Trust Your Gut for Great Design

September 5, 2011

For every woman who is or has struggled, questioned, accomplished and triumphed…This Is Your Journey.

Patricia Houser

The shutter clicks, a flash bursts and time stops for just a moment. You’ve recorded a piece of your history for the future. How you combine that photo with others on a page, with paper, elements and journaling is your choice.

People tend to give advice all day long on what or how you should do this or that, and what they think is right for you and, of course, it’s okay to listen but in the end you are the one who creates your own pages (makes your own decisions). And if that’s not bad enough (unsolicited advice) we go out and seek advice. We may not see it as advice, we’re just getting ideas. But we see all these truly awesome pages and feel like ours just don’t quite measure up.

So while advice is nice, in the end it’s up to you to decide whether something is right for you. Whether that something is the paper, the elements or the scrapbook layout that is best for your photos.

We’re not all creative…we don’t necessarily have all the answers to all our problems or the “perfect” layout. So, truthfully sometimes “good enough” is just that, GOOD ENOUGH. The main problem, as I see it, with comparing your pages to someone else’s is that either you won’t do your own or you think yours isn’t good enough and so won’t share it.

So…my advice (note you don’t have to take it) is to check out layouts all over the place if that’s what you want, take some lessons, maybe scraplift a few, use QPs, whatever but GET IT SCRAPPED. In the end isn’t that what matters most as regards your scrapping anyway. If it has to PERFECT before you’ll do it you won’t ever do it so let perfect be a thing of the past.

I have been digital scrapping for about 4 years and paper scrapping for over 30. I got started digitally scrapping my layouts when I was lucky enough to get a copy of the professional version of Photoshop and take lessons under an awesome lady, Linda Sattgast from Scrapper’s Guide. Every day I find myself learning new things and love to share those with my readers at DigitalScrapbookLessons.com.

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26 Comments

  1. Carole Jordan

    With all the pictures I need to scrapbook, I have definitely had to embrace this idea. Years from now, no one will care about all the little things I stressed about. They will just be grateful that I did it!!!

    Reply
  2. Melinda Wilson

    I am sometimes one to stress out when my layouts are not up to my liking so when I see a sketch/layout I really like, I copy it to my computer and use it later. It has helped so much with getting more scrapped.

    Reply
  3. Cindy

    Waiting til I find those perfects elements or until I can learn that neat technique makes me wait so long that I lose those scrapping moments – it is better just to get it done so it can be enjoyed by others – even if it’s not perfect! I’ve also told myself that I can always re-do layouts in the future when I have big blocks of time (okay, maybe I’m dreaming…but it helps!) 🙂

    Reply
  4. grannymike

    Thanks so much for repeating to me what I’ve been telling myself and for saying it so well. I agree that getting the memories scrapped is the main thing. I have a lot of catching up to do, and if I obsess about it too much, I end up not doing it at all. Thanks also for the link to your great tutorials.

    Reply
  5. Barbara

    I learned at Scrapper’s Guide, now Digital Scrapper, too! It’s a wonderful site. I’m still constantly learning something new. And, I agree–don’t wait until it’s perfect, or you’ll never do anything! And, the great thing about digi is that if you want, you CAN go back and change or improve, but not if you haven’t gotten the story down in the first place!

    Reply
  6. Norma

    Why do we all struggle with this so much? I am learning to enjoy looking at others’ layouts for inspiration and appreciating them as such, but I will only be satisfied with my own layouts in the end if I follow my instincts for my own style regardless of what’s popular or trendy. Thanks for your encouragement.

    Reply
  7. Joyce Doenges

    So true…thanks for re-affirming what I know to be true. A little time each day gets the stories told and into a place where they can be shared which is what is most important.

    Reply
  8. PatriciaD

    I know, aren’t we so silly that way…we won’t do it because somehow OUR page doesn’t quite measure up…WHO CARES… if it is our own story, and nobody but nobody has our own story and you get it down on paper (OK digital paper) who cares if it’s PERFECT…I’m not even sure that word should be a part of our vocabulary. It is in the Bible but that’s another story…LOL.

    Reply
  9. bdaiss

    So true! And don’t forget – what you see as flawed and sub-par may be just what someone else is looking for!

    Reply
    • PatriciaD

      Absolutely right bdaiss…couldn’t have said it better.

      Reply
  10. Suzanne

    You are right! We’ll just be wasting time and effort if we keep on aiming for that PERFECT layouts. If it prevents us from scrapping our memories, I say we just stop obsessing about it and let go of it.

    Thanks for the great article! And hopping onto your blog!

    Reply
    • PatriciaD

      Thanks Suzanne and look forward to seeing you there. I know the whole point is to get it scrapped. And I bet your family (kids, grand kids, great-grand kids, etc.) won’t see a single thing wrong with your pages they’ll just be glad you did them. OK, to be honest if you misspell words they might see something wrong so double check that…hehe

      Reply
  11. Jen Evangelista

    I so need to hear this! I get frustrated when my pages “aren’t good enough” but the funny part is that my kids (who I mostly scrap for) just don’t care :). Also, the pages I LOVE today, I think are silly tomorrow, so it really shouldn’t matter anyway. hehe… thanks for the post.

    Reply
    • PatriciaD

      So absolutely right, Jen. You go, girl!!

      Reply
  12. Lynea Ford

    I find it helps if I set a timer with an alarm on it by my computer. I plan out how much time I should give mysef for each general task, and set the timer accordingly. It keeps me on task and focused.

    Reply
  13. rebecca.k

    I am a bit of a ‘procrastinating perfectionist’. If I don’t think something is going to turn out perfectly, I tend to not even start it. I need to break out of that as soon as possible, and just ‘get it scrapped’!

    Reply
  14. Crystal

    “Trust Your Gut”—oh, so true. I have a habit of trying for that “perfect page”…and then not getting it. Just within the last month or so, I’ve started letting go. Who says a product has to be used a certain way, or not used at all in scrapbooking? I have started just going whatever direction *feels* right that day. Strangely enough, I’ve started to like my pages more than ever before.

    Reply
    • PatriciaD

      Soooo right, Crystal. We can like our own stuff better when we don’t aim for perfection just for getting it done. Well said!!

      Reply
  15. Kathy

    So many times when someone is looking through my layouts, they focus on the pictures and totally gloss over all the “cute” products and embellishments that I spent so much time on! Since it really is about the story/photos, this is a good thing and reinforces your point Patricia, don’t stress over getting it perfect..just get it done…and your family will LOVE it

    Reply
    • PatriciaD

      Kathy, you’re exactly right, I hadn’t even considered that. Mostly they do just look at the photos AND read the journaling. Those are the important parts.

      Reply
  16. DoggiNo

    With every layout I make, I ask my hubby what he thinks and in 99% of the cases I still stick to what I think was best. It’s nice to hear from someone else that my good enough is really good enough ! Thanks.

    Reply
  17. Cynthia Miller

    I was re-married last year and made myself a promise that this time I would live life to the fullest, not stress about the little things that don’t really matter, and document/journal along the way to remind myself how very lucky I am. Then I discovered digi scrapping, and I absolutely love it. I enjoy being creative with colors and elements… but most of all capturing special moments in a unique way. I love to “show off” my albums in telling my stories, and I’m encouraged to take better pictures with the idea on how I will “scrap” them. I am proud to say, I am all caught up to date… and can’t wait to create another photo session to add to my pages! Its not all about the ART of the pages, its about the HEART of the pages!

    Reply
  18. Lindsay

    I have a tendency to want things to be perfect. I always forget to just trust my gut on things, and I’ve abandoned so many projects when I get frustrated for it not being exactly how I want it. Thanks for the reminder!

    Reply
  19. Deirdre

    It’s so easy to think roaming galleries or blogs is going to lead to creating something, rather than just eating up the minimal time we have.

    One site that has really inspired me this week is http://onestorydown.com

    I haven’t even been there—I just know it is a digi designer’s site, but I saw her very cool logo (of a building pointing to a literal story down) and loved the play on words. And it motivated me to NOT click over but get to work on getting one of my own stories down on the page.

    Reply
  20. Margot/NZ

    I have reconciled myself to the fact that there are far more stories in me than I can ever scrapbook if perfection in design and photographs is part of the equation. It’s more important for me to get those stories out and onto the page!

    Reply

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