Friday, August 24, 2012

So much more than good enough

I've come across this Voltaire quote recently in several different places and taken it to heart:
The perfect is the enemy of the good.
As a Type-A perfectionist, it is extremely hard for me to settle for "good enough", or "just git 'er done" as I imagine Mater might say.  (We've been watching a LOT of Cars around here lately.)  But with 45+ things still on my list before Baby X' arrives, I don't have time for every single one of the items to be done perfectly and double checked.

As I mentioned before, I wanted to corral the huge stack of papers and artwork from BabyT's daycare, which she attended from Sept 2010-March 2012 and combine it with the binder of stuff we got from her toddler group at Bellevue College, since that was also within that time period.

The toddler group folks put together a nice binder for us with photos and the weekly written observations we did, but the daycare stuff wouldn't fit into it, and I wanted to use a nicer, more "scrapbooky" binder anyway.

I ordered this American Crafts D-Ring Cloth Scrapbooking Album in 8.5 x 11" size from Amazon since nearly all of the papers were letter sized.  Funny story - I was going to get the bright green one instead, and then looked at the "You Might Also Like..." section and noticed that the Cardinal Red colored one was only $5.80, including Prime shipping, compared to $17 for the green one.  For $11 less, I can live with red, and it was a screamin' deal so I put 3 in my cart and checked out.

A few days later, the red ones were back to $17 on Amazon.  I wonder if I caught a pricing glitch, or just randomly happened upon some sort of special deal?  Just lucky, I guess.

I had a huge box of letter-size plastic page protectors from an ill-fated attempt to organize my scrapbook stickers and die cuts into binders, so I was glad to be able to use those for this project.

Now I was at a crossroads.  I could get all hyper-crafty and do awesome 8.5 x 11" scrapbook pages for all of the photos, half-sheets of observations, and small art projects.

Or, I could just get my Voltaire on, and get this thing done.  Most of the papers from daycare and the toddler group were full sized letter sheets.  The toddler group folks had chosen some photos of T, captioned them and pasted them on letter sized paper.  The big art projects were on construction paper, which for some unknown reason is just slightly bigger than letter size.

I sorted the pages by date, and started filling the page protectors with the full-sized documents I had.  I trimmed the artwork to fit.  This step got me to halfway done and didn't take more than an hour.

After that, I was left with some smaller sheets of observations from both the toddler group and daycare, and a bunch of smaller photos from the bulletin boards at daycare. 

I grabbed an unopened pack of coordinating Martha Stewart "crafting paper" which is just solid colored cardstock, and got to work arranging the notes and photos.  I limited myself to two styles of Martha Stewart labels from Staples - the teardrop-shaped stickers and the long labels, both in several shades of bright colors that matched the paper I chose. 

And that's where I stopped with the supplies.  I could have gotten out my fancy colored pencils, glitter glue, stickers, stamps, blah blah blah, but I knew I'd get into decision paralysis on each page and never finish.  I also find that limiting supplies makes for a much more cohesive end result.

click to see a larger version of The Good Enough Scrapbook
For her last 6 months at daycare, her teachers put the photos for the year on a private website and I had downloaded them but not done anything with them.  So I went through those and made a couple of photo collages in PhotoScape, and printed them letter sized on my fancy printer.  Those went into a page protector at the back of the album.  Again, I could have made separate scrapbook pages with lots of journaling, but I knew I'd get hung up on the details, so it was just easier to print 5-6 photos per page.

For the title pages, I copied the blog post I had written on the Wobblers class into Microsoft Publisher with minimal editing.  I wrote a short summary of her time at daycare, and used one of the standard included "newsletter" templates to format everything nicely.  I printed these on nice bright white acid-free cardstock and stuck them in a page protector.

The last step was to create a small 4x4 insert for the front cover to label the album, which took me 10 minutes in Microsoft Publisher.  I stuck with two fonts from the Silhouette Online store, and one of the standard simple templates in Publisher.  Easy-peasy.

This whole project took me about half a day.  I could have decided that nothing but "perfect" was good enough, and I'd still be messing around with the album, and probably would *never* finish.  Now I have a hefty completed project I can proudly share with T.  Since the design is so simple, it leaves the focus on *her* artwork and photos.

Sometimes "good enough" is actually better.


  1. Yay! That sounds fantastic...and completed. She's going to love that you took the time to do this when she gets older.

    1. She's my second enabler, because she LOVES looking through this book and the Project Life one. But it's good - it encourages me to get crafty!

      And yes, I'm so glad it's COMPLETE. Check!

  2. 1. I love that quote and use it often.
    2. I'm so impressed you get anything like this done. fMhgirl found her never filled in baby book. I SUCK. I guess I could put copies of the papers I published during those years in it! The kids do now love making their own notebooks of work with sheet protectors.

    1. There is something very formal and "official" about sheet protectors, isn't there? You could probably set *them* to work making a binder like this of important stuff they want to save!

      Also, you don't suck. You just prioritize differently, which is cool. I don't have any published work to show for this time, and haven't been promoted in 5 years. I just really like crafting, and my work enables me to do more hobby stuff.

      Also, my mom was home with me and my baby book isn't completely filled out either, and I'm not upset about it at all. It's just not fun for a lot of people like it is for me :) It should definitely NOT seem like an obligation.


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