Friday, March 24, 2017

Scribbles From My Scrap Studio – 2017 March


How do you eat an elephant?  Well, a famous quote by Creighton Abrams, is very good advice.

When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time. 
If you want to relate that to scrapbooking, how about scrappy bit by scrappy bit?
When confronted with what seems like a monumental task, just take it one step at a time.  Last month you saw how I scaled down Project Life. Another month has passed, and I am still up-to-date.
In 2017, with less time to spend in my little scrap studio, how else can I apply that same principle?  How to stay as productive as past years, without design team deadlines to keep me on task? What are other ways I can be prodded to produce?
I previously mentioned that by year-end 2016 I had managed to work through lots of my monthly kits dwindling them down to zero.  My stash was now staring at me as a whole.  That is quite daunting in an elephantine way.  The same is true of boxes and boxes of printed photos of my kids.  To tackle both of these conditions, I have decided to nibble around the edges and scrap in small spurts.
Last month, here at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge, we promoted the idea of making your kits more manageable by making mini or page kits. This really worked for me. I file papers and embellishments first by manufacturer and line.  A lot of my older stash were collections with just a sheet or two of paper and one or two embellishments like alphabets, die-cuts or sticker sheets.  I pulled all the small collections from my general stash and put them in this plastic bin.
This is my version of what they do over at the 100 Pattern Paper Challenge Facebook group, pulling a subset of your paper or types of embellishments each month to concentrate on using them up.

Next I set about sorting and purging photos, a project I have started and stopped numerous times, frustrated and overwhelmed. Trying to tackle them in a huge photo reorganization project has failed over and over. Instead, I decided to sort for 30 minutes through one or two years of photos at a time.  I would separate the scrap-worthy photos into piles by layout idea.  When my timer buzzed, I would immediately switch to looking through the big bin of small collections, and see what I could use to scrap those photos.
For example, I had a dozen photos of my kids with their grandparents at a nearby state park.  I purged down to the best 4 and tossed the rest.  Just two sheets of Bella Blvd Plastino and a sticker sheet from this line caught my eye.  I set this aside with the photos plus a few quickly gathered embellishments in a quick hit page kit.  I did this for about 5 other sets of photos as well.
2017 Layouts-002
Then I rewarded myself by scrapping one of the layouts, before I FORCED MYSELF to sort photos again.  It is a bit like having a little dessert as a perk for having eaten my veggies.  With Calvinball in process and several crops coming up, I will limit myself to 20 – 25 page kits, not wanting to let the pile of kits turns into a herd of baby elephants. 
Here is the page from that first kit:
2017 Layouts-001
And here is my stack of page kits, after 3 sessions of sorting photos and making kits.  It is hard to discern that my bin of collections has dwindled much, but it is easy for me to see that I have my first empty photo box, proof indeed that the elephant has been nibbled.
So do you do anything like this?  Do reward yourself for unpleasant chores with fun projects?  Might you subdivide your stash so that you limit your choices – not only in small ways like kits, but in larger ways – like 100 pieces of paper.  Do you make up lots of page kits before crops or do you just take larger kits and bunches of photos without matching them up first?  How have you managed to take a bite out of your scrappy elephant?


  1. Wonderful advice and tips here on this post :)

  2. This is such great information! I love the ideas of forcing myself to sort the photos but getting a reward afterwards.
    In just the last year or two have I started to attend weekend crops once or twice a year so packing for one is always a work in progress. However, I have already begun to enjoy great productivity by packing kits prior to attending the crop. If I use some of your tips, I think I could be even more productive.

  3. Lots of great ideas and good advice. Making page kits is an approach I use to clear off my desk. It eliminates the step of "re-filing" the paper.

  4. Very comprehensive explanation of your process & I love your fresh page! As you know I am setting up my studio at the new house & pondering how I can translate this to organizing & then scrapping all of the page ideas/photos/embellis/notes jotted on craps of paper... you get the picture!

  5. WOW...such amazing tips...I am going to put them to good use. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  6. i love these ideas!!! I think I'm going to need to try this!! I love making page kits but rarely do them with a photo in mind. I recently cut down on some photos and haven't sent any to be printed for years because I really want to use up the ones I have. I think your tips will help me greatly

  7. Just getting to read this and you have me inspired and ready to go. What fabulous advice. I really like the idea of making up a bunch of these mini kits - collection leftovers etc. I have enough of those older papers and collections that I can really imagine it working for me. Just bringing together a few bits and pieces into a bag that I know will form the basis for a page is such a great idea. Yes, yes, yes! The forcing myself to go through photos is another great idea. Do you worry that you will miss those that you toss out? That's always my fear! When I use older photos, I tend to use a scanned, newly printed one to keep the old one. Seems a bit silly when I think about it!


Compliance with the new European Union E-Privacy Regulation

If you leave a comment on this blog, you do so with the knowledge that your name and blog link are visible to all who visit this blog, that you have published your own personal details and that you have consented for your personal information to be displayed.
This blog is currently generated from the USA with contributors from Europe, Australia and the USA.