There are certain things in life that are definitely life changers… meeting and falling in love with your soulmate, holding your baby in your arms for the first time, discovering a hidden talent, following a dream, traveling abroad – especially alone! And for me, participating in my first layout a day (LOAD) challenge, February of 2012. “Life changer” you ask? Yes, truly a life changer!
But before I can explain how scrapbooking could possibly be a life changer, I have to give you some background…
I attended my first crop in 2008 with my cousin Irene. For non-scrapbookers, a crop is group of people who gather to work on their scrapbooks, oohing and aahing over each others photos and pages. After just a few hours at my first crop, I was head over heals and loved the possibility of scrapbooking my daughter’s life! I did afterall have a mountain of photos to work with. So for the next couple of years I would dream of making gorgeous pages and decided the best way to get there was to buy oodles and oodles of tools and supplies. Cardstock. Patterned paper. Stickers. Flowers. Brads. Scissors. More stickers. Eyelets. Alphas. Stamps. Ink pads. More flowers. More alphas. More stickers. I didn’t create another page for almost 2 years! Instead of a scrapbooker, I became a collector.
In 2010 I finally started using those products, attending crops every other month or so, creating a page or two or if I was really on a roll maybe even three pages! Fast forward another couple of years, and I have one birthday book for each of my daughters, with pages documenting each years birthday celebration. So, where’s the life changer? Ok, good, you’re still reading…
Over my years of “collecting” and dabbling in scrapbooking, I had been listening to the Paperclipping Roundtable podcast and learned about Lain Ehmann’s Layout a day. A month long challenge creating a layout a day? That sounded impossible! I had never scrapbooked at home, and when I did scrapbook at crops, it took me hours (2, 3, 4 hours) to create a single page. How could I possibly do this for a whole month? I decided I’d give it a try and figure it out. I signed up for LOAD212 (February 2012) and it was ah-ma-zing!
In the span of 29 days, I created 32 pages – go ahead, check ’em out! Just be sure to come back to finish reading! Most of these are pages I love and am thrilled to have created. The daily prompts made me think of photos and stories I wouldn’t of considered scrapbooking on my own – the crush I had on my twin uncles when I was a little girl, how much I miss my grandfather, the story behind my daughter’s middle name, and on and on. Suddenly, it was as if a secret vault opened up in my head and I wanted to share, share, share!
Through this whole process, my artistic style evolved, as did my writing. I went farther away from who, what, when, where, and went into deeper, more meaningful journaling, almost love letters to my daughters. More daily life stories are being told, clearly more pages are being made, and in the long run, my daughters will have photos and handwritten journaling sharing my experiences with them. Ultimately, participating in LOAD has changed the way I approach scrapbooking all together. My collection of stuff started getting used. Some of it saw lots of action (Slice electronic cutter, Tim Holtz Distress Stains) and some of it not very much (stickers, alphas, brads). But through LOAD, I became a better artist, designer, writer, photographer. And now I’m venturing out and teaching my first class at Cool Scrapbook Stuff this Saturday, January 26th. Come join me – there’s still room in the class!
So don’t get me wrong, it still takes me a chunk of time to complete a page, but the outcome is totally worth it. Yeah, I might miss out on some TV during February, and I might miss a little sleep, but the books I’m creating for my girls, and eventually for future generations, totally makes it worth it. The girls know that during LOAD, I am in the zone! They come in my craft space in the morning to see what mommy created overnight. It’s almost as if I’m one of Santa’s elves working on a gift overnight! The sweetest sound is hearing them ooh and aah over the page, asking me to read it to them. Sometimes they’ll even ask for their scrapbook to be part of their bedtime stories. It’s gotta be pretty amazing as 3- and 6-year olds to have books written about you… what kid wouldn’t like that?! And sometimes there competitiveness comes out when one (or both) say they want a page made just about them, “no one else in the pictures, just ME!” – gotta love their confidence and enthusiasm!
If you’ve ever considered joining LOAD, you’ve just gotta DO IT! Not to sound like an infomercial, but there really are only a few spots left. Trust me, it’ll change the way you create. Not just sticking photos on pretty paper, but it’ll change how you capture moments, how you document your life, how you share stories for future generations to enjoy. We’ll be blog hopping tomorrow (Friday), talking about LOAD even more, with lots of tips from LOAD veterans and even some newbies sharing their thoughts too, so make sure you come back and hop along with us!
Thanks for stopping by and have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day! Happy crafting!