Participating in LOADs (this is my fifth) and the Guided Study Critique sessions has definitely changed my scrapbooking. LOAD forces me to scrap faster (or stay up later!), and the GSC workshops help me design layouts much better from the start. Both have also helped me define my style a bit better and to see that, regardless of how many techniques and/or embellishments I use on a page, there is still a look to it that says it's mine. I've also learned that having "a style" is not confining, but rather it's freeing, because it gives me a basic framework from which to work. I can try out lots of artsy techniques and play with products and embellishments, but still end up with a layout that's recognizable as MY work. And most importantly of all, they have both emphasized the importance of focusing on recording my stories and creating layouts that I am happy with, regardless of how "perfect" they are.
As I've mentioned in earlier posts, my life has changed pretty drastically over the past year, going from a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to "being retired" from all of that as my youngest went away to college. Maybe it sounds overly dramatic, but during that time LOAD and GSC have literally changed my life. First of all, they've given me somewhere to focus my time! But beyond that, I've been exposed to so many new ideas, inspiration, and techniques; I've begun new friendships with women all over the world; and they've even begun to open up some professional opportunities in scrapbooking. I love to be able to share my stories (and yes, brag on my family a bit! :D) and have others enjoy and learn from my work. I'm just beginning to explore what my future will look like, and I am so looking forward to it!
(LOAD Days 1-9 are shown in this blog post)