Saturday, 24 September 2011

The infamously titled "Pre-Informal October LOAD Blog Hop"

Welcome to the "Pre-Informal October LOAD Blog Hop"!

I'm so thrilled to see you here, whether you are a fellow Scrap Happy member, a LOADster or one of my regular blog friends. Please DO leave me a comment to let me know you were here.

I have the honour of kicking off this hop so when you are finished, head over to Katherine at Looking 4 Inspiration for the next batch of fun!

First of all, we should maybe explain our over complicated name. Normally, Lain organises three LOADs a year - Feb, May and Oct - but she's been busy doing a marathon (a layout a day for 26 days) over at BPC and didn't feel she was able to hold the usual LOAD in October. That made us LOAD addicts a bit sad and it was suggested that those of us who are members of Lain's Scrap Happy group (if you haven't joined yet, what are you waiting for?) would organise our own daily challenge over in our Scrap Happy Flickr group. Once the idea of the "informal" LOAD took hold, the idea of a blog hop was sure to follow. And here we are.

This is my pile of 2010 LOAD layouts - makes me smile every time I see it!

So, today I'd like to repeat, cut and paste and generally offer some of the advice and suggestions I've put forward before for making a layout every single day for a month. I've taken my post from earlier and updated it so hopefully there is something for everyone even if you think it looks familiar! 

For those of you who are new to the idea of LOAD, it can be done. Many of us have several LOADs under our belt with 100% layout completion! And boy, do we feel good at the end of the month.

But at the same time, it's not essential to commit to a layout a day - some members just join in the fun when they can and find that they get a lot more done than they normally would and that makes them feel good too. The key is to do what you can. And my number one tip is to keep it fun. As soon as it's just a slog, that should be a sign to give it a break and maybe try something non-scrappy for a day or two. Life gets in the way, kids need feeding and houses need to be kept. It's no pressure.

Saying that, I've continued to have fun now for 6 LOADs (plus another informal one - Pam and I did one through July as well - yes, we are mad!) and have completed more than 200 layouts just in those months. Again, that makes me very happy! This will be my fourth LOAD this year and even when it feels like it's taking too much time, or I feel a bit uninspired at the start of the day, I always feel good when I've taken the time to create and have uploaded my finished page to Flickr and have taken the time to see what my fellow LOADsters have created! And I feel even better when I look at my pile of creations.

My February 2011 pile *happy dance*

Even if you are not participating in LOAD, I am sure you can find something here that might help you speed up your process or even something to inspire you to join in next time. I use these techniques pretty much every time I create. I am a very slow scrapper but I still manage to make dozens of pages most months.

And more scrumptiousness from May 2011

Back in February 2010, being the control freak I am, I came up with a 10 point "strategy" for how I was going to get through the month. I have to say, that this has become somewhat of a strategy for my scrap time in general and is how I approach most of my creating. 

There's not a lot of changes since I posted this list both here and here but I'd like to share it again and there are a few changes since I first wrote it. 
  1. Perfection is over-rated: I'm not the first to state this (Lain reminds us again and again), but it's so true. If you are doing work for a design team or a magazine, then it might be appropriate to get things just right - I check spelling, straighten things up, write and rewrite my journalling until it's just so. But the layouts for LOAD or in fact, just for me? They very often contain 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 page kits ready to go - this is absolutely NOT my way of working (although I know this approach is perfect for many). 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. This month, we have all clubbed together to come up with daily prompts which will be interesting to see the mix of ideas and inspiration, and in the past I have used the prompts as a jumping off point for my layout. 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: In the past, I've avoided the printed & have hand-written 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. Saying that, I love strip journalling and with practice this can be done quickly and easily on the computer. But I'm not hooked on only having printed journalling. It's probably a 60% hand written ratio for me.
  5. Sketches: I have Page Maps 1 & 2 books and I love them. I use them all the time. I don't consider it cheating and uninspired. I make the sketch my own and think of it as a motivator. There are a million and one sources online for sketches including Page Maps itself where you can find all the archives as well as the new month, and a new resource I came across last month, Sketch Support, which also breaks their sketches down into one or two pagers as well as cards. 
  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/Scrap Happy community: The community in our LOAD Flickr group is wonderful and this time around it will be all about the Scrap Happy community. I make sure I make the most of it. I spend (way too much) time in the gallery getting inspired and commenting on layouts. 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. 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 but I have a partially used up Counterfeit Kit from August to finish and there will be my October kit too to make up and use. Making up your own kits (CKC is a wonderful resource for this) can make your own products feel like new as you combine them in new ways. 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!

A more colourful pile than usual from our informal LOAD in July 2011 - must have been Pam's influence! ;-)

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! 

The next stop for you will be Katherine at her blog here and the whole list of bloghop participants is...

Lisa (you are here!)

Have fun and thanks so much for dropping by - make sure you let me know you were here!


  1. Anonymous1:40 pm

    Happy Gramma 1 signing in. I am at a two day crop that is in the middle of a scrapbook trade show. This must be what heaven is like. Will follow through on blog hop later.

  2. Great intro to our hop. Thanks for sharing so much great information.

  3. Bravo! You detailed the life of a LOADster (informal or not) perfectly. Your strategy list is spot on and would be a good thing to display in my scrap space. Can't wait to get started...I will have just finished Motherload and then jump right into this and I am so psyched!!! BTW, I just scraplifted your Strawberry layout last night. I had it marked as one of my faves in the gallery and did my own version. You are an inspiration!

  4. Anonymous7:48 pm

    FABulous beginning, Lisa!
    See you on the 1st at ScrapHappy :~)

  5. Well, wow! Lisa! I am a slow scrapper, so your commitment to this project is something I really admire.

    I'd love to know - do you buy albums and put your pages away quickly or are you like me and stack them up until they threaten to topple?

  6. I can honestly say this has been such an interesting blog post, thank you

  7. Great blog post. You gave fantastic tips. Have a LOAD of fun! :)

  8. I love this idea! I will be looking into joining the Scrap Happy community but won't be able to participate until probably mid October is there such thing as a half LOAD? LOL!

  9. Anonymous11:18 pm

    Have fun! I guess I have to wait for February:)

  10. Oh man, you put me to shame. I think you've created more layouts in just one LOAD than I have in all my time scrapping! You're just so inspiring!

  11. Anonymous2:59 am

    Great post - love your attitude to scrapping :)

  12. Fantastic advice! It's gonna be a fun, Scrap Happy Month! See you in the gallery! And thanks to you & Pam for setting this blog -hop up!

  13. I think you have given some really good advice here for anyone, even if you are not a loadster... Anyway... you have such talent at getting those pages done with such beautiful details! Very inspirational :)

  14. Heidi6:46 am'd I get off the Scrap Happy vibe?? Hmmmm...I need to wander back. (does this make me a prodigal child??) I MISS YOU SH LADIES!!!!! I think I'll stop by this next week. I need some scrapping inspiration and Oct is such a lovely time to reconnect :) I'd hate to miss the fun! (not to mention the fab LOs by everyone & the endless inspiration!)

  15. Lisa,
    This post is so very helpful, especially to LOAD/ScapHappy newbies like me. This was just the kind of info I was hoping to get in preparation for the informal Oct. LOAD. I feel better now...I can let go of perfection (I don't HAVE to do a lo every day, if I can't), but I will look forward to inspiring prompts and getting more pages done than I would have otherwise.
    I'll also be prepping for a 3=day crop mid-month, so it will definitely be a challenge. I must begin planning "emergency menus" for the month. I might even buy everyone an extra package of new socks and underwear so they won't run out. Laugh!
    Thanks again for a thorough and inspiring post.
    -Rhonda H.

  16. love seeing your LOAD work. love seeing those piles of LOs, and I'm sure to love this blog hop x

  17. Thanks so much for organizing this hop Lisa. Thanks also for sharing your LOAD insights...I need to get in the habit of cleaning off my scrap counter after each layout, then it might not always look like a paper truck blew up.

  18. Forgot to tell you that this is Katrina (aka kskreations) Thanks again!

  19. Ooooo Lisa, I love your piles of LOAD LOs, they are total scrapper eye candy! I am so impressed with what you have accomplished with 4 LOADs this year and I feel inspired. Thanks for sharing your tips, they are useful to new and experienced LOADsters alike :)

  20. Kathy282:04 am

    Looking forward t a great bloghop and LOAD!

  21. If you are trying to make me jealous, you have succeeded. I sure have missed that Scrap Happy/LOAD group and plan to join back in after the holidays. Although I'll probably be swinging by Flickr to view the scrappy goodness until then. I love your post and have enjoyed how you've been adding color to your words. Nice changes here :)

  22. I'm super excited for this now - i didn't think I could keep up with september and i'm sure I'll fall behind somewhat - but after the rousing intro how could I not????

  23. Interesting strategies Lisa - will hop around to see what the others are all about ... am considering doing LSNED for October as I totally screwed up September - do you allow challenge combining?

  24. Hi Lisa and all! this is Scrapperk from the 2-11 and 5-11 LOAD's! I started the LOAD Marathon at BPC but had to fly off to nurse my dad awhile. I am really hoping to be able to do this LOAD in Oct!
    THANK you so much for organizing this for all of us! Your tips are great and so sensible! I am getting excited just thinking about this!! :)

  25. your posts are always so happy. I am so glad I met you once upon a LOAD. :) Going strong and psyched for this challenge.

  26. Wow! What great advice. I am new to the SH family and looking forward to this informal LOAD! I was signed up for MotherLOAD but life prevented me from doing the LOAD bit. Boo :(
    Things are a bit more stable now so ... gotta get my scrap on!!! Thanks for organizing this.

    oh - blog candy over at my blog that might help someone complete a few layouts for this LOAD!

  27. I am so excited to give LOAD a try! This will be my first time embarking on this mad journey and I simply CAN NOT wait!

  28. Danielle_nl2:34 pm

    Like your post a lot. I just took part in MotherLOAD and still have some finishing to do. But it was fun and I did a lot more than before.

    Next LOAD I'm in!


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