Saturday, 25 January 2014

Pre-LOAD214 blog hop

Wow, two hops in two days... busy times here on the blog.

Hopefully, you've arrived here via Lisa E (here) but if you are here direct, I suggest you start back at Kelli's blog (here) to make sure you don't miss any of the advice and shared experiences along the way.

Well, it's late January which means that LOAD (Layout a Day) is literally, just around the corner. It's always exciting to be preparing for the first LOAD of the year and it's a short one which usually helps me as I'm often a bit rusty after not much scrapping over the Christmas and New Year period. And as always, there are plenty of new LOADsters joining in on the fun (hi Sylvia!!) which usually prompts a group of us to join in on a pre-LOAD blog hop where we hope to offer some advice or maybe just share our experiences of how to participate, complete and still have fun in the process while making a page every day for a month!

I've been part of quite a few of these hops and decided to set up a page where you can find all my previous posts. You can find that at the top right of the sidebar. There's a lot of information so stop, browse around and hopefully you can find something useful for you if it's your first or tenth LOAD! I won't repeat all the details here but there is a 10 point strategy which could be used/adapted as fits!

  1. Clear space
  2. Use that stash
  3. Preparation
  4. Sketches, Pinterest, Flickr favourites
  5. Glue & go
  6. Handwritten journalling
  7. Quick techniques
  8. Perfection is over-rated
  9. Be part of the LOAD community
  10. Have FUN!

So, what will I share with you today when it would appear that I've written it all several times before? That's a tricky one.

How about what LOAD means to me and as this is LOAD Scrapbook Mythbusters, perhaps a few LOAD myths that I could address.

LOAD, and I've said this before, is usually the most fun I have scrapping ALL year! I love the daily creating, I love the community, I love my LOAD friends - and many of those have become very close, meaningful friendships which I value very very much - I love the discussions on the board, I love the creative stretching I get from the prompts, I love seeing my stash being used up, I love watching my pile of layouts grow, I love the stories being told, I love the photos finding a pretty home and I love the love I get on my uploads - I mean, who doesn't love some validation?!?

All that love makes this girl a very happy one! And what I hope is that you get to feel some of that love too. Enjoy it. Find joy in the challenge!

At the end of most LOADs I try to make a page which sums up what I feel that LOAD means to me - sometimes the focus is on the photos, sometimes the stories, sometimes the community. This is a great tradition and one that many of us have. I choose to photograph my layout pile and feature that one my page and many other make a collage of all their layouts which is totally cool and something I've not yet tried out.

For me, this page is a summary of the feelings I have about that particular LOAD and reminds me of how much I love this hobby, this community and this month-long process. Let me share just a couple of faves with you..

And what about some bashing some LOAD myths?

  1. This is a competition. No! Ok, there are prizes. There is even a grand prize for someone who has uploaded a layout before the "deadline" every day for the month. But that's NOT what most of us are focussed on - we are not in competition with each other for the prizes, we are challenging ourselves to create every day - for us! For our memories and personal satisfaction. 
  2. You HAVE to follow every prompt. No! The prompts are there to guide us as we go along. Some LOADs are technique based, some LOADs are more story based and some are a mix of a bit of everything. Not every prompt is going to appeal to everyone and that's OK. There have been some LOADs where I have followed every single prompt (except for the last day) and there are some where I have gone my own way almost the whole month. Lain isn't going to tell you off if you don't follow her lead! There are no scrapbooking police round here. :-) Create the pages you want, when you want.
  3. If you miss a day, you might as well give up. No! If for some reason, you miss a day, then just continue when you can. You have not failed if you create 26 pages for the month, or even 20 or even 10. If you usually create two pages a month and you get four done during LOAD214, I call this a result! What a success - double the amount you would normally do and hopefully you've had fun along the way.
  4. Every page needs to be a work of art OR made in 30 minutes. No! Don't feel that you have to do what others are doing if that doesn't sit well with you. I am a SLOW scrapper. Each page is usually a couple of hours. Even during LOAD. Yes, I follow my own advice (see above) and try to make quicker decisions, but I'm not going to push myself to speed scrap just because others are if that means I'm not going to like the result at the end of the month. Stay true to yourself and your pile of layouts on the 28th will be authentically yours.
  5. You are not at your scrap desk for one day and can't scrap. No! Way back when, I knew I would be travelling to the UK for the last weekend of the month. So I did a bit of planning and still managed to create and upload each day. I even sat the Düsseldorf airport cafe and put together the layout below surrounded by bemused-looking businessmen (without scissors or a knife of course!) and then stood up, took a photo and uploaded it to the gallery with my phone. Is it a masterpiece? Not really, and this is not a page I particularly love. But more than the page itself, is the memory of creating in less than conducive conditions! I've also scrapped on the train, written up stories to be scrapped on the plane and stolen an hour to get my page done while visiting relatives.  

  6. You are feeling discouraged and disheartened for whatever reason and want to give up. No! Come to the gallery and share what you're feeling. There's so many people over there who can offer support, advice, a sympathetic ear, a shoulder to cry on. When we talk about the LOAD community, that's exactly what it is... a community. It's loving and friendly and welcoming. Use it as much as you can and you will be amazed at the connections and friendships you make. 
So as I say at the end of every pre-LOAD post, 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.

And if this has whetted your appetite to join us, check out this link where you will find our host, Lain, telling you all about LOAD214 Scrapbook Mythbusters - we'd love to see you there :-)

This is the end of the hop but here's the full list in case you got lost along the way. Make sure you leave a comment to let me know you were here and let me know your top LOAD tip!

Lisa E
Lisa H  


  1. I love the idea of creating a page at the end of the month to capture what has been accomplished. Thanks for sharing your samples. Such great tips to take the pressure off and have fun!

  2. Excellent LOAD mythbusting! You are so right!

  3. Hi Lisa! Thank you for your useful 10 point strategy. I think it will be a great time in February and I am happy to have you by my side - so that you can push me if I want to give up ;-)
    Have a nice weekend, Sylvia

  4. So love your approach to LOAD!! And I love the LOAD myths you busted!! PERFECT!! I look forward to seeing your beautiful pages as always!!

  5. GREAT post Lisa. You definitely debunked the pre-LOAD jitters.
    Looking forward to sharing the excitement with you in February!

  6. You summed up the LOAD experience perfectly! These are the months that make me want to scrapbook and I enjoy every minute of it! Looking forward to seeing all of your gorgeous pages!

  7. I always enjoy seeing what you create for this very special challenge. I'll be keeping an eye out, for sure

  8. Dani is have busted some myths already. Your layouts take my breath away at times. Your heart is sincere and your voice is honest. What a gift for those who will enjoy them for years to come. Great strategic approach. I will hold tight to your advice from day one to 28.

  9. Fantastic advice from a very seasoned LOADster. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall and watch you scrap in airport! So looking forward to spending the month with you.

  10. Hi Lisa, I sauntered in the back door. Another month full of your marvelous creations. Can hardly wait.

  11. Anonymous10:30 pm

    I love the Myths you Bust about LOAD! Well done!

  12. Great blog post!

  13. Love how you busted many myths that scrappers fear :-) Once a person leaves those ideas behind, then the fun begins! See you in a week!

  14. Wow! what an amazing post. So thorough and very helpful! Can't wait to see the amazing pages you make. Here's to a fantastic month, can't wait!

  15. What a wonderful post! Load is so different for everyone and such a wonderful learning experience!

  16. I absolutely adore your advice - and love your pages for past LOADs too! Looking forward to seeing what you've got for LOAD214! :)

  17. I like your list of advice and wish I could even think about starting - but I know that even a Layout a week is tough going right now :(. But I will be cheering you on!

  18. Got a little better idea of what to expect from your blog post. thank you so much. Already have stumbling blocks appearing to get in the way but I sure intend to try. Looking forward to LOAD.

  19. When I read your advice I'd really like to join you, but I'm struggling with a weekly project life page. But I'll be a cheerleader for you. I will however be bookmarking this post for future help an pd advice when I'm stuck xx

  20. Lots of great tips for the newbie thank you :)


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