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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Publication Q and A

Today, I thought I'd tackle some publication questions I've been getting. (Note: this photo has nothing to do with anything. I just like adding at least one photo to a post.)

Before I get started, a caveat: I am really no expert on publications and design teams, and my "lucky streak" ebbs and flows like anyone else's. I'm just answering questions based on what's worked for ME and what my experience has been. That said, now we can move on:)

One thing I've always wondered is how new of layouts do you submit? I like to use up older kits and I always think it's not "new" enough to submit.

I tend to submit newer layouts, but mostly because I forget about the older ones! I also usually feel like the effort invested in submitting isn't always worthwhile for me for a years-old layout where none of the product is available anymore (although I'm not sure how much this actually matters). That said, I think any layout you love is worth a try, and there are some "oldies but goodies" that I do go back to and submit. And if it's a newly made layout with some "vintage" product, I generally send it out!

How do you deal with the rejection?

This is the million dollar question! Rejection is really, really hard. Especially when the item being rejected is something you created with your own hands. The best way I've found to deal with this is to separate myself from the actual publication/submitting process, and try to send it out and forget about it (easier said than done, I know!). I have so much more I could say on this, but I think that is the crux of it.

Why do the manufacturers seem to want the same people over and over for their teams?

Well, I guess this answer should really go to a manufacturer, but I'll take my best crack at it! First, if a designer has a large following and a lot of exposure due to other DTs, then they can provide more publicity for the manufacturer. Second, it's part of the ebb and flow--when a designer gets exposure on a "big team" then other companies are more likely to notice them and pick them up. And third, sometimes when you see a name over and over, you can't help but feel that there's something to that person's work. That said though, everyone starts somewhere, including the "celebrities," so it never hurts to try.

My question would be how do you keep from getting burned out?

This is SO important. I feel like I'm always hearing of people who work like crazy in the industry and then quit scrapbooking, and it makes me sad. Since I keep the Sabbath (no scrapbooking on Shabbos, for those wondering), I have a built in break every week where I can't scrap,so that gives me a much-needed creative recharge. I also take breaks and try not to force it if a layout is just not working out. Finally, I try to keep my schedule manageable and not sign up for more teams than I can handle. The nice thing about being a little "under-booked" in your teams is that you aren't completely overwhelmed when guest design gigs and such come along.

I'd like to know what it is they look for when they are look for pubs and DT members.

I wish I knew the answer to this one, ha! My guess would be quality projects and a friendly persona that are "packaged well"--good layout photos, a well-designed blog, etc. Otherwise, I have no clue:)

My question is "What is your end goal in doing all the submitting to design teams and magazines?"
This is a VERY good question. And a tough one. The reason I got involved in DTs to begin with was because I wanted to connect to other scrapbookers who were "into" the industry side of things, and for the validation. As its evolved for me, I focus less and less on getting validation from industry success, because there's never quite enough to feel like you're there. I do it because I love being involved in the industry and part of this amazing group of women. And because I like free scrapping supplies, especially when I have to cut my own budget:)

Don't you sometimes just not want to scrap? And when that happens (if it does) and you have an assignment due, don't you just h*te scrapbooking?

Yes! I try to work on assignments ahead of time to avoid this very situation. It took one night of me scrapbooking with a migraine, pasting paper while holding an ice pack to my forehead, to realize I needed to change my system.

Do any companies or magazines offer payment for design work?

Yes, depends on the company and magazine. Not crazy cash, mind you, but there is payment.

And those are the questions I have for now! If I missed yours, leave a comment! And if you have any insights/ideas into these issues, please share below. What do YOU think is/would be the best and worst part of being in the industry?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Fall Farewell......our Apple Picking Adventure

Just a few weeks ago, S and I finally tackled the outstanding item on our fall to do list--apple picking. By the time we went, there weren't a whole lot of apples left (and the ones that were still on the trees were either too high or rotten), but did we get just enough for some tasty snacks.

S posting with his apple picker:

How pretty is this farm?

Me posing on a wooden cow. (btw, I have a thing for cow statutes. You find one, I'll pose with it!)

We headed straight to the Granny Smiths--while I know the other ones have their uses, I'm an apple loyalist. It's Granny all the way.

Our modest harvest:

After the apples, we stopped by a farm so that S could see a pig (don't ask). I took the opportunity to take some pumpkin shots:

Ahem. I believe the belly is bigger than the giant pumpkin. Lately, I've been getting a lot of "when are you due?" and "oh wow, you have some time to go!"s. I blame the small torso.

At the end of the day, we turned some apples from our haul and caramel sheets into these yummies:

It was a lovely fall day:) Now I need some snow to make winter memories!

Has winter come to YOUR area yet?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Elle's Studio November!!

It's that time again....Elle's Studio gallery reveal!

I can't believe it's one of my last months as an Elle's Studio DT gal. I try not to think about it too much, or I tear up. I have love love LOVED being on this team.

My first layout includes one of my favorite new photos, from a day of apple picking:

I loved the fall colors in my November Studio Calico kit and had so much matching them with Elle's goodies! I love the larger "traditions" tag made a great backdrop for my title.

(PS--Can we talk about how big that belly is? Shaving legs is *already* becoming an issue. It's going to be a looong winter, folks!)

A little sneaky:

And what the heck, one more...

The next layout features a photo taken by my friend Pam (who just a really cute kitty--but I digress). In this shot, S is holding Nava, my friend Sara's little girl, and has the best expression on his face. Seeing that photo makes me SO excited to see him as a father.

I kept the design of this layout pretty simple to focus on the photo. I like how the die-cut background adds some pizzazz.

Why do all things look better in macro? Unclear.

My last layout highlights the 4D ultrasound shot of little Bunny. While this photo may be a teensy bit strange to look at, mommy goggles are on in full force in these parts. I just love that tiny face:)

And those are my Elle's projects for the month! Go right here to check out what the other ladies have whipped up.

While y'all know I don't do Christmas, Elle has some really cute new items out that would perfect for those December Dailies. Check out these circle tags...

And these fun tidbits!

And more immediately relevant, I love these Thanksgiving Gratitude tabs:

I hope everyone has a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend! What are YOUR Thanksgiving plans?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Guest Designing at Sweet Peach Crop Shop!

This month, I had the pleasure of guest designing for the Sweet Peach Crop Shop! Corrie makes the funnest kits, and I had a blast working with the November edition.

My first layout is one I've been meaning to scrap for about 5 months now....don't you love how that goes? This layout documents the day I found out I was expecting Bunny, and how I told S that night. I kept the design simple to focus on the happy photos and words, and I love the result!

And a close-up--love those wooden letters. They make such a great statement!

This next layout is a bit more serious, abut all of the things I'm worried about lately. Which, for a natural worrier such as myself, is a long list. Much of the problem stems from the fact that I want every little aspect of my life worked out right this second. I don't do well with uncertainty, and gray areas. Unfortunately, as the talented Alexa Stevenson writes in Half Baked, gray areas account for about 99% of human experience. Alas.

I was really debating where to put the journaling here, but ended up liking the white space in the middle and placing the journaling around the edges.

My next layout goes back to the first topic, with more details and photos of the day I told S I was preggers. Even though these two layouts are a bit redundant, I'd rather create two layouts about something important to me than feel pressured to get every detail in one project.

Snuck a little sewing in here:

And finally, I fell in love with a Martha elephant punch in Michael's a few weeks ago, so I gave it the spotlight on this card. A great way to use up scraps!

Love my elephants....

And that's all for my Sweet Peach projects, folks!

Question for you: how often does the same topic creep into YOUR layouts?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Be back soon:)

I've developed a nasty little cold/cough/throat situation, so I'm taking a little while to recover. I'll be back with some fun things to share soon!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bunny at 6 months

Well, I'm actually over 6 and a half months at this point, but thanks to my new system of writing up an index card each month I actually remember what was going on!

At 24 weeks, bunny is....

  • Kicking up a storm, especially when I'm late eating lunch (kid does NOT like being kept waiting for lunch. or breakfast. or dinner. hoo boy:))
  • About the size of a rutabaga (and as long as an ear of corn)
  • Running away from the doppler every. time. the doctor tries to hear its heartbeat.
And at 24 wees, mommy is.....
  • Feeling very large. I grunt every time I bend over to pick something up off the floor, or tie my shoes (which is highly attractive, I assure you!)
  • Having trouble imagining getting any bigger. Although apparently this will definitely happen
  • Starting to feel sleepy again--and having some trouble staying asleep
  • Gaining 14 pounds so far
  • Loving her maternity wardrobe (But NOT loving how the belly button is popping out, which interferes with said maternity wardrobe)
  • Feeling moody and sad every now and again
  • Enjoying every little flutter and kick, especially the little baby punches
  • Trying to refrain from buying baby clothes, especially when on sale!

What's going in YOUR world this Sunday?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Elle's Studio + Lily Bee = Heaven

Recently, Elle's Studio and Lily Bee Design had a team up week. As an Elle's DT member, I was *very* pumped about this week--I've been a Lily Bee fan ever since I stumbled upon their birdie rub-ons way back when. I've also been admiring/stalking the Head over Heels collection since CHA, so I was thrilled to get to work with it!

Isn't it beautiful? Chevron and polka dots and stripes and floral, oh my. Love.

Here's the layout I created with the line:

The journaling reads: I can't believe I'm going to have my own baby to hold in just five short months. And can we talk about the fact that it's now just 3 and half short months??

For a list of the Elle's and LB products I used on this, check out the Elle's Studio blog post here.

Now for a close-up: (side note--I picked up these Martha Stewart doilies at Michael's and I am in love. So fun and easy to layer and embellish.)

Next up, I have a card I created with the line. First, a little teaser:

And the whole enchilada:

I think my fave part of this is the sunburst punch cut from patterned paper. If you don't have this punch, pick it up--it's one of my favorite ever. For more info on products used on this card, check out the blog post here.

I'm telling you, it feels SO good to finally be catching up on the backlog of projects I have to share. Happy Wednesday, y'all?

Question: if you could choose any two companies to team up and work with, what would they be?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Things I'm Loving Right Now...

Every so often, I like to do a new "favorite things" list--who doesn't love to be surrounded by happy things? So without further ado, right now I'm loving . . . . .

These "big sister/little sister" necklaces my little sis bought for us when I was home in Columbus

Fun belly shots like this one. . . . .

These adorable little tidbits from Elle's Studio (Halloween themed, but they work so well for any type of layout!)

I've been admiring this diaper bag from JJ Cole (although it's probably very impractical and would get spit up on in 2 seconds--but right now ignorance is bliss:))
And this body butter, which is insanely good--trust me. It's limited edition, so I need to get more stat!
The October Afternoon Sidewalks collection. Rarely do I want/need a whole line, but I do with this one. It serves as the perfect baby line to me, happy and bright without an overemphasis on teddy bears.

How pretty are these?

I love happy little wrapped packages, especially when there are fun presents inside them:)

And that's the current love list. What are YOU admiring right now?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Elle's Studio October gallery!

Well, this is my second time writing this post--blogger ate it this morning. Aargh. But on happier topics, I have my Elle's Studio October gallery to show you!

How pretty is this image? I love close-up shots.

I had a blast creating my layouts this month. I don't know what it was, but things just clicked and I really enjoyed the creative process. It also worked out nicely that Elle's products coordinate perfectly with the October Studio Calico kit, Field Guide!

This first layout is about our Key West adventure:

The cut-outs shown here are meant to be, well, cut out, but I loved how they looked together so much I kept them as a block. The rest of the items are mostly from an add-on from the SC kit, including the wooden doily (funny story about that? those things are HARD to cut. S finally offered to use one of his camping knives, and that did the trick:))

And here's a sneak:

I kept this next layout pretty simple, focusing on the butterflies and the beautiful photo by Alexis Hardy. Again, I love how the colors of the new Elle's products work so well with the photo and kit!

By the way, that little date cut above is from a sheet of "date" tags by Elle's Studio--they're one of my favorites of hers!

For my last project, I whipped up a tag for baby gift (and a note to inquiring minds: this is NOT a hint as to Bunny's gender, just a gift! Ha!)

I loved the little blue chick brad and was so happy to use it here.

And there you have it! Check out the rest of the projects the ladies created in the gallery right here.

And now that we're almost into winter (or at least it feels that way, given that snowstorm!), tell me what YOUR favorite fall memory this year was!