Sunday, January 29, 2012

Layout A Day - gearing up.

I've talked before on my blog about Lain Ehmann's Layout a Day.  If you're new to the blog and have not heard about it - the concept is simple - you create a Layout a Day, every day, for the month of February! 
Let me tell you a little about how much & why I love "LOAD."
My scrapping speed improved dramatically. Prior to 2011, if I had time to scrapbook, it would take me hours to complete a single page or two page spread - I'm talking 6 hours on average (who has time to do that!?!?!).  The tips and strategies shared via LOAD reduced the anxiety of making a page perfect.  Not to mention, I certainly couldn't spend 6 hours a day for 28 days!  The challenge of creating a page a day kept me interested, excited & on task - forcing me to make faster decisions, go with the first paper or embellishment choice that looked good because I didn't have time to go through every piece of paper or every button looking for the "perfect" one. Scrapbooking is my getaway from the mundane day-to-day, my escape once the kids are in bed.  LOAD reminded me that you have to MAKE time for the things you enjoy and that if I can create a page every day for a month, I can certainly squeeze in a few minutes of scrapbooking time during a non-LOAD week.  This little time keeps me sane and when I don't make that time for myself, my stress level rises.  In 2010, I completed maybe 15 pages all year. As a goal for 2011, (prior to finding LOAD) I challenged myself to complete 52 pages. In February with LOAD, I did 30 pages, May LOAD 33, October Informal LOAD 34.  And, in between, I did at least a page per week (Mystery Scrap which I began in March when I was going through LOAD withdrawal. I'd estimate my total for 2011 at 128.  I'm not saying everyone will have that same result, but how excited would you be even to get a quarter of that number of layouts completed!?!?!
The daily LOAD prompts are so much fun and can really kick start your creativity and can help get you out of a rut.  The problem, though, is that every night I stayed up past my bedtime because I couldn't wait to see the prompt for the next day!  Every night it was like opening a present and then I'd drift off to sleep thinking about the page I'd create with visions of paper & pictures & ribbon in my head.  At first, my husband thought I was off my rocker, but he quickly got into it and would ask "What's the prompt for tomorrow?" (then would give his suggestions on how to interpret or which pictures to use!).  Sometimes, he'd even pull up the email on his phone in bed and read it to me (best bedtime story ever!) On days when I didn't think I had it in me to do my page, he'd kick me off the couch and send my upstairs to do my page. He's always been supportive and willing to offer an opinion, but this got him more involved. (By the way he thinks the prize at the end should be for the husband!) ;-)
Also as a result of LOAD, I created this blog, found lots of other fabulous blogs to follow & improved my digital skills by leaps & bounds.
The community at LOAD is unbelievable .  The support & kindness of all the LOAD-sters is indescribable.  So much positivity, lovely comments about completed pages, helpful suggestions when something doesn't look quite right, encouragement, friendships.  The feel-good energy is a scrapbook "high". Not to mention, the inspiration that is gleaned from perusing the gallery. That alone has changed my scrapbooking - I'm not great with design - that's part of why it would take me 6 hours to complete one page - I'd move things around forever until they looked right to me.  Now, I see a page in the gallery that looks great, I can scraplift the design, but put my own spin on it - so much more fun & productive for me and I've accepted that this isn't breaking the rules!  In addition, there is so much inspiration topic-wise in the gallery. With each LOAD I come away with dozens of ideas for page topics that I would not have otherwise ever created. 
Finally, it has changed the stories that I tell. Prior to LOAD, I scrapbooked mainly events, during LOAD I saw so many amazing pages and the prompts were often more feelings driven.  As I started to push myself to do more of that, I found that those are by far my favorite pages, my most meaningful pages and the pages that I know will be so special to my girls as the grow up. 
Now, because my husband is now home most evenings and weekends, I'm not sure how successful I'll be this time around, but I'm trying to get myself set up to make it as easy as possible to do pages.  I'm printing out pictures, picking out inspiration to use for scraplifts, making lists of topics/events I want to document.  So, we'll see.  None of that is necessary if you want to try LOAD. And there is no penalty or pressure to do a page every day, so don't let that inhibit you from trying.  
Anyway - if things get really nuts, I may do something a little different - I may post pics of my layout from the day before and brief instructions if you were to want to scraplift that.  I'm hoping to stick with Mystery Scrap, but just in case, wanted to give you a heads up!

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