Sunday, July 29, 2018

Story Camp - Part 1

On the 18th December 2017, I was awake at some ridiculous hour, as Ali Edwards' April Story Camp was going to go on sale.  With only 35 places available, it was, as the previous camps, going to be a matter of luck whether I would get a spot or not.  I think the fact it was a week before Christmas may have helped, that people may not have had the funds available for a place.
After madly refreshing my screen over and over, the tickets went live. I typed as fast as I could, ignoring the fact it added a $35 postage fee to my order and, as quick as I could I hit Confirm Order.  And my screen flashed up with a confirmation that I had been successful!!!!!!!
I couldn't believe it. In fact, I didn't believe it.  I thought that there must have been a glitch and probably 350 people got accepted.  So i closed my laptop, put it under the bed and went back to sleep.
When I woke up again, I re-checked my laptop.  Then I checked my email and sure enough, there was a confirmation email in there.  Then I checked my credit card - yep, that had been charged.  Still not quite believing it, I went online to Ali's Facebook group and saw that people had excitedly commented that they got in.  And there was no mention of an issue.
It started to sink in - I was really going to go to Story Camp!!!!!

The next few months were spent planning and co-ordinating.  Not only was I going to Story Camp, but we organised for my Mum to go from New Zealand to North Carolina to see her little sister - a sister she hadn't seen for 58 years.  I did all the travel arrangements and organised things with my cousins in NC, as well as my own planning.

I won't go into all the details, but April 14th and I was on my way - a flight to Sydney to meet Mum and my sister and have dinner to celebrate my Dad's birthday - the first since he passed away.  A sleep, then on the 15th our flight to San Francisco.  A 3 hour delay, followed by another hour delay and another 1/2 hour.  Stressed does not describe it.

Upon landing, I went to the Qantas desk to see what would happen to Mum and my sister, given they had well and truly missed their connecting flight.  While Qantas call centre in Sydney and at the airport had been hopeless (suggesting a 10 hour wait at the airport for a flight to Dallas, another 2 hour wait then a flight to NC), San Francisco staff were brilliant.  I told them the offer from Sydney was not acceptable - Mum was tired, and in a wheelchair as she can't walk far.  In 10 minutes, they had booked a hotel close to the airport, arranged transport for them, vouchers for lunch, dinner, breakfast, transport back to the airport the next day and had booked them onto a direct flight the next day.  With them sorted i gave them both a hug, wished them a happy holiday and RAN upstairs to drop my bag and race to the gate for my flight.  I got in just before they assigned remaining 3 seats to some people on standby.  1 person was not happy that I made it......

Next stop Portland, where I would stay for 4 nights.

The trip itself was brilliant, and I will explain more as I put my album together.

I have just finished doing Al'is travel play and Stories of Travel workshops, so feel very motivated to begin the album for my trip.  And I'll document some of my process here.
Album choice
I am terrible at using a small number of photos, so I knew a 3x8 and even a 6x8 was out of the question.  But 12x12 would be too big.  So I decided on a 9x12.
Yeah, should have thought that through a bit more.  As well as the album, I ordered a few packets of page protectors, but they didn't have packs of the style I wanted so I got some mixed packs - leading to some configurations I'm not sure I will use.  I chose a nice red album from Studio Calico.

Once home from the trip, I sorted all the things I had collected - tickets, maps, bookmarks, hotel keys, info booklets from places I visited etc.  I put these into full 9x12 pockets in the order of the trip.  I always scrap trips in chronological order, with the exception of a few generic filler cards.
This means when I start to fill in the pages I can easily see what else I have to add to the album.

While on the trip I tried to cull my photos as I went - deleting all the blurry ones, duplicates (just to make sure I got a good one) so that I had fewer to work with.
I loaded my photos from my phone and my camera onto my computer the weekend after I got home.  Then I created a folder for each day and sorted the photos that way.  Next step was to create folders within each day for significant themes - e.g. the Japanese garden, city sights, Chinese garden - and I did this for each of the days of the trip.

I have a 12x12 box that I put products for the big projects I am working on in.  I bought a few things while in the US, and had already gone through my stash to pull out suitable things to add,  then added Ali's travel products, and one of the SBTM kits based on adventure. A pretty full box!

Step 1
I am currently working on printing my photos and putting them into the album.  Starting with Day 1.  Looking through my photos, and looking at the page protectors I have very quickly I realised I wouldn't have enough page protectors that had 4x6 pockets.  A quick look online and I knew I wasn't going to have much luck there either.  So I got my fuse tool out of its pocket (had it for over a year, never used it) and did some practice.  I thought it was pretty easy so I got a stack of protectors that had 6 4x6 pockets, and sealed the right hand pockets to create 3x4 pockets.  So now I have protectors that hold 3 4x6 photos on the left hand side, and 3 3x4 pockets on the right.  I also took some protectors that hold 12 3x4 pockets and cut off the last column.  I also cut some pages that have 3 6x4 verticals on the top and 4x3 horizontal on the bottom 2 rows so I have 2 6x4 verticals, and 4 4x3 horizontals on the bottom.  Giving myself so much more variety.
And now I am ready to start.  
Looking at my photos I created another folder for each day "Printing".  I put the must have photos into that folder for all themes for the day.  And I did this for every day of the trip.
Then I looked at these folders and started printing - deciding on which page protector to use as I went - no formula involved here.
I am up to Day 6 - the day I travelled from Portland to Eugene. I have already used 11 page protectors (so 22 individual pages when you look at front and back), and that doesn't include ephemera, or the pages that I have yet to work out how I will fit a large number of photos into one or two pages. 
So my album looks like this at the moment.
No journalling, no embellishments, no ephemera added yet.  And my trip still has 9 1/2 days to go with photos.

My plan is to finish selecting and printing photos and filling the pockets before anything else (but I can always change my mind right).  

The other thing I will be working on is a travellers notebook - the hibiscus one pictured in my project box above.  I got attendees from Story Camp to sign it, write me a note etc, so my plan is to print more of the photos from Story Camp and add to the notebook, which will go into the envelope in my album.

So that's the background to my trip, and the work I have done so far to create my album.

Part 2 to come in the next few weeks.


1 comment :

  1. Well done you! This is such an exciting thing to document. Can't wait to see how it goes!