Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Challenges intimidate me

Since I first started scrapping, a bit over a year and a half ago, I have entered my share of challenges. Despite the fact that I always put my heart and soul into my work, (insert tearful sob and sad violin music here) I have come in the bottom of the pack more times than I can count. I do however have one story about a challenge that has a happy ending.

Back in September 2010, with much trepidation and without much fan fare, I entered  the Why Did I Buy This Challenge. Drum roll here please -  this being my first challenge and harnessing all the beginners luck I could beg, borrow and steal, I won. There’s an adjunct here - only 3 folks entered so it wasn’t much of a victory.

The hostess Runzalot81, AKA Alissa, sent me a RAK. When a package arrived from I was puzzled because I hadn’t ordered anything. Upon opening the box I seriously felt as if it was Christmas. I was blown away by her generosity. It contained all the goodies from the Basic Grey Ambrosia line including: rub-ons, paper, brads, stamps, chipboard pieces and stickers.

Happy ending here? Not yet folks. The problem was that I didn’t like the papers. Every day they would look at me, begging to be loved. After a while I couldn’t stand their cries of neglect and put them in my scrapbook storage closet in the garage.

One day I happened to be looking for something in my closet and noticed the papers. Funny thing is that I didn’t hate them anymore, didn’t love them either, but like fine wine and cheese they had improved with age. It took another month or so but eventually I actually started to like what I saw. The designs were beautiful, the colors vibrant and the possibilities were endless.

Alissa gave me two gifts – the RAK and the confidence to spread my wings. I also need to thank Karen, who traded a handful of my charms for a huge stack of chipboard albums. I dedicate this butterfly album to two lovely ladies - Alissa and Karen.  I just hope I did them proud! 

Lots of wrinkled seam binding and a stick pin grace the cover.

Pages 2 & 3. Butterflies on top of butterflies plus room for photos and journaling.

Pages 4 & 5. On the left is a booklet that opens up for more photos.

Pages 6 &7. The Martha Stewart envelope on the left holds 3 photomats.
And on the right, I used the rubber stamps to decorate the tags.

The last two pages. The booklet on the left opens to hold four little photos.

A better look at the tags.

I loved the paper so much that I even decorated the back of the album.

Scrapbook challenges - do you like them?  Do yu have a story about a challenge you entered?  We're all friends here, so please feel free to share. 


  1. Your album is absolutely gorgeous!!! :)

    I actually have never entered a challenge. I have never submitted work to a publication either. I have been terrified that my scrapbooking abilities are far less than what anyone wants to see. That said, when Doodlebug announced last summer that they were going to have their first ever Design Team, I actually cried. It's true, I'm a total sap. I wanted it SOOOOOOOO badly. I have scrapbooked with about 99% Doodlebug products for the last 5 years at least. It was a HUGE opportunity.

    I stressed out, reading the submission rules carefully several times a day for a week or so. I knew what I wanted to do, I just wanted to do it, submit it, and be done so I'd quit stressing. I had been looking at their sample work for years. I knew the style of what they showed already. I saw the things people posted on their FB page. I thought I had at least a shot, my style was at least comparable. Wearing my heart on my sleeve, I did the best I could, and submitted the best designs and the best essay answers I could think of. I was hoping that what I lacked in formal training and being published would be overlooked because of the heart and soul I poured into it. I waited. I waited longer. I kept waiting.

    Finally, one of the ladies who regularly posted her work on their FB page, put something on her blog saying she was now "allowed to" show what she submitted. I also noticed she had a new Doodlebug Design Team logo on her blog that said "hopefully soon" underneath. I knew I hadn't made it. I knew that as the day drew nearer to the announcement, that the DTs would've already been contacted. I was crushed. I've mostly gotten over my disapointment. I don't know if I'll try any others again. I would love to, but I don't know if I can handle feeling sad about it again.

    So .... that's my experience with Challenges. None, LMAO! :)

  2. That album is very nice! And you take some great photos! I seriously need a better camera. And I need to stop taking pics with my cell phone. And I need some photography training.

    I've not entered any challenges, yet. Unless you count the challenge that is waking up and going to work.


  3. The last 7 months since I started this crazy mini album obsession have been full of challenges. The first video on Youtube (scary!) starting a blog and then the craziest of all my first swap - I won't tell you how many hours I spent on that book - I obsessed over it - I was so worried that it would not be good enough. Every challenge has been so rewarding, my goal now is to go for each and every crazy idea, because the reward has been meeting fabulous people like you Ellen and enjoying this amazing blog!
    xxx Michelle

  4. This album is absolutely beautiful. Glad to hear you were able to find a fabulous use for the paper. I've entered a few challenges and actually won the Cosmo Cricket Challenge on once. I received a pack of papers from Cosmo Cricket and my LO was featured on their website. That was pretty cool. (It was my 'queen of kings' LO on

  5. Your mini came out beautiful.....I to do the same thing I buy paper and can't think what to do with it. Out of the blue months later sometimes a year later I get an inspiration....tfs

  6. Your album turned out great! I love how you found a way to use your winnings. Even working out a trade. Very resourceful!

  7. LOL So glad that paper worked for you! That happens to me all the time. I look at a product and think "this is dumb." And then 5 minutes later, it is the most brilliant thing EVER! :)

    Your album turned out beautiful!

  8. I keep finding things that you and I have in common: several of your 30 random things, I'm pretty sure we have the same stove, I actually made up a glossary type list titled Scrapbooking 101 when I was teaching classes, and even this beginner's luck thing! The very first time I submitted a LO, Scrapbooks Etc published it! I was sooo excited when i got that email! (my husband was even more excited when he realized they were paying me to use it!) And when I flipped through and found MY page (Feb 2012, page 88), I was shocked to find that it was a two page layout in the magazine, as well. Needless to say I screamed like a 12 year old girl! I've never been one to brag--I'm more comfortable pointing out what someone else has accomplished. But I have carried a copy of that magazine in my purse since it came in the mail on Dec 22. I pull that baby out and show page 88 & 89 to anyone who stands still long enough! I guess I used up all my luck because since that first submission, I have had nothing! That's ok--I'll keep plugging along!

  9. For some one who didn't like these papers, you did an awesome job using them!!

  10. I love it! Isn't amazing how we can grow to love papers over time? Of course, it's always tragic when the opposite happens- I love a paper, it's too special to dream of using, I set it aside waiting for just the right occasion, and then I refind it and don't love it as much as before.

  11. Great job using those papers! The mini is beautiful.

  12. Gorgeous album - I like your blog - it's funny and truthful and full of loveliness!