Scrapbooking Your 9 to 5

Deanna Lambson

Monday has arrived, and it's 9:05 a.m. What's going on? Connie is approving a loan application for a family's first home. Julie is grooming a pampered white poodle. Matt is trying to teach 26 eighth-grade students how to figure the area of a triangle, while Ben cleans up a spill on aisle 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.

Scrapbooking Your 9 to 5
Figure 1. Photograph your co-workers, boss and customers. You may get a few funny looks or protests, but they'll all want copies of the scrapbook pages you create!
1. Pack your camera to work. This is a must-do for creating memorable work pages. You may feel a little embarrassed at the funny looks you get, but explain to your co-workers what you're up to and ask for their help. I can promise you they'll all want copies of your pages for themselves. Once you have your camera at work, begin looking around you for things that will remind you of your time there. Of course you'll want to photograph your co-workers, boss and customers (Figure 1). Snap some candid, playful shots as well as work activities. Consider photographing your favorite artwork on the walls, the office or desk where you spend your time, the work schedule posted on the wall, the company mission statement and even the equipment you use at work. (You may be surprised how much equipment and processes change in a short amount of time.)

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.

Scrapbooking Your 9 to 5
Figure 2. Angela's "Supervisor" nametag and list of grocery prices make great additions to this scrapbook page. Because her original nametag was too bulky, a copy color version was used on the page instead.
3. Include packaging and prices. I love flipping through the ads in old magazines to see how styles, prices and promotions have changed over the years. If your work involves products, you may want to look back on the packaging and ad promotions. In the "check it out" scrapbook spread I created in Figure 2, I included several familiar labels from food products, as well as the prices of grocery staples such as milk, bananas and Oreo cookies. Because Coke is the soda pop sold most on every holiday, I color copied the packaging of a Coca Cola 12-pack, then reduced it to fit on the scrapbook page. Consider saving weekly ads, direct mail pieces and brochures from your work as well.

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.

Scrapbooking Your 9 to 5
Figure 3. Maurine, a nurse, photocopied hospital gown fabric to use as accents on her pages. To make the pages even more meaningful, she included photos, a nametag, a newborn cap and a certificate to remind her of her "labors"!
5. Remember that first job. Why not make a scrapbook page of photos and stories? Be sure to include your job description, wage and how you got the job. If you don't have any photos of your time there, try to get some current photos of the outside of the building.

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).

Scrapbooking Your 9 to 5
Figure 4. If your job involves a specific hour-by-hour routine, take a tip from this teacher's page. Include a daily schedule along with your photos! This color copy of a student's school bag creates a perfect pocket for Miss Aunna's time card, check stubs and notes from little students.
7. Make a work chronology. If I were to follow my job history it would take me from babysitter to typist to bilingual tutor. Next it would take me from elementary school teacher to stay-at-home mom to my current terrific position at Creating Keepsakes magazine.

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!

Scrapbooking Your 9 to 5
Figure 5. Forget "boring" business pages! You can spice them up with strong designs, angled photos, and fun accents like this lock of hair!
10. Map out your moves. Has your job taken you from state to state or even out of the country? Perhaps your employment involves driving to various locations in your region. Consider including a map on your scrapbook page with stars and lines indicating where you've been. Not only will it be a good record of your travels, but the map itself tells about the age in which you live. Even ordinary local maps detailing city landmarks and buildings become treasured glimpses into the past.

Scrapbooking Your 9 to 5
Figure 6. Interior shots are important, but be sure to include a photograph of your workplace from the outside as well. Years later it's fun to flip through your scrapbook and see what's changed! Don't forget to add memorable accents such as photo IDs and employee parking stubs.
11. Step outside and photograph the building where you work. Regardless of where you work, don't forget to photograph the building from the outside (Figure 6). During a few short years convenience stores can turn into coffee shops, orchards into condominiums. Record what the building was like when you worked there and be sure to include the address on your scrapbook page.

Scrapbooking Your 9 to 5
Figure 7. A scrapbook page is a great place to record dreams. Have fun with the question, "What do you want to be when I grow up?"
12. Ask your kids, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" We generally use scrapbooks to look to the past, but here's a chance to use them as you look to the future. Ask your children what they'd like to be when they grow up. Create a scrapbook page to remember their early ambitions.

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!

Scrapbooking Your 9 to 5
Figure 8. This is a sampling of the pages Creating Keepsakes employees came up with when asked to create pages about themselves. Note the differences in scrapbooking style and personality
How to Succeed in Business: Scrapbooks!
If you think scrapbooks only allow us to look back with nostalgia at the good old days, think again! I stuck my head into all sorts of businesses--from printing establishments to pancake shops, ski schools to preschools--and discovered many of you putting scrapbooks to work in your businesses. Here are some ideas I picked up from enterprising companies who have discovered that scrapbooks are a great marketing tool.

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!

Scrapbooking Your 9 to 5
Figure 10. Scrapbooks placed in lobbies can help familiarize people with both a person's personal and business background.

Post a comment
To comment on this article you must be logged in. Not a member?


No comments have been posted. Be the first!


Forgot password?
© F+W All rights reserved.