Do you swap?

I have taken part in a million different challenges since I began digi scrapping but the one I always return to and love the most, is digital swaps. Basically you pair up with someone else and swap photos to scrap for each other.

I love it because not only do you get a set of brand new photos (something new always triggers my creativity) but you also get an exclusive look into someone else life. It's not so much the layouts in them selves. It's the fact that we can sit all over the world, in different time zones and feel passionate about the same thing and want to do our absolute best with this small portion of their life - for someone who would have been a stranger if it wasn't for scrapping.

I get excited every time I realize just how small the world is. Somehow it makes it feel like a less lonely place, right?

If you want to join in on the fun next time, look here around March 1st when the next sign up thread will come up. You have a week to sign up and then 3 weeks to swap photos and make the layout for your partner. I hope to see you there.

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Template Heaven 001

Do you use templates? I did when I first started out scrapping but it didn't take me long to feel like they were in reality limiting my own creativity instead of helping it along. I didn't feel like the finished layout was my layout, but the product of someone else creativity.

This was only until I understood, that a template doesn't only have one look. You can flip it, add to it, only use parts of it and so on and so on. For most scrappers this might seem obvious but to me this was quite the revelation and it has helped me to make some of my best and quickest done layouts. And lets face it, we all want to do well – and do it fast, right?

Here's two different uses of the same template and neither of them are an exact version of the original template. For the first layout I added an extra layer to the template so instead of it being a multiple photo template I only used one photo and filled the original layers with background papers.

For the second layout I duplicated all my layers and resized this group a bit. I then took both groups and moved them to opposite sides of the layout to fit in even more photos.

Now it is your turn. Download the template and find your own style while using it. Feel free to come back here and link it once you've finished your layout, I'd love to see what you've come up with.

Download it here

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The end of something, the beginning.... of what?

As a member of a creative team I often struggle with the fact that I mostly scrap in boyish colors. Apart from nature and the occasional layout about my self I make layouts about my husband, my dog, my friends' adorable son, Xander, who's the star of many of my more recent layouts and recently my two godsons Alexander & Victor.
So February has been a tough month for me with all these purple and pink kits out there because of Valentines and perhaps that's why I'm secretly beginning to look a bit forward to the end of March when my current DET term ends. (Which reminds me - if you want a scrapping experience of a lifetime - the sign up is now open for the DET contest starting March 1st. Find it right here) It is really an amazing experience and I'm so glad that I did it - both times because I've learned so much. But like always the end of something makes me wonder what to do next.

Obviously there's the whole designing thing. It seems like I've talked about it forever and really done nothing about it, but I guess that has something to do with having ridiculous high expectations to myself.
But then there's everything else. Work, family life - sometimes just breathing seems like a challenge. I thought last year that is was going to be a year of change but change never came and the more time passes, the more I realize that my life won't change, if I don't. I'll be 30 in a couple of months and I'm still as confused as when I was 20. Life isn't supposed to be like that, right?
I've had an offer, which could very well be the thing I'm supposed to do. The thing that will make all this make sense and I've been thinking a lot about it, but seriously I think, I need to stop thinking and just do! But I'm afraid to fail.
How do you get rid of that fear, how do you move on? Any advice would really be appreciated.

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