Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Year of Memories

post signatureThis is year 7 for my AYM group. For 2016, I "stole" the title for this year's book from Ali Edwards. She has been doing One Little Word for over 5 years now. One Little Word by Ali is a workshop where you choose a word for yourself to focus on for an entire year. For AYM, it's completely different.

This year, our scrapbook is going to be titled "One Little Word." I believe that "one little word" can evoke a story or memory. And that's always my goal---getting people to tell their stories.

The format will be the same as in the past. Each month, members get a kit of materials and a handout with a topic and a few ideas to get them thinking. They interpret the topic any way they want. The only "rule" is that the page needs to contain a story. It doesn't have to be a long story---just a little more than pictures on a page. We meet and share our stories. It's also a lot of fun to see how each person uses the same materials and how different all the layouts are.

Our "One Little Word" workshop will focus on a different word each month. January's word was "Shine." We had titles like "Rise and SHINE", "my time to SHINE",  "sunSHINE", I've taken a SHINE to you"---you get the idea. February's word is "JUST".  Can't wait to see what the gals come up with this month. I always make the topics broad enough that you can take just about any set of pictures and think of a title to go with the monthly theme.

About 8 or 9 years ago, I developed my "Making the Most of My Memories" workshop---which is a way to completely organize all of your photos quickly and easily. I guarantee that by using my method, you can put your hands on any photo within a minute or two. It was very successful. But, I wanted to prove that it really worked. That's how A Year of Memories was born.

At the height of AYM's popularity---or I should say---when we had scrapbook stores---I had 3 different groups going with a total of 39 people. Now I'm down to 7 "diehard" fans. I'm always thinking, so it bothered me to know that the only scrapbooking that is getting done is the assignment for our group each month. We all have dedicated scrapbook rooms. That's expensive real estate in our homes to only use once a month. Sooooo, I came up with another idea.

This year, I've added a "Scrapbook Round-Robin" aspect to our group. We started in January and it's totally optional---although everyone was immediately on board. I had each member select a set of photos that they are having trouble scrapbooking. All they had to do was pick out the photos and type up the story behind them. Each month, we'll pass them around so each member gets a chance to work on someone else's page. After 3 months, you'll get your finished page back. I broke it down like this:
Month 1: Lay out the photos and attach.
Month 2: Decide title and place journaling.
Month 3: Embellish.

Since this is a brand new concept to us, there has been some trial and error. We're only on the second month and I've been told that one member "accidentally" did the embellishing step too. That's okay, we'll figure it out. I told her that she just probably wouldn't get another layout to work on this month. The page I got had so many pictures, there wasn't room for the title or journaling. I had to create a fold out. Like I said, we'll work out the kinks as we go. So far, everyone is enjoying this added little twist. Some say they feel pressured to be scrapbooking for someone else. Personally, I'm having fun with it.

I've also told the group about another little idea I have up my sleeve. Actually, if the truth be told, motivating other people to join me in my schemes, gets me moving too! Otherwise, I'm the type of person who has tons of ideas that would go nowhere.

Now if I can just get myself back on the treadmill....


  1. I agree that just a single word can prompt a whole story. That round-robin is an interesting twist - is it harder to scrap someone else's pictures or have them scrap yours?

  2. Sounds like it's going to be a great scrappy year!

  3. I love the concept behind making a "word" the inspiration for creating a layout. And listening to your description of your AYM group, I think it would be fun - have you ever considered broadening your group to include folks who couldn't attend in person, but who would do the layouts each month and share digitally?

  4. I like the idea of having a word to inspire the group and then sharing pages - sounds fun.


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