Scrapbooking Your 9 to 5
What are you doing at 9:05 Monday morning? If you're like most people, you spend most of your day filing, driving, typing, phoning and doing other random work activities. Do you realize that in a 24-hour day the average working adult spends seven hours sleeping, seven hours relaxing, and a whopping 10 hours at work? And if you're like most scrapbookers you don't have a single page in your albums about your employment. It's time to get to work—scrapbooking, of course!
Work pages don't happen by themselves. You probably take dozens of photos of holidays, weddings, vacations and birthdays without even thinking. But how many of us ever take a camera to work? Creating Keepsakes reader Anita Forsyth of Covina, California realized that she had worked with the same people for 10 years and decided then and there to capture each one on film!
Work pages need to be planned in advance, but that's part of the fun. Instead of leaving your pages to chance, you can capture and retell the stories, drudgery, excitement, disasters and humor that will remind you of your life at work for years to come. As you look at your work pages you may find yourself smiling and saying, "I can't believe I lasted so long at such a crazy job!" or "I sure worked with some great people." Either way your work pages will represent all the time, energy and dedication that you give to your job. So punch in your timecard and let's get working. (This job will be the most fun of all!) Here are 12 ideas for creating scrapbook pages about your professional life.
Each place of employment has unique aspects you can photograph. For example, if you work at a movie theater photograph the mobs of excited moviegoers on the opening night of a new blockbuster. Capture the sticky popcorn and soda pop on the floor. Take photos of the "Coming Soon" posters and the popcorn machine. You may even want to snap some shots of the candy and the lighted board with prices of popcorn, soda and candy. In a few years it may be fun to see how many things have changed.
2. Include your nametag. Do you have a nametag or ID tag that you're required to wear at work? Include it on your scrapbook page! It will surely remind you of your job in years to come. Be sure to test all memorabilia—nametags included—for acidity with a pH testing pen (these are available through Light Impressions, 800/828-6216).
If any memorabilia is highly acidic you may want to place it on a page without photographs or spray it with a deacidification spray such as Wei'to or Bookkeeper spray. On Angela Johnson's grocery store page (Figure 2), her nametag had a pin in back that made it awkward to adhere to a scrapbook page. A color copy onto acid-free paper was the perfect solution.
4. Remember your uniform. Perhaps you have a particular uniform or fabric that you associate with work. It's easy to include a reminder of it on your work pages as well. Now, before you get out the scissors, try this idea. Take the fabric and lay it smoothly on a color copy machine to create your own background paper. At the Women's Center at Alta View Hospital in Sandy, Utah, every new baby is wrapped in a soft pink and blue striped blanket. Each lucky patient wears a lovely blue and white hospital gown.
Maurine Worsham, a labor and delivery nurse, first snapped photos of patients wearing the fabrics, then took the material to the copy shop to make her own background papers. The result is personalized backgrounds that are full of meaning and color (Figure 3). Not only that—the newborn cap and "Congratulations!" certificate also provide tangible reminders of the everyday miracle that Maurine witnesses.
6. Include the schedule of your work day. When I asked Aunna Fenlon what aspects of her job as preschool teacher she'd like to preserve on a page, she spoke of free play, singing, learning the weekly letter, snack time, art and so on. I decided to bring all those fun activities together by including her daily schedule directly on the page (Figure 4). Here's another tip I learned: If you have oversized artwork that won't fit on your page, ask someone to hold it up while you snap a photo. By doing this I was able to include a child's "Cheerios" art on Miss Aunna's page.
Aunna also wanted to include her paycheck stub, timecard and notes from students. Where do all these mementos go? Into the preschool bag, of course! I color copied the actual bag that each student uses to carry home his or her treasures, then created a pocket page by sealing the sides and bottom with archival glue (Figure 4).
Wouldn't it be interesting to see how your career has progressed through the years? Try to pull together one photo or memento from each of your jobs. You'll want to include position, responsibilities, wages (can you believe you actually lived on that much?) and why you made the transition from one job to the next. It's fascinating to look back and see how far you've come.
8. Take a look at the menu. Have you worked at a restaurant or fast food stop? That menu tells a lot about tastes and prices, so you should consider saving it directly on your scrapbook page. A pocket page is a nice option for displaying a two-sided menu. For fast food restaurants, you can remind yourself of the menu items and prices by taking a photo of the lighted selections behind the counter.
9. Save that stationery. Most offices go through thousands of pieces of stationery and business cards. Let them work for you on your scrapbook page. The logo, name, title and address on your business card add the perfect touch to your work page (Figure 5). You can even use the stationery from your office as the background of your page. (Remember to always test the acidity of your papers before using them with your photos.)
Becky Higgins created the dramatic page in Figure 5 by using her hair stylist's business card and actual locks of hair. Realizing that hairstyles can change quickly, Becky also included photos from magazines indicating what's "hot" and what's "not." Won't she get a big chuckle out of that in future years!
You may find you'll have to create several "What do you want to be when you grow up?" pages as your children's aspirations change. One day your daughter will want to be a flight attendant, the next a firefighter. Maybe your son will aspire to be a rock star one day, a rocket scientist the next (thank goodness!). And remember, you don't have to be a child to aspire to a certain profession. Becky Higgins created this scrapbook page (Figure 7) for her dad, Dr. Allgaier, a family doctor who really wants to be a farmer when he grows up. There's always room for dreaming in scrapbooks.
Your job is often hectic, busy and stressful. So, leave yourself a memo, send yourself an e-mail and record a message on your voice mail to remind you to get started on your work pages. Your scrapbook will be a well deserved bonus for all your hard work (Figure 8). This is one project on which I guarantee you won't mind working overtime!
When a patient walks into Dr. Timothy Ferre's dental office, he or she is greeted not only by friendly employees but also an inviting scrapbook. Dr. Ferre's brag book contains before and after photos of patients who've taken advantage of cosmetic dentistry to brighten their smiles (Figure 9). Dr. Ferre's scrapbook is a convincing testimonial to the services he renders. This type of before and after scrapbook is helpful for many professions, including orthodontics, hair styling, plastic surgery and interior design.
The owners of Leslie's French Pastries have learned the art of elegant cake decorating from generations of gifted French bakers in the family. When a couple enters the bakery to order a wedding cake, they simply look through the scrapbook of photos of beautiful wedding cakes and select each detailed rose and lattice and bud. Leslie's has even put a small table and chairs in the middle of the bakery so customers can enjoy the scrapbook in comfort (along with mini eclairs)! Scrapbooks can be a big help to any company that sells products or services.
The Anniversary Inn is a charming bed and breakfast with theme suites, from a Robinson Crusoe hideaway to a presidential suite. As you can imagine, the rooms are always booked way in advance, making it very hard for prospective guests to take a look (believe me, I've tried). That's why you'll find a scrapbook in the hotel's beautifully appointed lobby. The album showcases photos of each themed suite from several angles.
Any professional can gain the trust of clients and become more credible by putting together a "getting to know you" album. When Dr. Craig Harris opened his very own dental office, his wife surprised him with a scrapbook to place in his waiting room. The scrapbook introduced the dentist to his patients (Figure 10) and included photos of his family and hobbies. Photos of Dr. Harris's graduation from dental school were also included to reinforce his professional image.
At Creating Keepsakes magazine, we often find ourselves at trade shows and seminars. To help subscribers and advertisers get to know us a little better, we asked employees to create pages about themselves and what they do for the magazine. Each page is so different and reflects the personality and sparkle of each employee (Figure 8). The resulting scrapbook travels with us to shows and has a permanent home in the lobby of our office. If you are preparing a work scrapbook for your reception area or lobby, don't hesitate to delegate. By asking each employee to complete a page, you get a much broader (and much more interesting) view of your business.
The veterinarians at Willow Creek Pet Center don't just pretend to love animals. Hanging in the large entryway of the center are enlarged photos of each employee with his or her personal pet. As customers gaze at the parrots, poodles, cocker spaniels and siamese cats in the arms of their doting owners, customers feel more at ease with entrusting their beloved pets.
A scrapbook can also be a great asset in selling a home. Some real estate agents take photos of homes, inside and out, as they are listed on the market. What a time-saver it is for harried home buyers to look through the scrapbook before driving miles around the city. Taking photos of your home before selling allows you to showcase its beauty--you can dazzle prospective buyers with its colorful tulips even in the dead of winter!
When it comes to scrapbooking your work, the possibilities are practically endless. Put your scrapbooks to work to help you succeed today!
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