Tuesday, 12 January 2016


I promised myself I wasn't going to make a photo album for December this year. It was a pretty frustrating process last year, so I told myself not to bother, and maybe make one next year when our new family member has arrived, if I felt like it. But definitely not this year. What does it say about you if you can't even keep simple craft-promises to yourself?

It all started unraveling late on the 30th of November, when I randomly picked up last year's album and had a look through it. Oh my. Two things stood out to me. First, how small the album was. I knew I had issues both with taking pictures last year (as I pretty much only see daylight on the weekends), and printing the pictures, as my printer was absolutely useless. I’d find myself sitting in the middle of the floor, surrounded by bad prints of the SAME pictures over and over, swear words pouring out like a waterfall. It was expensive, frustrating, and not to par, and I ended up only using a fraction of the photos I took. But my second thought when looking at it was how I could totally do better. I have a much better printer now, and I’m much better in Photoshop. And I was actually really happy with my results when I made Bo's album. And at the end of the day, I love looking through my albums. I found myself sitting there, engrossed in my imperfect 2014 December album, going “aw, Graeme, remember how we celebrated our 6th anniversary at Hausvik last year and you caught three ginormous fish in that hail storm?” and “omg, remember how we were in Sirdal at Linn’s cabin, and you skied for the first time, and we had no Wi-Fi, and then suddenly the internet worked again and Linn got a message that her sister was in labor?!” And there it was, I had to make another one. Graeme told me to sleep on it, which I did, and by the 1st of December I had a head full of ideas.

And I’m so much happier with this one. Making it wasn’t frustrating at all, and I seemed to get sucked into my own enthusiasm about the project as I went along. I found myself happily flipping through the album, and excitedly planning the next pages, to the point where I even ended up dreaming about it (though I had one less than pleasant dream where I was sitting in the woods and working on my album, and baddies attacked me with guns and tried to steal my dog!). I kept the whole project pretty low budget. The only things I bought for this, was the album itself and extra pocket pages. I printed out all the photos myself (only once this time! :D), and used free printables (like this and this) and stuff I already had, like leftovers from this kit. I also made a lot of stuff myself in Illustrator that I just printed out on card, and for the clear pages I just used old overhead sheets and drew on them with a gold marker. For the end of the album, I made a button envelope to keep all the Christmas cards (I was originally planning on buying one, but they seemed near impossible to find and in stead I came across this tutorial).

And as for the whole taking pictures with only daylight on the weekend thing—I ended up taking a lot of the photos on the weekend. There wasn’t a whole lot happening during the week anyway, as I’d be at work and Graeme worked most evenings. But then I’d make little notes of what did happen and photograph them in better light on the weekend. For example how I bought my niece’s Christmas present on the 9th, but didn’t actually wrap it and take the picture until the following Saturday. Is it cheating? I don’t know, but it works so I really don’t care. One thing to improve on for next year though, is to take more pictures of people. I don't know why this is so hard sometimes. We spent the last week of December in Glasgow, and even though it was by far the most social part of our month (having people stay in our flat, seeing friends and family), somehow I managed to take barely any photos of this. And, worst of all, Graeme's parents took their first ever selfie (with Graeme's new lomo'instant), and I seem to have misplaced them. I have a spot ready for when they show up though.

And I can’t wait to randomly pick up this album in November next year.

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