July 29, 2014

Scrap Happy Slowing Down to Speed Up

Sometimes you don't realize how much you don't know until you start learning something new. I like to think I'm kind of up on all things scrappy, and in tune with trends in graphic design. After all, it's a big part of how we pay the bills around here! And for about a year straight, on an almost weekly basis, I have been designing non-stop. But, for the month of July, I had to take a break from my regular work flow- for a few reasons beyond my control- and that was scary for many reasons including how it would affect my workflow. But I knew there were a few things I wanted to change at work- and change only happens by going outside your comfort zone.  You can't hope for different results by doing the same thing, over and over again, right? I think that's actually a definition of insanity- doing the same thing, over and over but expecting a different result! A funny thing happened when I took a break- by slowing down- I was actually able to move forward!

Here are 5 ways I slowed down in July:

I lost about 20 pounds. Of scrapbooking supplies. I revamped my craft room. I had made the move form my pretty but-too-little wood desk to the ugly-but-so-practical folding table in June. Having more space made such a positive change in my workflow that I knew I needed to push reworking my craft space a little further. I got a few pieces of furniture- like a much more comfortable chair and a neat little cart to corral and organize my supplies- but most importantly- I purged a lot of supplies I no longer liked. Papers that I bought in mega bundles about 5 years ago because they were on sale, tons of decorative scissors, ink pads and pens that were long dried up- punch outs that no longer fit my style- all of it went in a box and was sent over to my sisters 4th grade classroom as rainy day art supplies. The benefit was two fold- I got more space- and released myself from the guilt of having supplies I didn't use. It was like a silent albatross- an unspoken scolding of "look at all you have here and are not using"... Now my room has only things I really love- and that has had a great positive impact on my time crafting.

I went back to school. I signed up for a few online classes including Process at Big Picture Scrapbooking. No matter how well you think you know something- there is always something new to learn. I think that helps keep you creatively fresh. Refresher classes on design theory, new classes in Illustrator- I feel like I have sharpened my focus a bit- and I have learned a few new pony tricks! I can't wait to share them with you over the next few months!

I have tried new positions. In scrapbooking. I have worked to make pocket scrapping a part of my memory keeping process- and have to say, its been a mental workout to work "inside the lines" of pocket pages. But I like the result and the way  it's broadened how I tell our everyday stories beyond the 12x12 and mini books I usually do. I have also added QR codes to my pages- and that has definitely amped to "cool factor" of my layouts in my kids eyes! 

Using QR codes is super simple and allows you to link videos to your scrap pages! I simply made a personal channel on YouTube, uploaded my video to that channel on an "unlisted" setting, then copied the URL for the video into a QR Generator like this one. Then I printed out the code and put it on may page. You can download QR scanners on your smart phone for free! The results were so cool, it has made me more conscious to take videos with my smartphone because now I have a really easy way to share them! 

I have been following people. In a non-criminal way. I have made my blog reading much more streamlines with Feedly and Blog Lovin' readers. I enjoy reading my feed each morning with my cuppa coffee so much more than listening to the world news. Actually, I wont even tune into the news until about noon- because it's just a bummer anyway. And I've been gallery watching as well- I think creativity is contagious- and seeing others make pretty things makes me want to do the same! 

I have gotten back to my roots. I have been scrapping like crazy this month! And I believe this will only translate positively to my designs. I needed to get back to the basics of scrapping to reconnect with what makes for the best ingredients in a page kit. Sometimes the littlest bits and pieces can make for the most useful when creating a layout. 

Taking a break was just what I needed to move forward!  I have so many new designs to share with you over the next few weeks exclusively in my new Shoppe (stay tuned!) 

See you then-


  1. Yay for you! Everybody needs a refreshing break from time to time... =)

    1. :) the hardest part is letting yourself take it lol!

  2. So glad you've found a renewed sense of peace and space during your slowing down period! I can't wait to see the new goodies you're designing :).