Happy Talk with Jan McCallum - how digital scrapbooking works in my life at pixels2Pages.net

You may recall that last month, I declared a lofty goal of completing a page a day in 2016.  Thirty-five days into the year (I’m writing a couple of days early), I’d like to report that I have completed 43 pages in my United Kingdom/Ireland book, 3 grandbaby pages, 3 Sassy Sister pages, 2 Crockett pages, 1 personal page, and one baby announcement – for a total of 53 pages!  Woo hoo!!  This may be my best-ever ‘start the year off right’ result!

So, here’s what’s working for me (most days!):

  • Intention – I set a SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-based) goal that I WANTED to reach, declared it publicly, and set about to make it happen.
  • Plan – I’m truly not much of a planner (just ask any other Pixie, or anyone who knows me well), but I realized that without a plan, this goal, like many of my other ‘seemed like a good idea at the time’ goals, would be doomed.  Keep reading to see the bits and pieces that make up my plan.
  • p2P Virtual Crop – The “Get It Done” crop last month was just what I needed to kick-start my project!  I didn’t do as many pages as I wanted to that week, but I think I did about half of these then.
  • Schedule – if you can call it that…I’m not big on schedules, I’m chronologically-challenged, and I’m not disciplined.  At all.  But, like I said – I knew I needed to set aside a time to scrap, or it just wouldn’t get done.  So, my time is at the end of the day.  When my work is done, or at least, as done as it’s going to be, and I’m ready to sit down and unwind, I go into my office and sit in my comfy chair and fire up my desktop with its big monitor and make a page or two.  I end my days with a wonderful feeling of accomplishment!
  • Project – I chose to start working on a book about a recent trip to the UK and Ireland with some high school friends as we celebrated our 60th birthdays.  The trip was just in August, so the memories are pretty fresh, and my friends are enjoying seeing the pages unfold as much as I am.  It’s like reliving the trip a little bit!  That doesn’t mean I can’t do some random pages as I go along, but it has really helped me stay on track to not have to think about what page I’ll do next.  Lucky for me, I have PLENTY of trips that have not been chronicled yet….
  • Content Management – such as it is, which in my case is minimal.  Sadly, I have not tagged much of my content, and I haven’t even made many categories.  And most of the ones I’ve made don’t have anything in them.  But, I did make a few categories for this book.  Not surprisingly, they are called “English Irish Elegance” (that was the name of the tour we took) followed by a designer’s name.  I just scrolled through my content, which is divided by library folders of each Forever designer, and when I saw papers or embellishments that looked like they might work for the places we visited, I added them to my new category.  So far, I have sort of stuck to the same designer for each day or place, but I’ve varied them as we traveled.
  • Font Management – this one has turned out to be such a biggie!!  I LOVE the new font manager capabilities!  Again, I created a category called “English Irish Elegance” and I scrolled through my fonts looking for Celtic, Gothic, Old English, Harry Potterish kinds of fonts and popped them in there.  Then I went to dafont.com and downloaded a few more – and made note of fonts I already had that were in those categories so I could make sure I had included them in my English Irish font group.  I’m using the same font for journaling on every page, so I added it to the group, and I made it my default font for now.  That’s one less decision I have to make, and it’s made it so easy for me to find fun title fonts.
  • Blueprints!!!  O.M.G.  What did I do before I had all of these Blueprints to use?  What a fantastic time saver they are!  I just scroll down to the bottom of my Blueprint folder (because all of my pages have lots of photos on them!) and find ones that suit the photos I’m working with.  I’ve also been paying attention to completed pages I like on our Facebook page and jotting down which Blueprints were used.  More decisions made for me!
  • Duplicity – I almost always work in two-page spreads, but some of my favorite Blueprints are single page prints.  No problem!  The mirror page feature in Artisan 5 is my new best friend.  I’ve learned to complete the first page before I mirror it, and then I don’t even have to add the paper and mats again!  In addition to mirroring, I am doing lots of sampling and applying.  So easy! Loving it!!
  • Simplicity – as much as I love ‘stickers’ and cute embellishments, I find that I really don’t have room for much more than my ‘culled as much as I can cull them’ photos and my journaling.  So I’m letting my titles and the overall design of the page, including my journaling, stand on their own.  I have done a good bit of wanding and custom cutting to make some of my own embellishments from my photos.
  • Google – I’m kicking myself now that I didn’t take the time to do my research BEFORE my trip, but I am learning lots and connecting a bunch of dots as I look up facts and figures about the cities and castles and churches and homes we explored.  Combining history with our story and my photos is what will make this book all I want it to be.
  • Historian and my Forever account – I may have mentioned I’m not the most organized Pixie.  Thank goodness for programs that do the heavy lifting for me!  I have pictures all over the place, but I can find them all (even on Facebook) from Artisan.
  • Accountability – Knowing that you are watching is keeping me motivated.  Last month, I created a gallery in my blog so my results would be recorded.  I’ll keep adding to it as we go.

So, there you have it.  My formula for getting it done!  Here’s to another month of completed pages!

Jan

PS  If you want a place to share your pages and stay accountable, join our Plan2Scrap Facebook group.  You can create your own accountability album there and only the people in that group will see your pages.  It’s a closed group, so you will require approval to join.

Here is my gallery.  Click on the images to see the content and fonts used.  I also have an album (called English Irish Elegance – imagine that!) on our p2P Facebook page in case you’d like to comment.  Or proofread!

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11 Responses to Blog: What’s Working for Me

  1. Karen Jones says:

    I hate to say I hate you. Of course, just kidding. I have never considered using Google to add to the journaling. I have one project going that Google info could really add to the book. I’ll never get it done if you guys keep on suggesting such good things!!

  2. Good job, Jan! I did get my Christmas book finished during the crop. Now I just need to figure out what I am going to work on next!

  3. Jan H says:

    Congratulations Jan. You are off to the races and are inspiring me to get going. Thank you for all the tips you shared. I am getting ready to start a new album and will put some of them to practice. Thanks again.

  4. Janice says:

    Wow – you are on a roll!!! Keep it up – I’m so very proud of you, and inspired!!!! Now to set some time aside to get those categories sorted.

  5. Joy says:

    Your pages inspected me. The photography, use of color for elements and papers. You may not be organized but your talents are obvious in others.

    Truly I have been watching you. Each page with your name seems to end up in Historian as an idea scrapping. Thanks for your creativity.

  6. debbie says:

    Wow! Keep it up!

  7. Linda DeLaughter says:

    I am so very proud of you, dear Jan!!! You make me excited about getting my travel books done!!!

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