Reflecting on LOAD

I'm not going to lie, it was HARD at times and kept me up until late at night many days. But... I also really enjoyed it and have a whole album of LO's to show for it. As a matter of fact, I've already signed up for the next edition in September, courtesy of Big Picture Classes, called 'the Mother LOAD'.

What else did I take away from this?
- Though I usually only do double-page spreads, I actually did a lot of single page LO's during this challenge. Turns out I LIKE doing them. Who knew??
- I seem to have a preference for (off) white backgrounds lately: 12 out of the 31 LO's have either a white or off-white base.
- I stepped outside my comfort zone a few time using new techniques. I really liked the creative process.
- At the same time I stayed true to my 'tried and tested'-methods: using sketches (I couldn't scrap without them!), distressing edges (with ink or distressing tool), stamping, handwritten journaling (I'm too lazy to type...), alpha stickers...
- Even though it was hard setting aside time every day to make a LO, it was also really relaxing spending time at something I enjoy doing.
- I scapped a lot of pictures that have been on my 'when-I-get-around-to-it'-pile for a long time. I'm glad they finally made it to my albums!

I can't wait until September for the next round!

LOAD Day 31 - the final day! Whoohoo!

Today's prompt: create a page about a beginning or an ending in your life you want to celebrate.

Here's what I did:

A page about a major milestone in my life: buying my own house 2 years ago.
I have to say, I LOVE the different fonts in the title, and while the colours of the patterned papers don't exactly match, I'm OK with that. As Ali Edwards would say, I'm 'embracing imperfection' :-)


LOAD Day 30

Today's prompt: follow your heart. Go with the flow. Don’t measure, don’t scraplift, don’t look for external inspiration. Just do YOUR thing.

Here's my LO:

I took this picture of a prairie dog puppie at the zoo some time ago. He was so curious and came that close to the camera that it created a bit of a fish-eye perspective. I love this photo!
Super simple LO, no sketch used. The leaves are preprinted on craft-coloured cardstock and I cut around the edge of one to slide the photo underneath.


LOAD Day 29

Today's prompt: look back over the pages you’ve done this month. Has your style changed? Have YOU changed?

Here's my page:

Another tough one for me that I decided to skip. Instead I used pictures of our recent trip to Istanbul.


LOAD Day 28

Today's challenge: create a page about something you feel passionate about.

Here's what I did:

I honestly had no idea what to do (which is odd since there are many things I feel passionate about, but I guess hindsight is 20/20...) Anyways, I decided to use another set of photos from my Egypt-trip, this time of our boat trip on the Nile in Aswan, which, for me, was one of the highlights of the entire trip.
It was super relaxed, the scenery was nice and the lighting of the setting sun was gorgeous. Good times.


LOAD Day 27

Todays'challenge: find an older photo and reflect on its meaning.

This is what I made:

This LO is about the trip I took to Egypt in January. The revolution broke out just days after we returned home. The photo is taken from the Citadel, overlooking the city. It shows the overall 'brown-ness' of the city, the dirt, the lack of atmosphere, the poverty of its inhabitants.
While we were there, we discussed how we couldn't believe how the Egyptians seemed to accept their living circumstances. Turns out, they didn't. Good for them.


LOAD Day 26

Today's prompt: scrap a little thing. Something that seems inconsequential but in reality is the whole world wrapped up into one tiny thing.

Here's my LO:

This may seem silly, but it's a page about the ONE thing you can wake me up for in the middle of the night: the best Patatje Oorlog (war-style french fries) out there in my humble opinion, courtesy of Kalok in Rotterdam. Their peanut sauce is simply deee-vine: sweet and spicy at the same time. YUM!


LOAD Day 25

Today's challenge: think of a “telling detail” you can share on your scrapbook page.

My page:

I made a page about my unexpected musicality. I've wanted to take music lessons for a long time (I sometimes wish my parents would have encouraged playing an intrument when I was younger), and finally decided to go for it a few years ago and take drumming lessons. I decided to switch to bass guitar after 3 years, since that's also fascinated me for ages.
I'm not very good at either, but that's mainly because I lack the discipline to practice. According to my teachers I could actually be quite good if I put the energy into it. But due to my MANY hobbies and there only being 24hrs in a day, it's just a bit of dabbling for now. Nonetheless, it's another thing I've been able to mark off my 'bucket list' :-)


LOAD Day 24

Today's challenge: make a wish list layout today, or pick one goal or  and create a page about it.

Here's my page:

It's about my goal to visit the eight architectural wonders of the world. So far 5 down, 3 more to go!
The idea is that I can add to this page once I've visited the remaining sights.


LOAD Day 23

Today's prompt: Pick a story that’s a little tougher to tell. TELL it.

Given last month's events, I knew exactly which story I wanted to tell:

These pictures are pretty special because were taken the day befor my grandmother died, when my aunt, cousin and I were visiting her in the hospital. At that time, she appeared to be getting better and we had a good time talking and being silly. Unfortunately, she took a turn for the worst the next day and died that afternoon.
I'm so glad I visited that day and that I have these pictures to remind me of the last day I spent with her.


LOAD Day 22

Today's challenge: use only one word as your journaling.

Here's my LO:

It's my cavy Amber gazing longingly to her cagemates from across the room. The title means 'homesick'.


LOAD Day 21

Wow, 3 weeks in and still going strong! Who would have thought...

Anyways, this was today's challenge: pick a trend that is popular today and try to use it in a way that fits your style, feels natural, and also won’t look absolutely ridiculous in five or ten years.

Bonus challenge: show one of your embarrassing past scrapbook pages that makes yo u contemplate "What was I thinking??"

I'd like to think my style is pretty timeless and I don't get 'sucked in' often by temporary trends.

Here's today's LO:

I don't think this LO is very trendy, but I don't think it will look dated in a few years either. Materials and techniques that could be considered trendy: craft cardstock, (faux) stitching, rubber stamping.

And here's my 'past embarrassment': 

I actually don't think it's too bad, although you can tell it was made several years ago when Coluzzle templates were all the rage...


LOAD Day 20

Today's prompt: start with the design of your page. Then move to photo or story. Leave your embellishing (“decorating”) for last.

I decided to skip this one and go with my usual routine, which is: find photos, choose a sketch, select cardstock & patterned papers to match, and pick out embellishments.

Here's today's LO:

These are photos from last year's art exhibit at a castle ruin close to where I live. The ruin itself was decorated as if it were a fish tank ornament, complete with fish, shells and even an anemone :-)
I picked a patterned paper to match the fish theme and went from there.


LOAD Day 19

Today's prompt: choose appropriate embellishments for the theme or “feel” of your page.

Here's my LO:

I used photos from one of our annual shopping trips to the garden center to buy new Christmas decorations. Since it's a seasonal event, I chose patterned paper from a Christmas line and used alphas to match the colours.


LOAD Day 18

Today's challenge: Restraint. Let your layout breathe. Make sure there’s white space. Choose a focal element and let the others play back-up.

This is what I made:

Photo's from last year's trip to Dolfinarium Harderwijk. I only used cardstock, 2 patterned papers, letter stickers and a journaling stamp + ink (I still need to add journaling).


LOAD Day 17

Today's challenge: find a good page gone bad in your albums. See what you can do to resurrect it.

I decided to pass on this one. Sure, I have plenty of pages that didn't exactly turn out the way I envisioned it. But if I knew how to fix it, I would not have done it 'wrong' in the first place!
I'm also trying to let go of my perfectionism and to 'embrace imperfection' (to quote Ali Edwards).

So, I did something entirely different:

It's a bit of a visual overload even though I only used patterned papers and cardstock, but I used these papers to mimic the mozaics inside the Aya Sofia (though truthfully, these papers would have fitted better with my photos of the Blue Mosque!)


LOAD Day 16

Today's prompt: choose a plain photo and a plain background, then use embellishments to add the emotion.

Here's my LO:

I used a white background that I sprayed with glimmer mist. I just downloaded an online workshop on embellishment clustering, so I gave that a shot as well.
I went a bit overboard with the stamped swirls, but all in all it's not too bad and it made me step outside my comfort zone a bit.


LOAD Day 15

Today we had to scraplift a LO by expert Stephanie Howell. I chose this one:

And here is my own interpretation:

(That's my mom and dad who will be celebrating their 40th (!) wedding anniversary later this year)


LOAD Day 14

Today's challenge was to choose a dynamic colour combination to convey energy and excitement in your layout.

Blue and orange are on opposite sides of the color wheel and therefore complementary. The colours also match the photo's perfectly.
This LO is a bit simple (read: not very exciting at all), but I actually had NO idea what to add to give it a bit more oomph...


LOAD Day 13

Today's prompt: take your color cues from your photo. Do the matchy-matchy thing if you like.

I boosted the colors of the photo somewhat in Photoshop to make them pop. The blue and green are clearly taken from the peacock's colors.


LOAD Day 12

Today's challenge: pick a color you DON’T normally use on a layout and combine it with one of your favorites.

I rarely use orange and/or yellow, but I do seem to have a preference for (off-) white cardstock these days...

LOAD Day 11

Today's challenge was to use black & white, either in your papers, photos or both.
Since I wanted to still have a bit of colour, I used a colour photo instead of converting it to black & white as well.

This is my LO:


LOAD Day 10

Today's assignment was to find a color combination from nature and use it for your layout.
I had taken these awesome butterfly pictures at Beekse Bergen last year, and I chose my colours from the picture. The end result is a lot more colourful than usual!


LOAD Day 9

Today's challenge was to use a color from the Paper Source colour palette that spoke to you but that you rarely use while scrapbooking.

I chose 'beet'.
Since I had already picked out the yellow and black polka dot papers to use with my lady bug picture (to play up the lady bug's dots), I was lucky that purple just happens to be the complementary colour to yellow :-).
Here's my page:


LOAD Day 8

Today's challenge was to enhance your page topic/theme by careful selection of colours (e.g. by grounding a layout in place/time by using specific colours).

I decided to use a scanned copy of a photo taken shortly after I was born, paired with a copy of my birth announcement. I based the use of avocado-green on the dark colour in the birth announcement, and the green patterned paper I selected happened to have a purple flower pattern on the back. For a 3rd pattern, I selected a striped pattern (for easy journaling) that had both green and purple in it.

Can you tell, based on the colours alone, which decade I was born?? (don't peek at the journaling! :-) )


LOAD Day 7

Today's challenge was to scraplift an existing LO.
Here's my page:

Left: original by Christa Paustenbaugh, published in Creating Keepsakes Magazine issue 10/2010.

Right: my interpretation.


LOAD Day 6

Today's assignment was to pay attention to allignment (i.e. common margins).
Here's my LO:

The margin to the left and right of the photos was supposed to be the same, but apparently I mismeasured... Oh well...
The title is a play on words.


LOAD Day 5

Today's assignement was to use a visual triangle.
Here's my LO:


LOAD Day 4

Today's theme was White Space (for those of you unfamiliar with design, it doesn't have to be white in colour, but rather empty and uncluttered, giving the rest of your layout room to breathe, so to speak).

This is my LO for today:

I struggled a bit with this one, it kept feeling incomplete. I finally added a distressed edge to the photo in Photoshop and reprinted it, and added the stamped photo corner to create a visual triangle.


LOAD Day 3

Today's theme was EMPHASIS and this is my LO:

I added the burned edge to the photo in Photoshop for a more dramatic feel, using an awesome free action that I downloaded at thepioneerwoman.com.

Life goes on

Despite the difficult time my mom's family is experiencing at the moment, with the recent death of both my grandparents, it's nice to be reminded that there are still joyous occasions to be celebrated as well.

Earlier today, my cousin became a dad for the 2nd time to a healthy baby boy, Alain!
At almost 9lbs and 52cms, he's off to a good start :-)


LOAD Day 2

Today's theme was 'contrast' and this is my LO:

I incorporated contrast in the following ways:
- large (focal point photo) vs small (other photos)
- straight lines vs curvy lines (scalloped edge, rounded corners)
- smooth (patterned paper) vs textured (embossed cardstock, chipboard title)
- light (background) vs dark (photos)


It's time for LOAD!

What is LOAD exactly, you may ask??
It is a month-long challenge hosted by scrapper Lain Ehmann where you make 1 Layout A Day.

I signed up a while ago, and have every intention to just do that: scrap 1 layout a day for an entire month.
We all know how good I am at keeping resolutions (NOT!), so we'll see how far I get :)

Here is today's LO, the theme was 'back to basics', i.e. use only photos, cardstock, patterned paper and minimal embellishments: