Workspace: Project Creation

One of the things about a functioning workspace is knowing how you use it and that’s what the next few lessons in the Workspace class asked us to tackle. For me I’ve noticed that I tend to scrap one of two ways. More recently my layouts have had a bit more of a bent to scrapping by collection/manufacturer as well as doing my usual thing of scrapping just randomly from my stash. So to evaluate my scrappy style I decided to do both a collection layout and a stash layout. For my collection layout I chose to go with a page using the Pink Paislee Moonstruck collection. It met all the points of a classic collection layout for me, it was a recently acquired purchase, I was excited about the patterns and motifs and I had a variety of elements to choose from – papers, washi stickers, diecuts and puffy stickers. In fact this is the first layout I have created with this collection so the sky was the limit in what I could pick and choose from the collection. To compliment it I also added in some tissue paper, a set of vellum butterflies I picked up at the Reject Shop a little while ago and an American Crafts DIY Shop heart vellum that I purchased at the same time as the Moonstruck bits and pieces. 20170116_1workspace_projectcreationThe way I work with collections is that I don’t buy the whole thing. I only ever select my favourite papers and embellishments, stuff I know I’ll use (even with paper pads I tend to go through and remove those patterns that aren’t my style and pass them on) then I keep all the papers together in a large plastic ziplock bag. The embellishments go together in my diecut basket directly in front of where I create, until I maybe have very little left. Then they get slotted into my regular system of storing papers by colour and embellishments by type. This process makes the whole scrapping by collection thing rather effortless. Everything is close at hand and I only go seek out extras if I have something very specific in mind like the vellum butterflies & heart paper. The only way I thought I could make it even more so was by maybe storing all of the collection items together in the same ziplock bag (or box as is the case with my Crate Paper stuff) but that makes storage awkward so I’m totally fine having them separate.20170116_2workspace_projectcreationThe only issues I had with my collection layout really had nothing to do with the supplies at all. The blue shades of the butterfly paper made me think of my friends lovely beach wedding so that was a photo and a story sorted which is my most common hurdle with collection layouts. I’m excited to get in and use the things but then what is the point of just making a pretty page if I have nothing to say. Story based scrapping is one of the most important parts of scrapbooking for me. The other issues I had were that blade in the knife I use for detail work is in need of replacement so it made my cuts a bit more feathered and less refined than I’d like and that I didn’t decide to put the vellum heart border around until the very end of the layout so I had to move most things in a bit more from the edge. Even the title used some modified diecuts so that was a bit of a no-brainer too.20170116_3workspace_projectcreationClean up was a breeze because I just popped the embellishments back in the diecut basket, the leftover vellum went back in it’s plastic sleeve and onto its spot on the shelf . I used all but two of the vellum butterflies which were just sitting loosely in a draw, so they got tossed right back in where they were and my tools (knife, journaling pen) went right back into their container on my desk. No mess, no fuss, no hassle.20170116_4workspace_projectcreationFor my second layout I started with the story. I had this funny photo of my son fast asleep in the Jolly Jumper that I wanted to scrap. Aside from his suit the colours are fairly neutral so I decided to draw on the navy stripes of his onesie as my starting point for gathering supplies. First point of call for most layouts is to select my patterned paper (usually for the background) and since navy was the colour of choice that’s what I looked for first. I did notice a few papers in my blue selection that will be moving on but unfortunately my supply of navy papers is a bit on the sparse side at the moment (or else it’s all hidden in Isaac’s baby album kit of supplies, hmmm just thought of that). I had two full sheets with a predominantly navy scheme, one was paired with green stripes and I didn’t like the way it looked with the photo and the other had a clock motif on it that I wasn’t overly enthused to use with this story (and as  I realized later also, about a centimetre cut off the side from another project, so wasn’t actually a full sheet after all.) Which left me with a 1/3 piece of the stamp-edge paper and 2/3rds of this old Basic Grey distressed paper called Phlordilie which I really liked the look of when paired together. Background done. 20170116_5workspace_projectcreationMy next step in my scrappy process is to have a quick flick through of my diecuts. Now this was the part of the process that surprised me. I saw one of the dream sentiments on a Shimelle diecut/cut-apart and decided I’d use that but then instead of going for something else like stickers or a 6×6 paper or whatever else I could reach for I just started pulling out all of the ‘dream’ cut-aparts from the Shimelle Starshine collection. And while I was on a Shimelle kick I figured I’d have a look through her signature line of stickers where I found the ‘Is this for real?’ sentiment, a perfect fit for this story. Now with a predominantly monochromatic colour scheme going on I figured the only thing left to do was add in another pop of gold, a title and my journaling. Without really trying to I had in effect created a bit more of a collection/manufacturer layout than planned.20170116_6workspace_projectcreationAll told this one was a bit more challenging to put together than the collection layout. I didn’t have the ‘right thing’ for my background in my stash of supplies and had to create a work-around for my background. Instead of going for a variety of supplies like I had thought I would, I kinda went for same old, same old. I wanted the same blue & gold combo as in the ‘Is this for real?’ sticker elsewhere on the page which was do-able with another sticker from the collection that I was never going to use as-is but I couldn’t find where I had put the pack that the gold book-plate diecut came from and had to do a bit of a search to find it. (It was hiding in an old Christmas kit that hadn’t been put away). I spent forever trying to think of a title to go underneath the photo and all those Dream, Dream, Dream diecuts but in the end couldn’t think of one and didn’t like my Thicker options anyway. But… and here’s the thing, all that being said, this is my usual process. I like taking random things and turning them into something cohesive. I enjoy the challenge of digging through my supplies and taking a bunch of mismatched bits and pieces and turning them into a layout I love, especially when I can use up an entire paper or finish off a pack of stickers/diecuts/whatever. The fun is in the process as much as the accomplishment is in the finished product. Is this my favourite layout ever – no. Is it a story I wanted told – yes! Did I get to use up some stuff – yes! Was it a bunch of fun to make – absolutely!20170116_7workspace_projectcreationClean up for this one was relatively easy too. The diecuts/cut-aparts are certainly on my desk for a reason, they are my most reached for supply besides patterned paper, which makes me giddy, and the Shimelle sticker book lives in the same spot so it was only a case of popping them back in their spot. Once I’d found the book-plate I could put it back in it’s proper spot and won’t have to look for it next time I want anything from that pack. Thickers and alphabets are sorted by colour in a binder so they were easy to put away and anything else I used got stuck on and back in it’s spot as I crafted.20170116_8workspace_projectcreationSo my take-aways from creating these projects surprised me. They had very little to do with creating individual layouts because collection kit or stash dive the results are pretty much the same. I reach for the same types of supplies most every time, they’re in good locations, stored in suitable spots, easy to find and put away (for the most part) and in the end I get a story told and a pretty page done, while I enjoy the process. Which is ultimately why I love and adore this hobby. What I did conclude however was that I have far, far too many on-the-go projects in process. The thing that got me most annoyed was not being able to find something in it’s spot because I’d put it in a kit and hadn’t put it back, also the fact that I didn’t think about looking in a kit for some navy paper until after the fact. Which tells me I need to finish some stuff and not start another large project until I’ve cleared a few of the old ones. I knew from the get go that my space could do with a bit of a purge just to free up some space and return some order because I was feeling like I was heading to capacity with my amount of supplies but my organization systems are actually working for me. I also realized that there are a lot of things I don’t reach for and it’s not for lack of proximity either. I cannot even remember the last time I used a rub-on and my stamps rarely see the light of day and both of those are only a spin in my chair away in the buffet & hutch where most supplies are stored but the enamel dots which sit on my desk in my little decorative lantern came as more of an after-thought for the stash layout and they’re within arms reach. So another takeaway is that I need to challenge myself to use a range of supplies on a regular basis. Such a valuable process to evaluate before I really dive into the purging/organization stage.

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