The year was 2009.
After being a child-free digital scrapbooker for three years, I’d reached a point where I was ready for something new with my scrapbooking. A new challenge. A new idea. I loved the layouts I’d created but I felt like my album lacked a cohesive story and at times they didn’t feel like me.
On one cold, wintery day in January 2009, my husband Adam and I drove the two hour trek from Colorado Springs to Loveland, CO so he could go skiing while I relaxed in the lodge. Strapping sticks to my feet so I can careen down the hill with snow blowing in my face is not this California-girl’s idea of a good time.
While I was sitting in the lodge, laptop out, Lady Gaga playing in my headphones, I started working on a scrapbooking layout. When I started, I didn’t have a clear picture in mind of what I wanted my story to be so, as I often did at the time, I started playing around with papers and elements until eventually an idea came to me.
“Hmm, what if I use these little paper strips for a top ten list?”
I decided on a quick list of things I loved at the time and titled it “January 2009 Faves.”
I loved it.
I loved that it captured a snapshot of my life.
I loved that the design and colors felt like me.
But most of all I loved how easy it was to put together. As someone who tended to stress about every word of journaling she wrote like she was being graded on an English essay, I loved how easy a top ten list of my favorite things was to write.
I had an idea: what if I did one of these every month for the entire year?
While I wasn’t great at finishing year-long projects, I decided to give it a go. To keep things simple I set a few loose guidelines to follow every month:
- My list had to include exactly ten items – no more, no less.
- Journaling had to be in list form but numbers were optional.
- The title for the layout had to include the month followed by the word FAVES.
- Each layout had to include a NEW self-portrait taken during that specific month.
Everything else was entirely up to me – color, design, kit, etc.
In February I scrapbooked my February Faves layout. Then March, April, May and before I knew it was November.
In the rush of the holidays I missed December. But overall it was still a win in my book.
In 2011, I challenged myself to complete the Faves again. And then again in 2013. Each time keeping the rules the same but pushing myself to think outside of my own box with the design.
Thirty-five layouts later, the Faves layouts are still hands-down some of my most favorite layouts ever. They added exactly what my scrapbooking albums needed: a consistent story, a snapshot of my life and a healthy dose of creative design.
What’s more, the Faves remind me time and time again that telling your personal story doesn’t have to be hard.
It’s easy to think you need to reinvent the wheel each time but you don’t. In fact, when you have a clear plan for your layouts, your mind is free to be more creative, not less.
Instead of racking your brain or searching through photos for a new idea each time, you can focus on the fun, creative side of telling your personal story.
And that’s always a fave in my book.
Next week I’m going to be opening the doors for the 2015 edition of the Faves: The Faves Project: Monthly Faves.
If you’re in need of a new creative challenge, want to get more of YOU in your scrapbooks or just feel like you’re unsure what to scrap about and want to know more: get on the exclusive Faves Project list.
You’ll be the first to hear when The Faves Project opens.