15 September 2016
S’s Rules of S’s Scrapbooking
With all the buzz about Jennifer Wilson’s book “The New Rules of Scrapbooking”, I thought a post about what I have finally figured out about my own scrapbooking might be worth sharing. A blog post by friend, Sue Althouse, on a day after a long telephone conversation with sis-in-law/scrapping buddy Trenna Brauer, has clarified my thinking. It may be that writing this blog post is more for me than it is for you, dear reader. So that I may stick to what I know works.
2016 might be my most prolific year of scrapping ever. I don’t have a good count of how many layouts I have done, but I am constantly looking at the stacks (yes, stacks – plural, not the same one over and over again) of completed layouts that need to be filed and saying “again? already? geez!!” And that’s actually a good thing, isn’t it?
This year I have concentrated on finishing up projects. I am easily distracted, and often start longer projects, like vacation pages, and stop halfway through. Trenna and I love to go to Creating Keepsakes convention and take lots of classes there, meaning we bring home lots of homework. This year I am tackling those projects, and watching this basket slowly, surely empty out. How am I accomplishing that?
First, I have tried to be very intentional about matching up projects I need to finish with design team assignments I need to complete. Everyone might assume that is always the case, but if I am not disciplined about it, I go down rabbit holes of scrapping layouts that hold no lasting value. I really do work best with a deadline, I don't want to to try many new techniques; I don’t want to get too messy. So I have realized that a sketch challenge is the most fun and rewarding type of challenge for me and Stuck?! Sketches is my current fave. (Can I tell you how disappointed I was not to make her team during the recent call; so much so I drowned my disappointment with a big bowl of real buttered salt-and-peppered popcorn that I posted to Instagram to share my pain. I am almost over it now, well, maybe. Sorry, I digress.)
Second, I have realized that the only thing more distracting than half-way done projects is supplies that I have passed over -- over and over again. So I have pared these down - a lot this year, thanks to a well timed rummage sale at our local scrapbook store. Once my current kit club subscription runs out, I will not subscribe in 2017.
However, I NEED to work with a kit (or a single collection) to keep from being distracted by every other pretty thing in the studio. I have known for quite a while that the Counterfeit Kit Challenge is my cure for this ailment – it really works! What I more recently discovered is that it is okay to not save every leftover of every kit. Sure, I save a few good things I just didn’t get around to using, but going forward I plan to let go of the dribs, drabs and dregs of stickers, chipboard pieces and die-cuts.
Third, I have narrowed the focus of scrappy inspiration – I value Get It Scrapped for constant reminders and reinforcement of good design principles and more recently, Simple Scrapper for providing structure around my long-term goals. Unfortunately, the blogs I have followed over the years have whittled themselves down - but the connections I have made with about a dozen other scrapbooking bloggers still form my primary hobby-based community online. A single podcast source – The Scrap Gals – for listening while I am cleaning the studio works nicely.
I like Facebook groups for design team coordination, but have lost interest in several other groups I have tried. News flash -- I stopped to consider if I was getting value for the time spent. Pinterest boards and online classes have mostly fallen by the wayside. My backlog of pinned layouts/sketches and my unfinished online class lessons (e.g., Christmas Card Workshop 2013) will last for a year or two.
Focus on finishing! That's what is working for me right now. And that’s not to say I don’t get distracted and even frustrated from time to time. I am not a steady scrapper, I am an up and down, in the mood or not in the mood scrapper. But CLEARLY this year may be my most prolific ever.
Could it be possible after 7 years that I am finally figuring out what works? Maybe? Is it possible that self-knowledge will lead to self-discipline as well? Maybe . . . not? You know me by now!