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  • shannanmanton

Commonplace Books

So what do you do when you are up to your eyeballs in scrapbooking projects? Add another one into the mix and get really excited about it of course!

I only recently learned about commonplace books from Kristin at the Awesome Ladies Project, who then pointed me to Brandi Kincaid. Brandi's post "On Still Keeping A Notebook" is amazing and you should read it, but in a nutshell, a commonplace book is a journal for keeping ideas, quotes from books, notes and ephemera from everyday life.

It resonated with me because last year I made a year-long digital 'Me' project instead of a traditional, family oriented Project Life. It included photos, recipes, quotes from Pinterest, funny things I heard, things I had been listening to/watching, random lists from my bullet journal (like my favourite real-estate from television & movies), funny things from Twitter and just an assortment of things I felt like adding about me and what I liked. I loved working on this project so much and I kept it going until mid-December when I felt like it was time to put it all together and send it off to Blurb for printing. I saw this book as a visual version of my bullet journal and planner and it is one of my favourite things to pull down from the shelf and look through (and one of my favourite things to make).

This year, I decided to go back to a more traditional, family-oriented yearly documenting project and started a digital photobook for 2018. I like the minimal style of this new book with its focus on the photographs and a brief weekly recap, but to be honest, it's a bit boring to make. I really missed the freedom and the silliness of last year's book where I could include some Bob's Burger song lyrics, a photo of my Amy Winehouse funko, a funny quote from my kid, a great photo of someone's vinyl record collection from Pinterest and a recipe for a new cocktail.

So last week and I started playing along with the 30 Days of Lists project (because, you know, I need some more projects in my life), making an old-school home-made minibook and having a great old time doing it. (It had been years since I made a mini book - I used to make them all the time - so I had to find and dust off my cardstock, chipboard covers and binder rings from storage.)

30 Days of Lists minibook

I was enjoying the simple process of making the list pages so much, then I remembered the commonplace book idea and it all clicked for me. So here we are, a few pages in and I'm hooked. I am basically making 4x6 pages on cardstock, patterned paper or photopaper and putting them together with binder rings. I don't have a cover yet.

This is exactly the project I needed. I can keep my family photobook uncluttered, chronological and photo-centric but still have a place for the silly, messy, random bits of my life. Plus, it's the perfect place for all the cool cards and paper things that come across my desk that previously had no place to go for this mostly digital scrapbooker. For now I'm calling it my 2018 Mini Book and I'm so excited to see where it goes. A place for all of my ridiculousness again - yay!

Supplies: as a digital girl at heart, I am making some pages in photoshop. Others will just be scribbled notes on a 4x6, a full page photo or cute junkmail. I am planning to cut a bunch of papers and cardstock to 4x6 to have ready. There are no rules for this project, anything goes. I am sure there will be some overlap of stories with my regular 6x8 scrapping and my yearly photobook project but that doesn't bother me at all. The more the merrier! I am also taking Jamaica Edgell's mini-book workshop at Studio Calico (which starts tomorrow) because it popped up in my feed yesterday as though it was meant to be - I need to brush up on my minibook skills and I love her work so much.

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