Friday, January 30, 2015

Start Fresh

Earlier this month, I participated in the Simple Scrapper Start Fresh planning event. The five-day online event was designed by Jennifer Wilson to help us "create a meaningful 2015 plan and launch into a joyful year of memory keeping." For me, memory keeping and scrapbooking are always FUN, so my main interest in the class was to get organized and create a plan to review the online classes I've purchased the past few years (especially those at Big Picture Classes that are not transferring to the new site) and complete several ongoing projects along with a couple of new projects on my wish list!

I have to admit that I am not planning to sign up for many classes this year because I want to focus on these other goals and because I've signed up for classes in the past that I did not participate in or complete. I set aside time during the Start Fresh event so that I could participate each day by reading the handout, listening to the audio, filling out the workbook and planner pages, and interacting in the private event Facebook group. After a week or so of pondering the ideas presented, I reviewed all the materials again and refined my plans for the year.

First, here are my thoughts on the event itself.
*The five-day event was very well structured and organized, which of course fit right in with my born-organized self! It was well-paced and easy to follow along each day.
*The 79-page workbook/planner is a great tool for reviewing and assessing past memory keeping accomplishments and challenges and creating a prioritized plan for the coming year.
*I am not a fan of Facebook groups for class interaction, however Jennifer included the event logo on the official discussion posts so they were easy to locate. This made is easy to read other participant's responses and add my comments.
*The event included daily prompts to gather journaling, materials, and a photo for a layout about scrapbooking, however I chose not to work on a layout as I've got a series of layouts about my scrapbooking journey planned for this year. I did, however, use Jennifer's prompts to add to my notes for that series.
*I also received two months of Simple Scrapper Premium Membership with this event, and I have enjoyed reading, watching, and downloading materials from the membership area. There's a large selection of digital page templates and sketches that I was excited to download. (I was disappointed to learn that the site is set up to only allow 10 downloads a day. I had planned to download the materials while watching a football game, but ended up having to work on this project over the course of quite a few days.)
 *I think this event (& the two month's free membership) was a good value at only $19 and was definitely worth the time I invested in it!

Working through the introspective part of the workbook, I realized there are several things working well for me that I will carry forward into 2015:
1. Creating a list of layouts needed to complete large projects like my chronological and theme albums. I've started the year by making a list of layouts needed to complete my 2011 chronological albums.
2. Scraplifting and using other layout design INSPIRATION helps me complete layouts.At this point, I don't really need INSPIRATION designed to help me tell stories as I have an extremely long list of stories I want to scrap!
3. Creating layouts as INSPIRATION strikes rather than in chronological order. (Even though I'm focusing on completing our 2011 albums, I've created four layouts for our 2014 album, one layout for our 2012 album, one layout for my childhood album, and two connections layouts for my category albums this month!)

I also recognized some things that have not been working well for me:
1. While I am using lots of paper and products on my pages, I am rarely pulling my color bins out when I scrap. These bins have worked great for me in the past, but it's time to re-organize and sort these bins in a way that provides renewed INSPIRATION.
2. My digital workflow has become a chore that I'm not keeping up with. I decided to modify and simply the process for this year, omitting tagging photos (as I rarely use those tags) and creating a few digital layouts along the way (decreasing the number of photos going into my storage binders).

After completing the workbook, I have a list of projects I want to work on/complete this year, prioritized by importance as well as my excitement and enthusiasm for the project. My first projects for the year are completing the 2011 chronological albums (I've already made 10 layouts toward this goal!) and completing my 2014 digital workflow (I have less than two months of photos to work through!). I'm so glad I participated in the Start Fresh event and am looking forward to lots of creative accomplishments this year!

Did you participate in the Start Fresh event? What are your creative plans for 2015? (If you missed the event, it is now available as a do-it-yourself e-course here.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The ABCs of My Life

A couple of years ago, I made a video for Storytime in the (no-longer-available) Library of Memories Community at Big Picture Classes. This video shares one of my favorite scrapbooking projects. Enjoy!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Making Progress On My 2014 Digital Workflow

Along with working on completing our 2011 chronological albums, this month I've also been striving to catch up with processing photos from last year. As I mentioned a couple of months ago, I'm creating some digital layouts along the way. This two page layout allowed me to showcase eleven photos from our day in Edmonton this past summer.

Journaling reads: After breakfast, we enjoyed a walk across the High Level Bridge, taking lots of photos along the way. It started misting, then sprinkling on our way back, but we made it to the car without getting too damp.

I also created two layouts showcasing photos from our trip to Ohio in the fall.

Journaling reads: When Tommy & Kathy suggested we go to the corn maze, we had no idea what to expect. They had not been there either but knew about it because Thomas's class had gone several years ago. We were all thrilled to find lots of activities along with the actual corn mazes. It was a gorgeous sunshiny day & we all wished we'd gone earlier in the day to have more time to enjoy it all! There were also wonderful displays with pumpkins and scarecrows scattered throughout the area.

I've also ordered lots of photos that I'll add to my storage binders to be scrapped when the INSPIRATION strikes. I'm currently up to mid-November in my digital workflow, so I'll be working through the photos from our Florida trip next. Have you processed and/or printed your 2014 photos?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pun'kin's Cooking

This year I am planning to complete several scrapbooking albums that have been in progress for a while now. The first of these projects is my 2011 chronological albums. I've sorted and organized all my completed layouts for 2011, flipped through the remaining photos and memorabilia from that year, and made a list of stories and photos I want to scrap to complete those albums. It's quite a list, so I imagine I'll be working on this goal for a couple of months.

One of the things I love most about scrapbooking is preserving memories so that we can enjoy looking back on them, so I'm excited to remember and record stories from several years ago. I started by recording two stories about Pun'kin's Natashia's cooking during her summer visit that year.
Journaling reads: Pun'kin had planned on her list of things-to-do to cook supper for us during her visit. She did a great job and had fun doing it!

Journaling reads: It all started out so well: Pun'kin and I were trying out the new giant cupcake baking dishes. We layered the pieces together with mousse, and Pun'kin started putting the icing on . . . and it kinda all fell apart!

Have you scrapped any cooking stories/photos lately? Or shared a cooking "disaster" story?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Authentique's Faith Collection

If you've been around my blog for a while, you know that my faith in the Lord is a huge part of who I am. I enjoy scrapping about my faith and the activities and ministries I'm involved in as I serve the Lord, so I was excited to use Authentique's new Faith collection to create a layout for the Scrappin' Goodtime Design Team.

Click HERE to see the full layout and read more about this great collection on the Scrappin' Goodtime blog.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Bag Lady

I am a bag lady! I like bags - canvas bags, cloth totes, small bags, large bags, totes with quotes, colorful totes, duffel bags, satchels, bags with zippers, drawstring bags, book totes . . . well, you get the idea.

To aid in my goal of deep cleaning/decluttering/organizing/ redecorating each room/space in our home this year, I'll be focusing on accomplishing small tasks each week. I decided to begin by decluttering and re-organizing my collection of bags and totes. I store most of these in our guest room closet, however they were beginning to take up quite a bit of space and weren't really convenient to grab quickly at times.

I decided to gather all my bags & totes in one place so I could decide which ones to keep and which ones to donate. (I did not include purses, backpacks, briefcases or computer bags in this project.) Here's a tally of what I found:
22 - guest room closet
6 - stored in bins on the Launch Pad shelves
3 - master bedroom closet
9 - garage
5 - Suburban
3 - Robbie's car

I know we do not need 45 bags and totes, so I started by sorting these by size and type and ended up with six in the donation pile. Yep, only six . . . did I mention that I really like bags (sigh)!

However, I re-evaluated each bag and how it would be used and finally ended up with 13 bags for the donation pile. I placed the remaining bags in locations where they would be most convenient based on how I'm most likely to use them: 6 larger bags in the guest room closet to be used for travel or weekend getaways, 5 cute bags in the craft room closet to be pulled out when I'm corralling supplies for a crop or inspiration outing, 7 bags in a bin on the launch pad to be grabbed when I'm headed out the door, 10 in the Suburban and 4 in Robbie's car ready to be filled with groceries at any time. One small project completed . . . a whole bunch more to go!

Do you like bags and totes? Where/how do you store them?

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Problem With Page Kits

These first two months of the year, I'll be attending several out-of-town crops. My plan is to put together page kits to work on at these crops so that I can be productive but also enjoy time visiting with friends.

I started by scrolling through some old class materials and printing sample layouts that I want to scraplift or use as a starting point. I then chose a photo (or set of photos) to go with the INSPIRATION and pulled a few papers from my stash to begin a page kit.

Next I add in some coordinating papers from my scrap file and some borders, ribbon or washi tape.

And finally I choose some alphas and a variety of embellishments to complete the kit.

The next step is to slide all these pieces into a page protector. I'm collecting my page kits in an extra 12x12 scrapbook album so they will be easy to transport to the crop.

However, I've discovered a problem with this system! As I'm putting these page kits together, looking at the INSPIRATION pieces, pulling photos, choosing supplies, visualizing my layout . . . I want to scrapbook it NOW! I have everything together and I'm inspired to create. So, after creating ten page kits, I acted on that INSPIRATION and created a layout with the eleventh kit.

Whew - Now I'm feeling much better and think I can put together a few more kits!

Do you create page kits? Is it hard for you to save all those pages to scrap later?