Monday, 24 January 2011

The "Preparing for LOAD" blog hop


Welcome to the "Preparing for LOAD" blog hop!

I'm so thrilled to see you here, whether you are a fellow LOADster or one of my regular blog friends. I've never participated in a blog hop before so I am very excited to see who drops by to stay hello! Please DO leave me a comment to let me know you were here.

If you have come directly to me, you might want to go back to Lain's blog (here) where the blog hop kicked off and if you have come from Snaps & Snippets, then welcome to the next installment! I hope you find what I have to offer helpful and when you are done, please go to Laura's blog (here) for the next batch of fun!

Today we are all talking about what we do to prepare for LOAD or any suggestions we can offer to help you get through the crazy idea of making a whole, real layout every day! Even if you are not participating in LOAD, I am sure you can find something that might help you speed up your process or even something to inspire you to join in next time. 

I did the very first LOAD Lain organised over at Big Picture back in January 2008 and then joined in the fun again last February, May and October. So this will be my 5th! And as I have a clean record of really making one every day, that's 121 layouts that are now in my albums (well, not IN my albums as they are mostly lying around waiting to be put away but you know what I mean ;-)  ) that might not have otherwise been made. Some of the first ones are a bit "make a layout for the sake of making a layout" but they helped me to develop my style and work through stash! Last year, I concentrated much more on layouts I really wanted to make and didn't shy away from even very time intensive styles or designs if that was what I wanted to make that day. LOAD is all about making it work for you. And though I might repeat this too often in this post, it's all about enjoying yourself. No, really! Making a layout every day for a month can be and really is huge fun!

Here are my three piles from LOAD last year. Yes, I got more and more dimensional through the year. The chunky pile closest to the camera is my October LOAD layouts.
And here is the consolidated pile! Does this pile of 90 layout from three months of work make me feel good? You bet!
Back at the beginning of February last year, when I decided that I was getting back on the LOAD bandwagon, I came up with a 10 point "strategy" for how I was going to get through the month. This has also developed into very much how I do my basic non-LOAD scrapping too. I have updated it a little based on the reality of the last three LOADs but most of it still stands and is still the basis of how I intend to be creative every day in February and most important of all, to have FUN!
  1. Perfection is over-rated: I'm not the first to state this (think it might be a Lainism), but it's so true. When I am doing work for The Scrapbook Magazine, I spend a long time on each project. I check spelling, straighten things up, write and rewrite my journalling until it's just so. But the layouts for this month? Simple, quick and often containing a mistake or ten! Over inked? Not quite straight? Colours not perfectly matched? Glue showing? Embellies not optimally placed? No problem, move on!
  2. Preparation: I don't mean that I have 28 page kits ready to go - this is absolutely not my way of working. But each day I think about what I might scrap. What picture I might use. What I have to say that day. If I have a bit of free time (I travel on public transport and so have a lot of time to kill!), I might even write my journalling out to a story that has come to mind. And I have a pile of photos - good, bad and a lot in between - on my table, and my storage binders to hand. Often, I just have a bit of a rummage, see what catches my eye and am off. The prompts Lain sends out are a great jumping off point and I used them a lot in May and October and this helped in my thinking process. But if the prompt doesn't resonate with me, I will either just store the idea for another day or ignore it and do my own thing.
  3. Glue & Go: I learned this on my Heidi Swapp class in 2007. Yes, I move things around a bit before I decide on position, but I'm talking 2 or 3 minutes, not all evening. Then, it's Glue & Go. And live with the result. And love the result!
  4. Handwritten journalling: I avoid the printed & hand-write almost all my journalling when time is short. No, I don't particularly like my handwriting. But it's mine and there's not a lot to be done. Hand-writing is quick, easy and I don't need 16 attempts at getting it just so. If the hand-writing goes a bit skew-whiff, I accept it. It's typical Lisa to have a few mistakes in there after all.
  5. Sketches: I have Page Maps 1 & 2 and I love them. I use them all the time. I love dipping in and picking out one to use as is, or to adapt. In fact, I think I've used the same one several times so far and they all look different. I don't consider it cheating and uninspired. I make the sketch my own and think of it as a motivator.
  6. Clear space: I tidy up my scrapping space after each project. Completely. And for those of you who know me, you'll appreciate this is difficult and unnatural for me. I'm so untidy by nature! But I put every scrap, pen, glue stick, ruler or ink-pad etc back where they belong - even if I take it back out again after 2 minutes. Clear space = clear mind. Now, if I could only apply that to the rest of my life...
  7. Be part of the LOAD community: The community in our LOAD Flickr group is wonderful. I make sure I make the most of it. I spend (way too much) time in the gallery and so far have managed to look at every single layout that was posted during the 2010 LOADs. Maybe I won't manage that this month, but I will be trying! I comment on as many as I can because they are all beautiful. Every single page out there has been made by someone to tell a story or a memory that they have, and that is beautiful. Even if it's not my "style" I can always find something that I like or even love that I want to pass on via the comments. I know how thrilled I am when I get supportive positive feedback on my uploads and so I try to pass on the love. Even if you just look at the last 5 or 10 uploads before yours in the gallery, you will be amazed at the talent and creativity out there - I make sure that I "favourite" those that I really love and am inspired by so that I can go back to them again and again. Scraplifting is the highest form of flattery after all! And the message board is great too. I go in and read the latest and use it for tips and tricks or generally connecting with my fellow LOADsters. It's a great resource.  I have made some wonderful scrapping friends over the last year through LOAD and BPC and this is really special.
  8. Use that stash: I see this as an opportunity to use up papers and products that have been lying around a long time but that I still love, as well as the piles of pizza boxes containing several kits that are in varying states of being used up. Several are completely untouched and they will definitely be a target. Often I just grab a background cardstock and my mixed paper organiser along with my box of scraps and fish around until I have 3 or 4 papers I like. This is not the time to be precious. I will not be buying any new stash at all for this month although I was recently at my LSS so I do have a few (!) new papers to play around with! Make sure you can see the products that are inspiring you at the moment or that you want to use up - if you have them in view, they are more likely to be used up. And think about the excuse you will have to go out and stock up again when you have finished as you will have used up SO much of your stock!
  9. Quick techniques: I try to return techniques such as border punches, inking the edges or distressing which give good results with minimum effort and time. Although I might do a bit of stamping you won't find a lot of that on my pages - it's too hit and miss, and very time-consuming for me. Not to mention the fact that the ink ends up in places it really doesn't belong... several ruined tops later...
  10. Have FUN: I remind myself that this is supposed to be FUN! No pressure. If I decide on the 15th that I'm not having fun, I'll simply stop. I can't imagine that happening, but this is a hobby and nothing to be taken too seriously. Life gets in the way sometimes and if that happens, then I will not stress about it, I will just do what I can. I make sure I'm enjoying the process. I might experiment. I mix it up. One day, it might be more complicated, the next a bit simpler. Layered and distressed one day, clear lines a la Zielske the next. I will use different products, different photos, different colours. More or less journalling. 4x6 photos one day and then chopped up or tiny photos the next. I play! But I'll be telling stories, using up product, preserving memories, remembering happy times. And that IS fun!
So, take a deep breath, clear off your scrap space, print off your photos, stock up on your adhesives, collect your supplies so that they are near to hand and enjoy the ride! I know I will be.

The next stop for you will be Laura at her blog here and the whole list of bloghop participants is...
Lain
Danielle H
Margie
S
Lisa
Laura
Rosann
Gayle
Jennifer
Heather
Tere
Niki
Janet
Lee
Danielle T
Junelle
Julie

Have fun (!) and thanks so much for dropping by.

36 comments:

  1. I must remember the "glue & go" and "hand write journaling" tips. You've got to be the most committed LOADster I know - what consistency! Can't wait to start, see you there.

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  2. Great tips and reminders. I love the photo of all your layouts! Great accomplishment.

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  3. Great advice Lisa! I can't wait to see what you create this LOAD, your layouts are always so beautiful!

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  4. Love your post! Lots of ideas and insight needed for LOAD and scrapbooking in general. I'm going to have to try that "glue & go" and I agree that handwritten journaling is less time consuming. P.S. I've never seen a mistake on any of your layouts!!

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  5. LOVE it. Congratulations on getting all of those layouts DONE. Thanks for the insight into your process. I agree, the community is HUGE. Great advice :)

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  6. Really would love to try this but am certain I'd get to the 3rd and fail! Never enough hours in my day sadly :0(

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  7. I love hand writting my journals. thanks for the Glue & Go tip!

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  8. Yeah! You are such a delightful friend to have. I love your clarity and energy in this post, it makes the whole thing very *doable*.

    Your~ "I make sure I'm enjoying the process. I might experiment. I mix it up. One day, it might be more complicated, the next a bit simpler." is exactly what I am going for.

    I will count on you to remind me of this on the 15th?
    Hugs~
    Junelle

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  9. Yeah! You are such a delightful friend to have. I love your clarity and energy in this post, it makes the whole thing very *doable*.

    Your~ "I make sure I'm enjoying the process. I might experiment. I mix it up. One day, it might be more complicated, the next a bit simpler." is exactly what I am going for.

    I will count on you to remind me of this on the 15th?

    Oh...I LOVE the picture of your stack. That is my inspiration pic of the day!
    Hugs~
    Junelle

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  10. Wonderful post! I love, love those pics of the pile of layouts. I may just have to do that this go round. Can't wait to get start.

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  11. Heidi5:28 pm

    Lisa - I really enjoyed viewing your LOs during Oct's LOAD so I'm looking forward to what comes off of your table this Feb ;) And great tips! My fave...HAVE FUN!!!!!!! Heidi (aka move4life)

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  12. Isn't it great to look back on such a big pile of completed layouts? Thanks for sharing with us!

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  13. LOVE your tips. I am with you on saving time by journaling with your own handwriting on your pages. I also use sketches as my baseline ... I love having that initial start, even if I don't use every aspect of what is in the sketch. Looking forward to seeing you in the gallery and on the boards.

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  14. Love the side by side comparisons of the piles you've done. And your suggestion to pick up as you go. I am terrible at that. I start with a clean table at the beginning of the month, and end with a clear spot the size of a 6x6 piece of paper!
    See you in February!

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  15. Lisa, you have inspired me this past year that I have participated in LOAD and you did it once again with this post. Thanks for reminding me that this is FUN because I sometimes get caught up with the pressure of producing a layout a day. Going to gather my stuff and I'll see you over on Flickr soon. Thanks for the awesome post today.

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  16. Being a part of the LOAD community - that is what touched me the most!! Thanks Lisa!
    Loved your post. . . . I am going to bookmark it so I can visit it during our month together!
    Jennifer McIntyre
    @atthebluebarn

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  17. I have been on the fence about LOAD...I think you just tipped me! lol Thanks for the advice. When my kids go to bed tonight I am off to find my table! lol

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  18. That's one big stack of LO's !!!! Great hints and tips even for those who don't do LOAD. Can't wait to see all your LO's next month.
    Glad you're going to join in the Christmas card challenge,it's very satisfying knowing you haven't got to stress out nearer to Christmas when we have enough to do.

    Deb x

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  19. Lynnette11:13 pm

    Awesome post... love the Glue and Go theory! See ya in Feb!
    lynnettecowherd@rocketmail.com

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  20. Thanks for all the tips. I have done 3 LOADs before. Can't wait to get started next week.

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  21. thank you for such a great list! I'm glad I was on the right track last week, setting myself some guidelines! Look forward to seeing you in the gallery!

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  22. Thx! I did LOAD in Oct and loved it, but signed up at the last possible moment so had NO PREP - enjoyed so much your work! see ya there!

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  23. I love that I'm not the only one who hand writes journaling just to save time!!

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  24. Such great tips, Lisa! Thank you thank you for sharing your perspective. So much wisdom!

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  25. i love all your comments. I will print them out and read over them though out LOAD.

    thanks
    dawn

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  26. Lisa - WOW your layouts sure did get chunkier!
    Perfection IS overrated. Glue and go - that's me! Handwritten journaling is quicker. I too believe that you can find something you like or some sort of inspiration from all layouts, no matter the style.

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  27. I also handwrite a lot on my LOs just for the easiness, get it done mentality. Great tips!

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  28. susanvl3:15 pm

    Awesome post, Lisa. Can't wait to "visit" with you again during LOAD!

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  29. Thanks for all your tips!!

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  30. Hi again! I've come by to let you know that I've given you a blog award. If you have time, pop on over to my blog for details. You always have so much going on!

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  31. Hey Lisa, Just trying to see if I can get a comment to come up.

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  32. Hi Lisa,
    trying to leave a comment. just testing it out!

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  33. Wow Lisa! It's hard not to be inspired by your excitement! I really need to work on #6, cleaning my space! Really enjoyed your post!

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  34. WoW! You've summed it up perfectly! My sentiments exactly! I'd better stock up on glue soon! See you at Load 2/11. :)

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  35. Hi Lisa,
    I'm looking forward to my 3rd LOAD and also to seeing your layouts posted. I love what you do and have cluster envy. I'm such a straight and simple scrapper that I doubt I could ever master that technique

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I love comments! Thanks for taking the time. <3 <3 <3

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