OK, confession time: I made it all the way through college without ever having to take a statistics course. I'm not really sure why, as it seems that everyone complains about how tough that statistics class is.Was it an oversight on the part of the university councilors? I'm not really sure. I suppose the Math Gods were smiling on me and knew that college algebra was the toughest math I could take!
Tossing all of those "stats are boring" preconceived notions aside, though, statistics are pretty fun to use on LRN layouts. I think of these LRN layouts in terms of numbers: what numbers are influencing my life right now?
When I made this layout, I opened up a Word file on my computer, first thing in the morning. Then, as the day progressed, I added stats to it, little bits of information that related to numbers. I didn't only look at the day, but at the "summer so far" point of view. I think it's a revealing telling way to journal some details of your life without getting overly sentimental.
One thing to note about this layout: it really is all about me. It's even going in my album, even though there isn't a photo of me on it. Here's something I really feel passionate about: we scrapbookers are neglecting ourselves! We need to get into a few pictures and onto a few layouts. (And lest you think I'm not putting my money where my mouth is, there is a layout with my picture coming up later this week!)
I can already hear the chorus of complaints: "But I'm too ______ to get my picture taken!" (Insert any self-deprecating adjective in that space, like fat, wrinkled, old, grey or whatever else your particular issue might be.) Here's my take on that: in, say, five years, you are either going to be MORE of what you don't like about yourself, or you'll be less of it. Say, for example, you think you're too big, and you'll be in a photograph once you've lost some weight. In five years, you might be bigger---in which case you'll be grateful to have photographic proof of your current smallness. Or, in five years, maybe you'll have lost a bit of weight, and you'll look back at your larger photo and see how far you've come. (As someone who lost 30 pounds a couple of years ago, I can attest to this: It's really awesome to have a reference point, a visual recreation, of how I changed myself.)
Either way, though, you matter. Your experiences, thoughts, and ideas are worth scrapping.
OK, off my high horse now. Back to the statistics idea! Here's another layout, this one by Kelly Jeppson.
She approached stats in a different way: by using lists and receipts. This is a twist (a great one, yes?) on the traditional stats approach, but think about it. You can learn a lot about a person's life by reading his or her shopping and to-do lists. (For a giggle, check out the book Milk, Eggs, Vodka: Shopping Lists Lost and Found next time you're at the library.)Kelly included both as background paper for her layout.
(Interestingly enough, this is another layout that's more about Kelly, and less about her kids, and see: you don't have to use a picture of yourself to scrapbook about yourself!)
One more layout. Here, Erin Sweeney does both a list-style LRN layout and includes some stats (the details about which month/day of pregnancy each photo was taken). That's another way to approach stats: things that are measurable about your life.
A few more ideas for using statistics on a LRN layout:
- Measurements. Of course, there's the standard weight and height of your subject, but what about less-typical things like sizes? (Think clothes, ring, and shoes.)
- Countable items. How much/many of a variety of items do you use during a day? Consider, for example, the numbers behind a typical day with a newborn, from diapers to formula to wipes to changes of clothes to the (very few and rare) hours of sleep...
- How often one specific thing happens during a day (temper tantrums thrown by your two-year-old, songs your teenager listens to on her iPod, times your dog begs to be taken outside for a walk).
- Stats about traveling. This, of course, could be fun on a vacation layout, but what about during a normal day---how many miles do you drive? and where do you go? What freeways do you take?
- Seasonal statistics. What percentage of your holiday ornaments are up right now? (Of course, on a theoretical LRN layout...I'm hoping none of you has any holiday ornaments out yet, although I did see an enormous display of Christmas ribbon at my Costco the other day.) How much of your Christmas shopping is done? How much candy have you purchased for Halloween, or how many pieces did you go through on the 31st? (You could also confess to how much has already been eaten, even before the trick-or-treaters come. Not that I have ever done that. Ever. Promise. I also have never had to re-buy Easter candy because I had eaten all the hidden chocolate bunnies/eggs. E.V.E.R.)
- Amounts of stuff you use in your life. How many paper towels do you use in a week, how many dryer sheets or dishwasher tablets or trash bags? Or think about it in terms of your crafts and hobbies. I, for example, currently have 14 different patterns of fat quarters sitting on my sewing table, waiting to be turned into a quilt. How much photo tape do you use during a typical scrapping session? How many seeds do you plant in the spring or bulbs in the fall? How many books can you read in a week?
- Numerical details about a goal. For example, how many miles have you walked so far this month? (Check out this cool website, Tools to Keep You Active. If you enter your daily exercise, be it running or walking or hiking or swimming or even spinning, it will show you an illustration of both how far you've moved across the United States and what the landscape would look like.) Or what percentage of your goal have you saved for your next vacation?
OK, then! I hope you are sufficiently numerically inspired! Maybe you should leave a comment with your favorite number and why it's your favorite. We want to continue to keep the Math Gods on our side, after all! (My favorite number is 12, by the way. I think it is a fascinating number because so many other numbers can go into it. I've always liked 12. 29 is also a favorite number of mine, though I have a harder time pinning it down. I get a little chill when I see the number 29 somewhere. Is that weird?)