Bohemian Breeze ~ Pixel Scrapper September Blog Train

It’s about that time – time to say “Goodbye, Summer” and “Hello, Fall.” I took a design hiatus this summer and I think it was much needed. I went into the switch from passionate amateur scrapbook designer to neophyte professional scrapbook designer with a lot of ideas, ambition, and excitement. I have had tremendous support from Marisa & Jordan, owners of Pixel Scrapper, the site I design for, as well as from the other Pixel Scrapper designers and my wonderful creative and uploader teams. And yet just in terms of sheer energy expenditure I ended up getting in over my head. I was tired all the time and worst of all the fatigue led to near-total creative burnout – can you imagine, after designing just a few full kits? It was disappointing to say the least!

Everyone has been so supportive and understanding, I really appreciate them all so much. And when one of the other designers took a design hiatus I realized, “Oh, I can do that, too, instead of feeling guilty every minute that I’m not designing.” I feel super restored after three months away (or mostly away, I did make contributions over the summer to the Good Day and Work Day designer collabs as well as August’s UK-themed blog train) and ready to get back on the design wagon. I do want to make sure to pace myself better this time, though.

How to do that is a puzzle for me right now. When they hired me, Pixel Scrapper asked for a certain rate of contribution, and I, having my chronic illness and another career, asked if I could contribute less frequently. Marisa & Jordan said sure, because they’re awesome, and yet I still managed to burn myself out. So the question now becomes how to balance my desire to show up and support this wonderful community that supports me while still managing my energy carefully so that I don’t dip too low. I thought I had it all figured out – when I agreed to join the PS team I felt like I had tons of extra energy – but clearly there’s more to the equation than I realized at the time.

One thing I know for sure, that I’ve mentioned here on the blog before, is that the admin tasks associated with this job really kill me. The designing is one thing, but it’s the organizing, renaming, uploading, tagging, and so on that always cause a rush and a slog at the end of every project. That’s the part that led to two (TWO!) consecutive all-nighters when I released Already There (yep, the kit about resting and not pushing, oh the irony). I wonder if I am going about it wrong in some ways because I never hear anyone else complain about that part!

Ok! Enough of me babbling on – I just wanted to fill you in on where I’ve been and what’s coming next. If anyone has any tips or advice about how to design more efficiently, I am all ears!

This month’s blog train palette is so pretty – I feel like it’s perfectly on the border between summer and fall. The palette is so delicious part of me wishes I could have made more with it, but as it is officially still summer I am officially still on hiatus. 🙂 The theme is great, too – Bohemian Breeze conjures up images for me of lots of scarves and funky jewelry and wandering wherever the wind may take you. (And, of course, people dying in garrets of tuberculosis.) It seemed like a perfect pairing for my “painty bits” style, and I sure do love making painty bits! They add an instant art journal quality to any page.

I did want to be cautious as I worked with this theme to avoid cultural appropriation – some of the imagery conjured by the name took me too far into the “tribal” or “gypsy” realms. If you’re unfamiliar with the issue of cultural appropriation, please check out these links on the appropriation of Native American tribal symbols and sacred regalia and why “gypsy” is considered by many Romani to be a slur and the romanticization of the Romani lifestyle can be deeply problematic. I just started reading about a week ago about the appropriation of Native war bonnets by fashion, photographers, and festival-goers, and I was kind of blown away by how popular it seems to be to throw a war bonnet (an item of sacred regalia created with specific intention and prayers and worn only by certain honored individuals) on a naked or near-naked girl, often with “war paint” added on as well. Yikes.

At any rate! I made some pretty things. Please download them, and use them to make your own pretty things! The Bohemian Breeze Painty Bits Flowers and Bohemian Breeze Painty Bits Borders will be available for download here on the blog through the end of September, and after that they can be found at Pixel Scrapper.

Put together a giant coordinating bundle for yourself with the fabulous contributions from all the other blog train designers – find them all here in this thread at Pixel Scrapper.

Blog train freebie links only stay up for the month of the blog train (though you can still find older blog train goodies if you explore the blog). My Bohemian Breeze Flowers and Bohemian Breeze Borders are no longer available here on the blog – you can now find them at Pixel Scrapper.

Bohemian Breeze Painty Bits Flowers for digital scrapbooking, art journaling by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

Bohemian Breeze Art Journal Page Border Overlays for digital scrapbooking, art journaling by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

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49 thoughts on “Bohemian Breeze ~ Pixel Scrapper September Blog Train

  1. Thank you for the info on cultural appropriation. I have never heard of that in such terms before. It makes sense to be aware of this even on a personal level. I do hope you find your balance with your creative outlet and rest. Thank you for your gorgeous work.

  2. Thank you so much for your amazing contribution. It’s easy from this receiving end to never fully understand the work, dedication, time and commitment it takes to create such amazing and beautiful creations for us to enjoy with just a single click. I appreciate knowing the sacrifice designers need to make, I feel extra committed to creating and using the parts I receive so all that sacrificing is worth it. ♥

    ps….I know a fabulous Naturopathic Doctor in California who has helped me and my husband with our little issues. She worked with us via Skype sessions since we are on the East Coast and it’s hard to find good naturopathic doctors here. The best part is she does things to work with you, your capability and it’s very natural without liver damaging medications unless they are necessary. She specializes in anything digestive related but offers treatment for numerous afflictions. For anyone interested, her name is Dr. Melissa DeForest: http://www.northskyclinic.com/
    I pray you be well, happy & healthy in all areas of your life.

  3. Thank you so much for your amazing contribution. It’s easy from this receiving end to never fully understand the work, dedication, time and commitment it takes to create such amazing and beautiful creations for us to enjoy with just a single click. I appreciate knowing the sacrifice designers need to make, I feel extra committed to creating and using the parts I receive so all that sacrificing is worth it. ♥

    ps….I know a fabulous Naturopathic Doctor in California who has helped me and my husband with our little issues. She worked with us via Skype sessions since we are on the East Coast and it’s hard to find good naturopathic doctors here. The best part is she does things to work with you, your capability and it’s very natural without liver damaging medications unless they are necessary. She specializes in anything digestive related but offers treatment for numerous afflictions. For anyone interested, her name is Dr. Melissa DeForest: http://www.northskyclinic.com/
    I pray you be well, happy & healthy in all areas of your life.

  4. Dear Violet, it is no wonder you burn out when you put so much wonderful thought and effort into everything you do! I look forward to reading your blog posts almost as much as I do using your digital kits! I’m excited to use your beautiful painty bits and I appreciate your insights into cultural appropriation, I have been married to a Northern Irishman for 9 years and have come to realise how often people make racially inappropriate comments with out even thinking about it, such as using the term “throwing a paddy” for a tantrum which is of course very offencive if you are in fact a “Paddy”! I could go on but I will spare you! Hope to see more of your beautiful work soon.

    • Thanks for your lovely comment about my blog posts, Kathie! I love getting to share my thoughts with you all here. Thank you, too, for sharing about your personal experience with racism and how casually it can fly under the radar, with people who would never want to intentionally be harmful to others not realizing that their language or behavior might have a negative impact.

  5. I hear you on the designing being the easy part! I’ve been trying to make a habit of saving the finished .png or .jpg with the final file name, so when I finish designing an element, I save the layered file, run QC on it right away, save as .png/.jpg with my name and the kit name and its title and pu/cu… Then I toss it in the elements or papers folder, as appropriate, or break out a journal cards or word art folder if I’ve got a lot of it for that kit. Then when I’m nearing release date, I just need to rename the folder to the download folder name, drop in a TOU/Credits file and zip the folder. That helps me save a little bit of time and stress in that last couple of days before release date so all I need to do is upload and make the blog post. (I’m not uploading to PS where I need to tag each element, though, so I don’t know how to make that easier. Perhaps you could get a CT member to help with tagging?)

    Personally, I hate doing the QC/rename slog, so breaking it up into a few minutes’ work at a time as I finish the element makes it MUCH more tolerable and keeps me from getting stressed about having to do it all at once as a deadline looms.

    • Thanks, Holly! I really appreciate you sharing your process. I hate coming up with whatever I’m going to name my files in the end which I think is why I put it off – I do like the design name Scrumptiously (and love that it harkens back to my early days as a food blogger) but it makes for such long file names and I haven’t come up with an abbreviation for it that I like, so I end up trying to save space in other parts of the file name and it’s all just really annoying. I don’t think I realized quite how much that was causing me to put things off until I read your comment just now. And the QC is equally tedious – I always forget something like to check the size or the resolution or something totally random like it’s the wrong color profile because of some other design element I used in creating it.

      And I’m VERY lucky that I don’t have to upload and tag each item individually – if I did I don’t think I could be a designer under such a system. We have wonderful teams of “surrogate uploaders” who upload individual items and tag them. But even just doing kits and bundles take a long time – a bundle like Already There, with 12 kits in it, means 13 different items to tag with appropriate tags and colors and between that and various to-be-expected technology glitches and weirdnesses it takes a surprisingly long amount of time to get everything uploaded. I’m not complaining, mind you! I feel so grateful for the amazing responsive infrastructure Jordan has created for us to use. I’m just trying to examine my own places where I get stuck and draggy and take way more time than I’d like.

  6. Violet, I’m so glad to see your contribution to this month’s blog train. I love your work. I totally understand what you said about the difficulties associated with balancing all of it. I hope you will take good care of yourself and participate when you can. Thank you for sharing your painty bits. They’re beautiful.

  7. I wasn’t sure what to think about this month’s theme, but your designs helped bring me around. Thanks for sharing! You’re a fabulous designer.

  8. Thank you so much for the nice write-up and a neutral design. When I read about the bohemian theme, I was wondering what will be the designer’s inputs in this. Because the way most people interpret ‘Bohemian’ was about a typical race or type of people. Which has no relevance to my culture. But I loved the palette… So for me your work is something I can use in my designs. Thank you so much. I love the sketchy and watercolour like feel.

  9. These are gorgeous – I’m sure the painty flowers are going to become one of my favorite ‘go-to’ items. Thank you so much for sharing! Hope you can find the balance you need to continue your designing – and trust me, I’ve seen other designers not happy with all the admin work. Have you checked to see if there are any actions or programs that could help you with the process? I use a file program that is a whiz at batch renaming! (It’s actually a replacement file manager for the Windows file manager because I detest the Win one, lol – Directory Opus which is not a free program but you might check around to see if you could find something similar)
    Thanks again!

  10. I’m sorry to hear of your health issues. Unfortunately, most people who have never experienced having an ongoing condition are unable to grasp the enormity of the impact it has on a person in almost every aspect of their lives. Just the sheer rigor of having issues on a constant basis can wear down the strongest of souls, and understanding the burden of bearing such a cross is beyond even the imagination of others who do not deal with such an agonizing torture. Your gorgeous flowers and borders are absolutely breathtaking and will add a lovely touch to the majority of the other kits on this blog train. Thank you for contributing your beautiful, useful designs, I’m sure they will be greatly appreciated by all. My prayers are with you, thanks again and God Bless.

  11. Love the colors!!! The pretty flowers are stunning!! The borders are gorgeous!!! I do so hope your health issues get better for you and your regain your full health!! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

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