Top 5 Tips for an Amazing LOAD {Blog Hop}

Connie Hanks Photography // // Top 5 for an amazing LOAD layout-a-day

Connie Hanks Photography // // Top 5 tips for an amazing LOAD layout-a-day

Hi! I’m Connie and welcome to Clicky Chick Creates! If you’re following along on the LOAD blog hop, you should’ve come to my crafty corner of the blog world via the super adorable and creative Danielle of EcoScrapbook. She blows my mind with her recycled and upcycled creations!

Whether you’re new to LOAD (welcome!) or a veteran (like Lisa H who has completed 14 LOADs and over 400 layouts!), I hope my Top 5 tips for an amazing LOAD helps you! So, here we go:

1. Clean Up! If you’re anything like me, your desk or crafting space ends up becoming a magnet for every thing that once was neatly put away in a drawer or closet or bookshelf! What is it about the mess that’s created when crafting? Oh yes, it’s called CREATING! But before LOAD starts, be sure to clean off your space. Starting with a clean slate really helps start off on the right foot and not get overwhelmed from the word go! And along with starting off with a clean space, be sure to tidy up after each day/night. Set 10 minutes aside to put away all those goodies that came out to play so you can start with a clean space for the next amazing prompt!

Connie Hanks Photography // // All In scrapbook layout using The Crafter's Workshop Zinnia, Tim Holtz Distress Inks, Fiskar punches, embossing powder

2. Plan Ahead: Meal Planning and Prepping! We have just a bit under a week before LOAD kicks off – it’s a perfect time to get a jump start on some… meal planning! Did you just hear a record scratch? Wait, do they still make records and record players?! Yes, I am still talking about LOAD. Planning out meals – especially crock-pot or quick and easy dinners – really helps for an amazing month of creating! As much as we get into our lovely creative time, we do still need to think of our families and their needs! Some of my go-to’s are pre-marinating and freezing chicken and steaks, I just have to remember to grab it in the morning to thaw. Another go-to is making crock-pot meals in the morning – less to stress about later and gives me more time to create. Family favorites include my crock-pot chili and parmesan garlic chicken – yum!

Connie Hanks Photography // // The Legend of Anna Meatball scrapbook layout using Sweet Stamps Distressed Chevron stamp, Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Picked Raspberry, Dylusions Spray Ink in Bubblegum Pink, washi tape

3. Making a list and checking it twice! Even though the prompts we receive from our fearless leader Lain are ah-ma-zing, I think what has helped me have an amazing LOAD experience is having a list of story ideas and/or photos I really want to scrap. When the daily prompt comes into my email, I let it simmer and marinade in my head and see if anything comes to mind. I’d say half the time, a photo or story comes to mind that I hadn’t thought about (LOVE when that happens! That is the beauty in LOAD, of course!) and I can’t wait to get it down on paper. Sometimes I might be a little stuck or unclear in my vision, so I review my list of story/photo ideas and bam, it all comes together! Beyond being reminders of stories and photos I want to highlight, having that list feels like a safety net for those days my mind is a little cluttered or snoozy : )

Connie Hanks Photography // // Water Babies beach scrapbook layout using torn strips of patterned paper

4. Say Cheese! Besides actually making the layout, sharing it is what makes LOAD so amazing. In this week leading up to LOAD, find a place where you can set up a staging area to photograph your amazing layouts. Using foam core (I picked up white and black 24″x36″ boards at the Dollar Store – score!) is an easy way to get a clean, distraction free background, and a good flat surface to lay your creations against when photographing. If you need some help, I wrote a post with tips for photographing paper projects here, and my dear, adorable, uber-talented and totally-who-I-want-to-be-when-I-grow-up friend Jennifer Gallacher wrote a couple of fantastic blog posts about photographing crafty goodies, too. One post is “Photographing Your Projects with Jen” and the other is “Selecting Props for Product Photography” – check them out!

Connie Hanks Photography // // You Had Me at Shoes scrapbook layout using templates, stencils, Tim Holtz Distress inks, vellum, wood veneers

5. Share the Love! – Be sure to check out the lovely, inspiring creations in our Flickr gallery and leave comments for our fellow amazing LOADsters! It is such a fantastic way to connect with others who share our passion for scrapbooking. I’ve met some amazing women through LOAD who I now consider amazing friends, and in most cases, it started with a whisper comment : ) (sorry if you now have that song stuck in your head, but I couldn’t resist!)

Connie Hanks Photography // // No More? Easter scrapbook layout using Heidi Swapp color magic paper, Dylusions Spray Inks, Slice Elite cutting tool

So there you have it, my top 5 for an amazing LOAD experience! I look forward to sharing in the LOAD214 journey with you! Next you’re going to hop on over to Sherrie’s blog: A Little Bit of Everything Me. Be sure to leave her some love in the comments – and check out her amazing cards while you’re there… {{{swoon!}}}

If you still haven’t signed up for LOAD214 yet, whatcha waiting for? Don’t miss your chance  – click here to find out more!

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!
Live creatively!

Here’s our full blog hop – be sure to check out all the fantastic blog posts. These women are amazingly talented and have some fantastic insights to share!

Connie <——— You are here
Sherrie <——— Now go here!
Lisa E
Lisa H

And once you’re done with the hop, if you still want to read more LOAD-love, check out my previous LOAD posts!

35 responses to “Top 5 Tips for an Amazing LOAD {Blog Hop}”

  1. Frist of all … the link to “Danielle of EcoScrapbook”. – doesn’t work .. page not found. You truly amaze me .. no wonder you take such fantastic photos with a creative mind and heart like you have. Just wonderful. How do you find time for everything.


  2. Your layouts (and photographs!) are GORGEOUS! Can’t wait to see what you do with Feb’s prompts. 🙂


    • Oh good, it’s not just me : ) Definitely a good mess, but a mess nonetheless! I usually keep up with cleaning post-creation the first few days, but then it slips. Going to try the 10-minute clean-up for the *whole* month – curious if it’ll keep my motivation going. Looking forward to seeing your beautiful pages!!


  3. Great tips, Connie! I’m so excited about getting started, but I guess I’d better work on the tips to make sure the month goes a bit smoother 🙂


  4. Good tips Connie. I invested in some white foam core a month or two ago, and it has really helped. I’m off to check the links your provided for more crafty photo ideas.


  5. Great tips. Can you come over and clean my space? I love the CLEAN of your pages and the photos are always amazing…even in your tips! Love the meal prep reminders and the “leave some love”. I go back and read mine when i need a cheerleader in my life. Can’t wait for LOAD214 with you and anytime we connect! I am grateful for you.


    • Thanks Valerie! Ha – I’ll be right over once I’m done cleaning up my craft room : ) Glad my tips are helpful! Your beautiful heart and daily grateful-devotionals are absolutely lovely and always add a lift to my day! Looking forward to another fabulous LOAD! xoxo


  6. Hey Connie – I can’t wait to spend Feb seeing your gorgeous creations and those adorable girls of yours! Always a delight and I’ve missed you! Great tips and thanks for the one about the photo staging area. With the lack of light at this time of year and having not yet found a good place to take photos in our relatively new house, this is a great tip for me to give it some thought. There won’t be a chance for me to photograph in daylight so I really need to plan. The white card worked well for me in the past so I will take that tip on board and give it a go. The photographing always seems like the hardest bit for me!
    Ps. thanks for the shout out!


    • Aww, thanks Lisa! I’m looking forward to seeing your amazing layouts! I’m always in awe of your creativity and am totally impressed with how many LOADs you’ve completed!! Glad to share the photography tips and plant that seed to get your staging area figured out : ) Cheers to an amazing LOAD 214!!


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