As you might have guessed from the post on Thursday, today I am here to share the collectives’ favorite time-saving tips. I polled my fellow team members and I’ve pulled together their answers for you:
Celeste Smith had numerous tips to share. I’ll just say it. Celeste is extremely prolific. I love her no-nonsense approach to scrapbooking – she truly wastes no time! To get more from her scrapbooking time she recommends:
- Purchasing items from a kit club - products are already matched for you and it saves the time it takes to coordinate items.
- Use products from one line from any given manufacturer.
- Make your own kits from your stash - pick a multi-colored piece of striped patterned paper, then dig into your stash and select different papers from different manufacturers that have the colors from your inspiration piece. Add a few embellishments in your main colors and an alphabet or two. Now you have a FREE kit that you can create a few layouts with.
- Handwrite your journaling - then you don't have to fuss with font selection and placement on the page.
- Use journal strips - print your journaling in a three inch width and cut into strips - adhere anywhere on the page.
- Use multiple photos on a page - this way you scrap less layouts per event!
- Keep printed photos on hand - so that you don't have to fuss with editing and printing (or running to Walmart!)
- Scrapbook a few pages digitally - there is no clean up!
- Love the look of sewing? - try rub-on, stamped or hand drawn stitches.
Francine Clouden mentioned that she tries to squeeze in scrapbooking anytime she can. For instance while her son naps, or while he happily plays and doesn’t necessarily need mommy. She also works in batches of time, doing a little here and there. Francine keeps a list of page ideas so that when she has a free moment she knows which photos she should edit and print. She also seconds the recommendation of using kit clubs as an easy way of deciding which products to use. When inspiration is running dry she visits her own blog. There she often finds a story or two to scrapbook and she saves time by copying the journaling from her post for her page. While she admits that she doesn’t use sketches often, she does love digital templates and finds them a quick way to get a page done and another story told. In her words, “This is a HUGE change from life before K when I would spend most days churning out pages like a maniac. If I can scrap this way then anyone can!”
I think a lot of us can relate to Francine’s comments. I know that I work in batches as well. If I’m spending time editing photos I will simultaneously match them with sketches in my notebook. I make note of what photos go with which sketch and at the same time I’ll jot down either specific papers or kits that I think will match the theme or colors of my photos. Later I'll gather those supplies in a basket that I keep next to my scrapbooking desk. When I pick up my printed photos I have already done, what is for me, a lot of the hard part of scrapbooking. The rest, putting it all together, is then more fun and productive.
Monika Wright also sent along some of her tips for squeezing in creative time:
- If I want crafting time, but the kids want me...I let them sit on the other side of my craft desk and let them punch shapes with pretty paper. They love it. Then they make pictures out of the shapes they've punched by gluing down the flowers, snowflakes, suns from circles...to construction paper.
- I make my own "kits" by packaging the paper, cardstock, embellishments, ribbon, die cuts... that I have in my stash that coordinate. Then, when I have some time, I pull out a kit and get to work immediately. Here is an example of partially designed pages waiting for the photos. You'll see that there are two pages in the making in this photo. I will often use the same page design for each of my 3 kids.
- When I think of a story, I'll write it down even if I don't have a photograph in mind. I don't think that my photos and stories have to match. Sometimes it's written on a random piece of paper, sometimes I'll get out a notebook and just brainstorm: thinking of things that were said, activities that we did, and sometimes I have a vintage photograph from before my scrapping days and I'll sit down and write what comes to mind...all memories I want to live on.
I then deposit all those stories into this file box I found at the Target Dollar Spot and place it back on my shelf where it will wait for me until I need a story to scrap.
Candice Palmer also recommended jotting down phrases from her life or that her kids have said so that journaling is easier. It makes journaling less tedious and more authentic for her if it is captured in the moment.
- Be organised (this is key – if you don’t have much time you don’t want to spend the time you do have looking for things)
- Have a kit of your basics in an easy to reach place so you can just pull it out and work in short stints.
- Have fun, because you are not going to want to do it if it’s not fun (don’t make it a chore).
Emily Pitts’ tip really resonated with me, as I’m sure it will with some of you who might be, or have ever been, overwhelmed by your supplies. She says, “I find that limiting the supplies I use really helps keep me focused and actually get things done. I'm more creative if I don't have a lot to choose from.”
- Write your journaling at the same time you download your pictures onto your computer. The details will still be fresh in your memory, and when you're ready to scrap the photos, having the journaling already written will make the process much faster. Make the journaling easy to find by saving it in the same folder as the pictures it belongs with.
- Instead of working your way through all your fonts every time you scrap, choose a handful of go-to fonts. Choose one serif font, one sans serif; one each that's masculine, feminine, fancy, and grungy. Then, when you format your journaling, use one of those fonts. You'll be surprised at just how versatile most fonts are.
Beth Proudfoot agrees that using coordinated product equals less time rummaging through supplies and more time enjoying the creative process.
Melissa Kaiserman suggested a tip for organization:
I try to keep things not only in easy reach but also very visible. For example, most of my little embellishments are in an old printer's tray rather than stashed in containers. It helps so much when I can walk over with a piece of paper or partial layout and quickly rummage through them to find something to use.
Vivian Masket shared an idea for what do to when inspiration is running dry. Often, we spend a lot of time forcing the creativity (I know I am guilty of this on occasion). Vivian says, “When I get into a design rut, I grab a non-scrapbooking magazine (in my house those are all cooking magazines) and look for layout or design element inspiration based on ads or page design. There's always something that catches my attention and gets the creative juices flowing again.”
Elizabeth Dillow told me that she often works on multiple layouts as a way of saving time. Sound strange? Whenever she starts to feel like she’s not getting anywhere, she will pull stuff out for another layout and start moving things around on that second layout. She says that, “The beauty of it is this: since I have to work in small chunks of time anyway, my brain can work on how I want a page to look when I'm not actually down there working on it. I find that when I get back to my table, I am far more efficient at completing layouts.”
I completely agree with that last sentence and this is something that I do a lot too, if not always. It does help me to not spend too much time fussing with a layout. I'll start it and get my ideas working and then I'll set it aside and start another layout (or two, or three). Usually this lets me think about what to do while I'm doing other things, like the laundry or the dishes - I'm sure you all know the drill! This way I'm not wasting time just staring at the layout trying to make it "perfect."
Finally to close our week together, I want to refer you to the comments thread on the give.away.day post. A lot of what I’ve shared with you today has already been mentioned in that thread. A big part of what this week was about was making scrapbooking a little bit easier and a little bit faster. Truthfully, I think this means different things for different people. I definitely have perfectionist tendencies - I try to fight them - but they are still there. There are certain parts of my creative process that I have learned that I need to short-cut otherwise I’ll get stuck in the details and never get anything accomplished. It’s not about being behind. It’s not about scrapbooking every photo. It’s about the fact that I don’t have an infinite amount of time and my children are growing-up so quickly. And things you think you’ll remember, well, you might not. A huge part of why I scrapbook is because I want to record my family’s memories. I want to remember. My hope for this week and for today’s post is that you will take from it the tips and ideas that are most helpful to you. I know that I have certainly picked-up some new ideas from reading your comments and from the comments of my fellow team members. Thank you all for sharing this week with me!
Until next time,