Back before Christmas I was looking for other avenues for my artistic skills. It was recommended that I check out Taskrabbit. It is a wonderful site to pick up some odd jobs and a way to fit some more money into your month. One of the posts that I was drawn to was a posting for a scrapbook. A young woman was looking for a crafty person to create a scrapbook for her father's Christmas present. I was intrigued from the moment I saw it.
To Find out about my challenges and discoveries Read More Below...
My mom has been an avid scrapbooker since I've been rather young. I grew up with all of the crafting supplies and materials at my disposal so I learned so many skills in storytelling with well placed pictures, journaling, paper craft and memories. I've worked on my own scrapbook before and they have always been easy for me to put together but in doing one for someone else I lack the advantage of having my own memories to work from. In my preparation for this task I came up with a list of questions that I could ask her. Mostly about her family structure, inside jokes or moments, the overall relationship between the siblings and parents, and so on. Her family is a blended family so there were some politics involved that I had to be mindful of. She was very concerned that everyone had an equal amount of page time.
It was difficult to boil down a stranger's life down to a thirty page scrapbook. My client and I had an hour long meeting to sort and go through the story she wanted to tell about her father's life. This was the first time any scrapbook had been made for her father so we had many many pictures to pick from. We chose the big moments and then a couple of broader idea pages like "forever young" showing many pictures from his youth and other similar general themes. She wanted to also include pages where she could affix handwritten letters from her family members. Having covered what I thought was everything we parted ways.
When I got home, I first started with some research on pinterest. Feel free to check out the my scrabooking board here. I showed these images to my client. She responded well to many of them. I took the basic ideas she was attracted to and vamped off of those. She really liked the collage look with a heavy dose of layered paper craft. So I got to shopping.
I went and picked out all of the papers and embellishments from a couple of different sources. You'll find the best quality and diversity at your specialty scrapbooking stores and boutiques. The one close to me is Archivers. You can also find supplies at places like Hobby Lobby and Michaels. I also did a little bit of shopping at Blick too, but I found their selection to be lacking. I bought my book and basic papers at Michaels and the fun artsy papers I got from Archivers.
With all of the supplies bought an paid for it was time to get to work. With doing a project like this it was important to have a process at the start. I broke the project up into steps. First I pulled out my notes and started to page everything out. I grouped pictures and paired them with a fun paper. Using the fun paper as inspiration I picked out the supplies for paper craft and other embellishments. After these groupings were finished I moved on to cropping all of the photos. When cropping photos make sure you have enough of the background to ground the image but not so much that the subject gets lost. After cropping I did a dry placement of the photos to check the flow of the page. I added papercraft and embellishments next, still no glue. After I had the whole page finished, I put it to the side to be tacked down later. This system allowed me to focus on what I was doing and not worry about all of the steps that needed to take place. When it came time to journal this is where I realized I should have taken more detailed notes. I forgot to ask about spellings of names and important dates. As a result, I left most of the journaling up to my client. I provided her with spaces where she could write dates and names if she so chose.
After the pages were glued up and the book assembled I dropped it off at the client's mother's home. I then got a frantic phone call about 3 hours later about a bunch of notes my client had and needed fixed in the next two days. I calmly took all of the notes and assured my client that they could be completed in time. The notes were very manageable but in retrospect we should have planned a physical check in date to look over the book together and have a calm conversation about small tweaks instead of an emotionally charged discourse. Looking at the time and effort I put into this project I realize I charged way less than I should have. I didn't do my research as to what the market value of this service is and I unfortunately have a habit of thinking projects like this will take me a shorter time to complete than it actually does. Having learned my lesson, next time I do a project like this I will have the knowledge of an accurate timeline which will help me bid with more accuracy.
All in all this was a very rewarding project to work on and I am glad I got the opportunity to showcase the moments and memories of this families life.