I hope I've inspired some of you to take a look at the action side of creativity this week and even document your own attempts, big and small, to make creativity of all kinds a habit. I am a big believer in the power of momentum—even though I do go days, weeks, or even months without doing much of anything on this whole 52 Projects challenge, I believe that it's made me much more aware of the intersection of wanting to do something creative and actually doing something about it. This momentum certainly spills into my traditional scrapbooking efforts; even something as small as wrapping up some grocery store flowers in newspaper with a crisp, white string keeps the part of my brain where creativity stems tuned up.
But enough of all that. Here's my final project to share with you (though I'll be adding new ones until I get to 52 over at my blog, so feel free to check in—just don't expect anything to show up until I recover from the onslaught of project-ing this week!): Project #38/52: Create an audio scrapbook. Using your actual voice.
Before I go further, there is an important thing I had to work through to actually do this project: I do not like the sound of my voice played back to me. You know, because I sound like an 11 year-old girl. (It's a good thing I have a voice twin to commisserate with). But you know what? While scrapbooking is very often about me and my creative process and blah-blah-blah, in the end it really isn't about me and my 11 year-old girl voice at all. It's about someone (daughters? granddaughters? nieces? nephews? relatives who won't even be born for another 50 years?) getting to know and remember their mama/grandma/aunt better someday. It's a treasure to have someone's voice recorded—I saved some messages on our answering machine for years congratulating us on the birth of our daughters but never got around to recording them more permanently; in one fell swoop in 2008 Bridget's little fingers started playing with buttons on the answering machine on the nightstand and POOF, they were all gone. I mourn that still, though it's no one's mistake but my own for not acting sooner to preserve them.
So. The project. You'll need a microphone that can plug into your computer to do this project (or, if you want to and have access, you could set up a video camera on a tripod and record yourself). There are no doubt hundreds of different microphones out there to buy; I recommended my $19.99 Logitech USB microphone once before here at WCS, and I stand by that recommendation today: it does everything it's supposed to, and it didn't cost very much.
It appears to be widely available. I've never had a problem with it in the nearly five years I've owned it, aside from the fact that it makes me sound like an 11 year-old girl. Ahem.
Next, you'll want to decide what to actually record yourself saying! Here are a few ideas:
1. Write a letter to a loved one, then read the letter and record it.
2. Record yourself interviewing a friend, spouse, child—or all of the above—with the help of an eBook of quizzes.
3. Sing the songs you sing around your house, to your children, whatever. I KNOW. Remember, this isn't necessarily about you and your pride, but rather giving someone who loves you a treasured gift.
4. Let your children have free access to the microphone. Ask them to sing songs they've learned at school. Let them sit with a friend or sibling or cousin and goof around. You're going to end up with some fun audio, guaranteed.
5. Collect a selection of books you read to your children when they were small (or are currently reading to them if they're still small!) and record yourself reading them aloud. If you do have small children right now, they'll appreciate this sooner and later! If you have grandchildren/nieces/nephews/grand-nieces/grand-nephews, it would make the perfect birthday gift. You can easily convert audio recordings into MP3 recordings in Apple's free iTunes, and burn a CD to tuck into a scrapbook.
I did option 5 for my project: me reading a sampling of books we've loved to read to the girls. I can't promise that I'll ever listen to it. But I can promise that it will be a fun surprise tucked into an album.
Thanks for visiting this week! Click here for the PDF download version of the journaling cards for my Good/Better/Best mini-album and then click again here for the dividers. I hope it works for everyone—it's the first time I've ever tried to put something like that together! Oh, and don't feel compelled to keep up all the sections if you make this mini-album for yourself. If you just want to do movies, do that. Whatever works for you! Have fun! : )