Tuesday, February 10, 2015

First week of LOAD215 complete!

One down, three to go. I must admit, I've gotten very little sleep, but I'm still functioning so that's good! I'm pretty happy with what I've done so far. Some are more inspired than others, some will need a little tweaking when this is all over, some have made it JUST under the wire timewise; but I'm seven for seven and on a roll. Here are my Week 1 layouts:

Now on to Week 2...thanks for looking!

Monday, January 26, 2015

LOAD215 Blog Hop! Some advice for newbies...

Welcome! So glad you've hopped over here! This is LOAD #10 for me, and I'm really looking forward to it. I haven't done much scrapbooking since November, so I'm ready for a jumpstart, and LOAD is a great tool for that.

As "seasoned" LOADsters, some of my colleagues and I have been asked to share a bit of advice for newbies. What do I wish I'd known before I started?

Well my first bit of advice is, take it one day at a time. On day 1 (and before), don't worry about having to do 28 layouts; just concern yourself with doing ONE layout today. Relax and take one day at a time. Planning ahead is not bad per se, but it can be overwhelming.  I prefer to just take each day's prompt and use it for that day's layout.

Secondly, don't feel that you need to prepare ahead of time. If you prefer to prepare, you can look through your photos, get photos printed, and think of things about which you'd like to scrapbook. But don't feel that you must do this. I tried to prepare a bit before my first LOAD, but found that I really didn't do much with those photos and ideas. I preferred to follow the prompts, since they triggered stories that I wouldn't otherwise think to tell.

I really enjoy the prompts, which leads me to my next bit of advice: TRY to follow the daily prompts. I have found the prompts to be very inspiring, and they often remind me of things I haven't thought of in years. My childhood was a long time ago! but I've been amazed at the things I've remembered again that happened when I was very young all because of a LOAD prompt.

Also remember that prompts can be taken in any direction you choose. I tend to look at the prompt right away in the morning (or just after midnight if I'm still awake) and then think about it throughout the day and write down any thoughts or ideas I have. I let my thoughts take me in lots of different directions when I create my layout. If you're like me, sometimes my layout will have an obvious connection to the prompt, but sometimes there is a chain of thought that leads a long way from the original. Either way it's okay - don't stress over it - you're telling your stories the way that you want to.

Of course this also leads me to #5: If the prompt for a particular day really doesn't resonate with you, then ignore it and scrapbook whatever you'd like. There are no LOAD police saying that you have to stay on-prompt.

A couple more quickies:
If you miss a day, oh well...it's not the end of the world, and don't let it derail you. Do today's layout and move on. If you want to go back and fill in later, you can; if you don't want to, that's okay, too. Whether you end up with one layout or 28 (or more!), it's more than you started with! My first LOAD actually took me three months to finally finish, and my second never did get totally done (which is fine!).

Remember that every layout does not have to be a masterpiece, and simple can often be just as good as can complicated. Get it done today. If it really bothers you, you can always go back later and add more or tweak it a little. I'll often go through all of my layouts at the end of the month and make little changes here and there; but often the things that bothered me at the time end up really not being that big of a deal! I have very few layouts from my LOADs that I really don't like (I'm talking one or two out of a couple hundred!).

Okay, I've been long-winded enough. Hopefully my fellow LOAD bloggers will fill in things I missed, and I'm sure they'll have a lot of ideas I've never thought of. (I'm planning to take a tour through, also, to see what new tips and tricks I can pick up!)

But I'll leave you with one last bit: Have fun! We all have enough stress in our lives; this doesn't need to be another. Challenge yourself, but then do what you can and enjoy the process.

Oh, and P.S. Join in the community at Flickr and participate when you can. There's a ton of inspiration and support from our wonderful community, and it's nice to get a pat on the back, too!

For great advice from other experienced LOADsters, check out this blog post by Lain Ehmann, where you'll get ideas from our fearless leader and links to the other blogs.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Catching up (results from LOAD1014) and looking ahead...

I did it! I completed LOAD 1014. And then forgot to blog about it :P So as I look ahead to another LOAD in February, I thought I'd first look back and catch up...
October was busy, with half of my time in Ohio and half in Minnesota! I started out well trying to get layouts done earlier in the day, but as life got busy I found myself again starting layouts at 10:00 at night. I do tend to work better at night, though, so I guess that's not all bad. But I didn't get much sleep! And 12-hour travel days tend to make it tough, too. At least once I was in the central time zone I only had until 2:00 a.m. to finish, so I wasn't up quite as late. I did finish on time, though, and I'm happy about that. Here is the result:
I love seeing all of the layouts together like this, and the big stack is quite satisfying. Overall it was one of my favorite LOADs, the Scrap Happy ladies that led it did an incredible job, and the "family" support was so appreciated.

The other awesome online community that I'm a part of is at Get It Scrapped. I haven't had as much time lately to spend over there, but it's a great resource for education, information, support, friendship, and just plain hanging out. Another great bunch of ladies, and SO much talent! I'm so honored to be a part of the Creative Team there. I've had layouts in several blog posts over the past few months. Check out these articles:

Also check out the other articles on the blog. There is so much great information there. Then head on over to the Forum and Gallery. Stop in, say hi, ask a question. It's a very welcoming community!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Another LOAD and an exciting new class

I'm halfway through another layout-a-day and so far I'm on track. I think this is my ninth LOAD - wow, hard to believe! It took me a couple of times to catch on, but since the third one I've managed to at least complete all of the layouts within the month (although a few times I had to play catch-up at the end of the month). Anyhow, that's a lot of layouts!

The question often comes up in different forums about how to organize all of those layouts. For me what has worked so far is to just put my layouts into albums as I create them, so there's no particular rhyme or reason to each album. For the most part that has worked for me. But occasionally I want to find an older layout, and as the number of layouts grows, it's becoming harder and harder to remember when or for what purpose I made that layout and therefore where to find it.

So I'm starting to rethink that "organization" strategy. I'm considering rearranging my old layouts to group them by subject and loosely chronologically. It's a daunting task, though, and one I'm not sure how to tackle.

Because of this, I'm really excited about a new class that Debbie Hodge is offering at Get It Scrapped called Curated Albums. The class involves taking your best pages from the past, curating more stories, and filling in the details with new layouts, then putting them all together in a manageable-sized book. It sounds like a great way for me to deal with my hodgepodge of layouts and try to make sense of them.

This class is being offered separate from the regular Masterful Scrapbook Design membership. It runs for four weeks, starting November 4, with new class materials and also a live "office hours" session (my favorite part!) each week. Registration is open until November 9 , but the class is on sale this weekend! - 33% off through Monday, October 20.

For more information about the class and/or to register, click here. If you still have questions, you can leave a comment here and I'll try to get the answer for you, or you can go directly to the source - check out this thread on the Get It Scrapped website forum.

Friday, September 19, 2014

More layouts at Get It Scrapped (I love that place!)

I love being part of the creative team at GetItScrapped.com. We have the most awesome assignments - ones that often stretch me out of my comfort zone. Over the past week or so I've had two layouts in the posted blog articles.

The first assignment was right up my alley - making a two-page layout with a grid on one side. (Check out the article here.)

I love to use lots of photos on a layout, and this is a great design for that. It makes it so easy to display several photos in an organized way. One the first side I showcased two focal point photos that sort of "summarize" the layout, and then the grid of photos act as supporting elements.

When making a two-page layout, it helps if you can unify the two sides in some way. Of course, the photos themselves act as connectors. But in addition to that I used a strip of the Minnesota paper, flipped to the back side, along the far edge of the second page to bring the two pages together with common colors and words. I also left a strip of the kraft cardstock all the way across the top. Finally, I used common elements (arrows and hearts) and pops of color (silver) on both sides to tie everything together.

Just a tip: I only had one piece of the Minnesota paper, and I've had it for awhile, so I knew I couldn't find more. To make it work across two pages, I cut a strip off the top and flipped it to the back side (the repeated "Minnesota" was more prominent on that side). I used the same solid color (kraft) cardstock on both pages and mounted the main paper on the left hand side (which also gave it more stability since it was thin paper) and put the strip along the edge on the right hand side.

The second assignment stretched me a lot more. I was to make a layout with a "curated natural history style" - something like you would find in a natural history museum or a botanical encyclopedia. As the blog article says, "think of Dr DooLittle’s library, and you get the idea."

Most of these, of course, have very natural, muted tones and a bit of a romantic feel, unlike the bright colors and/or more masculine feel of most of my scrapbook pages, and herein was the challenge for me. Add to that the fact that it was a page about hiking with Nate, and you get the picture - I didn't want it looking too feminine.

I looked through my stash and pulled out some rather old papers from Pink Paislee for this one, and I think they worked perfectly! The muted background and vintage nature blocks give a curated feel to the page, but the brown and green tones keep it from becoming too feminine. The wood veneer embellishments from Studio Calico and especially the wood "cookie" also help and work well to keep a light, airy, natural feel but they also support the story of the page.

The script title further supports the style of the page, but coloring it a darker green keeps it from being too feminine, and the use of the small circles in the subtitle (I love those little letters that I found in the dollar section at Target!) give subtle substance to the title.

I love both of these layouts! Hope you do too :)

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think. What are your go-to styles? What are some of the styles that you find difficult? What are some scrapbooking challenges that push you outside your comfort zone?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

PRT - how cool is this?!?

I was so honored to be invited to be a guest on Paperclipping Roundtable today - how cool is that? I've been a long time listener, so I was thrilled to be a panelist. The subject was scrapbooking as an empty nester. The discussion with Noell, Izzy, Sue Althouse, and Kelly Sill was great, and we had so much fun.

There were two layouts in particular that I referenced. The first, "Lemonade and Massages" (the source for the epidode's title) is definitely a favorite of mine. The photo is mediocre, but the story is priceless! (I tell about it on the show.)

One of the other things I talked about was my monthly family project. Each month, on a random day, I ask each of my family members to send me a photo showing something about their day - their view at work, something they're doing, somewhere they are. I then scrapbook the photos. Right now the layouts are together in an album of recent layouts, but I like Noell's idea of putting them in an album of their own. Here's the layout I did for June:

Bottom line from the podcast: Life does go on when our kids leave the nest - it can be tough, but it can also be good. Change is inevitable. We can't, and really don't want to, keep our kids young forever. They will grow up, so we just need to look for the positive and move forward.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Excited for the year ahead...

I am so excited to be continuing for another year on the Get It Scrapped creative team. The women I work with are so talented and creative and inspiring! The articles on the blog are super informative, and the community on the forums is so kind and welcoming. It's a great place to get educated and form friendships at the same time. Check out the announcement at Get It Scrapped, and while you're at it, visit the blogs of my teammates (many of them are MUCH more prolific bloggers that I!)

There's more...
To welcome the new CT team members and get to know them a bit better, pop over to the Get It Scrapped Forums and join in on the CT Trivia contest. (scroll down to CT Celebration, then click on the various CT Trivia subjects). 
We'll have a few rounds of CT trivia going on throughout the weekend to help you get to know our team a little better. And thanks to current team member Amanda Robinson of Amanda Robinson Studio and team alumnus, Jana Morton of Pixels2Passion we've got some fabulous prizes for a few lucky winners.

Get It Scrapped has also joined Instagram, so to kick off the "new year" they're having a photo challenge. It's nice, because it's not necessarily a daily thing, but one that you can do when you have time throughout the month - sort of a scavenger hunt! And there's a prize for one lucky participant :) Check it out here: http://debbiehodge.com/home/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/GISPhotoChallenge01.pdf

The blog at Get It Scrapped is free, but there is also a membership available which gets you access to all of their incredible classes at Masterful Scrapbook Design. Whether you're a new OR experienced scrapbooker, if you want to take your design skills to a new level this is definitely the place to learn - so much information presented in a really easy-to-learn manner! AND if you sign up by June 2nd there's a special offer. 

Check out all of the details for everything going on at Get It Scrapped.