When my children were babies, I carried my camera in my diaper bag and took pictures of them almost every day. I took pictures of their day-to-day life and included them in my scrapbook pages. However, as my children got older, I stopped carrying the camera everywhere and so the photos focused mainly on events such as birthdays, holidays, the first day of school, and sports.
This past summer, I changed that. I joined with other scrappers in a challenge to take and scrap one photo per day for three months. In our challenge, we took one photo each day and created a page with seven photos at the end of each week. Beyond this, there were very few rules. Layouts could be one or two pages of any size. Photos could be taken by other people, therefore we had no excuse not to include ourselves. If you forgot to take a photo, you could use one from another day, but two photos of the same event were not allowed.
The first thing I did was tell the family about it, so they wouldn't go nuts when I started taking photos of them doing normal things. Next, I started carrying the camera around again. I took photos of the boys going to and from school, and then to and from camp. I sent the camera with my husband on business trips and took it with me when I had a business trip.
I chose to make 11" x 8 ½" two-page layouts. I found that the wide horizontal shape was very good for seven photos with space for journaling. Some weeks I had a theme, such as the week my husband took several business trips (of course, I had him email me a photo each day).
Other weeks, I was able to document the natural flow of summer. When school ends, we take a little time off, and then camp begins.
In the camp layout above, notice the photo of my son sleeping on a blanket next to the baseball game. One thing I loved about this project was the ability to include photos like that.
One of the challenges with using seven unrelated photos on a layout is choosing paper and embellishments. Once I got over the fact that it is impossible to match seven unrelated photos, I found it quite freeing. For example, on the week that included the Fourth of July, I used red, white, and blue paper, even though my photos were not particularly related to the holiday.
Another thing that I loved about this project was the ability to include single photos that would never otherwise make it. Every August, I attend a meeting in the mountains. Every year, I drive over the pass and climb up to the patch of snow. I ask a stranger to take my picture and email it home to my children so they can see Mommy throwing a snowball in August. This year was the first time I had an excuse to use this photo in a layout. The same week I attended an elementary school reunion and saw my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade teachers. I included these with some other fun photos in this layout.
Some days nothing happens. Those days, I took photos of my son's stuffed animals, the rain bouncing off the table, or a flowering bush in the backyard. One day I even took a photo in our favorite aisle of the supermarket. I enjoyed taking these photos. However, I found that most days something happened, although usually it was related to baseball. With spring baseball ending, summer baseball starting, my younger son playing t-ball, and the family's love of the Phillies, there was an opportunity to take a baseball photo at least half of the days.
As summer ended and I finished my last page, I was relieved to be done, but also a bit sad that the project was over. Mostly I was pleased with the album I had made which documented our summer as we really lived it. I believe this is the best scrapbook project I have ever made and I know my family enjoys looking at it as much, if not more, than they enjoy looking at vacation albums.
If you are looking for a way to get your daily life back into your scrapbook pages, I strongly urge you to try a photo-a-day project. Set some rules, but not too many and most importantly, set an end date. You can do a project like this for a month, a season, a year, or any other period of time that you choose. Choose a page size early on and buy an album to put them in. I found that looking through the partially completed album helped me to continue with the project. If possible, do the project with friends (on-line friends are fine) so you have people to chat with and encourage each other along. Share your experiences with your friends and your layouts here at Scrapbook.com. Once you complete a project like this, you will have an album that you are very proud of and memories that are worth remembering.