set up with my page templates (I don’t do digital) and jot notes for journaling and drag thumbnails of my photos so when I do get to sit down I can look at it and just go. It also helps me when I order a large amount of photos so I don’t have to go through them all. I don’t try to keep up with new trends but I do like to try new techniques. After all, I’m the only person that looks at my books and my 5 year old doesn’t care either way. He just loves “his books” and that’s all the validation I need.

  23. #24
    Judy Sanza

    I started scrapbooking late in life. I’m a grandma and the keeper of ALL family memories. I have four kids and four grandkids. So, I make 12x12s, 8x11s, mini albums etc. I like simple scrapbooking, but I try my hand at new stuff too. Simple is still my favorite. I get together with friends once a month for a crop and since I’m retired I can scrap whenever I want. I was stressed for awhile because I had too much stuff and no system to for organization. Now I limit my supplies and tools. I buy for a project or use what I have on hand. I still have a lot! Sometimes I worry that there are too many albums, but then the family comes over and they oooh and aaah over what I’ve done and it’s all worth it.

  24. #25

    I’ve never made a scrapbook page in my life, but I do have an album with divided page protectors where I stick things that strike me, ticket stubs, play programs, photos and once in a great while, a note about what we are doing. I don’t ever stress about it and it’s not pretty by any means, but it makes me incredibly happy to do it and to look back on it. I will never go digital because most of the fun for me is playing with stuff, especially paper.
    On the other hand, I have a sister who would rather die than put 2 pieces of uncoordinated paper in the same album let alone on the same page. DIfferent strokes…

  25. #26

    I don’t think it stresses me- then I realize that I hardly ever sit down and scrap and it bothers me that I have so many ‘projects’ that aren’t complete. So maybe it does stress me a little.

  26. #27

    I’m meant to be working so haven’t read everyone else comments so not sure if I’m repeating or not 🙂

    I personally think that what makes people stressed is that element of comparison to what OTHER scrappers are doing… and all those comments that come from I’m behind, I need to catch up etc etc. When you are constantly reading that, and hearing how other people organise, and how other people do this or that, and they use that product or this one…. While it’s AWESOME for sharing – and that social part is one of the bonuses of this hobby that I absolutely LOVE – I think it also allows pressure to come in of what we *should* be doing or how we could do something better…. that what we ARE doing is somehow not good enough.

    I get caught up in that feeling myself… so I know how it goes! LOL

    I try to remind myself that some of these systems create stress when they were meant to be the opposite – and that comes from teh constant discussion on all the above. So, I try to take a breath and remind myself, any story documented is done. I don’t HAVE to capture every single story, even if I wanted to. Gaps in the weekly approach? doesn’t matter – what is done is good enough. I also try to really encourage people new to scrapping and PL in particular to take time to actually decide what works best for them – what works for their bestie might be completely the most stressed out way for themselves… and that isn’t fun!

    Anyhoo… off my high horse and soap box… back to putting together the report I’m meant to be working on. Thanks for the water cooler moment 😉

  27. #28

    Sending love down under. I need to do more tutorial stuff on the digital side. Believe me, even though I work as a graphic designer, I had to learn the digital scrapbooking stuff too. It was a total mystery, but…. honestly? Not much to it once you get going!

  28. #30

    I’ve only felt stressed ONCE when scrapping – I gave myself a hard deadline to have a book completed [ended up creating a total of 104 pages in six weeks] for literally a complete stranger, but her deceased brother was a friend of my son’s and I felt I should “do something” to celebrate their wonderful relationship. That book took a lot out of me emotionally [still dealing with the death], mentally [what was that story again?], and physically [all the keyboarding took a toll on my hands]. The book was lovely and appreciated and greeted with tears of thankfulness, but I could not scrap for about five months. [Do I hear “burnout”? Oh yes!]

    Since I originally started scrapping to keep my son’s great-grandmothers involved in his life, they were a bit surprised about receiving nothing for about six months. I felt guilty about that [guilt – the gift that keeps on giving] but I read something during my non-scrapping months, possibly by Stacey Julian, along the lines of “This hobby is supposed to be fun. Scrap what you want when you want.” I kept that near my computer and one day, decided “what the heck, I love this photo I’ve scrapped a few times already, let’s scrap it again” and that got me back to enjoying this scrapping hobby.

    I don’t see scrapping as an obligation – the stories may not be told as quickly as some might like, but I figure it’s better that they’re eventually told, even if it’s a few weeks/months/years later. And I know I’ll never be caught up – and I don’t ever want to be. I figure “caught up” would be a dull place for me. 😉

  29. #31
    Ronnie Crowley

    scrapping is a stress reliever for me. I have learned not to take on any of these special projects as they do stress me and its now why I do it – so no December daily, no week in the life, no layout a day. I get what I get done and the kids better be happy with that as its way more than I got.

  30. #32
    Sandy E-B

    The motto in my small craft room at home is NO DRAMA, NO STRESS. It gets parked at the door, so I can just go with the creative flow. I keep it simple, play and make mistakes, and try not to force it if my muse is on temporary hiatus. Whatever I get done is enough, and I don’t worry about the rest!

  31. #33
    ruth tacoma

    My dad scrapbooked for me when I was a kid and I have a couple albums filled with random things…cards, tickets to games, those metal “badges” that folded over at the top (anyone remember those?), postcards, letters, candybar wrappers, lots of photobooth pictures and more. It’s quirky. It’s random. It’s on totally non-acid free paper and used glue that would be considered ‘contraband’ to the archival scrapbookers. I adore that book. I adore his handwriting. It’s chronological in parts and in parts it isn’t.

    I’ve scrapbooked for 22 years and not sure there is such a thing as ‘caught up’ and it doesn’t bother me either way. I’m older now and my kids are grown and on their own. I tend to scrap differently. I might do a mini album about a trip instead of putting pages in a book. But I still love it! I love the memories. I love the photos. I love the little details. I love the creativity. I never stress. Probably more than you wanted to know. 🙂

  32. #34

    Prior to Project Life, scrapbooking was stressful. Now, with Project Life, it is much easier. It’s manageable, but I will say that it is still not entirely stress free.

    See the thing is that I am primarily NOT a visual graphic designer type of person. That’s not where I get my creative kicks from. I don’t enjoy the process as much as someone like you. I simply want the end result — an album of memories. And I think this might be the main difference between people who stress and don’t stress over scrapbooking.

    Relevant questions are: Do you enjoy the creative process of scrapbooking? Is it a creative outlet for self-expression? Or, do you just want the end result?

    Although I do find some value in being creative in scrapbooking, I also have other hobbies that I prefer over scrapbooking. And if I could magically pay someone to produce the end product for me, I probably would. (Mind you this is near impossible, because I’m the one who picks out what photos are important and I’m the one who has the memories stored in my head to journal about.)

    And so, now with Project Life, I have a method of spending a minimal amount of time to put together an album. I do it month by month, and spend about 3-4 hours a month on it. That’s it. And that’s about as much as I’m willing to spend on it. If I could minimize it further, I would.

  33. #35

    I scrapbook for fun too and only make layouts that really excite me. My kids both just had birthdays but I probably won’t scrapbook those photos for a few months because I don’t feel like I have to. I have done Project Life for four years now and it’s the only Project that stresses me out a bit because it’s easy to fall behind. I’m a digital scrapper though so it doesn’t take long to catch back up and I am only ever a few weeks behind at a time.

  34. #36

    PL is a little too much for me – but I think I would do it kind of like Ali Edwards, “a day in the life” style, but instead of days, do months.

    Also: I don’t have kids and am just starting my married life, so I don’t really do traditional scrapbooking that much, to be honest. I’d rather do other crafts.

  35. #37

    I don’t find it stressful, it’s my hobby! I scrap out of order; whatever strikes my fancy.
    sometimes I choose a project – like December Daily last year – and after a while it begins to feel like a chore. Never “stressful” because nothing bad will happen if I don’t finish it. But I get bored and ready to move on to something new (maybe I am a bit ADHD. Maybe.) Last year, I chose to put aside the DD after a week, and truthfully I only finished it last week. But I enjoyed it so much more that way, not turning it into a chore!

    years ago I was on the DT for a few kit clubs. That started to create stress and dislike with scrapbooking. So I quit.

  36. #38

    I’ll be up front, I really, really, really dislike Project Life and the way it has dumbed down scrapbooking and made it a form-fill-in-hobby. I got into scrapbooking because I love paper and I love photos. I’ve certainly moved away from the traditional 12×12 format and now love to make my own mini-albums and fill them with random shots of my family. Sometimes I do a theme and sometimes I don’t. My kids love to look at the little albums I make and for me it’s making the album and decorating it that makes it fun. Memories are just moments in time and for me that’s what scrapbooking is a cool way to document a moment in time.

  37. #39
    Marilyn T

    the minute I feel stressed over it, like I have to “keep up” or that my pages aren’t good enough, I will quit.

  38. #40

    I would love to have all the daily pages that Project Life enables…but I have never been able to “keep up” with it. :-/ I always have grand intentions, and maybe I’ll try again in 2014 – we’ll see. I love the end result – but daily life gets in the way!

    What I *have* kept up with for 2013 is: POTD, using the Collect app on my phone. Love having that. And I do monthly pages, two-page layouts, of our family life. I gave an 8×8 album to my mom for Christmas last year and said I’d send her pages every month, and gosh, I have actually done it! I think having made the promise, I’ve made myself follow through.

    I do love many of the PL cards (digital and hardcopy) and have enormous collections. So I should put those to good use, right? What always trips me up, as far as making a hardcopy version, is the photos. I hate keeping up with ink, etc. for home printers so I haven’t had a color printer in years. But waiting for photos to get printed really bogs me down in terms of doing a daily/weekly project. I’m thinking about getting a little 4×6 printer (like Ali has) and just printing as I go, at home, and dealing with the not-as-stellar quality for daily documenting. Maybe I’ll get myself one for Christmas.

    Aside from day-to-day documenting, I love just playing with colors and design, both in hardcopy and digitally, and seeing what I come up with. I’m not terribly good at it and it takes me FOREVER. But if I’m enjoying the process and the result, it’s all good. I also often start with templates (almost always from Designer Digitals – my FAVE!!), and tweak them to fit my needs. Love love love the headstart that provides.

    Finally, I also make photo books of trips or “your life up to now” and we enjoy having those as hardcopies.

    So – a hodgepodge of stuff, whatever is working for me at the time. Happy to have what I have! My favorite thing right now is to pick a story, often about my past or about one of my kids, and make a page with lots of writing. Love those. 😀

  39. #41

    I attend a 4 day crop twice a year with a wonderful group of women. I love my time with them, and when I can spend some alone time in my Scrapbook room. On the weekends all I hear is “I HAVE to get child x’s album caught up. I have to finish this or that. I never scrapbooked like that. I made an album- with what I wanted in it. One per year. Having two kids- Daughter gets the even years, son gets the odd years. It would be like work if I had to complete an album for each of them!

    Now that my kids are grown- I do some nostalgia pages, about me, some pre-kids- what ever I feel like. It is fun!

    And that is what it is all about for me.

    Now what I AM stressing about is my 30 Days of Thankful. I was going strong- then I got sick for 10 days and I can’t decide whether to say forget it or try to catch up. But if it gets stressful- it is gone!

  40. #42

    I think when scrapbooking gets to feel stressful is when you should look at your approach and whether or not it’s really working for you. Hobbies should be fun and not guilt-inducing! The beauty of scrapbooking as a hobby is that there are infinite ways to do it, so cherry pick the parts of it that you love and leave behind whatever you don’t!

  41. #43

    Hey Cathy…love your blog, love your products, love your witty sense of humor!! I’ve been watching Becky most of the day too. I try not to let scrapbooking stress me out, but I have such a crazy life, and I end up feeling guilty that I’m not documenting it. My kids’ ages are 13, 9, 5 and 3 and the constant interruptions lead me to think, “why do I even bother?” It is so hard for me to buckle down and tend to the task of completing a page. Although since discovering digi, that has definitely made it much easier. I guess my problem is, I get soooo excited about the products. For project life alone, I have spent so much money on paper and digi projects. But I can’t get past January!!! It’s making me crazy. So I would say, the actually activity of memory keeping is a blast, cathartic, enjoyable, etc. It’s the thoughts/anxiety related to the tasks/what’s not done/what photos aren’t organized/etc. that IS stressful.

  42. #44

    I used to feel the pressure, especially working for the magazine when I did, that EVERYTHING I did had to be perfect. Up to a standard. And I remember thinking, Wheres the fun in that? Either I like it or I dont. Every story saved is a good thing. Not the quantity of them. For sure.

  43. #46

    Mommy guilt. Over scrapbooking. That makes me sad, man. I mean, we already have many things to focus on and having scrapbooks should NOT be piled onto those responsibilities. : )

  44. #49

    Paulette, I should say yes, the community. Honestly, because of this hobby I have made some of the truest friends ever. Thats such a bonus.

  45. #50
    Judy in Huntsville AL

    The only time I’ve stressed is when I’ve ‘assignments and deadlines to get a certain page done’ and had to keep up with products, etc. – but I’m DONE with that — I scrapbook just for me – and I scrap all over the place chronologically – I might do a lo about my mom in 8th grade and a memory she shared in the morning and layout about my current life in teh afternoon – or anything in between—

  46. #52
    Christy S. (@PaperScientist)

    I don’t feel stressed about it. I did once. Now, I create so often that it’s a habit. It’s relaxing and it’s fun. I settled in and accepted my style of doing things. That’s when it became easier for me. I have a lot of friends who do feel stressed. When I talk to them, some are trying to define their own process and style. They are not completely settled into how they want to work. Sometimes, they place very high expectations on themselves. I think it’s the expectation of what they think they need to accomplish that prevents them from just enjoying the whole process.

  47. #54

    My reasons are similar to yours. I love taking photos, I had two adorable little girls and I wanted to have a place to keep those memories so that we can look back and remember. I was 5th of 5 kids and there were no photos of me as a baby (well I found out later my Grandma and Great Aunt had some). Money was tight and my Mom was busy with 5 of us running around. I didn’t want that for my kids so of course I went over board the other way. I had tons of photos that needed some organization.

    I do sometimes stress out over my scrapbooking because I feel behind however, I stop and realize that I do this because I love being crafty. After a long, stressful week at work, I need something to exercise my right brain. I find it a stress relief when I get to spend time crafting.

    Lately, I’ve found that making mini albums is much more enjoyable. I can actually complete something. I was happy when I had my daughter’s school years scrapbooked (well almost all of them) and I had her album to display at her graduation party. I can’t believe how many people looked through it. This is my incentive to catch up on my younger daughter’s school album and make more mini albums to have at her party in two year.

    I too consider my self more of an introvert so standing in front of people and talking is never my favorite thing to do. I had to make a training video this year. I haven’t finished it because I hate the way I sound. A few years ago, I agreed to give a presentation to the User group in the Twin Cities. It was the most nerve racking thing I ever did but I’m happy I did it. I once had a supervisor tell me “its not brain surgery, no one is going to die” when we were fixing a major computer problem over a weekend. I used that saying the whole day before and up to the minute before my presentation. It went well and I didn’t die 🙂 I have more confidence now after doing it.

  48. #55
    Kimberly Fangman

    I may be one of the few to say this, but yeah, I grew so stressed over scrapbooking that I stopped doing it. I used to be the most passionate scrapbooker you’d ever meet, but as time went on, my passion waned. It may have been a combination of factors — my kids growing and leaving home, closets full of supplies that became clutter, my incessant perfectionism that resulted in hours spent on a single page and time taken away from family, the closing of so many scrapbook stores near me, the scrapbook magazines dying one by one, so many photos and the ease of simple 2-up photo albums. I’ve stopped keeping a journal for some of the same reasons — I don’t want to feel the pressure of having to document life on a regular basis. Sometimes I regret the times that have gone by that I haven’t documented and can’t remember clearly, but most times I am content with simply looking at my photo albums and thinking how much I could make on ebay selling my ton of scrapbook supplies….

  49. #57

    It’s only stressful when I put pressure on myself to produce, whether it be a layout that just won’t seem to quite fit what I had in mind, no matter what I try, or to get caught up on PL. I am definitely a ‘scrap when the inspiration strikes’ kinda gal. Don’t get me wrong, I get a LOT of my memories scrapped. Especially if I can do it while the thoughts are fresh. And PL works for me IF I don’t let myself get behind. Sadly, life can get in the way and I am now waaaaaayyyy behind (as in, my last PL layouts were in April.) I would like to do a December Daily, but I know from experience that preparing pages in advance only stifles me. I wish it weren’t so, but it is. That being said, I am generally okay with my process. I hope to get back to PL, but it may just be start from where I am. I can always do some general catch up pages if need be using most of my Facebook posts and a few photos :)As for December Daily…it will be what it turns out to be, and that will be better than doing nothing at all. Thanks for letting me ramble, Cathy.

  50. #58
    Sharon Holesh

    I started scrapping to get all my kids papers, artwork, awards, organized and put into a fun book that they would love to look at. ( and to reduce all the clutter) My sister saved her kids stuff and when they moved out they didn’t want any of it. They said just throw it away. I couldn’t bring myself to just throw it out!
    However, I have ended up having more stuff, more clutter, beautiful papers, totes and many many projects started ( Including PL). Thats how I roll. Love starting projects but don’t seem to ever finish them. My hopes are when I retire at age 60 ( I hope) I will enjoy finishing the projects. But by then I may have grand kids! Unfortunately I have lots of guilt over not finishing them!

  51. #59

    Ugh, stress. Yes, I’m one of those. I used to stress about how my pages looked. I just did not think they were very good (actually they weren’t!) I’ve taken some classes now = Clean and Simple and a couple others so I have a much better feel for what is possible and good. THANK YOU CATHY! Now I decided that whatever I get done is infinitely better than nothing. Every LO and book is a bonus. That is my take on PL also. It would be wonderful to have a weekly album but that doesn’t work for me. Sometimes I get a week done and sometimes it’s monthly. I love to do it when I just enjoy it and don’t put requirements on it. The one thing that does stress me still is that I have no dedicated spot for the “stuff”. It is in boxes that move around so stuff sometimes gets lost. No room here for a dedicated studio area. Maybe in the future…..
    I’ve been watching Becky while doing home chores also! She is so fun and inspiring!

  52. #60
    Tammy B

    I stopped scrapbooking for a long, long time. At first it was a great hobby and I loved the outlet for taking all of those pictures of my first born. Then, I got a job at a scrapbooking store and everything became about helping other people, giving other people my ideas and using my pictures to make pages for the store to display. I ran out of gas and felt like making my own pages was no longer fun. I got back to it for a while but then discovered card making and that has been my focus for a few years. Giving someone a homemade card makes me feel happy and no one but me was really seeing the pages I made. I do plan to continue scrapbooking, maybe with specific projects like school albums for my kids. But I’ve tried to let go of the guilt of not being up-to-date. I have thousands of pictures sitting in photo albums that no one ever looks at, but right now, I’m okay with that. This winter might be the time to get out the old photo albums and get some pages done, but if not, so be it.

  53. #61
    Brandy J

    Stress is not fun and I scrapbook b/c I find it fun. I have found two things about it stressful: scrapbooking by request and Project Life. People love to ask me to make scrapbooks for them, and i agreed once or twice but it became a chore and work, not fun, so I’m not doing it again (I’ve made several of my own volition as gifts, that’s a little different). I love to look at other people’s PL, and I bought all these supplies and planned to do it, but I’m single, most of my family lives 4 hours away, and I am not a social butterfly. After about a month, it made me feel exceedingly boring and slightly depressed… again, not fun 🙂 I love the idea of Project Life, but at this life stage, it’s not for me!

  54. #62
    Lee Currie

    Like many, I used to find scrapbooking stressful – the need to be creative and up-to-date proved too much. I am a “binge” scrapbooker and really enjoy projects. A focus on an album or a concept. Now that I’ve embraced digital it really makes things less cluttered – at least in a physical sense. I’m “behind” in Project Life, but I have some stories, some photos – I’m well ahead of the game. I am now content to get done what can be done and the rest will just have to be left in the memory book in my head 🙂 I actually wrote about it last month: Scrapbooking made me a better person – I doubt I’ll ever give it up. I think we should all give ourselves some slack – about everything. Indulge in that part which brings us joy.

  55. #63

    Thanks for this post Cathy, I was watching Becky today too. So nice seeing her share the story of photos and memory keeping and PROJECT LIFE!!

    I am a BIG fan of Project Life and am BEYOND THANKFUL EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR IT!! My life is happier, my camera is happy, everything is better because of this simple way to document.

    Yes, scrapbooking is STRESSFULL!!! I took hours deciding on what papers, colors, size, photos, embellies and more to use. By the time I figured it out I was too tired to do the page. I would quit scrapping for months then start then stop. I finally found my style and tried not to compare it to others and making my pages all pretty and perfect. That was the problem.
    That’s why I love your style, words and photos and a clean simple look. Sometimes I feel like going back to scrapping but PL keeps me busy and most of my stories told.

    I have many friends/family strangers that won’t even start scrapping because it scares them. It’s very overwhelming to walk into Michaels or another scrap store and see all the hundreds of supplies and not know where or how to start.

    I also know others that can whip out 3 layouts in an hour and not even blink an eye. The pages are perfect and no stress was involved.

    I guess everyone is different and feels differently about scrapping and Project Life.

    Thanks for letting us share, that’s what else makes you so awesome!!

  56. #64
    Janet White

    Becky rocked today! I missed the first segment, but caught the rest – you could tell with each break she relaxed more into it and her passion for all of it really shined through.

    As for the stress – I’m finding less and less of it these days now that I’m finding what works for me after trying other styles to see what fit and what didn’t. Digital and printing at home for most of it as I go makes it all pretty simple. Filled quite a few pockets this afternoon. Not an ounce of stress.

    I took a look through last year’s albums the other day and even though there were lots of empty pockets, it warmed my heart to look at what was included. I just consider it all part of process of finding what works for me.

  57. #65
    Michelle C

    Stressful? Yes and no.
    When I’m actually scrapbooking, it’s a wonderful stress reliever. And I love the creative outlet. The stress comes for me when I haven’t done anything in awhile and look around and see all the scrapbooking related stuff. I love the pretty paper, the assortment of embellishments, etc. But I start to feel bad that I have all of these things and am doing nothing with it all.
    I know it would help to pare down what I have to my very favorites. Now to just find the time.

  58. #66
    Karen Lee

    I just can’t believe you get nervous teaching. I had you as a teacher at CKU and you were WONDERFUL!!!!

  59. #67
    Monda DeWeese

    I’ve been doing a modified Project Life. I’m doing one for our daughter who is a senior in college – I’ve taken the approach that it is NOT a daily endeavor. For the past four years, I have used PL cards and pages, some digital, some ephemera, lots of downloaded FB posts from her and used the PL format – but am ABSOLUTELY not stressing over an everyday entry. It’s more of a chronological, outside view – using her words via FB and emails to home to outline her college years. Like you, Cathy – I’ve grown more about the journaling in my scrapbooking. Telling the stories and supporting the stories with photos. I have lots of gorgeous images – but in retrospect, without my journaling – they are just artistic impressions. Beautiful to see, but lacking substance. And for me, as an only child, whose Mother was an only child and whose daughter is an only child – the stories get at the essence, the photos are a supporting player in the process for my approach. My husband cautioned me years ago, and wisely so – to not miss out on the experience of parenthood, or the events (in our case our daughter was a competitive figure skater) by keeping my eye in a viewfinder rather than be truly present in the experience unfolding before me.

  60. #68

    Lately it has stressed me out (because I haven’t been able to find time to work on it–something that never bothered me before). But, minus the kids, my reasons for starting this incredibly fun hobby are very similar to yours. I just need to relax, and make time for fun (scrapbooking fun that is!)

  61. #69
    KIMbERLY Melon

    Oh MY! Many of my friends find it stressful because they are trying to “keep up”. I just do it when the mood strikes and I find it to be a great stress reliever.

  62. #70

    When I figured out my style – clean and simple – with very few (sometimes none) embellishments I stopped stressing. Project Life has been amazing for documenting and recording life; your one-page weeks gave me even more freedom by copying that approach on those weeks I got behind and really not stressing over missing a week was easy. I’m in love with scrapbooking and recording our life. I still scrap ‘normal’ digital pages but they are few and far between – and usually for telling an older story – and that is ok too.

  63. #71


    I watched all of Creative Live today and thought Becky did a great job on most of the segments. She put a ton of work into preparing for the class and it showed. For those that watched and were not familiar with scrapbooking, she was incredibly good at paring down the processes that we go through in our craft and don’t really even think of any more (i.e. organizing products and photos, prioritizing, etc). The excitement of the studio participants completing so many pages in just a few minutes was inspiring.

    I was disappointed with the introductory segment. For me, it seemed to focus on the negative aspects of the hobby. I did not think she covered enough of the reasons why we are involved in the hobby. I don’t think she meant to be negative but I wish she covered more of the important aspects of the hobby and used some of her promotional videos that showed people enjoying a completed book.

    Like you, I began scrapbooking for fun – years ago and I still enjoy it. Do I have periods where I am not inspired? Absolutely. I take a break and will always come back. I do not get stressed about being behind. I am happy with what I have done and love looking at my albums. I started Project Life in 2012 and did not do every week. In looking at those pages now, I love them more now than I did when I made them. I thought it would bother me to have missing weeks but I don’t even notice.

    I have gotten crazed in the past at looking at others’ work and thinking that my pages don’t look as nice. That bothered me. Somewhere along the way, I realized those thoughts were not productive and kept me from memory keeping.

    And thank you for your contributions and inspiration to the community. I love crap-free scrapbooking and am thankful that you remind the community that stories can be told well without all the extra $#@*!

  64. #72

    Pretty much the only thing i feel stressed about is all the money I spent on traditional products and even sometimes now what i spend on digital. I love the digital process, still learning. I don’t majorly stress as i figure making something is better than nothing. I often wonder how far these books will be appreciated anyway. Does anyone else ever wonder that? Seriously. I just can’t imagine a few generations away really sitting and looking through tons of memory books. Just my 2 cents.

  65. #73
    rebecca keppel

    I never let the stress of being “caught up” bother me because I read these fabulous books called Clean and Simple and Clean and Simple 2 where the brilliant author talks about scrapping what you want to scrap when you want to scrap it. 😉 Seriously though, the things you said about all that really made an impact on me. Sure I get stressed abut design team assignments or stress about how messy my desk gets, but when I just get to create for me, it’s all good 🙂

  66. #74

    My son was one when I found scrapbooking. At first I thought it was all about keeping track of the memories. Once I realized I just enjoyed the process, the creating, the art if it…….it stopped being stressful. My son and husband politely look at my pages but I have no delusions that they will become some long cherished family heirlooms. Maybe bits and pieces will. Maybe not. Who cares? I’ll be fricking dead!! He’s 17 now and the first year of his life is the only year of his life totally captured in my scrapbooks. I’ll help pay for the therapy if it becomes an issue for him. And the other reason I adore scrapbooking? There are no sizes, no three way mirrors to stand in front of. I never leave a scrapbook store or crop feeling like I want a hot fudge sundae to make me feel better. Hhmmmm……maybe those mirrors would be friendlier with fewer hot fudge sundaes.

    I am so totally impressed with what Becky is tackling on CreativeLive. Eighteen hours of live television. Amazing. Love to watch people that are passionate and are right where they belong. So cool. Exactly what I want for that man-boy of mine.

  67. #75
    Carol White

    Scrapbooking is definitely therapeutic for me. I LOVE IT. I’ve been scrapping for many years. I love just about everything about it. If I stopped, that would cause me stress! I do PL and also traditional scrapbooking. I just wish I had more time. I will never be caught up and that is ok. 🙂

  68. #76
    Kym (Coffeemomma

    My approach seems to be in line with most of what I’ve read here: it’s a creative outlet for me, and so there really isn’t any stress. No, I’m not caught up, and I really don’t feel like that’s an issue. Yes, there’s things I haven’t scrapbooked in the past few years, either because I forgot about them, or because it wasn’t convenient for me to be scrapping at the time.
    I don’t buy all the “stress over scrapbooking” thing. I really don’t. Most people who say they are stressed out over it choose not to scrapbook, and that’s fine for them. Why would I want to force them to do something they don’t want to?

  69. #77

    I love scrapbooking. I loved the paper days but I really love the digital PL way now. I’m glad to be documenting life instead of just birthdays and trips. It had gotten a little boring. I love that my “supplies” are in my computer but I try to make cards now to use up my papers and embellies. Normally not stressed about it at all.

    I should also give you another big thank you for inspiring me to go digital, Cathy! I still feel creative and it’s fun.

  70. #78
    Casey V

    I scrap booked my wedding, the first years of my two oldest daughters, and a few random pages fro easily on in our marriage, but it did become stressful to me. Besides not having a space or enough time, I felt like my own creativity was not “good enough” for books. I have one scrapbook ready to do my third daughter’s first year (she will soon be 5) and I do intend to finish it sometime soon. I need to find the time to find the joy of this hobby again so I can hold all of these memories for my girls.

  71. #79

    I find scrapbooking to be both stressful and immensely satisfying, depending on whether I’m on a roll or falling behind again. I’m doing better at accepting that I’ll never be caught up…

  72. #80

    Scrapbooking is a hobby for me that I love because it gives me a chance to be creative, but at the same time it’s an intentional project I take on to give my kids memories of their childhood. The only time I feel stressed out with scrapbooking is when I am in the mood to spend some time being creative but I really don’t want to spend time documenting things about my kids – I just want to do “my own” hobby.

  73. #82

    I have never understood how a hobby leads to stress? Why do it if it makes you feel bad/stressed/competitive/pressured?
    I have to say, there is a little part of me that feels the scrap ‘industry’ panders to this idea as a way to sell their products, systems and processes.
    PL, to me, picks up on some great ideas that were evident in the old Simple Scrapbook days – I have some great magazines which focus on pocket scrapping … though I am not telling you anything new!

  74. #83

    No stress for me. I started scrap booking for the creative fun side and was excited that a side benefit was that I was telling stories of my life. Years ago I switched to the Stacy Julian LOM album organization and I never looked back. I tell the stories I want to and don’t worry about the rest. I have done some “retro scrapping” of my childhood, high school, college and young adult photos, but only if they contained a story that I felt was important to me to tell. No stress at all in my happy scraproom.

  75. #84
    ana roat

    When I started scrapbooking I did it for me not for generations to come. I didn’t care if it was archival safe or free of this that or the other. My husband worked for both kodak and Fuji and I learned that even in the worst conditions pictures really last a long time. I just wanted to cut and paste like when we were kids. Free of worry, or competition. I love 12×12 and mini alike. Some I keep and some I toss after a few years. I’m selective on what I buy and don’t feel compelled to buy the lastest and greatest of everything. Right now my product of choice is Project Life. I did a couple of years of the week to week stuff but saw to much repetition so I switched to month to month with a sprinkle of odds and ends. There’s only so many times I can document the price of bread, milk and gas, unmade beds and dirty clothes. To date I still scrap for me. If my kids don’t want to keep my books I’ll rest easy knowing that they brought me happiness. I should mention that all of our photos are saved on an external hard drive and stored in a fireproof safe. That I find important the rest is worry free.

  76. #85
    Donna G.

    Scrapbooking causes me stress, because I’m a perfectionist. Scrapbooking relieves my stress because I can get lost in recording our family memories. Go figure. It’s like I’m bipolar in scrapbooking.

    Nevertheless, I am so thankful for Becky Higgins’ Project Life, which keeps me focused on my family’s everyday life. AND I’m thankful for your clean and simple approach, which helps me tame my tendency toward overkill. You both are my heroes! XO!

  77. #86

    The scrapbooking part doesn’t stress me out. I don’t feel like I have to “keep up” at all. I write down my ideas, and save them for later (whenever that may be). If I feel like making the page, I make it a priority that day. If not, it sits for months, years, oh well!

    What does stress me out is keeping all my pictures organized (I’m OCD about them so I can find them later… keywords, captions, and folders) and dredging through free digital scrap supplies. I currently have about 2,000 pictures that I haven’t triaged. The supplies aren’t very organized, so it stresses me out not being able to find anything… working on it one bite at a time, but it’s kind of tedious, so it goes to the bottom of the list of fun things to do! Thankfully, it’s all digital clutter and not physical!

    I do feel guilty that I’ve made hundreds of (digital) pages but my family has seen very few, since I don’t print that many. Trying to find a solution for that, also. Thanks for the prompt to “assess” the situation! Enjoyed watching Becky on Creative Live, too.

  78. #87

    Well, hmm. I really needed to reflect, as I am quite “behind” on Project Life because life continues to happen. Once school started this year, I got a couple weeks behind. I had the pics, but had not “treated” them. Now, in November, I want to do something cool with my daily Facebook posts of gratitude (it will be year 3 of me documenting that in a scrapbook). I plan to have a marathon next Wednesday, and I look forward to that IMMENSELY. The actual scrapbooking is delightfully non-stressful. It’s the idea of what “behind” means, and that it’s an ugly word in our society. The fact that I have almost an album full of pages, including our Disney vacation in there which, yeah, occurred THIS summer…that’s pretty flipping amazing. And the joy my heart felt when my 8 year old said he wants to start his own scrapbook tonight? Better than chocolate… Somewhat stressful, but worth it.

  79. #88

    I’m totally stressed out. Beyond stressed out. Typing this now I find myself grinding my teeth. I want to document our lives but when I sit down to do it, I got nothing. I worked in the industry for several years managing a store, traveling to CHA, and to shows and the mo and Jo were flowing and I’m make these art pages that would waste a total week designing. I can’t do that now and honestly, my creative is gone. I’ve been hammering away at. PL for 3 years now but nothing is complete. I don’t feel like it looks good enough and get frustrated and put it away. I seem to have these high expectations of what scrapbooking should be but fall short before I even get my ass in the chair to do some. All this being said, I think I’m going digital for 2014. I’m hoping that it will be less overwhelming for me, well once I learn how to do digital project life. I love your files Cathy and hope to use them when I make the big jump.

  80. #89

    If it’s stressful, you’re doing it wrong. For me, it’s a hobby that has the added benefit of a finished product I can look through. If I knitted I wouldn’t be stressed about knitting I hadn’t gotten done. I can take 5 days a on a layout and I don’t really care that it’s not getting done quickly. It’s about the process and the creative outlet.

    The is the only way I can justify the painstaking process I go through to get things the way I want them. Wouldn’t it be easier to just make photobooks and go? Yeah, but I don’t enjoy it. It’s about enjoying the process.

  81. #90

    I started scrapbooking 11 years ago with my daughter to save memories. It was so fun and we bought lots of stuff. Then after some years there came a whole community of scrapbookers in Finland and we had fun coming together once a month to create. When Becky started PL, I did it for two years. Then I just kind of lost the touch and now I’m doing a page every now and then and one spread for every month (first page full of text and the other photos) and it seems enough for me right now. And I did a Week in the life this year (with minimun effort) and am planning to do December Daily (I’ve done it for four years already). So, not stressful at all, since I am not into mixed media like I feel every other scrapbooker (exept my daughter and me) are so keen on in Finland nowadays. Actually, I sometimes feel stressful of not being keen on mixed media! 🙂

  82. #91
    Elle A

    I get frustrated that I, A. don’t really have the extra $ to spend on printing photos for all the albums I’d like to make; and B. don’t have a decent printer to just print photos at home. I’m also frustrated that I don’t have the time (or energy and motivation – due to my life is messy)to do the memory-keeping I’d like. So, I sit on the sidelines most of the time and read the blogs of folks like you who are actually getting sh!t done. 😉

  83. #92
    Paul B

    Heck no! It’s a fun, creative hobby. It’s play for me. I capture whatever memories I can but if something slips through the net, then so be it. If it ever feels stressful, I’d need someone with proper problems in their life, to slap me round the face a few times. I love recording special moments, don’t get me wrong. But even better, I love making them even more and enjoying them in the moment. Even if they end up never being scrapped. Pxx

  84. #93

    Yes, alas, super super stressful. But every so often I have a great day & produce a layout I’m happy with and then I remember why I continue to scrap. I love day-long crops with other women, even though I often leave feeling discouraged, and I love reading your blog and I adore fondling papers & pretending I might, one day, complete an album. And I remain optimistic too that one day I might figure out what magic ‘bit’ I’m missing and suddenly things will just start to work. Or time-manage better so I can make more than one day a month to scrap. Or learn how to take decent photos rather than blurry snaps, so I have better materials to work with. (There are other things that many people consider fun that stress me too & I continue to do them as well. So maybe it’s just me.)

  85. #94

    I get stressed that I can’t find the time to spend on this hobby that I love so much 🙁
    I’ve invested a lot of $ (as I’m sure we all have) on scrapbooking and PL supplies and it’s sitting there.

  86. #95
    Kim Hogarth

    I was more stressed about scrapbooking when I was married to the chronological approach. I would get so anxious that I was behind. That it was June and I still hadn’t scrapbooked Christmas yet. (and I HAD to scrapbook Christmas before I could do Easter). I remember talking to a fellow scrapbooker at a Mom’s Club meeting and her first question to me was “How many albums have you done?” like we were in a competition. I know many people who gave up the hobby because they couldn’t “keep up”.
    Stacy Julian’s Big Picture Scrapbooking helped me ditch that and just scrap what I feel like when I feel like it. If I don’t scrapbook for a month, it’s fine. I’m not trying to catch up. I do file the layouts chronologically though.
    I like Project Life but the whole chronological thing is stressing me out again. The first year I did it, I got through February. Last year, I got to May. This year, I pooped out in September. I do enjoy looking back at those albums so I really want to make it work. (I already have the kit for next year). For me it’s making the routine of writing things down, ordering the prints and committing an hour or so a week to making it happen.

  87. #97

    Scrapbooking used to be stressful and overwhelming because I was a chronological scrapper and truly believed that I had to scrap the photos in the order they were taken (can’t scrap christmas photos before easter or winter before summer!) Then I was handed a copy of Stacy Julians “The Big Picture” and my scrapping world was forever changed. I had a major Ah-Ha moment in realizing that I “could” scrap those christmas pictures in the middle of summer and just put them into the album in chrono order later! I still do some traditional but I am also on our third year of PL and already have next years book prepped (I made my own kit using supplies I already had on hand). I have multiple albums in various stages of done and I am fine with that. I have also managed to get 3.5 mini trip albums done this year too. The only thing that even remotely stresses me out about scrapbooking is the lack of time I have to do it. I work full time as a marketing manager/graphic designer and all of my work days are spent in front of a computer, living in the Adobe Creative Suite. Scrapbooking, for me, provides a much needed, much craved opportunity to play with paper, printed photos and adhesive, which are things that playing in the Adobe Creative Suite doesn’t provide. I don’t plan to ever be completely caught up and I am good with that because that means I will always have plenty of opportunities to play with paper, photos and adhesive.

  88. #98

    This makes me want to do a post on really simplifying the process. I need to come up with some ideas! : ) Four kids IS a busy household! : )

  89. #99

    It used to be fun – when my kids were four and five and I worked three days a week. It felt under control and a wonderful creative hobby. Well now those kids are twelve and fourteen and I work five days a week. The stress comes from the stories and everyday moments I lost, the thousands of digital photos that need to be organized, edited and printed, the many dollars spent on unused now outdated supplies.

  90. #100

    Yes, every layout is a bonus! I do understand the not having a dedicated spot. I have a dining room. No scrap room. True, I have two cabinets that I keep everything in, but its really all out in the open. There is no hiding that I am a scrapbooker. LOL!

  91. #103

    Kimberly, I think there are a lot of women who can relate. Some of my best scrapbooking friends dont scrapbook anymore. At all. Havent for years. : ) And many for similar reasons. : )

  92. #106

    You know, I did December Daily for the first time last year and for me the key was not really prepping in advance. Like this year, I spray painted some chipboard and made a few cards, but everything else will happen in the moment. PL will get pushed to the side and I will just have fun with DD. Simple, though. It will not be complicated.

  93. #108

    I love your attitude, Stacia. : ) Its funny, I only print photos at home. At least for the past three years, and my printer has a horrible time with 4 x 6 paper! I need to get one of those small printers, too.

  94. #109

    Jeannie, I agree! If its stressful, just drop it. : ) Im behind this week on 30 Days too. Did up to Sunday, now I have to catch up. Granted, the digital aspect of it makes it easier for me plus once I sit down, I find things to write about pretty quickly. : )

  95. #112

    Ann, I plan to do some post about preparing for digital PL for next year. Ive got some ideas in my head. One of them is to change up the templates I currently use, but only from a size standpoint. Gotta get on that for December!

  96. #113

    I thought exactly the same thing yesterday while watching her. I didn’t realize I should be stressed out over a hobby! I suppose it helps that I do it for me and me only. My family enjoys the books but it’s just me that really wants to see them in print.

  97. #114

    You know, I wonder about that too. I feel like my kids dont want to wade through book after book after book. I could be wrong, but maybe not. I love doing this stuff but I really want to make sure it IS about the creative outlet and the simplicity. I do think theyll like looking back at stuff, just not everything they ever did. Which is good, cause I dont have that kind of record for them! : )

  98. #115

    Some stress. I am 74 years old and hurrying to get the thousands of heritage photos in albums and stories told. After I go, no one else has spent years finding out the stories. Last month, my husband and I learned his g-g-grandfather and mother had 21 children. I have no photo of them, but I have the story. Love scrapbooking, but yes, there is a little stress. Love Bits and Pieces and you

  99. #116

    I love your blog, because I love your writing; you had me at taking the “crap” out of scrapbooking. As for the scrapbooking – I love designing my own books, but that takes time. I am literally counting days to retirement, so that I can find the time spend endless hours creating. Sounds wonderful and its my dream, but my view of scrapbooking right now is reaching for purpose. When you have thousands of photos hanging out on your computer it is impossible not to wonder “when” and will it be enough. I have had Project Life supplies on the shelf for a while and I have been doing my own digital to paper tags for years. You’ve inspired me to dust them off and give it a shot!

  100. #117
    Kathleen D

    I love scrapbooking and being creative with it. My Project Life isn’t as simple as Becky’s and I don’t think I could stand it that way. I love adding word art to my photos and actually my photos end up being mini layouts sometimes. I love adding SIL additions to my PL pages and it keeps me from getting bored with PL. I do find that if I get more than 4 weeks behind in PL that I get that feeling that “I want to catch up”. When that happens then I go more quickly. In that scenario Becky’s “batch process” technique comes in handy. So predominantly now my scrapbooking revolves around PL but I do find myself missing doing regular 12 x 12 digi pages. So I’ve begun to incorporate both into my PL albums. Also this past year I didn’t stress about doing 2 page spreads for PL if I didn’t need two. I didn’t stress about adding in regular 12 x 12 layouts if this is what I wanted to do. I’m sure next year I am going to swing back toward more 12 x 12 layouts and getting the deeper stories told but I’ve loved having the everyday life stories documented and the PL albums are the ones my kids participate in more so than the traditional albums. My grown kids are constantly sending my photos and texts now for Project Life and it has been a wonderful way for us all to stay connected even when they aren’t home. They always check out the PL album when they get home to see if they are “in it”. Actually they get on my case if I fall behind. 🙂

  101. #118
    Abby P.

    I am SO not creative — scrapping for 10 years or so and always comparing my layouts to the creative experts. So yes, stressful. Then came Project Life. No more stress – everything just works. Photos are taken (always were), words jotted down, slap it in a pocket, memory saved, DONE! Quick, easy, pretty, and everyone loves to go thru my albums…yes, albums, plural!

  102. #119

    I never see it as a stressful process…I really enjoy scrapbooking and love Project Life, which I have been doing since she began in 2009. Its definitely easier, quicker and I like that it has a more timeless feel than traditional scrapbooks. I have a little guilt that I didnt start earlier and some day will go back to baby days for my boys and recap project life style.

  103. #120

    Being sick for 10 makes- makes it hard to come up with things to be thankful for. Hmmmm- Thankful for sleep?

  104. #121
    Stacy S.

    I’ve been watching Becky too. So excited about scrapbooking being on CreativeLive. I love that she is discussing all aspects of memory keeping. I get stressed about scrapbooking. I get in my own way. I get stuck worrying about making it perfect. I get stuck by having too much stuff. I get stuck having too many projects on my to-do list.

    I have realized simplicity works for me. Project Life is a great system. I have fallen “behind” with physical PL this year and plan to go digital next year. I did digital PL in 2010 – back when I think the cherry edition was the only option. It worked for me.

    One of my favorite albums is my Me:the abridged version. I actually completed it! I think it’s because of your approach Cathy. You break down the process and make it easy. Thank you! So basically, I need you to teach more classes at BPC…no pressure!

  105. #122
    Veronica Zwiers

    Once I let go of the idea that things must be done in order and I had the freedom to scrap what I wanted when I wanted (ie 2013 compared to 1997, Project Life and the older way of scrapbooking) I could let me creativity come out in any way I desired. This was very freeing. Having the pages in page protectors and being able to add them to my albums in the right order helped a ton too!

  106. #124
    Veronica Zwiers

    Primary school teachers would be thrilled to receive them too. Getting the littles stamping not only lets them tell stories that way, but is a good way to increase hand strength and dexterity for the beginning writing process.

  107. #125
    Veronica Zwiers

    I have one of the little printers from Canon…. LOVE IT.. Make Project Life so much easier. I know it is a few more cents a print that the big box stores, but it is instantaneous and PL is much more manageable.

  108. #126

    I don’t stress because I’m not getting my stories scrapped or because I’m a month behind in Project Life. I “stress” because I’m too busy to get in that space. I need that creative outlet to loose myself in creating something that I’m proud of and I stress when time doesn’t allow me to do so.
    I’m still printing photos and slipping them in pocket, but there’s not cards in, no journaling, etc. And the last two studio calico kits are still in their boxes. *GASP* Looking forward to the Thanksgiving weekend to give me some extra time.

    I feel that I’m pretty confident in my scrapping philosophy and ability, so I was watching Becky was a high priority yesterday, but I tuned in for several segments. I found myself actually taking notes yesterday. Surprised me. Go, Becky, Go.

  109. #127

    That last sentence made no sense. That’s what happens when a 3 year old is climbing on you trying to hijack the computer.

  110. #128

    I started scrapbooking in 2000. I do it because it is fun, and I like getting together with friends at crops. I have never felt it was stressful. I don’t feel a need to be current. I don’t think every page has to be perfect. I just like to let it be.

  111. #129

    Girl, you may HATE that s#%t, but I’ll bet I’m not the only one here who would watch you all day long. Your video tutorials are so helpful and fun and useful. Don’t sell yourself short, you’re a great teacher.

  112. #131

    Ah, Karen… thank you. That is because I am a really good actress. Seriously. I always felt like it was an out of body experience. LOL!

  113. #133

    That would be awesome. You always come up with some great ideas that I use. My 30 days of Thankful is coming along great. I can hardly wait for that to be done and printed.

  114. #134
    Tiffany M.

    I started scrapbooking as a kid. I remember having report cards, invitations to birthday parties, and class photos, that I didn’t want to get lost in the shuffle. I grew up with four other siblings, all ages, and wanted my stuff separate.
    Once scrapbooking became a “thing” I was in college. Digital photography didn’t exist, and I had very few photos of my own. I began creating albums from all of the stuff I had collected from high school.
    I have always enjoyed the creative aspect. But I have fallen into the “I am behind”. Part of that was using albums that weren’t flexible in going out of order.
    Anytime I have felt obligated to scrapbook, it no longer became fun. Like the wedding album. Too much pressure, and was no fun!
    Since then, I have had 2 kids, and time and resources have changed.
    I have found that I needed to simplify and get off the “every photo, event, or piece of memoriabilia needs to be scrapbooked” mentality. Need to be okay with “good enough”.
    I have been doing project life for 2 years now, but I am just finishing up the first year. It doesn’t really bother me. I have the stuff, the photos, the journaling, I just haven’t had the creative play yet.
    My biggest drive for not “getting behind” is not wanting to forget, though, and the biggest stress in my scrapbooking.

  115. #135

    Here is my very minority/non-Project Life person observation: I have never seen more people stressed out about being behind than 2013. It’s on blogs, it’s on FB, it’s in person… people are behind by weeks or months on Project Life and it is causing stress and guilt. Not everyone, of course, but enough that it’s notable. I still believe that PL can be approached in a way that doesn’t stress people out (I see that too–people who are not stressed out by it!) but I think that approach isn’t quite as widespread right now. I’ve thought about doing a photo-a-day PL style in 2014, but I’m thinking it through very carefully so I don’t end up feeling “behind” and letting it fall away.

  116. #136
    Renee Hoffer

    I love to scrapbook–it’s my favorite way to relieve stress! For the past year, I have been maintaining a Project Life album on a weekly basis–and yes, there are weeks that I fall behind. But never for too long. I also complete a “birthday book” each year for my kids. This started when they were babies and has continued since. We joke now about how much longer this will continue since they are 18 and 16–but it’s something special I do for them. When I have time I also like to document our lives in a traditional 12×12 album. I also scrap layouts for classes like OLW or Move More (shh…don’t tell!)–and am almost always behind on my assignments, but that’s ok. I’m doing this for me and I am ok with where I’m headed with those classes. But whatever, I am doing, I do it because it’s fun! I love learning new techniques or playing with different products. Next, I want to experiment with embossing paste because I like what I’m seeing online…I guess that’s a rather long answer to your question–no I don’t get stressed about scrapbooking–I love the creative process! If anything, I get stressed when life (you know, things like dinner, carpool, laundry) gets in my way of working on a project I’m motivated to finish.

  117. #137

    Not stressful anymore. I think there may have been a time when I felt that need to use all the stuff I bought and I wanted all the kids (3) albums to be up to date and I wanted everything to look as good as the stuff in the magazines, etc..

    But I have let go of all of that. Partly because I discovered “Clean & Simple” and finally figured out what my style is. I also started doing digital and have given myself permission to use the “hard stuff” whenever I want (without feeling guilty about all the $$ I’ve spent on supplies that aren’t being used). And I concentrate on a “one page a week album” and work on other albums (kids, vacations, gifts for others, whatever) when the mood strikes.

    I agree with others … if scrapbooking becomes “stressful”, it’s time to find a new hobby!

  118. #139

    Thank you for this post. I am one of those people who does find it stressful because it’s hard for me to find time between working fulltime as a lawyer, and being a wife and a mom. I started out the year wanting to do full-on project life, but now I realized I really can’t do one spread per week, so I’m working on finding something that works for me.

  119. #140

    No, I don’t stress at all
    It’s a hobby
    and I enjoy it
    I do it whenever I have time
    It’s actually been months since I’ve created a layout…but
    it’ll be there when I get around to it again.
    Right now my time is needed elsewhere.

  120. #141

    I’m with you! Becky has made everything so simple and doable and then when there’s extra time or a desire to be extra creative…you can!

  121. #143

    I used to teach for a local scrapbook store, and design pages for Flair, and teach classes at big scrapbooking conventions and I LOVED IT. My kids scrapped with me, and I have pages and pages I created. I got into it because I missed magazine editing and design, and it never seemed stressful.

    Then I got divorced and hated looking at photos. Hated my memories and didn’t want to think about them at all.

    That was five years ago. Three years ago, I made an album of the first big vacation I took with just me and my kids. Currently I am making an album of my daughter’s four years in marching band. I plan to buy a small Project Life album to capture my son’s Scouting years, as he just earned his Eagle rank. But the day to day? I take pictures, and I have a bunch printed, but the urge to make a page and stick it in an album just isn’t there anymore. Maybe it will come back some day, and maybe it won’t. But until then, I learn about new systems that will work for me someday, and keep taking pictures. 🙂

  122. #144

    I have done PL digitally for the past 4 years and find this year to be the most stressful of them all. The first year I loved the Cherry edition. It was so basic (take a picture, write a sentence, I was done and it was easy to stay on top of.) I wasn’t in it for the creativity, I was in it for the memory keeping. My downfall was switching to creating the layouts in photoshop, too many choices, too many fonts, unlimited options of layout style. I can’t get myself to just make it simple! I’m too drawn to seeing what everyone else is doing and want my pages to look “pretty”. While I’m caught up on a photo a day & have 46 weeks of layouts started on my computer, NOT one of these layouts is finished or has been uploaded to Shutterfly for 2014. That’s because I get too overwhelmed with the finishing touches and adding the stories, fonts, titles, dates, etc. I get so stressed with the process and trying to make each layout look good enough. The sad part is the number of hours spent at the computer recording the memories has taken away many hours that should have been making memories with my kids. But I can’t get myself to let go. And this is only project life, don’t get me started on annual vacation photo books, baby albums, kids K-12 albums, kids art albums, december daily, week in the life. JUST too much I’m trying to keep up with. Yes I guess I’m one who fits the stressed category. I work full time outside the home and really memory keeping is all that consumes my mind when I get home.

  123. #145

    When I started I thought how fun. Then I noticed that my pages weren’t looking like the beautiful pages I saw everyone else doing. I started to spend money on gadgets, and the “stuff”. But my pages weren’t getting better. Then I noticed that my pictures weren’t very good. So I stopped “scrapbooking” to learn photography. And then my camera wasn’t good enough and I upgraded several times. Now I have invested so much money into stuff and classes the amount of money is hanging over me weighing me down with guilt. And, I don’t have any memories to show for it. This has just turned into stress!
    I feel a book coming on, “When You Give a Girl a Paper”

  124. #147

    This is SO me! I forgot to mention the photography aspect, how a photo is just not a photo. I take a min 50-100 photos a week, spend hours sorting, deleting and editing and then the decision of which photos to actually use. By the time I’m done with this process each week, I’m exhausted and hence don’t get to the journaling or documentation part.

  125. #148
    Linda T.

    My otherwise healthy 79 year old mom had a unexpected stroke in August. Fast forward to Oct, where I provided hospice care for my mom in my home for 13 days until she died.
    I started project life this year and was caught up until Mom’s stroke happened.Have page protectors marked for each week since w/photos, etc.,. I am stressed about this because I don’t want to quit for this year. I want to finish it because I will probably want to look back someday to find out how the first holidays, first everythings without her went. Figure I won’t get it done until I have Christmas break in Dec. Plan to do December Daily as well (have for the last 4 years) even though it will be bittersweet because of first Christmas without my mom.
    I don’t even know what my point is now, except I am stressed about being so behind and stressed because I still want to finish it. Even though, this has been and continues to be a very emotional time for me, it is part of life and I would still like to document it.

  126. #149

    I used to love it…but with 3 young kids I find I’m too busy to do it…or I have other priorities I guess. I am BEHIND and that thought stresses me out. 🙁 I find inspiration by reading your blog and others… but I don’t have a space for it anymore in my life. I’m really sad about that. My girlfriends and I take a weekend away once or twice a year and I get some done then. But it takes a bit to get in the “mode.” I even bought Project Life and planned to scrap that way but when the pictures I took didn’t fit the pockets for the page on the flip side of the page I did (make sense?)…it wasn’t easy or fun anymore. I know I could trim them down or go back on my computer and resize them…but then it was too complicated and I don’t have time for doing all that. *sigh*… Any help/encouragement is welcome.

  127. #150

    I’m a hoarder. From way back. I wanted to start scrapbooking, so I bought a whole bunch of stuff about 10 years ago. You name it, I’ve got it. I was afraid to start because all my friends were already doing it and had all of these beautiful, intricate pages. And I was a newbie. Oh, in addition to being a hoarder, I’m part-perfectionist and part-procrastinator. I was afraid if my pages weren’t perfect, I’d have wasted the time and the pretty paper for nothing.

    I struggled along until I realized … Hey! It’s for me. It’s for my family. It’s not for these people who make the beautiful pages. Yay for them. But for us … yay that it was getting done.

    Enter Project Life… Yeah. I’m the proud owner of no less than six full editions and two mini editions and now a couple of the theme packs — along with all the different envelopes and divided page protectors (times three).

    At the end of August, after school started, I sat down at WalMart and went through my entire memory stick, printing all the pictures from New Year’s Eve 2012/2013 to the first day of school.

    Within the last month, I have been to two crops (a one-day and two-day) and got everything scrapped into our family PL album. I spent the last day of the two-day crop scrapping 12×12 pages for each of my girls’ albums — dance recital, birthday, swim team, etc. that was personal for each of them.

    I did the PL chronologically, but not a picture a day. Some are weeks at a time, some weeks I didn’t break out the camera once, some are hanging out with friend or at family events.


    My husband and girls couldn’t wait to see the 38 pages I did at the two-day crop (19 PL and 19 12×12)!

    I love the social aspect of scrapping with friends. I love the reaction my family has at the finished pages. I love that I’m FINALLY using some of the supplies I’ve been hoarding for so long.

    Thanks, Cathy, for keeping it real!!!

  128. #151
    Lauren Hershey

    The actually act of scrapbooking is enjoyable and satisfying. It’s the perfect blend of my love of photography, writing, and use of my degree in Art. However, I have to admit I carry around a sense of urgency (that can sometimes feel like panic) when I think about all that I want to document about the history and life of my family and those I love. I feel like there are hundreds of stories, big and small, that haven’t been recorded and will be lost, and the thought of that makes me panic. I think I need to take Ali’s story class, so I can calm down. 😉

  129. #152

    If there wasn’t scrapbook journaling, I wouldn’t be a scrapbooker. (Or I would’ve invented scrapbook journaling!) While I’m drawn to the prettiness of the stuff, in the end, for me, it is about the writing, and the putting together the pictures with the writing.

    For me, my hiccup with scrapbooking is that it’s an easy form of creativity. I write less in other formats because I’m writing scrapbook journaling. It’s fun, but it doesn’t push me outside of my comfort zone, and right now I am really torn: I want to write more (for reals) but I don’t know how to either fit them both in or give up scrapbooking completely.

    (So right now? I’m doing nothing. Very productive.)

  130. #156

    Karen, I love to hear the differing perspectives on this. I guess it can remove some of the creative aspects that so many people really love.

  131. #157

    Oh Amy, I want to give you a hug. Or a big glass of wine if thats your thing! LOL! See what digital does for you. I know for me, it really does remove one more layer of stuff you have to do to scrapbook. : )

  132. #158

    I will say that printing at home has been a key for me. I have a really nice photo printer that was given to me back when I worked for Simple Scrapbooks magazine. Its old now, but it still prints so well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  133. #163

    Alrighty – I read about half the comments. Seems most folks feel stressed over what they don’t have done. Here’s my version: I couldn’t start. My mom does the good old fashioned layouts. Buys the papers and stickers and the “stuff”, prints the photos, makes the 12×12 pages. And bless her heart, I love it. When my daughter was born, I started Project Life. It was still relatively new and unheard of. I bought the first kit she offered. I LOVED it. But then? It went big. Not just Big. But BIG and now there’s SO MUCH out there. And that at times overwhelms me. I am, by nature a perfectionist. Type A. And so having a million products and a million layouts and million sources of inspiration via the intarwebs led me to stress and indecision. So I culled my reader feed and I follow a whopping 3 gals: Cathy, Becky, and Ali. Thinking about December Daily had me freaking for a bit until I finally just said STOP. Stop looking at all the products, pick one and go with it. It’s supposed to be FUN. I also admit the whole one-itty-bitty-photo-8-million-embellishment style gives me the willys. So finding you was a Godsend. Clean. Simple. Modern. Let the photo and the words tell the story. Brilliant. Thank YOU.

  134. #164

    I used to do a lot of paper scrapbooking and my shelves were overloaded with goodies. I found digital scrapbooking and fell in love. Then along came Project Life and I was hooked. I recently gave away a large portion of my paper supplies and stopped digital scrapbooking. All that is left is digital project life and I enjoy it but not so much as I did earlier in the year. I wondered why I was spending so much time recording our memories and daily life when nobody around my house really cared to look back on them. That all changed when my 21 year old son picked up a scrapbook that I did years ago and sat and looked at every page and every picture. I was reminded why I record these memories when I saw how much my son enjoyed going through them. He is at that point in his life when he is going out into the world on his own following graduation and I’m happy that he still feels the tug of family and the memories we created.

    My scrapbooking process may change in 2014 but I will find some way to continue recording memories for my kids because one day they may want to relive those memories again.

  135. #165

    I have not read all the comments but I think you have a following because you take a fresh approach to “scrapbooking”. I had 45 years of photos to deal with when I retired. Traditional scrapping was out of the question. The Becky approach was perfect. I could do one page per year and call it done. Now I am doing the Photo Freedom approach and loving it again. Before it was just “dogging it”. My hang up is writing the words but your class has helped me. I am not into all the stuff, just tell the story.

  136. #166
    Pilbara Pink

    Oh, I love this idea too. I was wondering what PL would look like for me next year as there will be significant changes in our family – fewer people living in our house, my husband commuting between here (Western Australia) and our retirement home in New Zealand … I think you have given me the answer – an album about MY life during this time, thank you!

  137. #167

    I can totally see how PL can ADD to the stress. I guess I hadnt really connected to this, but reading the comments is really opening my eyes to that aspect of it.

  138. #170

    Im glad you made that album, Stacy. Im trying to come up with more ways to add fun and simplicity and meaning to projects for classes.

  139. #172

    Well thanks. Its the being up in front of people part that is really stressful. I love to teach and work on being better at it with every class. : ) So thank you for your kind words. But man, to be in front of a group… the sweat just starts to pour. ; )

  140. #173

    Well thanks. Its the being up in front of people part that is really stressful. I love to teach and work on being better at it with every class. : ) So thank you for your kind words. But man, to be in front of a group… the sweat just starts to pour. ; )

  141. #178

    I always worry about what I will forget. Sometimes, that does hit me… life is so short and fast at times. So much to savor and remember.

  142. #179

    Isnt that true? The working on the pages IS fun. Not stressful. Man… all these posts are making me want to just play and have fun with photos and words!

  143. #182

    It seems like this topic comes up often on the Paperclipping Roundtable and the digi show…and I always wonder why people are so stressed about a hobby that is completely optional.

    I have to laugh and say aloud (on my drive home), hey girls it’s supposed to be fun…It’s optional, it’s creativity, it’s what ever your little heart desires it to be.

    Heck I’m a month behind in my project life, I’m gearing up for December daily, I’m looking at all the beautiful work displayed on the net and I rejoice that I can do whatever I want to do about it tomorrow.

    It’s a fun hobby – let’s keep it that way….

  144. #183

    I started scrapbooking for one of the same reasons as you – dull, boring, corporate graphic design! I wanted to get my creative energy out and I liked that playing with paper got me away from a computer for part of the day. Now, I still do it for all those reasons, plus I figured out that documenting my life (and my husband’s) is pretty awesome. I have a different outlook on my life now because I’m constantly taking in and appreciating my surroundings and printing photos. I think I am just a more positive person now. I try not to stress about my scrapbooking because at the end of the day, no one even KNOWS if I’m behind or if I forgot something. People are always impressed with what I DO have and will never know if I missed a few events or meals along the way.

  145. #185

    No, I don’t feel stressed about scrapping, or not scrapping. I figure the pages I do are snapshots of our lives along the way. There is no feeling that I have to scrap every moment. I used to feel I had to take photos of every moment though and often that meant that I was behind the camera instead of joining in the fun. I don’t do that any more and consequently have fewer photos of our lives. I have gone too far the other way! My complaint is that scrapping is lonely. Here in New Zealand it’s just not that popular a hobby. I did your clean and simple class earlier in the year and I loved that I was part of a community. Despite being an introvert, I love the social aspect of scrapping.

  146. #186
    Barb in AK

    There comes the time when the nest is empty and retirement gives you tons of time to enjoy what you want and catch up with all the “one day I’ll ….”. I’m there and I STILL don’t get my scrapping done!! LOL!! So I must not be too stressed 😉

  147. #187

    I just moved into our new place in October.. My husband is in the military, and move more frequently than expected. (We only stayed in our last station a little over a year) my scrapbook room is a MESS. But i still want to work on PL and prep for DD. Scrapbooking is my ‘thing’ where i go to relax, get away from my two littles and hubby for a while.
    I get stressed when i look at the mess in my room.. As soon as i can unpack everything and find a place for everything, i will be a lot less stressed, and will actually enjoy the creative process more.. (I mean, i basically have to do some stretches before going into my room because i am climbing over boxes and small piles of product here and there on the floor..)
    Hopefully we stay here for a few years.. And i can craft away happily!!

  148. #188

    Traditional scrapbooking is tons of fun and stressful at the same time to me. I have very high standards. I love modern, artistic, whimsical, yet well designed, collage-style layouts, but at least for me, this style is very difficult to do. I am talking about designers such as Anna Maria Wolniak who is on the Studio Calico Design team currently. Sometimes I do wonder if Studio Calico realizes that it can be frustrating to set such high standards. Her designs cannot be that easily reproduced. It can lead to furstration and low self-esteem. A bit like those super models who are completely out of my “league”. I am not really an artist. I wish I were. Lately I have become aware of the fact that the memory keeping aspect is just as important to me as the art. And I feel that there is a certain incompatibility here: you just cannot scrap hundreds of pictures from your last vacation into individual pieces of art in let’s say a week. It’s impossible. So who has the time and talent to come up with all these original ideas. I don’t seem how it can be done and this is where Project Life comes in as a relief.

  149. #189

    Do you think its just inherent in a system designed for weekly use? It seems like that might be it, along with that whole photo a day idea.

  150. #191

    Wendy, thanks for your honest reply. I think so many people are sharing similar stories and its good to know youre not alone but we need a solution to the stress!

  151. #193

    Linda, Im sorry for your loss. You know, sometimes life has other things in mind for us, and forces us to go in other directions we had not planned for. You will get back to it when you are ready. Again, sorry for your loss.

  152. #195

    I think maybe just going with the flow of your life and not worrying right now. 3 young kids is a lot! Maybe just once a month, fill a spread of photos and say done. : )

  153. #198

    : ) I hear you, Amy. I forget sometimes how much I love the writing/journaling part. Sometimes, with PL, I kind of just gloss over that.

  154. #203

    I too share your introvert settings (people dont really believe it but its completely true!) and I have always loved the online social aspect of scrapbooking. : )

  155. #205

    I hear you. I do not and am not able to replicate really creative and intricate stuff, ergo the stripped down minimal approach is what brings me happiness in the creative process. I love looking at the really artistic pages, but know that the minute I try, its a hot mess and Im not happy anyway. I think the key is finding what will work for you and how often you want to do it. : )

  156. #206

    Count me in the definitely-not-stressed-out club over here. I scrap what I want, when I want, when I’m in the mood. It’s my stress relief. There are definitely lots of things I want to scrap, but we will all leave things undone when we go to that great crop in the sky. It’s all good. T.G.I.F, all. 🙂

  157. #207

    I’ve been scrapbooking since I was about 16 (or there abouts) I am now 27. I’ve had experience working for a major Aussie scrapbooking manufacturer so Ive seen “that” side of the story too.

    I have plenty of albums that literally have blank pages with just photos popped in them. I’m not stressed about going back and fixing them at all.

    Today I focus on a 1xpage per week PL spread and add to it when I can.

    When the word “stress” sits alongside “scrapbooking’, scrapbooking no longer becomes a hobby, but a chore – and that’s when you should either stop or choose a different approach.

  158. #208

    HI Cathy!
    Another fan from the Southern Hemisphere!
    I had always dabbled in paper craft of some sort, and then after I got married I thought I would start scrapbooking. Spent years really enjoying the hobby – scrapping photos of my husband, our dogs, and our nieces. Then my husband and I separated and I thought to myself what is the point of doing this. The husband became my ex-husband, he kept the dogs and the nieces were no longer a part of my life. I actually used the pages of him as fire starters during the cold winter when we separated and gave the all the pages of my nieces to my ex sister in law.
    I really struggled to scrap. I had all of the stuff still and it sort of sat idle for a long long time. Instead I threw myself into the mixed media art journalling which was easier to express my raw emotions I was experiencing. I even did a mixed media version of PL where I made 52 Tim Holtz inspired tags and added photos to them. There was no journalling.
    Then I thought hang it! Even though I don’t have children or nieces and nephews, I thought that it was still important to document the new life I am living post divorce. So I became a PL convert and I love it. I love looking at my new album that documents all the new experiences I am having as a single woman!

  159. #209

    I started documenting our life as some kind of reality check that I still existed, that I still mattered and have some kind of a life after I became bed and wheelchair bound due to a neuro immune disease. Creating has always been my emotional outlet. If I can’t create all this pressure, sadness and grief over the loss of a former life builds up. I’m so glad I found digital scrapbooking.

    This year I’m doing Documenting December and have been reading different threads online and to be honest, I was flabbergasted. All this pressure to have your album ready and activities planned in before a December even starts has me wondering where the fun is in that? Where is the spontaneity and the creativity? True I have seen some masterpieces where the album is all ready and all it needs are the photos. A month of your life already planned out. Instead of enjoying the process it looks like it has become a chore.
    No my album is not planned yet, I finally have decide on the album I will use and Cathy’s templates but the rest will be my creative process, I enjoy the journey, to me it seems like most are only enjoying the end product.

  160. #210

    I’m with you. I can’t comprehend why people are so stressed about Project Life. The whole idea is to make scraping easier. For me, it’s done just that. I don’t always even pay attention to the “balance” on a given page. I just do what I like or is convenient. It’s a fun, creative outlet.

  161. #211

    I am a traditional scrapper, with 12×12 albums and mini albums, and love this hobby. I have loads of unscrapped photos, but what would I do if there were no photos left to play with!

  162. #213

    I too do not want to have everything done before hand. I printed out some things and made a title page, but I love that every day in December I can journal a card, take a photo and do something crafty, even if my crafty is very computer generated. : )

  163. #214

    I used to get very stressed over my scrapbooking. I wasn’t keeping up and I thought my pages just weren’t creative enough. Then two things happened. First, I switched to digital about seven years ago. I am much faster at digital scrapbooking. Second, I quit scrapping for others and started scrapping for me. Doing the pictures I wanted. Creating the digital art journaling pages that I wanted to create. Once I started doing this, it became more fun and I started creating more.

  164. #216
    Brenda in Sunny SoCal

    Love this post and the discussion that followed it.
    I’ve always thought that if scrapbooking is stressful than you are doing it wrong. My outlook is this, I use it as a stress reliever creative outlet the bonus, I get to capture some memories that otherwise would habe only been a picture with no story so that’s already a bonus,, no preassure to capture all.

  165. #218
    Jenny B.

    Good stuff. I enjoyed Creative Live with Becky last week too. I didn’t get to watch all of it, and missed the digital portion, but I did learn one entirely new thing… I had no idea the binder dividers had a protective plastic film! Ha! 🙂

    As far as the stressed about scrapbooking goes, well… yeah. I am only on week 33 in Project Life for this year, and didn’t even make it to the halfway mark last year. I am trying to streamline my process, but it just takes a lot of time each week. Even doing it 100% digital, it still takes me at least two days to finish a spread. It would help if I didn’t fall asleep every time I edited photos. Seriously, ten minutes in ACR, and I am out. 🙂

  166. #219
    Melanie Routhier

    I think some people are just stressed out in general. 🙂

    I’m not a scrapbooker but I did journal in my 20’s and glued in just about anything and everything into my journals. When my son was born in 2011 I discovered PL and fell in love. It seemed so simple, so easy and perfect for documenting our everyday life. I’m the type of person that loves looking at family photos and not just for the people in them but I love looking at the backgrounds to see everyday stuff from the past.

    I bought an album and core kit and wanted to keep PL as simple as possible. But I’m stressed about being so far behind, I have no idea how I’ll ever get on top of it.

    Reasons? I have no dedicated space (and won’t in any foreseeable future)to work on my PL, I have a million photos to go through for each week (most blurry or out-of-focus) and because my son is only 2 I literally have about 2 hours of spare time to my day. During those short hours I need to decide between my other hobbies of knitting and reading, spending time with my husband and doing other mundane tasks.

    I find that by the time I go through my weekly photos, do the basic processes in PSE and then wait to order larger batching of photos online to save $$ that I am already months behind.

    So by the time I get the physical photos in my hands I can’t remember what I wanted to journal and I just throw the photos into the album. This could make me happy, but it’s not what I wanted for my PL. And this is after I gave up comparing my albums to the people that inspired me to start.

  167. #220
    Karyn S

    Scrapbooking is definitely my de-stresser. The only time I ever feel stressed in relation to scrapbooking is when I have prioritised it over something genuinely more important (like taxes) and am behind on that stuff. I’m always “behind” in scrapbooking in that I don’t have the time to complete all the layouts/projects in my head but it’s not a big deal, it just is what it is and I go with the flow of inspiration.

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