So. Christmas. I always feel terrible when I say this, but I honestly don't enjoy scrapping Christmas. I mean, I do create Christmas layouts here and there, but it's only when I'm forced too. I try and get out of it as much as I can, if I'm being honest. I have no idea why this is. There's no real explanation for why I avoid it, since I really, really do love Christmas.
I got this weird urge last week to work on getting all of our Christmases documented and in the albums. I started by simply going thru our family albums and seeing what Christmas layouts I actually have. I have dividers in our albums to seperate the years, so it was easy enough to go to the end of each year to look for Christmas and see if I had anything.
And what did I find? Well, I did find a few single page layouts that were Christmas related and that had meaning. A layout about how I decorate for the holidays, and a few layouts specifically about the girls. I also found quite a few layouts that I could totally do without. Most of these were created for assignments, and when you get right down to it, they didn't have any real meaning behind them. I mean, they weren't fake layouts or made up journaling. But they didn't really line up with how I would normally scrap the photos. If that makes any sense.
But what I was mainly looking for, were layouts that documented the actual holiday itself. Christmas morning with the girls, family get togethers, etc. Because that's really what the bulk of my Christmas photos revolved around. I found TWO layouts that actually documented a family get together. Both were two page layouts, with lots of photos.
Granted, I only went back to 2006, since that was when I went digital. I do have some Christmas layouts from earlier years, but I'll have to go back to those later and see if they did the job of documenting our holidays in the way I'd like them to be documented.
This is what I like to see. Because if I'm going to create Christmas layouts, I'm going to aim to get our entire Christmas celebration on the page. Like I said. I don't particularly enjoy scrapping Christmas. And I am not one to do a large number of layouts every Christmas, with a single photo, or maybe two or three photos on a page. If I'm going to take the time to scrap Christmas, I'm going to use ALL the photos at once, and "get it done". That just sort of goes in line with my style and how I like to scrap. I love to use lots of photos. As many as I need to tell the story, or document an event.
I decided to tackle Christmas, as I had a little break in my scrapbooking schedule and needed a new project to keep me busy. I started organizing our 2006-1013 Christmas family get-togethers and Christmas mornings with the girls. These were the years that were digital, so that's where my focus was.
The first thing I did was make sure I had even edited the photos I had taken. I had several years where I had edited a few random photos, so I finished editing all the rest. I had a few years where I had edited all the photos, but they needed to be re-edited (my editing has improved greatly over the years). And I had a few years that were edited and ready to go.
Then, I started creating photo collages. Lots and lots of photo collages. I had a plan to get all of these photos, from 8 different years, scrapped quickly and without much fuss. And that plan heavily revolved around photo collages. It's the best way to get LOTS of photos on your pages. And I know I say this all the time, but it's a great way to get LOTS of photos on your pages, in a neat and organized way. I like clean looking pages, and photo collages are great for just that.
Of course, creating photo collages can take quite a bit of time. For me, that's usually because I spend too much time trying to find the template I want to use, that's just perfect for fitting all of my photos into. I try to keep in mind the orientation of my photos when looking at templates, knowing if I have more verticle or horizontal photos, and also whether many of my photos can be cropped into squares (since squares can be very common in templates). My goal is usually to get ALL of the photos included. Unless I have some that are very similiar, and then I'll pick the best ones to use.
As for what templates I use, that's an easy one. My go-to collage templates are from Kerri Bradford Studio. Kerri has such a wide variety to chose from, and I can always find a template to fit my needs. I quickly realized that I had a few favorites, as I found myself using a few of the same ones over and over. They just seemed to fit what I had in mind well, and held a good amount of photos, which was my overall goal.
And here is what I ended up with after a few days work (not all day, just here and there). What you see here is 6 years worth of photos (2 more years are still in the works), which include 6 family get togethers and 3 Christmas mornings with the girls. I created 16 photo collages, which included a total of 143 photos. And from this, I will end up with 6 two page layouts and 3 single page layouts.
Boy, did it feel good to see these all printed out and ready to turn into layouts! I felt so accomplished just having the photo collages done. And as of today, 2 of those two page layouts are already completed. I'll be sharing them later this week. I'm determined to finish up the rest over the next week or two, as I don't have much scrapping stuff on my plate right now.
And I thought I would leave you with a quick photo collage printing tip. I can only really speak for ordering from Costco, since that's where I have my photos printed if I'm not printing at home. And seeing as I don't have a large format printer, I get all of my enlargements printed there, including my 12 x 12" prints. This may apply to other online printers as well, since I know a lot of them warn you that you will lose a slight amount of your photo in the printing process.
This is an example of a 12 x 12" photo collage, using one of Kerri's templates. The collage to the left shows what happens if I upload my collage as-is. I created it, sized it to 12 x 12", uploaded it, and printed it. It has a small white border going all the way around the outside edge. Well, that got chopped off entirely.
Which is why I always size my finished collage down a bit. For the 12 x 12", I resized it to 11.7 x 11.7", and then placed it onto a 12 x 12" canvas, flattened it, and then uploaded that to order. That guaranteed me a nice white border going around the outside edge of my collage.