Renew Your Love For Unfinished Projects


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…


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!




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.

Playing with Pocket Templates

Playing with Pocket Templates

Do you love pocket templates and use them all the time? Or do you struggle with them? I personally love project life but I’m not a big fan of straight lines. Every layout that I made with pockets in the past was not obeying to the rules of pockets. Let me show you how I deconstruct pocket templates, sometimes even to a point that they are unrecognizable.

  • Downsizing the template

While I think it’s good that the designers provide templates that use the whole 12×12 layout, I need more visual breathing room on my canvas. It’s rare that I leave it as it is. I downsize the template at least by 10%, most of the times 20% or more, sometimes I add a mat underneath the pockets, to have a framing of the whole. Even when you are using the whole 12×12, rethink this when you want to print your pages. You might need some bleed to provide nothing gets cut off in the printing process. All my layouts you see in this post are sized down.

  • Going out of bounds of the pockets

One thing I seem to be afraid of when playing with pockets are the straight lines. I usually can’t let them rule my layout. I have to break the lines up. Mostly with embellishments on top of it all, leaping over the edges. I tend to make it a more classic layout, applying the rule of thirds or getting more attention to certain parts of the layout. I emphasize the shadows on these embellishments, to make the 3d quality of them stand out more.

Playing with Pocket Templates

Playing with Pocket Templates


  • Changing the shape of the pockets

All pockets are rectangular by nature. Weird, right? There are only little exceptions to this rule. Sometimes a rectangle is broken up to make it two triangles. Still not very organic and still too straight for me. How about replacing one or more of the rectangles with a different shape like a circle or an oval? I tend to do that with frames in that shape. It makes the whole layout softer and it gives a great entry point for the eyes.

Playing with Pocket Templates

Playing with Pocket Templates


  • Tilting the template

Sometimes the tilt does the trick for me. With a little tilt I get a more natural look to the whole. And if I strive for one thing, then it is the natural, real paper look. It may look as if the pockets were photographed on the background paper.

Playing with Pocket Templates

Playing with Pocket Templates


A bigger tilt might give you a whole new look, like this template wasn’t intended for pocket scrapping at all.

Playing with Pocket Templates

Playing with Pocket Templates


  • Use the template for a pieced background and add your own photocluster

From going out of the pockets with embellisments and frames it’s not far to this step. You can even go further by adding more embellishments than I did here. You could also use a second template with a big cluster and plop it onto your pocket template and go from there.

Playing with Pocket Templates

Playing with Pocket Templates


  • Using it for Art Journaling

I remember that once someone asked if I consider myself more towards the pocket scrapping side, the „regular“ scrapping side or the Art Journaling side. As if pocket scrapping and Art Journaling are two very different ends on a spectrum of scrapping. Maybe they are. I personally don’t think so. There are some very reflective pocket pages out there. And some very to the rule Art Journaling pages. And last but not least “regular” pages with a grid or no visible structure. I love being challenged to try something different and always want to make things work, even if at first it seems awkward. I tried a more artsy approach to pockets several times and I love it. Yay for art in rectangles!

Playing with Pocket Templates

Playing with Pocket Templates


That’s it for now. I’m sure there’s much more that you can do with your pocket templates. Do you have more ideas? Feel free to comment below and point me to one of your layouts. And who knows, maybe I will scraplift your idea! Thanks for reading and have a great time while putting new inspiration into practice. Happy scrapping!


AlinaAbout the Author: Alina enjoys sitting in front of her large computer screens too much. Apart from that she loves walking her dog and watching sunsets while being amazed of life in general. She is married to her best friend. Tries to manage the needs of her two cats and her dog and badly fails when they all want their cuddle time at once. Everything else is scrapping, taking photos and currently crafting. Having said that, she needs a bigger craft room.