Renew Your Love For Unfinished Projects

UnfinishedProjects

Okay, let’s see a show of hands.

How many of you out there have a December Daily album that you have not yet finished? Now, I’m not necessarily talking about the December just past. Oh, no. Come on, be honest… did you finish that one from 2014 (or maybe 2013 or earlier)? How about that vacation album that you started with such gusto, and then things just fizzled out? Don’t even get me started on Project Life (I swear, one year I will finish that!). How many of us have these sorts of unfinished projects laying around?

Earlier this month, Chloe shared some great tips for staying up-to-date with long-term projects, such as those I’ve listed above. Today, however, let’s talk about some ideas to actually renew and recharge those creative juices and help you revisit a project that’s laid dormant for a while (you know, the one that you always say you’ll get around to finishing … eventually!).

For myself, with regard to the examples that I just mentioned above — I have one version or another of all of them sitting on my external hard drive. My December Daily album from (wow!) 2013 is the most complete… with all pages completed through December 26. Then nothing. Sure, I have photos, but they have never actually made it onto a finished page.

Here’s an example of one of my unfinished projects: a vacation album from a trip to Australia…

WorkinProgress

As you can see, I have a bunch of partially-completed pages (there’s more than this, too!), and I had made a really good start with putting pictures into templates (shown here using Simply Tiffany Studio’s “Window Series” templates). But there’s nothing else. No journaling (the words on the files are just the default “you can journal here” text). No embellishments. In fact, some windows are left blank where, I assume, I was planning to put journal cards. This vacation was from late summer 2014, so who knows where my head was at that time!

The thought of suddenly focusing on 10, 15 or even 20 or more pages as a spur-of-the-moment project to complete can be quite overwhelming. In fact, this may be the very reason that those larger single-event projects don’t get finished. Our intentions are great … at the start. Then… well, life happens. Burn-out. Loss of enthusiasm.

We can do this, though! Get that initial love for your project back with these quick and easy tips:

  • Don’t panic! No, seriously, relax! As an organized, project-oriented list-maker (I even have to-do lists for weekend household chores!), I can often slip into a situation of putting too much pressure on myself to finish what I’ve started. Do you? Relax. A finished project is awesome, but it doesn’t have to be completed in one sitting or over one weekend. Remember: You should enjoy the process of recording your family memories, not feel panicked or stressed out by it!
  • If an album is your end goal, keep the “formula” for your pages similar. Not only does this lessen your stress level (because there’s less to think about from page to page), but it also adds some cohesiveness to your pages. In my vacation album, for example, I opted for templates, sticking to one designer, and all pages have a kraft paper foundation. It’s the “keep it simple” methodology that Chloe mentioned in her blog post earlier in January.
  • Ask family members for their favorite memory! If you’re revisiting a project that’s several years old, ask those who were present for their input on what they remember about the event. Think of this as a mini-brainstorming session. Friends and family members might remember events a little differently from you — and their memory might trigger something for you, as well.
  • Following on from that last thought, as you look back on not-so-recent events, use this as an opportunity to really look at the photos you’d like to include in your album. You might have taken 700 or 800 (or more!) photos during a long-weekend trip to the beach, but let’s be honest here: how many pictures of sand and the beach do you really need? That previous need to scrap everything in sight from a vacation or event can now be tempered with a little restraint as you focus on those photos that really evoke the mood or memories you want to capture.

How do these tips work, in practice?

Above, I shared nine incomplete pages from my Australian vacation album, but there were more stored on my hard drive — a lot more! The original goal was to have two or three pages for each mini-event from the trip. But where to start? My foundation was set, so that was a big help. However, I deployed the “ask family members” tip and talked to my son, asking what he remembered the most from our vacation. I let him scan through the photos and when he came upon a few from a day we spent in Sydney, well, I couldn’t shut him up! He recounted a ferry ride on the harbour and the panic on his father’s face due to the really bad weather and high seas. Ah ha! I now had my starting point to getting this project nearer to completion: tackle the page that had photos from the ferry ride. Did it work? It sure did – take a look! In a few hours in one evening, I got three pages from partially-completed to ta-done!

Sydney2

sydney3

Sydney1

Credits: Window series templates by Tiffany Tillman; That Magic Moment by La Belle Vie Designs;
Vacation Magic, Walt’s Park, Dreams Come True – Word Art, and 2014 Vacation by Scotty Girl.

 

So there you have it. Those long-time projects that have been collecting dust can have life breathed back into them. Why not give it a try? Renew your love for that unfinished project by creating a page (or two) to get you motivated to move closer towards completion. Join us over in the Drawing Board: Challenges forum and tackle this week’s challenge & share your pages!

 


Kat About the Author  Kat Hansen is a creative team member here at The Digital Press. A Director of Human Resources by day, she loves the opportunity to spend a few hours each day being creative. Vacation memories feature pretty heavily in Kat’s scrapbooking pages, as do her son and “daughter” (of the four-legged furry kind). Kat has quite the sense of humor (she “blames” her father for this), which she incorporates into her journaling and memory-keeping.

Move Your Process Foward

Move Your Process Forward

A few years ago, if there was a medal or award for word’s slowest scrapbooker, I, Carrie, probably would have won it. Turtles traveled to island destinations faster than I made a page.  My mind would be blown when seasoned scrapbookers told me they only spent 30 minutes to an hour on a page without a template. I spent a solid two years learning to make a page in 45 minutes or less and, now, I’m going to save you those two years by sharing how to make quick decisions based on line and flow.  There will be a challenge at the end of this post! 

I did, in fact, time both of the example pages used in this post. Secret Recipe, made with Plastic Pocket Templates #2 Mommyish and Brilliant- Papers & Elements by Danielle Engerbretson took a full 45 minutes. Finally Together, made with Sahin Designs’ Monochrome Fall Bundle was completed in 37 minutes and 15 seconds.  A 45 minute or less scrapbooking session not only adds to my library of memories, it keeps me sane and happy. I can scrap with my morning coffee before getting to work and with my cup of tea before bed. I can start and end my day with a dose of scrappy creativity and so can you! You’re about to become a smarter, faster, more strategic scrapbooker… 

Before you even open Photoshop, the first steps to moving your process forward involves very simple planning.  I always know ahead of time:

  • what product I’m using
  • what photos I’m using
  • what story I’m telling
  • the shape of my page design

You can make these decisions ahead of time, eliminating choices you have to make once you start scrapping. Aside from the photo processing, you can come up with the rest while you’re doing the dinner dishes or while you’re taking a shower. Easy, peasy.

Helpful Hints:

  • Limit the amount of product you use and use product you know works for you.
  • Process your photos ahead of time.
  • Be familiar with some basic composition (or page design) shapes.

Just in case you aren’t familiar with basic composition shapes, I’ll give you a crash course now. When starting your process, pick one of these shapes. If you’re using a template, be aware of the template shape; This will help you the next time you create your own page design. If you know this, feel free to skip this part, but feel welcome to compliment on my awesome vector skills.

Move Your Process Forward by knowing composition shapes for scrapbook pages via The Digital Press

A block can be rectangle, square or grid. A circle would a variation on a block design.

A band is a design runs across the page, usually surrounded by generous white space.

A cross is made up of two bands that intersect centrally to create a lower case “t”, upper case “T”. Variations include rotating the “t” to creating an “x” or adding more lines to create a burst or star shape.

A bracket consists of a horizontal and vertical lines that meet at a right angle, creating an “L” shape. Variations include any sort of bracket or bookends, such as “[” or “{“.

(You can certainly use your creative genius to ramp up the basic composition shapes)

Okay, so now your…

  • Photos are processed
  • Your product is picked
  • You know what story your telling
  • You selected a basic composition shape (I use a block in the example pages)

…and you haven’t even starting putting things on the page. You, my lovely, are way ahead of the game! You’re ready to open a new canvas.

Keeping your page design shape in mind, place your photos on your canvas. Yes, before you even put on your background paper. No, I’m not crazy. There is an actual strategy for deciding where to place your photos, whether your using one photo or five hundred (which, you probably don’t want that many on a page, but ya never know!).

It’s all about the lines in your photo and where they are going. For people, you normally want your subject looking into the page. Our brains will naturally follow a persons line of sight. If your cutie pie kids’ eyes are looking off the page, the viewer’s eyes will go off the page. If those cutie pies are looking at the nearest photo or embellishment cluster, that’s where the viewer’s eye will go. Also take into consideration body positions: Where are the shoulders going? How are the arms directed? Is the torso leaning in or out of the composition? The lines in the photo will tell you how to position the photos within the shape of your page design.

On this page eyes of the kids are kinda all over the place in these photos, but the shoulders and torsos in the photo on the left point to the photo on the right. The torsos of the kiddos on the right are turned more towards the left than right.

Move Your Process Foward

 

For photos without people, you still want to let the lines in the photo dictate placement. Notice on this page that the pan on the left leads to the pot on the right. The spoon on the right leads back to the pan on the left.

 

Flow is the way the eye moves across your page. The lines on your page and the flow of your page go hand-in-hand. By positioning your photos based on line, you’ve already begun creating the flow of your page. (yay, you!)

Now that your photos are in the right spot, add in your background paper. Add in other papers to fill out the shape of your page design and think about where to put a title and journaling. Add in the journaling and title before embellishing (trust me on this one).

It’s time to embellish, so how do you know where to put all the pretty goodies? The lines of our photos within the shape of our page design will tell us where embellishments need to place to create strong flow. The embellishments areas create stops along your page. They tell the viewer what’s important to notice and help the eye decide where to move next.

There are three areas you usually want to the viewer to stop on your page: The start position (grabs the eye and leads it into the rest of the page), the photos, and the title and/or journaling. The focal point should always have the biggest, most visually interesting embellishing.

On this page, the embellished tag doubles as both a lead in to the page and establishes the focal point. The rest of the embellishing creates lines through the photos… notice that the lines fall through or next the kiddo heads and the embellishing is smaller and less dramatic.

Finally Together

 

There are a lot of bold, potentially owhelming elements on this page, but I’ve used the embellishing to control the flow and establish my huge title as the focal point.  Notice how the embellishing points also work with the shape of the design and the lines in the photos.

TDP-8-21-carriew2f

 

If you understand how line and flow work together, you can decide where to put everything quickly. It’s choice that slows down our process and it’s choices we are simplifying with this process. To add to the awesome, when you understand how to use line and flow, it’s going to be hard to make a page you don’t like. It’s a total win. Now that you have these new, mad skillz…

For the challenge, you’ll follow this recipe:

  • Grab a timer (or use an app or use Google’s timer) and put 45 minutes on the clock.
  • Have your photos processed
  • Select the product you like to use (if you want to use multiple designers, this month’s Special Edition or Store Collab allow you that versatility and it’ll all go nicely together)
  • Pick your design shape (and stick with it!)
  • Open your canvas and place your photos
  • Add in background paper and additional papers to fill out your shape
  • Add your title and/or journaling
  • Embellish your page in three important areas– putting the most dramatic embellishing near the focal point

You can stop the clock as needed, for instance, if you need refresh your drink, answer the phone or use the restroom. Just remember to hit start when you come back to your page.

Share your page in the challenge thread HERE and tell us what composition shape you used (if you used a template, let us know what the shape it has) and how long it took you put the page together. (if you took longer than 45 minutes, no worries, I still love you.

 


Carrie About the Author: Carrie lives in coastal Delaware with her husband, teenage son and 5 cats. She produces and hosts The Digiscrap Geek podcast where she gets to   talk to amazing people about her favorite topic. Carrie creates for The Digital Press, Just Jaimee, Get It Scrapped and is a Be Photo Wise contributor. In her spare time, you may find her kicking but on Call of Duty, herding cats, star gazing or whipping up magic in the kitchen.

Moving Forward into Fall

Moving Forward Into Fall

 

I don’t know about you, but I am so ready to move forward into Fall. Fall is by far my favorite season. There is just something about fall that brings a peaceful feeling. I don’t know if it’s the change in weather or the beautiful warm colors, but I just can’t wait for that  first crisp breeze that lets you know summer is gone and fall is in the air.

As fall officially begins this month, I’d thought I’d share a few of the things I look forward to. Here are some of my Fall Favorites:

  • The Crisp, Fresh Air
  • The Beautiful, Warm Colors
  • Leaf Lookin’ (as we call it in the South)
  • Football Season
  • Sweaters & Tall Boots
  • Pumpkin Lattes (or anything pumpkin flavored)
  • Snuggling Up with a Warm Blanket and a Good Book
  • Halloween
  • Corn Mazes
  • Hot Apple Cider
  • Making Soups
  • Pumpkin Patches
  • Leaves Crunching Under Your Feet
  • Fall Festivals
  • Fall Spices – Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves

 

I used Little Lamm & Co.’s Crisp Collection to document some of my fall favorites.

Move Forward Into Fall

 

Move Forward Into Fall

 

So, how about you? What are your fall favorites?

I’m hosting a challenge over on the forums at The Digital Press so grab a Pumpkin Latte and come play along! Check it out at The Drawing Board: Challenges. See you there!

 


LindyKrickbaum

About the Author: Lindy Krickbaum is a Creative Team Member here at the Digital Press. She is a happily married wife and best friend to her twin sister. She currently lives in Johnson City, TN.  Lindy is a self-admitted scrapaholic, rarely missing a day to scrap. She also enjoys designing jewelry, reading and traveling every chance she gets.