Lesson 07 | Keeping It Simple!

Hi guys and welcome to Lesson 07! Today we are going to chat about one of the biggest parts of my goal-setting: keeping it simple. In today’s chat I am going to talk with you about how I came to the point of simplifying my process and what simplifying means to me!

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First and foremost I want to express how much I LOVE embellishments and layers and let me tell you how much I love the process of creating super detailed layouts that give you lots to look at! I think there is so much room for creativity in our craft and many ways to express our creativity via embellishments and super complicated designs. However, when I am working with my pocket page layouts, and specifically Project Life, I am very goal oriented and very focused on the task at hand: documenting our family stories on a regular basis.

When I began to realize how many albums I had that were unfinished, I began to realize that I needed some strategies to help me get them finished. I have shared lots of those strategies in this class, and so today I am sharing one more really important strategy: Keep It Simple.

My Disney album (all of which can be seen by clicking the link in my sidebar to the right!) was the catalyst for my own personal simplification of my process. In order to be able to complete that album and stay on task without getting burned out, I decided to simplify each layout and really challenge myself to limit my embellishments on the page. I did this by keeping to one or two tiny embellishments per card and by vowing to leave one or two cards/photos on each layout untouched. I absolutely loved the results and I loved how that freed me up to tell more stories!

I have since stuck with that, for the most part. I still create super elaborate 12×12 layouts sometimes, and I still love art journaling where I add 10 layers to a page, because I do still love that process. But for the purposes of regular memory keeping for our family albums, simple has become my mantra. I am still working on being more simple – I have a long ways to go before I could ever call myself a minimalist (!!!) but it is something that has really helped me.

One of the reasons it has helped me so much is because putting only one or two tiny embellishments on each card makes the decision making so much easier! Remember how earlier in the class we talked about identifying places in our process that held us up or even stopped us? That was applicable in the printing process and is also very relevant here. Every embellishment and layer you add is another place to potentially get hung up or even get stuck in your process. You guys, I want you to feel confident in your process and I want you to get layouts (and albums!) completed.

Another reason I love simplifying so much is that it really does make your supplies go further. Yay! I can take one Gossamer Blue Life Pages kit and create almost four layouts with one kit, and when you mix kits together the possibilities are endless. Add to that the fact that it now takes less time, and you have a workable formula for creating your albums! Hooray!

I am also a big fan of using the pre-designed products that are so readily available. Sometimes it feels like there is an intense pressure to create your own journal cards, and that is awesome if you like doing that! But anything we have to create from scratch means more design time. And again, if you love that then you should do that. But I don’t think it is necessary to create a new wheel each week. There are so many incredible artists and scrapbookers out there who are designing gorgeous cards for us, precisely so we can get more layouts completed.

Those predesigned cards give another advantage: they are often the perfect journaling prompt to help us tell more stories. I am learning to use list cards and love them now. I love Who, What, Where and When cards. Anything that helps jog my brain so that I am writing more details is a great thing! So grab the predesigned cards and use them to your advantage.

Another way that simplifying has been part of my overall album approach is via my goal-setting. Last lesson we talked about how I set my goals and creating more simple layouts with fewer embellishments and fewer decisions helps me meet my goals in more efficient ways. Each and every one of us has time limits on our craft. The amount of time you have to spend on scrapbooking might be very limited and I think it is wise to consider how much we can reasonably accomplish in the time we have? And also, how can we weigh the goals we have set alongside the time we have in order to reasonably accomplish what we would like? In other words, if you know you only have a few hours per week to create layouts, then determine how many projects is reasonable for you to work on at a time, and how complicated or simple those layouts need to be.

Larkindesign 2012 Project Life

For me personally, I am so thankful and fortunate that I can stay at home, so for about 6 hours during each day I can create a life I love. I use those 6 hours (and many more) to create our family albums and also to share them online. I estimate it takes approximately 50-60 hours each week to create and share here on my blog and my YouTube channel. I basically have 5 projects going on at any given time, and I like to assign each project to a specific day in the week, so I know that is how many projects I am working on and how much time I have for each project every week.

You may only have three hours per week to scrapbook, and I think that is perfectly ok too! Take those three hours, determine how many active projects you want to try to fit into those three hours, and divide those three hours up among those projects. If you choose two projects, then you have 1 1/2 hours each week to create something for those two projects. You might be surprised at how much you can accomplish in that amount of time, especially if you already have your album outline, your photos are printed and in the pockets, and you are prepared to keep those layouts simple!

So, now that we are ready to simplify, let’s look at the process videos for this lesson!

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