Introducing the No Stress Distress Club

Hello all! Camp Scrap has wrapped up with 3 fun weeks of challenges and creativity, and I’m on to some new special events and creative options! Read on to sew what summer will hold…

The “No Stress Distress Club” is now open! You can sign up for class on my Etsy shop, and find more details here.

Inspired by new colors coming (soon!), I’m revisiting favorite classics, new techniques, and ALL NEW projects for 7 months. This class is a tremendous deal – and you can get it with or without a physical kit of supplies supplement.

Speaking of kits and classes, there’s more to share! I am hosting FREE Live classes on Facebook every week! These live events are scheduled (see my facebook page) about a month at a time, and sometimes I’ve got multiple events! I will also continue to update my YouTube weekly with tutorials and projects too of course – so much to share!

As for kits, with so many in-person events cancelling and so much more time at home I’ve been cultivating special kits! Some of these will go with free classes, others are just for fun. You can find them all on my Etsy shop. Sales help me do more give-aways, pay the many website bills, and so on – so thank you for your support!

I hope to see you in a class or live event soon – wishing you all the best.

Scrapbooking Resources

This time we are in, it is so uncertain and so much is bad news. It has taken me this long (about 3 weeks from when I began distancing and isolating) to clear the mental fog enough to talk about it, to in earnest turn my productivity around! This article serves 2 purposes:

First, a place to let you know my creative plans and where to find me over the future weeks. Secondly, to provide a round up to some resources anyone scrapbooking new or diving back in might want:

I will be adding to this article as I come up with more links, or think of more to add to. That said, if you’re looking for some help, inspiration, or creative ideas here is where you can find me:

  • 5 days a week videos to Instagram TV (@craftwithmay)
  • 5 days a week same videos post to Facebook (@craftwithmay)
  • Tuesdays “Live” on the Brother Crafts Facebook page, as one of their craft ambassadors I’m hosting a show!
  • 2-3 new YouTube tutorials posted (project tutorials)

Need links? Instagram * Facebook * YouTube

Want to know what else I’m going to be doing? Read on!

I haven’t 100% set myself on what will go which day, but here is the list of what I’ll be working on and featuring:

  • Scrapbooking (on Saturdays)
  • Card Making
  • Art Journaling/Mixed Media
  • Sewing/Embroidery/Cross Stitch
  • Jewelry/Kids Crafts/Home Decor

Got requests? Need help? Just let me know! I’m here, and I’m happy to help uplift and inspire my fellow creatives. Any time – just give me a shout!

Scrapbooking: Organize and prepare to fill an album

I am a few years behind in my scrapbooks – and it has started to bother me. Now, I don’t subscribe to the need for chronological scrapbooking, nor do I believe every story or photo needs to be in the scrapbook. That said, I am not happy with my current system and want to prioritize getting more pages made. In this article I will cover my process – it took only a few hours- and explain what you’ll be seeing from me in the future!

Goal: Have full (though additions could be made in future) albums for each year that cover main happenings/details I want noted in the book

Plan: A mix of styles from embellishment heavy to pocket page, get the photos in, and the stories told laid out chronologically in 12×12 album

With these two things known (What I want, what style/size I intend) I have a simple blueprint to sort and plan my attack. I decided I would start 1 year at a time (beginning with 2019, since those photos are on top and memories strong) and lay out, complete the pages, and close the album before moving back to other years. With this plan of action, it became clear that all I needed to do was:

  • place any already created pages into a scrapbook
  • Sort photos and prioritize happenings/scrapbook pages
  • Mark pages by topic, keep photos sorted by topic
  • As pages are made remove placeholders and insert finished pages

Using scraps of white paper I marked the events/memories that I want to include in this scrapbook the most. Are there more stories and photos I could add? YES, but for the sake of not overwhelming myself or getting into complex multi-album projects here I am limiting to one, and prioritizing. Now I did not narrow down the photos to the exact ones I’ll use in the scrapbook, but I did sort and keep sorted by event.

With these photos sorted I now have a single place to come and grab pictures each week during scrapbook time, and I know where the page goes because I took that scrap of paper and tucked it into the album in order inside the page protector. This way, I can easily fill and organize my album with ease as well as knowing if there are pages that I have allotted 1 or 2 pages for within the album.

Another way of doing this would be to place the photos, any ephemera, and anticipated background paper into the page protectors. I actually don’t recommend this method anymore because I find that if and when I do this? Well I never make the page! I just leave the pictures and any stuff in there and move on.

My intention is a blend of pages – some very simple and without embellishment (like the Hamilton page I posted here a few weeks ago), and others more time consuming or technique heavy.

How do I decide that? It is 100% mood, and what the photos and story seems to need. In many cases simple is what I crave, sometimes a pocket style page where each photo has nothing to do with the others – it is a collection of photos + words to capture memories. Other times I get an idea and a creative page is born.

The bottom line? There isn’t a wrong way – you simply want to set yourself up so that when you approach the project it is welcoming and you create, and you don’t find yourself buried and overwhelmed. Need help? You’re always welcome to message me on social media!

Are you putting in the time?

Recently my local scrapbook store (sign up for classes here!) asked me to teach a series of art journaling workshops. Ladies and gents – this is going to be BIG fun and I am super excited.

Oh but this post isn’t an advertisement for those or anything – no. This post is about what happened to me when I got home and went to create samples. Short version: I choked

Not a permanent freeze, nothing so terrible. But had I given up after the first hour, day, even 5 days I would have assumed I could not do anymore, that I had no talent, that my ideas were dried up and gone.

I am sharing this with you because it takes courage to keep going, you must keep showing up and putting in the hours if you want to get to a place where creativity freely flows and you feel like you are just magically making. Well, at least I do. I haven’t been playing in my art journal lately so of course it took a while to gather myself. OF COURSE a few pages were rough and a few ideas didn’t work! When it comes to creativity where you’re going from your own head (no outline or structure given):

  1. You will need to have those mental muscles well used in order to just start running! If it’s been a while, be gentle with yourself and just relax into the process.
  2. Tell yourself you’re going to make some ugly art. Then do that. WHY!? Because it takes the pressure off to make anything good.
  3. 10 minutes is all you need each day on any given craft to add up to an hour a week. An hour a week is my minimum for any craft to feel “in the zone”
  4. Don’t stop for long if you want to get to a better place- effort is needed.

I’m not going to make the mistake of letting supplies gather dust again, well yes I will. BUT if I do, I’ll understand I need a few days to warm back up, a few hours practice before things are going at the speed they should when I’m in the zone.

If I’m not putting in the time, I won’t be able to simply ‘whip up’ projects at a moment’s notice. Nothing wrong with that – I just need to be aware of my expectation vs reality!

Art Journaling for me is a way to be fluid in many formats of creativity all at once. I use the techniques elsewhere, and I really enjoy having samples of techniques and my own ideas in a journal to flip through when stuck.

Oh yes, and if ever really, truly, I just don’t know what to do stuck? Just start throwing color (yes literally) on paper and see what sparks. Sometimes you’ll fail sure – but that’s just a part of the process. The failures are the only way to get through to the success and the “I love that I made this!” wins.

Happy Crafting!