I’m not going to tell you how to prepare. I’ve already done that. Most of you are old hands at LOAD by now anyway. You’ve all found your way to LOAD in one way or another, and found a very welcoming community. You’ve figured out how to make it work for you, and why you keep coming back to this fun and rewarding challenge.
You’ve got this challenge mastered.
There’s more though. Have you gone back and looked at how LOAD has changed you? Or, perhaps to be more specific, how LOAD has changed your scrapbooking? I thought that might be interesting, and gathered together all the pages I have created during the various LOAD challenges I’ve participated in. Let’s see how I’ve changed, and how I’ve stayed the same:
My first LOAD, I did 44 layouts, completed two mini-albums, started a class project, experimented a bit, and scrapped 109 photos. There are a lot of pages in this set that I still love, and some where I can see that the experiments didn’t come out quite as planned.
My second LOAD, I really hit my stride. I dabbled in digi-pages when I couldn’t face the mess on my desk, scrapped some photos multiple times, worked on another class project, and finished my eldest’s baby book. Thirty-two pages in the gallery, and another 107 photos scrapped.
LOAD number three. I’m starting to recognize trends in my pages, go-to designs I repeat and alter as needed, once again going digi while traveling or when overwhelmed with a messy desk. Thirty-three pages done, 70 more photos scrapbooked, and a photo-album scrapbook completed.
With a full year of LOAD under my belt, I scrap faster and with more confidence. I focus even more on the story, and less on “using up” my photos. I get another 34 stories told, and 74 more photos onto pages.
As each LOAD progresses, I try more techniques, and find more ways to tell my story. From dabbling in creating digi-templates and pages to going old school and fussy cutting people out of photos, I get more done, and my style becomes more and more apparent with each page done. This month’s totals: 29 layouts, and 82 photos used!
As life got busier, and more hectic, I kept coming back to LOAD as a way to relax and recharge. By connecting with my creative side on a daily basis, I was able to be more constructive in my daily life as well. Completed this month: 31 layouts using 73 photos, and the yearbook for my son’s elementary school.
That summer, I participated in MotherLOAD at BPC. Rather than a month of doing a page every day, we had 7 weeks of prep work, where Lain walked newcomers through the thought processes that help you successfully make scrapbooking a priority in your life, and then four weeks of creating a layout every day. Between helping out by keeping an eye on the gallery, and prepping our house for sale, I knew going in that I would not be finishing the challenge. I still managed to make 21 layouts and use 52 photos.
October 2011 was the first ScrapHappy community only LOAD. Having just finished MotherLOAD, and having to clean my house every other day for showings and inspections, I opted not to even try to do LOAD. I missed the camaraderie of LOAD, but could not face cleaning my craft room that often.
When February 2012 rolled around, I was ready and raring to go. I used some of my oldest photos, some that had been sent to me by a cousin doing genealogical research, and some taken the day I scrapped them. I used memorabilia and stickers as starting points. I told funny stories, and stories that showed myself in less than flattering light. I kept some pages to the simple facts, and went into great depth on other stories. I made 30 layouts, and used 70 photos.
Then we finally sold our house, found a new one, and moved. In May, during LOAD. I couldn’t participate because all my materials were packed away, and even after we moved, I couldn’t find what I wanted. So I didn’t make a single page. But, oh how I wanted to. I missed LOAD.
That brings us up to the last LOAD, the second ScrapHappy community only one. This time I was on a mission. I decided to make pages for my sister’s baby book, and have them ready for her by the time our mother’s birthday rolled around. I made over 25 pages in a two week period. And then I kept going once she’d been and gone. I uploaded 35 layouts that used 76 photos.
Through it all, I’ve discovered a few style consistencies about myself. I like color. Orange and blue is my favorite color combination. I like techniques. Some of most favorite pages are the ones that use techniques to emphasize the story theme. I hand write my journaling, a lot, even though I frequently make mistakes. I scrap fast. Even on days when I’m being especially indecisive, pages are usually done in less than an hour. I use certain types of layouts frequently. Shapes I like to call the band, the column, the cross, or the photo block are go-to designs. (And for those keeping count, I completed 289 layouts, with 713 photos. That’s a lot of pages done and stories told!)
These are just some of the things I’ve learned as I’ve dedicated myself to my craft through LOAD. Won’t you join me for this month’s LOAD, and discover who you are as a scrapbooker?