My Memory-Keeping Story

Today is National Scrapbook Day. It's being celebrated all over the internet, on Instagram, on the blogs, and on manufacturers' websites.

If you'd told me a few years ago that I'd be participating in this celebration, I'd have thought you were nuts.

I was a graphic designer, not a scrapbooker. To me, scrapbooking wasn't cool or stylish and it definitely wasn't "me."

Until it was.

What would I do with our photos?

One of the most influential books I read during my first pregnancy was written by two female pediatricians (and moms).

At the end of the book, in one of the last chapters, the authors gave some advice about photographing our kids.

They basically suggested you have a plan going into this adventure for how you want to document it.

What pictures do you want to make sure someone takes in the delivery room? Will you print photos or make a photobook?

It goes so fast, they wrote, so it's a good idea to think ahead about what you want to do so you'll remember it well.

Finding Ideas and inspiration

I started searching the internet for solutions and came across digital scrapbooking via Liz Tamanaha and this new, simplified form of scrapbooking via Becky Higgins. I loved Catherine Davis's blog,  with her clean layouts and beautiful photos.

I found kindred spirits, design-wise, in this incredibly diverse and talented and creative community, and I found friends along the way.

Why I love memory-keeping

That first year of Ben's life, I took over 10,000 photos, and I documented those stories in a Project Life album. 

To this day, we love flipping through the pages. Ben loves flipping through them, pointing out his friends, his cousins, grandparents and his "old house" (we've since moved).

Today, I'm perpetually playing catch-up on baby number two's album, but se la vie. It'll get done soon enough, and then we'll have his to enjoy as well.

What I've learned

I've come to regard "scrapbooking" or memory-keeping, documenting, whatever you want to call it, as a purposeful, challenging and really enjoyable creative outlet. 

I've learned along the journey how to take and edit photos, how to use my camera in manual mode, how to use Photoshop, how to mix patterns, how to tell better stories more succinctly.

I'm now a contributor to the blog that first captured my attention and an instructor at Big Picture Classes, where I took my first class nearly four years ago with memory-keeping juggernaut Ali Edwards.

Perhaps most significantly, I've learned to document our family's story my own way, through simple layouts incorporating beautiful design, through minimalist photobooks filled with detailed stories and full-bleed photography.

It's pushed me creatively in my work as a graphic designer, and opened my circle online to this wonderful community of creative women.

I'm so thankful for it. So today, I'm celebrating.

xo, Catherine