Project Paralysis

Have you ever been so excited to begin a project and then when the moment comes to start, you have no idea what to do? You’ve gathered the supplies, taken inspiration from various sources, found the time to work, and then you come down with project paralysis. This happens to me when I am so excited for a project that I just want it to be perfect. Perfection is most definitely the enemy of creativity and productivity!

Many of you know that I have been quite enamored with Happy Planner products for the past 8 months or so. I am loving working in my planners, playing with stickers, and the whole aesthetic of the line really speaks to me. Recently, the Happy Planner released new products for Spring 2021, and a brand new guided journal really caught my eye. I found it beautiful and inspiring, and I was immediately filled with ideas on how I would use it. I even paid full price to pick up the journal right away, and I never like to pay full price!

The journal landed on my doorstep in wonderful condition, looking just as beautiful as I had hoped it would. Yet, it laid on my desk for weeks without me opening it. I could blame it on being busy with other projects or family life, but truthfully I was nervous to start! What if the journal didn’t live up to my expectations? Or more accurately, what if I didn’t live up to my own creative expectations? I had dreams of what this project could look like in the end, but what I truly needed to focus on was the process. Crafting is all about the process for me! A process that is about getting in touch with my creativity, releasing stress, and practicing self-care. When I focus too much on the final product, I lose all of that!

Project paralysis strikes us when we lose focus on the real motivation behind a project. Sometimes we are overwhelmed with the scope of a project, and therefore we do not know where to begin. Other times we have a perfect picture in our head of what the project will be, and we aren’t quite sure how to get there. Or, we might know how to get there, but fear that we will mess it up is holding us back. However you look at it, the thought of perfection is a road block on our creative journey. In my case, with my new journal, it felt like a brick wall. My excitement over this journal turned into anxiety, and it was hard to conquer.

When you are overcome with project paralysis there are a few steps you can take to move forward. While it may feel tempting to just put the project to the side or disregard it completely, that does not really address the main root of the problem. You’ve got to go back to the point that made you want to take on the new project in the first place. What was your inspiration? What was your why? For my journaling project, that meant sitting down and flipping through the pages of the journal. I had to remind myself why I found the journal so interesting in the first place and why I wanted to dive into it. I wanted a creative outlet that would be just for me. One with enough guidance in it that it was not a blank page, but enough freedom to allow me to go in any direction at once.

Once you go back to that inspiration point, it is time to map out a new plan of direction. If you are overwhelmed by the scope of a project, only plan one or two next steps. There is no need to map out the full plan, just the next right step. Thinking back to my journaling project, I had to let go of the idea of what it would look like as a completed project and just take one page at a time. One spread, one element, one journaling prompt at a time! Then, eventually it will all come together.

The last step is to let go of perfection. I find this so often in the Bible journaling world, and now also in other creative journaling outlets. I read comments from people online who are so afraid to “mess up” in their Bibles or in their journals that they can’t bring themselves to start. You will mess up, I promise. It is part of being human. In fact, you will probably mess up multiple times! But, you will learn, and you will improve! And, wait for it…..even after that you will still make mistakes! It is going to be okay. Mistakes are made when you are putting yourself out there and growing. It is a part of the process. Recovering from those mistakes and pushing forward will also help you overcome project paralysis in the future, because you have a reference point to look back on to know it’ll all work out.

In the end, I guess I am hoping that this post encourages you to push past your project paralysis. I did…I actually cracked open that brand new journal this week and made a couple of spreads. They aren’t great, but that’s okay. It still felt amazing to get started!

Keep it creative,

-The Scrappy Wife

“One Day at a Time” Traveler’s Notebook Process

Even though I am thoroughly enjoying working in my memory planner for documenting our day to day life, I just can’t let go of my traveler’s notebook. It’s size is so easy to work with and is perfect for documenting special stories and thoughts.

In this traveler’s notebook layout, I documented how my kids are handling virtual school. It is definitely tough, and not without some pretty big bumps in the road, but in general I am super proud of how adaptable and resilient they have been. They really are working hard and giving lots of grace to their teachers as they all navigate this tough reality.

My main desire for this layout was to use as many of the different “Marigold” papers as I could. Even though it was a lot of different patterns to combine and work with, I think because it was a smaller layout, it really does work well. To begin, I chose a deep teal floral paper and spread it across the inner part of the double page layout, bringing the two sides together. Then, I matted each of my pictures on additional pattern papers, planning to place them on the left side of the spread. I also chose a beautiful journaling card with mustard yellow florals to anchor the right side of the layout.

As I was choosing elements, the entire layout began to feel a bit boxy. To break up the boxes, I added circular frames that I cut out from a separate sheet of paper. I layered them in different ways, adding stamps from a Felicity Jane stamp set. Once those were nestled in place, I added journaling lines and a few sentences of journaling.

The last touch was adding a few puffy gold embellishments around the page in order to add a bit of texture in dimension…but not too much! The layout is very simple, but still beautiful and definitely tells the story. Traveler’s notebooks will always have a special place in my crafty heart!

Keep it creative,

-The Scrappy Wife

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“Alpha and Omega” Bible Journal Process

I am slowly but surely working through “For the Glory of God” from By the Well 4 God and really taking the time to consider the scriptural references that are brought up and dig into the meaning and context of each section of scripture. While the art is always fun and inspiring, it is important to take the time to do your own study. Today, I am sharing my art process behind day 5, “Glory”.

While we were considering the glory of God and how our culture defines glory differently than it is used in the Bible, there were many references to the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, it was impossible for any human to look directly at the glory of God. Moses famously requested to see God’s glory, but God hid his face until Moses could only capture a glimpse of his back. And even then, Moses’ face was forever transfigured, brightened by the sheer amazingness of what he had seen.

We have a slightly different connection to God’s glory through Jesus, although it is still just as big and unimaginable. Through the eyes of Jesus we see glimpses of God’s glory throughout all of creation, but will really only experience it in the truest sense when we are in Heaven, sitting and worshipping at His feet. It is impossible to quantify the glory of God, but I feel that a verse in Revelation encompasses the idea:

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

-Revelation 22:13

I chose to journal in Revelation and spend the time reflecting on God’s glory, how I’ve seen evidence in my life, and how it might feel to experience the full vision of it one day. The page is relatively simple, but I did get an opportunity to use the We R Memory Keepers Freestyle Foil Pen and remembered just how much I love that tool!

The freestyle foil pen allows use to add foiling to almost any porous surface. The foil really sinks into the page, giving it a gorgeous, deep embossed look. I used the “Fronds” stencil that coordinates with the kit along with the copper foil to add just a bit of metallic detail to the background of my page. I also added a bit of detail to my journaling tag to add more shine.

My pages have become a lot simpler as of late, and I really think God is pushing me in that direction. There is so much He is wanting me to learn and take in, and the art isn’t what the focus has been on. And, that’s okay. The art is still there, but the heart is doing the heavy lifting these days.

Keep it creative,

-The Scrappy Wife

Supplies: (Some of these are affiliate links…thanks in advance for supporting my blog!)

I Started Memory Planning!

Well, I am sure that you all saw this coming, considering how hyper focused I have been on my planners recently! I have been wanting to try out memory planning, and it turned out that a few weeks ago, the Happy Planner had some of their memory planners on super sale. So, October hit, and off I went!

Memory planning is really appealing to me for a few different reasons. First off, it feels like a natural progression for someone that really does enjoy working in planners and appreciates the structure of a weekly layout. Secondly, it seems to be an easy way to document the everyday happenings in my family’s life without filling tons of scrapbooks up. And last, the time commitment is minimal. Layouts can be super involved, but can also be relatively simple with just a few pictures and stickers. I love the structure combined with the flexibility that I feel within that structure.

The other factor that I took into consideration when deciding to go the memory planning route was whether or not I would be able to use the traditional scrapbooking supplies that I know and love. While the Happy Planner offers a variety of memory planning stickers, I love so many other kits, and I wasn’t ready to stop using them. So, I challenged myself to figure out how I can use the supplies I love within this new system. It turns out, it works beautifully!

Have you ever tried a form of memory planning before? What was your experience? Did you go with bullet journaling or a different format? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below!

Keep it creative,

-The Scrappy Wife

Supplies: (Some of these are affiliate links…thanks in advance for supporting my channel!)

“Restore Your Royalty” Bible Journal Process

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and thanks to LaQuisha Hall (@confidentcanvas), I did some research into local organizations that support and provide aid to women that are leaving abusive situations.

Bethany House of Northern Virginia (@bethanyhousenv) is a Christian ministry located in Fairfax County, Virginia, providing emergency shelter and support services to women and children escaping domestic violence. They provide women with safe, restorative care while giving them the support and resources they need to transition into independent lives free from abuse. BHNV is funded by grants and donations from businesses, charitable foundations, churches, organizations, and individual community members. Go check them out and read more about their mission!

In recognition of this incredibly important issue, LaQuisha began a campaign under the hashtag #restoreyourroyalty on Instagram. I decided that I wanted to participate and journal a passage in the Bible about God’s promise to restore us after times of trial.

In 1 Peter 5:10, Peter writes, “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” God promises to not only walk with us through the trials of this world, but to restore us as we are coming out of those trials. There is nothing that our God can not do!

Because purple is the color of domestic violence survivors, this layout is done with purple as the primary color. Shanna Noel, owner of Illustrated Faith, graciously created a free purple styled printable for the month of October all about the process of healing. It is the perfect set to use to begin a Bible journaling page on this topic!

I also utilized a separate piece of watercolor paper that I covered in tons of mixed media elements. To me, it continues to be so soothing just to see these elements mix and blend on the page, layer after layer. It is a very cathartic process because I tend not to worry about what the final product will look like. It turns out that once you cut these mixed media sheets into various shapes, they nearly always look cool!

I actually cut the page into the shape of leaves, representing autumn leaves falling to the ground. Fall is my most favorite season. It is a constant reminder of the changes and evolutions we have to go through as God continues to restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish each and every one of us. I added the quote, “The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go and begin again.”

A huge thank you to LaQuisha Hall for bringing this topic to the forefront and for never backing down from difficult subjects. I pray that she would be continue to be a light in this world! I encourage each of you to go search the hashtag #restoreyourroyalty to see the other amazing artwork being shared!

Keep it creative,

-The Scrappy Wife

Supplies: (Some of these are affiliate links…thanks in advance for supporting my blog!)

The Power of Words Art Journal Process

Over the past few weeks, I have been building art journal pages layer by layer, working on 5 art journal entries simultaneously. It has been such an interesting experiment, and I have loved seeing how each page has gone through twists and turns as I turn my focus to only one element of the spread. This was the final week of this exercise, my change to add finishing touches and powerful words to each spread.

Normally, when I approach an art journal entry, I have a theme in mind. Sometimes that theme is centered around a color or technique, but more times than not, it focuses on a title or quote. Words have a lot of power, as we are all learning these days. They really can shape an art journal page. For these entries, it was cool to see how adding titles and quotes really gave the page even more direction.

The first page had me perplexed as to how to finish off the “Medusa” girl. Thanks to an awesome suggestion from a YouTube subscriber, I opted to sketch in the rest of her body first using colored pencils. This gave me the opportunity to define her a bit more, and also to bring a bit more color onto her face. I then decided that I wanted to brighten up her hair a bit more. I was also not pleased with the way the finish changed as the hair moved from the collaged paper onto the denim. A bit of Jane Davenport Acrylic paint in silver metallic really brightened it up a lot and gave the same sheen throughout! As the final touch, I hand-lettered a Medusa quote, “Your uniqueness is your magic”….done!

On the next layout, my primary goal was to bring more bright colors onto the page in order to incorporate the main girl a bit more. I added a red border, along with red roses with a Posca paint pen. I also added a bit more detail with stitching and extra texture lines using a blue Posca paint pen. The final addition to this page was the title, “Find Joy”.

My third entry was one that I was already pretty happy with. The page had an extremely interesting and intricate background. It also already had gorgeous focal points and a clear message with powerful words. So, I opted to add a little bit of detail to the triangles that looked like floating stars. With a dashed line, I made them look as if they were hanging crystals….done!

The last two pages leaned heavily on the addition of more words. I wanted the two pages to be related, but not necessarily with the same color scheme between the two. They end up relating to each other nicely!

As I mentioned earlier, this was a nice departure for me and a nice way to change up how I approached my art journaling. Which page is your favorite?

Keep it creative,

-The Scrappy Wife

Supplies: (Some of these are affiliate links…thank you in advance for supporting this blog!)

The First Day of Virtual School

I am a mom that records all the things! Love taking pictures of my kids, especially on those special days like the first day of school. Like so many others, school looks different this year (our entire county is attending virtually for at least the first nine weeks), but I wasn’t about to miss that classic first day of school picture!

I recently started working in a new traveler’s notebook and feel like I have rediscovered my scrapbooking supplies after taking it really easy on scrapbook projects this summer! I am subscribed to Felicity Jane kits, so I have been receiving monthly kits for about a year now. This summer, my kits did not get a lot of attention, but I simply could not let the “Gabby” collection land on my desk without digging in. It is the most gorgeous kit that is giving me all the fall vibes. Love it!

With each of the pictures of my kids, I followed a similar formula for each of the page layouts. Sometimes, we get so caught up with trying to make new and original pages that we overcomplicate our layouts. These were simple layouts, but really highlighted the pictures and the story of the day. That is the goal!

My favorite part of the Gabby collection is the new stamp set! It is filled with great phrases that are just so appropriate for 2020. I am sure I will be reusing it over and over. My favorite stamp is the outline of a label. I used it on the paper preview sheet that comes with each paper pack to make a whole mess of labels for my final layout in this entry. I’m in love! I feel like I want to make labels pieces out of all my scraps now.

How are you documenting this unusual start to the school year? Are you doing anything different to tell the story? Let me know in the comments below!

Keep it creative,

-The Scrappy Wife

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“No Strings Attached” Bible Journal Process

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

John 15:12

This command from Jesus certainly seems simple enough. But, the real question is, how does Jesus love us? If we are called to love others like Jesus loves us, we really need to take a look at how Jesus demonstrates love in the Bible.

This was the topic I felt called to journal on this week, and it turned out to be a really special and reassuring time in the Word. Whenever God places a verse on my heart and I take the time to really dive in, the result is extremely rewarding! As I was looking at this verse, I considered different examples of how Jesus showed his love to others while here on earth. I would encourage you to dig in and look for some concrete examples for yourself. One common thread that I found was that Jesus loved with no strings attached. That is something that hit me right in the heart. I fail so often, and am so thankful that Jesus’ love is not dependent on me doing the right thing. But, how often do I withhold love from others because they are not meeting my expectations?

This page turned out to be a super tactile page! Last spring, I needed a little bit of embroidery floss for a project and with the quarantine going on, I ordered from Amazon. Well, I ended up with quite the stash of embroidery floss in a variety of colors, so I was very happy to be able to use some in this particular project!

I adhered tangles of the thread directly to my Bible page as a visual representation of my title. They were secured completely with die-cut flowers that I arranged in rainbow order because, well, why wouldn’t I do rainbow order?!? The title was put together with some cute alphas from my stash, so overall the main part of the page was actually pretty simple to piece together.

For my journaling, I pulled out three of my Distress Oxide sprays and a white tag. I chose picked raspberry, squeezed lemonade, and salty ocean. I actually did not spray them directly onto my journaling tag, but sprayed them onto a spare plastic cutting mat. Then I swirled the tag through the sprayed ink. I ended up with a gorgeous rainbow tag full of oxidized beauty. Loved it for journaling!

I have always loved working through Bible journaling devotionals and various Bible studies, but sometimes my most special pages are the ones that God really lays on my heart. What are some of your favorite verses to journal?

Keep it creative,

-The Scrappy Wife

Supplies: (Some of these are affiliate links…thanks in advance for supporting my channel!)

Art Journal Layers – Adding a Focal Point

Art journaling has been an interesting adventure as of late, since I have been approaching my pages from a different perspective. Instead of working on one page from start to finish, I have been working on five pages simultaneously. Each time I sit down to add another layer of work to the pages. This week’s focus was adding a focal point to each page.

For the focal points, I opted to go with collage pieces from Dina Wakley and Jane Davenport. I love the paper lines that each of them offers where you can use their artwork to incorporate into your own pages. It is important to do a bit more than just sticking it on the top of the page though. You definitely want to make it your own!

As I incorporate pieces onto my pages, I once again found myself struggling to just stop with this one step. I was all about pushing forward and finishing the page, but I did restrain myself. This has been a challenging process to work through, but it has also pushed my creativity which is always a great goal.

Take a look at some of the my pages in progress…which one is your favorite so far? Any suggestions on directions they could take after this point?

Keep it creative,

-The Scrappy Wife

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