Maintaining Continuity When a Project Drags On

Happy Saturday everyone!

It’s the weekend … finally! I’m not sure what that signifies in your house, but around here it means chores, birthday parties, field hockey, soccer, more field hockey, and hopefully, some crafty me-time. I’m lucky that I can get into my Scrap Cave whenever I want during the week as I am home with the kids right now. I am working strictly from my stash though as the budget doesn’t allow new purchases. This can create different challenges and today I’d like to share one solution to prevent burn out.

This post is also about how to keep things interesting and feeling fresh when you’re working on a project over a significant length of time.

These two challenges came together recently as I was working on my youngest daughter’s First Year album. I explain what I mean by that pretty well in my video introduction so let’s get right to it.

Here is my completed layout.

Little Love by Alison Day Designs

And here’s the sketch I followed.

I grabbed the sketch from Shimelle’s Pinterest Board which is full of fantastic sketches if that type of thing interests you.

If you watched the video you may have noticed my note about forgetting to film a part – I swear I had turned the camera on! Weird! But it basically showed what was in the kit I’d assembled as per Shimelle’s The Scrapbook Process class as well as the left over pieces from making this layout.

Meeting Your Big Sisters by Alison Day Designs

Clearly they are not two halves of a double page spread but hopefully they work together. Maybe? When I create the 6×12 pocket page spread that will go in between these two layouts, I will have to make sure I use products from both pages to unite them a little better.

It’s been awhile since I worked from a sketch so it was a tougher than I’d anticipated. I have become used to a) using 4×6 photos, b) using two or three standard layout starting points, and c) layering on the patterned paper. The more I work with the kit of supplies I pulled together at the beginning of this project, the harder I find it. Perhaps I am “bored” with them? Perhaps they are no longer my style? Perhaps the project itself no longer interests me? I do tend to grow weary of projects before they are completed! Hello Shiny New Object Syndrome!


Before I get too carried away with that particularly non-attractive trait of mine, let’s look at some of the details of the layout from the video, shall we?


I think it is safe to say that mixed up titles are now part of my style. I talked about it recently and it is comforting to know that even when I don’t set out to use a mix of lettering, I still manage to! Those chipboard words have been in my stash for far too long though! Love how the two words fit so well together too.


I forgot to mention it in the video, but I actually cut that journaling card down to make it fit. I cut off a lot of the bottom that was going to be hidden under the photo anyway, and then trimmed a bit off one side so it was shorter than the photo. Since it had rounded corners, I pulled out my corner rounder and hoped it was the same radius! Phew!


While I was editing the video I wanted to move this green heart sticker over and down a bit so you could see that doily I spent so much time poking the bits out of! Sigh. Live and learn!


I think dressing up those butterflies with the word phrase was a stroke of genius! Not my own – I’m only copying other great scrapbook designers!


There was really only a little bit of journaling so this doily patterned paper piece was just big enough for it all.

Okay, so what have I learned from this process that you can benefit from?

1. Kit it up to save time and money.

If you are planning on working on a larger story album – a family trip, a baby’s first year, a child’s school journey, whatever it may be – that you foresee taking longer than a weekend crop, gather a kit of supplies together at the beginning. I’m not saying you have to only use those supplies, but if you have a few papers, colours, motifs picked out at the beginning that will carry the continuity throughout the album, your story as a whole will read more smoothly once it’s told.

For this project I had set aside all the ‘baby girl’ papers I’d purchased when creating an album for my eldest back in 2009 and 2010. So yep, those are old papers! I’ve added to that stack along the way whenever I came across something in the same colour family or that was baby girl themed. When I sat down back in September of last year to sort through a giant stack of layouts I made a more complete kit for this project. I added journaling cards, stickers, doilies, borders, flowers and more. I knew I wasn’t likely to be adding newly purchased supplies any time soon, so I went through every little bit of stash and pulled out anything I remotely thought I could use for this album. The thought process being: if the kit is large enough, perhaps I won’t feel the need to go shopping outside of it to keep going and finish this project.

2. Mix up your process to keep it fresh.

Even with so much in my kit I admit to feeling a bit of ennui now that I’ve only got a few pages left to complete. Enter the sketch! This is a great way to keep things interesting. As I said before, I don’t normally use a sketch but when I do, I find myself thinking about different things, placing familiar objects in different places, and generally giving my scrapbook muscles a good work out.

Who says I need to go to the gym!

But seriously, find a way to change up your routine and you’ll find yourself feeling a bit more alive and invested. I tell you, I am super invested in making sure that 6×12 centre spread brings both of the two stories and designs together in a way that makes my harmony loving brain happy!

Okay, that’s all for today! Go forth and scrapbook! And if you do, please tell me about it on my Facebook page.


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