Monday, 7 March 2011

LOAD Recap 2

Now where were we?

Oh yes, just finishing off the layouts from LOAD and then I want to write a few lines about what I learnt this time around.

So shall we start?

25th February

Five Item Friday: 1 piece of patterned paper, embroidery thread, alphas, a border of some sort, an acrylic shape.

Definitely getting harder, this five items only stuff! And I cheated. I just couldn't get to grips with only one sheet of paper. So not fair!

But other than that, I really only used some thread, one set of alphas, an acrylic heart and some lace as my border. So I still think that I did pretty well to get it together! Normally, I use nearer to 20 items on a page so scaling back to anything was a challenge.

Anyway, just a bittersweet layout about me with a lot of journalling which limited the decorated section to only the top third. The photos took up the majority of the remaining space and I was feeling rather limited until I realised that it didn't need any embellishments really. The title fitted perfectly (total fluke!) and it was done. This was probably one of the quickest layouts I did all month as I had already written up and tweaked the journalling. I was under time pressure and rose to the occasion!

BTW, I bought several packs of BG chipboard letters some time ago (used here) and I love them. In white, brown and dark brown in two fonts, they are so versatile and I love how the white can be inked up a bit to really fit into the layout I am creating. I might have to keep my eyes open for more.

26th February

The prompt included a photo from a clothes catalogue featuring two adorable little girls in outfits featuring blues and reds, spots and stripes.

I decided just to go with the childish, playful feel of the photo and make something without much thought.

This BG paper (Euphoria) is quite difficult to use so I challenged myself to use some - I love the individual colours and many of the prints are great but it's all so BRIGHT when looked at together! But it seemed to fit the bill of childish and playful and had lots of blues.

Silly photos, some chipboard bits and pieces, some fun labels and a bit of journalling. Done.

Best layout? No way. Photos used and story captured? You bet!

27th February

The prompt today was to ask yourself questions about your layout as you make it - what if's, what do I like's, what works, why do I do's.

I can't really say that I actively followed the prompt but I did pick up this photo from last year which sort of tied into the story from Friday and asked myself what it was I wanted to say about it. I didn't really want to write about the day itself, just the photo - which I love.

I also noticed that I decided to cut the flourishes out of a full sheet of paper rather than using it as it came, and that my cluster can be small and still pretty.

28th February

Today, we were treated to an interview of Sandra Magsamen, author of Living Artfully which was very inspiring. And the following prompt was to self reflect and recognise what we have learnt this time around and to incorporate a new technique or whatever into our layout.

At the end of May and October last year, I took a photo of my completed pile of layouts and then incorporated it into my layout and I knew that I wanted to do this again but with a different approach. I knew that I wanted to talk about the wonderful people who I have got to know through LOAD and many of whom have become "friends".

That pile of layouts makes me feel so good and so proud and so productive! And all the comments on my layouts in the gallery make me feel great. It was such a great experience that I can't wait for LOAD in May.

Lessons learnt?

  • I realised that I really do have my own style now - when I tried to do a layout that wasn't me, it was so hard and took me so long! That doesn't mean that I don't love other styles. I really do. But somehow I have to adapt those layouts that I admire so much into a "Lisa" layout and not try to squeeze me into someone else's design. I love white space - totally adore it. But it's just NOT me! LOL. Try as I might, it's not natural for me. My white space layout - love it but won't be doing it again in a hurry (here), and a more Lisa layout with lots of stuff and a cluster of goodies (here).
  • I again noticed how good I feel when I am using up product and attacking kits that have been lying around since forever! I still have a bit of a way to go with a pile of 7 kits there on the floor and actually, still two kits from Libby's Bellaboo days (both of which I adore so much that it's really hard to bring myself to use them), but there is usually something that can be done with even the kits that don't grab me straight away. I need to learn to look at papers to see how they can be used for the layouts that I like to do and to look at the embellishments with a mix and match view. I should also be more prepared to add stuff into the kits if the embellishments are not working as they are.
  • I cut a lot this month. This is something that has been developing for me and it really became a bit of a thing in February. I found that I looked at papers in a new way asking myself if any element could be cut out to be used individually. Even very intricate designs were cut out, which took me a long time but also calmed me down and gave me time to sit and concentrate on the paper. It takes as long as it takes, and I like the slowing down it gives me as well as the focus. Loved the addition of this flourish and it just wouldn't have been the same if I hadn't really cut it out in detail like I did (here).
  • I am a slow scrapper! This isn't really anything new but it became more than clear this month. It takes me anything from 90 mins to three hours to do a regular layout. I envy those who can get their layout done in 30 minutes at the end of a busy day and I suppose that I could do that if I really had to. But generally, I don't have to. I make the time, letting other things lapse, to do the layout in the time it takes. I know that I neglected R in the process and I have the luxury of more time compared to many of my fellow LOADsters (many of whom have partners, kids, pets, homes, full-time jobs, activities to attend etc etc etc - how do they do it???) but that is my process and that is what I enjoy. I don't like to rush it. Often I way underestimate how long it will take and I lose track of time but it's so soothing for me. It's definitely cheap therapy :-) This layout probably took me the longest (here) because of the ribbon roses and getting the layers all in the right place, but I did notice that limiting the products on Five Item Friday speeded up the process as I had less decisions to make. This one (here) came together really quite quickly (for me!). I guess it was nice for me to be able to take the time when I wanted to and to have quicker routines at others.
  • I have often avoided printed journalling because of the time it takes me to get it right, sized right, cut and glued (especially when I have a clumsy day) but this month, I turned to printing out my journalling onto strips time and time again. It got quicker and easier as the month went on and I don't want to stop writing my journalling, but it was good to have an alternative for when I had more to say. I played around with this layout (here) to get the journalling onto a semi-circle and was so pleased with the result. Not perfect, but good enough! I tend to use American Typewriter font at size 10, 11 or 12 and then cut it into 3/8" strips (near enough). This means I can fit quite a lot into a small space and it's still easy to read. Saying this, the statistics are handwritten: 18 & printed: 10 so maybe I didn't do it as often as it felt!
  • I loved being part of the LOAD communitiy, seeing familiar faces, getting to know them more through their art, giving and receiving comments. I think this is really the main reason I go back to LOAD again and again. I love the challenge of being "pushed" into doing a layout every day and the sense of achievement at the end of the month, but the other girls in the group are the motivation to really get it done. I miss them all when it's over and can't wait to catch up with them again on their blogs, through email, or next LOAD in May. This layout was a special tribute to them (here).

A few statistics:
  • 30 single page layouts
  • 1 two page layout
  • 7 layouts with a single photo
  • 23 layouts with multiple photos
  • 1 layout with no photo
  • 124 photos scrapped
  • 8 layouts with three photos - most common number
  • 11 layouts made with old kits
  • 3 kits used up
  • How I'd love to count up how many pieces of paper I used but let's just say - a huge number!
  • Favourite layout - February 2nd - My one little word layout "Release"
  • Least favourite layout -February 26th - My silly, childish one "On Top of the World" (will have to try harder with these difficult papers)


  1. Love your last lot of LOAD LO's especially the Brown Paper Parcel the colours are gorgeous. I'm loving all the fussy cutting, I must do more of

  2. So many great layouts; but I had no idea that you spent so much time. It's no wonder that your work always looks spectacular.

  3. Anonymous9:35 pm

    lovely stuff as always, mum told me about the brown paper parcel LO, i'd like to see the full thing.

  4. Dear friend this is the best post I have read all night! I can't believe how much I have missed you~ I saw your cute messages on my blog and a huge smile went from ear to ear, like a dear friend had just come to visit!
    I so love your introspection of your LOAD pages. I love that. I learned so much about my own style & work-style but to write it out would be a good thing. You definitely have a unique and lovable style~ always easy to tell it is a "lisa" page.

    I adore your header, too. You inspire me everytime I visit! Hugs my sweet sister~ Junelle

  5. fabulous round-up, i love your introspection, and thinking about what you do. i try to do that, too. but it's mostly just in my head, so disappears...

  6. After LOAD, I organized my craft space and ended up finding a pack of acrylic letters I could have used for the last 5 Item Friday. Oh well!

    The inking of the "Brown Paper Parcel" letters was a perfect touch. They wouldn't look right being plain.

    Congrats on finishing another round of LOAD. What another great accomplishment! I know exactly what you mean about trying a new style...if it doesn't feel like me, it's harder to do, so for the most part, I've given up trying to be like others and just do my own thing. As much as I love other styles (like yours), I may get inspired by it, but I just can't copy it directly.

    I didn't realize that you had cut out the design on "Baby You're the One" - Great job! I love cutting paper and find that it's soothing too. I can sit back in the rocking chair and get lost in the design without being hunched over at my desk.

    I'm with you, I will miss the community, but as one of my blog readers said, we still have our blogging community.

    I liked seeing your statistics and may have to copy that for a May recap.

  7. Lisa you really have so many beautiful layouts it's very hard to pick even just a few favorites as I have so many. You are so inspiring and I have enjoyed reading what you learned. Thanks!


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