Hi fellow and prospective LOADSTERS! So glad you made it here for our 1st ever LOAD blog hop. This February will be my 1 year LOADaversary as well as my 9 year scrappingversary (ok, I'm known to make up words, so just go with it, ok?) and I'm excited to get going. However; I'm much more relaxed about it now than I was before that very first LOAD last February. Back then, I had a bunch of page kits ready to go, pictures printed (still need those!), journaling pre-written for the layouts I had in mind, and tons of adhesive (still need those, too!). I worried and stressed about not having everything just so, and guess what? LOAD was awesome despite my preparation, AND I did get a lot of layouts done (even if I didn't get them done "on time") which thrilled me...BUT, I hardly used any of the pre-made kits I had or scrapped about the stories I had planned on telling. That was because LOAD challenges you to think outside the box, and the only way to really prepare for it (besides having your pictures and adhesive, of course), is to be open to the daily prompts and go with the flow.
It's true that no one, not even Lain herself, is going to force you to follow the daily prompts, but if you're here during the month of February and you signed up for your 1st LOAD, then chances are you might just need a little inspiration to get you going. Before long, you'll find yourself
sitting at your computer bleary-eyed just waiting (and hoping) for that email to come through at the stroke of midnight (or 3am, depending where you are). So, no pressure here, but read a little longer, and you'll see why I LOVE THE DAILY PROMPTS!!
Now, if any of you know me, you know I'm not really good at just going with the flow...usually. A little pre-planning puts my mind at ease, even if it's really just for my own peace of mind. So, I still prepare for LOAD, and I still have pictures and journaling printed and written, but I choose not to get page kits together (YIKES) or stress all that much. I've decided to try and use the month of LOAD as a learning experience and fully engaged in the daily prompts (totally optional, of course, but I figured I needed the push). What I've found is that I made layouts that I thought were fabulous and that probably would NEVER had gotten scrapped had it not been for Lain's creative suggestions. I discovered that I really could scrap every day (hey, who needs clean laundry all the time). I even took pictures JUST to complete the prompts and get a particular story down that I didn't have pictures for. Case in point, most of my layouts about ME! I used to scrap more about myself way back when I first started scrapbooking , but that fell to the wayside as I got busier BEHIND the camera and caught up in trying to document every. single. event. that our kids did. When I participated in my 1st LOAD ever, Lain had a few prompts that I was excited to complete using myself as a subject. That meant asking my 10 year old to snap a few photos of me, as well as trying to get one of myself in the mirror. These are the layouts that came out of a couple of the prompts Lain gave us, and I'm really glad I chose to go with the moment and not try to scrap something that I had preplanned.
Another way LOAD will stretch you is by showing you different scrapping styles and challenging you to find what you like about that designer's particular style and lift it. We had a Jody Wenke interview we watched and even though I thought I liked the look of her layouts, I never felt that I could accomplish such a clean and "minimalist" look without trying desperately to add a ton of "stuff" (and I DO love my stuff, that's for sure). Yet, I found tremendous inspiration in many of her layouts and in one in particular. I chose to lift a page that had an enlarged picture at the top, framed with some awesome graphic patterned paper and a cool color scheme--this was yet another layout I had no specific picture for, but decided to use one that I had taken while playing with my camera one day. This is probably one of my most "authentic" layouts that I LOVE, but might have never made had it not been for LOAD.
So what am I getting at? I guess, what I'm trying to say is, go ahead and get prepared...to a point. Cook some meals in advance, load up on adhesive (no pun intended), print some pictures, heck, even write some journaling or notes about a few of those pictures if you feel like it, but REMEMBER, this coming month and the journey ahead is all about INSPIRATION, so give yourself the gift of being open to the daily prompts, enjoying the process, and cherishing those layouts that you complete in the end. Whether it's a full month's worth (and there are only 28 days in February, so it's an easier month to get started with) or just a few, special pages...the fact is, you WILL get your mojo revving and your creative juices flowing by just being a part of the awesome community that is LOAD. Take the time to scrap, but also take the time to browse the gallery, participate in the forums, leave some love on the layouts you admire, and in general, enjoy the month. By the time you're done, you'll be sad to see it end and will start hounding Lain about signing up for the next LOAD in May! And maybe, just maybe, you'll have learned a little about your yourself AND come out with a LOAD OF LAYOUTS you'll love.
Now, don't stop here...move on to the next blog after me and show some love. And if you leave a comment here, I'll be sure to pick one person on Wednesday evening that I can send a few things to from my overflow bins of scrappy stuff. Be sure to leave your email so I can contact you.
Happy scrapping, LOADsters,