The Struggle is Real

You’ve heard the saying practice makes perfect, right? Well, in case you were raised by wolves or live under a rock, the basic idea is the more you do something the better you get. We usually think of that in terms of  learning something new or when trying to get better at a task. I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember and I know that if I write everyday I gain momentum and the words come easier. I’m also to jump into where I left off quicker.

Why am I bringing this up? Because scrapbooking is the same way. I haven’t made a layout in a couple of weeks. Much of my recent crafting time has been spent preparing for our big Spring Fling (you can read more about that here) and work has been pretty hectic. So when I found myself with a little free time this weekend, I figured it was time to get back to the Ready, Sketch, Go class I’ve been loving.

I had just gotten Shimelle’s True Stories collection. I knew which photos I wanted to use and had them printed. I had even picked out the podcast I wanted to listen to. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. I wish I could say I sat down at my desk and the creativity flowed, but not even close!

First I couldn’t find the right papers. That took me nearly half an hour of flipping through the pack, holding photos up against page after page, trying to find the perfect pair. And that was just the beginning. What title would I use? Would I use my Thickers or my Cameo? Did this yellow match that yellow? Don’t even get me started on the struggle to find just the right embellishments.

Needless to say, I spent two hours in the craft room and got nothing done. Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind spending hours on a single layout if I’m enjoying the process. I have never been a fast scrapper and I’m okay with that. What I don’t like is feeling like I’ve wasted my valuable craft time! So, sometime around midnight, I turned off the light and gave up.

Besties. A layout based on a sketch from Ready, Sketch, Go. A class taught by Tracie Claiborne & Crafty Jen Schow.

As I lay in bed, irritated, I told myself that I was going to finish the page the next day. I wasn’t going to search through a million die cuts or compare fifty shades of pink trying to find the right one. I was going to be decisive and good enough was going to be just that- good enough.

I kinda hoped that when I woke up the next morning my mojo would have returned and the page would come together in no time. Nope. But it was better. Not joyous exactly, but better. I almost stuck to my plan of making a decision and going with it, but there might have been a time or two I moved an embellishment around no less than twenty times. (I wish I could say that was an exaggeration, but if anything, it’s an underestimation.)

Embellishment Cluster Close-Up. Layout based on the Ready, Sketch, Go class taught by Tracie Claiborne and Crafty Jen Schow. Made with Shimelle's True Stories collection.

The main photo was taken of my daughter, Kyrstie, and her best friend, Hannah, the night of Kyrstie’s 21st birthday. The “pretty monumental” and “going places” dies were one of the first ones I chose and never wavered about. Not only did I love the rich yellow against the bright blue, but the sayings were perfect for the occasion. I added a couple of enamel dots to tie in the larger dotted paper on the right and added the clouds using Stamping’ Up Dimensionals.

Embrace Life. Layout made using Shimelle's True Stories collection. adriennesinklingscom

The “embrace life” banner also seemed like a no-brainer. If there’s one thing that these girls do, it’s live with gusto. The cork stickers from the True Stories collection are absolutely adorable, but most of them are pretty big. This heart was the perfect size and added just the right amount of texture. See that little love puffy sticker? That took forever to choose! It doesn’t look like it should’ve been a big deal, but I searched and searched through tons of embellishments looking for a third item to add to this cluster. As soon as I saw this sticker from the new Elle’s Studio kit, I knew it was more than good enough. It matched the dots in the paper perfectly and is just plain cute.

Title Close-Up. Layout made with Shimelle's True Stories collection. Based on a sketch from Ready, Sketch, Go. A class taught by Tracie Claiborne and Crafty Jen Schow.

This. This right here is probably where I spent most of those hours. For the life of me, I just could not get the title right. I cut the word besties with my Silhouette Cameo and moved it around and around. I must have added and subtracted at least ten different dies trying to find something that would work. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that the font I had used wasn’t right and went back to the computer. The second title was much better, but then what?

Finally- finally- I added the pink banner, settled on the balloons, and combined the lovely die and label. Another Elle’s Studio puffy sticker dotted the “i” and I called it done.

You’d think after all that, I would be grateful to have the page behind me and do some gardening or something. But no. A funny thing happened. I felt good. So I started another layout. And that one came together quicker, easier, shall I daresay- happily. Before I knew it, I was having fun again.

This layout is not perfect- every time I look at it I see crooked journaling stripes and wish one of the papers were striped instead of two dotted patterns- but it’s done. Another set of pictures printed. One more important story told.

What do you do when nothing seems to be working? How do you get your mojo back?

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