In an effort to help me get more layouts done this month and add more to my Scrap 365 count I’ve signed up to participate in The Finishing Project held over at Simple Scrapper. Jennifer Wilson is a genius at breaking things down to get to the heart of why we do what we do and she is super awesome at providing strategies to help you overcome any creative roadblocks you might encounter along the way. I’ve taken a number of classes with her in the past and I just love both her teaching ability and her creative ideas.You may have seen this image a time or two on the blog but what you don’t know is that this is second incarnation of the epic four volumes of my first and most ambitious scrapbooking project. It began way back in 2001 when I went to America for a year as an exchange student. It was easily one of the most rewarding, difficult and best years of my entire life and the reason why I sit here as a scrapbooker today. I loved my exchange experience so much that I wanted to “do something special” with the 21 rolls of film (yes, I did say film) that I took on this grand adventure. The something special I found was scrapbooking and it is a gift that keeps on giving to this very day.
However I find myself still having this project unfinished a whopping 14 years after I first began it. Which is really quite sad. I’ve certainly made progress and each album contains completed layouts and the necessary elements to complete many more (photos, ephemera, journaling snippets). And despite the amount of time that has passed I still have as much love for this project now as I did when I began, I would hate for it to stay this way. In fact it would give me immense satisfaction to see it completed, and I still believe completion is an achievable goal. Along with the albums themselves I also have a collection of other bits and pieces to help me put it all together. The blue box on the bottom has various bits of Exchange Ephemera that while not going in the album due to size or condition or whatever still help provide context all these years later and act as memory joggers to getting some more journaling down. The photo box/album have duplicate copies of my photos in case I need to do some creative cropping of images to fit a layout and the spotted journal is the brains behind the whole operation. It contains the sections which the album is divided into, the number of layouts for the entire four volumes, along with page sketches, original ideas for product choices (along with annotation of magazine volumes where the inspiration was found if I used it), journaling for certain layouts and various other margin notes to help me out.Which brings me to part of the problem – my Roadblocks to why it is still unfinished. Obviously being a totally newbie scrapbooker and not having much of an idea about how to do it I spent a fair amount of my scrapbooking time planning and thinking and reading about scrapbooking while getting this underway. That was Roadblock Number 1,Thinking and not Doing – instead of spending my scrapbooking time actually scrapbooking I spent it planning, sketching and writing out bits of journaling. A fact which I am very thankful for this far down the road as I have some very interesting in the moment journaling that will serve well, but just imagine if I’d used that time scrapping instead of planning how much further done it would be. Roadblock Number 2, Scale – like I said the scale of this project is epic, all in all it is divided into 15 different sections containing a whopping 334 individual layouts. Which brings us to Roadblock Number 3 Not having the right tools – When I started this project I didn’t have a lot of the supplies or tools I now take for granted. Scrapbooking was in its infancy when I returned to Australia and a lot of stuff was pretty cutesy and not at all my style and the tools I did have were mediocre at best, no digital camera, no scanner, no colour printer; so some layouts were actually left undone on purpose for that elusive ‘one day’ when I had all the right tools or the scrapbooking industry/technology caught up to my ideas. That day has well and truly come. Sidenote: not having finished it yet means I have ample opportunity to use a massive amount of older stash now to fit with what’s already in the album. All those things I deemed too precious to use back then are totally going in there. The biggest one though is Roadblock Number 4, Shame – Up until 2006, a lot of my scrapping happened at crops and I actually became ashamed of the fact that I was still working on this same album every time I went to a crop, seriously it had been five years why was I not done with it yet. That was also about the time that I simply gave up on it. Life got busy, new projects presented themselves and I had burned out on feeling like a failure because it wasn’t done. So I set it aside.
Knowing all the history of this project and the journey it has taken me on I am setting my sights on an achievable goal and committing to complete only the first album during the course of The Finishing Project. Most of that involves adding journaling to unfinished pages but there are still a few photos missing, a few design elements that need tweaking and embellishments that need to be added. I am hoping what I learn in this course will help propel me forward to complete the rest of the albums and not only that but provide me with a greater understanding as to why I have so much trouble completing certain projects over others.
The layouts I post for the month of March may not use the latest techniques or supplies but they will go towards acheiving what I think is a much bigger goal so if you want some inspiration for finishing older layouts using older supplies, this month I am your gal. If you also want a bit more context a lot of the things I wrote about in my Scrappy Do-Over Part 1 and Part 2 were directly influenced by this very project.