Sunday, October 19, 2014

Baby Project Life Scrapbook

I finally finished Marissa's birthday present from last year!

My sister and I don't have a lot of baby pictures of ourselves because my mom likes to hoard them. In middle school my class was assigned to make a scrapbook of our lives, from our birth up to eighth grade. Since it was a school assignment and my grade depended on it, my mom surrendered some baby and toddler pictures so that I could make copies for my scrapbook, with the understanding that I would give her back the originals. Well, needless to say, I didn't follow through with that entire plan. To this day, almost seven years later, I still have those pictures. Marissa, doesn't really have any though. But fortunately for her, since we're only a year apart, she's in a lot of the pictures I have of myself. A few times last year she was complaining that she doesn't have any baby pictures to share with her friends (because that's what friends do, we share baby pictures of ourselves). I just knew I needed to make her a baby album so that she had some tangible memories of her tiny self.

Another day, a month or so later, I was at my grandma's house and I was helping her organize her belongings. With five children of her own and nine grandchildren, you could imagine the countless boxes full of photographs she has and the humungous amount of space they take up. So, as I was helping her condense those boxes, I mentioned my idea of making Marissa a baby album for her birthday. My grandma was more than accommodating and quickly gave me many of the double prints she had of mine and Marissa's early years. With the photos from my grandma and the ones I already "borrowed" from my mom, I set out to make Marissa's birthday present.

It started off well. At the time I was obsessed with the Project Life concept. I scanned the pictures onto my computer and ordered prints from Shutterfly. I bought a binder, page inserts, and baby-themed card inserts. I cropped all of the pictures, rounded the corners, and inserted them into their respective pockets. But after that, the unfinished scrapbook sat. And it sat uncompleted for about a year. I was so stuck on how to "decorate" the blank pockets and make the overall scrapbook something to be proud of.

As her birthday approached this year, I was reminded of this unfinished and super belated gift. I promised that it would be done by her birthday this year (September 4). So I got back to work on it. I rearranged a lot of the pictures and  made a rough outline of the text I wanted to include. I wanted to ask my parents about several of the pictures and events, so I was hesitant to write anything down permanently in the scrapbook until I got their advice. So once again, the scrapbook sat unfinished and her birthday passed with no present in sight.

I really wanted to finish her scrapbook in early September so that I wouldn't have to move across the country with it. But that didn't happen. I made a second promise to get the finished gift mailed to Marissa by the end of September. On one of the last days of September (shocker), I spent an entire day working tirelessly. I added all the text, fancy titles, and lots of cute and random (yet appropriate) quotes to the pages. The end was in sight! But I still had a few empty pockets to fill and I needed to order a 12 x 12 photo to cut up to fill an entire page. The shipment on that alone would take up to a week, so my September deadline was out of reach.

The 12 x 12 photo actually came much quicker than I expected, although September was already over. As soon as it arrived, I manipulated it until it was just the way I envisioned. I spent another day finishing up the rest of the empty pockets. Then the next day, I completed all the necessary sewing. And boom, it was complete!

So there's the story of Marissa's very belated baby scrapbook birthday present. Now I need to get to work on her presents for this year (belated of course, once again). I want to have them finished and mailed to her before Christmas!

Because it was so long in the making and this project has been on many of my "goals lists", I just had to share some pictures of the album. My focus is to share the layouts rather than the personal photos and text, so the photos aren't that sharp, but hopefully still enjoyable.