Thursday, June 15, 2006

When Scrapbooker's Block Strikes

By Christina VanGinkel

One of the most common issues I hear from fellow scrap bookers is that while they might have all the latest tools, a good supply of paper and embellishments, and photos galore just waiting to be scrapped, they just do not know where to start. They might have dozens of layouts finished, even complete scrapbooks, but then one day, they pull out their supplies or walk into their room they use just for scrapping, and the mood they encounter is similar to coming face to face with a brick wall. For all the supplies around them, and all the photographs calling out to them to be used, they just seem to run out of steam.

Many will say that they try, they really do. They will pull out a sheet of cardstock, maybe even create a title, or assemble a few embellishments on a page. However, when it comes time to pull it all together into a layout, nothing seems to work.

Take a Breather

Scrappers block can be dealt with though, and almost always successfully. Admitting that you might be a bit burned out is often the first step to recovery. If everything in your supplies looks blah, ho-hum, common, whatever terms you want to use, do not rush out to buy more. I know that is the first instinct of many of those who spend their leisure time scrapping. They figure if nothing looks good, maybe they just need to gather a few new supplies. You might need to, but before you do, first, take a breather. That is right, close the door or fold up your organizer, and put it all away for a few days. Resist the urge to scrap, if it even calls to you. If you are truly in the midst of scrappers block, chances are it will not.

Make a Scrapbook Starter List

Next, either search out a list of scrapbook starters, or create your own. Scrapbook starters are generic ideas that you can use when the scrapper's block strikes, to get you motivated to make a layout. Some scrapbook starters I have in my list are:

Create a layout completely in black and white.
Take your favorite photo you have not scrapped yet, and transform it on the computer into a sepia toned print.
Take a photo of your child's or pet's favorite toy.
Sort just your die cuts.
Sort your stickers.
Sort your rub-ons.
(Do not sort all of them, just pick one, and sort those. If you start sorting everything, you risk getting into an organizational mode, and that can explode into a cleaning frenzy whereas you will be lucky to scrap again for weeks, lest you be constantly cleaning!)
Create a sketch.

This is just a small sampling from my scrap starter list. I add to it whenever I am in the mood to scrap, so when I have times that I just cannot come up with any good ideas, I can turn to my list and possibly jump start my lack of enthusiasm. I include very specific ideas in my list too, such as Create a page about my son's love of snowboarding wax, including pictures of the various waxes, the iron he uses, and the photo I have of him actually waxing his board. In the heat of summer, without this note in my list, I probably would not even think about creating that particular layout, yet it was one I had always intended doing, yet other layouts always seemed to take preference. So, when I was having a case of scrapper's block, my note about this particular layout was just what I needed to get going.

Create Something Else

I have also found that working on an alternative project, such as altering a tin, or creating a card, are great ways to get over scrapper's block when nothing else will work. These tasks are great ways to see your supplies in a new light, without the pressure of incorporating photos. After making a card, or working on a project that includes altering something, I always seem rejuvenated to get scrapping once again. Work on a project that is for one of your other creative hobbies, such as crochet or painting. Be warned though, that this will often lead to ideas for incorporating those hobbies into your next scrapbook layout! If you are having a serious case of scrapper's block, try some of these tips to get you scrapping and on the road to recovery. Happy scrapping!

No comments: