Good morning! Melissa here, glad to be back for the final installment in what has turned out to be a mini-series on creating (or re-creating) a scrap space.
Let's review, shall we?
First, carve out a space for yourself. Even if you live in a tiny apartment or a dorm room, it's possible to dedicate a spot for your scrapbooking supplies. Look around, think outside the studio (ha ha), and don't let yourself believe that you need a large area in order to be creative.
Next, get those supplies under control! Don't feel obligated to hang on to the Blade Runner just because you paid good money for it, or the cutesy car paper that you bought to use in a baby album for your son who is now 12. Be realistic and a little tough with yourself as you decide what to keep and what to share with others. Save what you really love and will truly use. I detected a theme as I read through the comments: I'm more creative when I'm not surrounded by so much stuff. It doesn't have to do with the size of your space. You can have a huge studio and not feel overwhelmed as long as your stash is under control.
Third, round up some containers and get those supplies you love organized! Create a system that makes sense to you. I like my chipboard alphabets stored by letter rather than kept as sets, but that would drive some of you batty. Last year, I was determined to poke all of my brads into a corkboard by color, but I eventually gave up and dumped them into the watchmaker's tins. I know myself, and I would have been constantly compelled to fill in, even up, and organize each section on the cork every time I used a brad!
Finally, when you're all done, walk by your space several times a day and pat yourself on the back. Open a cupboard or drawer and admire its tidy contents. Pull out a basket and feel a surge of pride when you see those supplies that you love, all neatly arranged. Do this, and the layouts will just start piling up.
You laugh, but that is exactly what I do! Am I alone here? I have a tendency to think that the purpose of organizing my scrap space is to have an organized scrap space. But an organized scrap space should be just one more tool that helps me create. (Wouldn't it be handy if you could just go buy that tool at your LSS?) If I know where everything is, then my limited time is not wasted hunting for what I need, so I'm freed up to make stuff. Fun!
And so as my final encouragement regarding your scrap space, I say USE IT!
Believe me, I'm talking to myself here as much as I'm talking to you. There are times I ask myself, Am I a scrapbooker or a collector of really cool scrapbooking supplies? When it feels like the latter, I know it's time to tell my hubby that I need a few hours on Saturday to make a layout or two while he holds down the fort. He's great about that. But there are plenty of times when our schedule doesn't allow for it and so I have to get creative.
How do you scrapbook when you don't have a large chunk of time? Here are some ideas that will move you toward creating a layout, albeit in small pieces:
- gather or print photos
- write your journaling
- choose your background cardstock and/or patterned papers
- sketch your layout
- choose the letters for your title
- make one or two design decisions
With an organized scrap space, you can accomplish any one of these in fifteen minutes or less!
Another idea is to do a small non-layout project to jump-start your creativity. Make a tag or a card. Cover a plain wooden frame with patterned paper and embellish it. Simply tie a ribbon on a basket or jar to add some color and interest. When I am feeling the urge to create and can't devote a couple of hours to scrapbooking, I try to do little things like these to quench that thirst.
And one last piece of advice? Pardon me for sounding like your mother, but clean up after yourself. There are very few people who thrive in a messy creative space. When you can't find your favorite adhesive, it's hard to be motivated. Of course, now that I'll be pulling out The Big Gun, I won't have to worry about that, will I? When I finally get it out of the box, that is.
So, two assignments:
- If you have been successful creating in small ways with brief windows of time, please share your insight with the rest of us in the comments section.
- Make the time (you know that's what it comes down to) to use your space this weekend. Even if you only have a half hour, that's enough. As for me, I will be finishing a layout that I made a few months ago but didn't get to the journaling. It's very unlike me to have an unfinished page lying around, but life happened with this one. I'll share it tomorrow.
In the meantime, since this was a pictureless post, I'm including a few pieces of eye candy here to inspire you as your create or re-create your space. There are some great ideas out there for small areas, and others that could work in spaces of all sizes. Each photo is a link, so click on it for more information. Enjoy!
(You'll find several great ideas here.)
I also came across this example of someone with a dedicated scrap room where it is now a joy to create because she got rid of a ton of stuff and organized all the rest. I found that my body involuntarily tensed up at the images of "before" but let out a big, contented sigh when I saw the "after" pictures. Be sure to read the top three things she learned from her experience. Yes!
And don't miss the other great photos of scrapbooking spaces Wendy has on her blog.
See you tomorrow as I wrap up the week with a random sampling of scrapbooking goodness and a challenge!