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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Anarchy in the UK! Pixel Scrapper June Blog Train

“I…. wanna be…. ANARCHY!” Okay, so not really, anarchy sounds pretty chaotic (by definition, in fact), but nonetheless I do have a huge soft spot for the Sex Pistols, who penned those lyrics for their first single, “Anarchy in the UK.” Formed in London in 1975, they took Britain and the world by storm, kicked off the British punk movement in both fashion and music, and have remained hugely influential to this day.

The real story of the Sex Pistols is tragic, violent, and drug-infused. Sid Vicious, the bassist, died at 21 from a heroin overdose. I don’t glorify their history, at all, but there’s something about the music that really moves me. Sid’s slurred, screamed version of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” is at once both crass and utterly sincere. It’s the anthem of a generation trying to find their way out from under the shadow of their parents’ “greatest generation” legacy, trying to find a place for themselves during a time of strikes and recession and chaotic upheaval of standards and mores, trying to piss off the greatest number of people possible with as much flash and drama as possible, all just to prove how much they “don’t care.”

I’ve talked about (for the Vintage-themed blog train) how much I appreciate Christian Dior’s “New Look” fashion style that marked a giant transition from the privations of World War II to the post-war era. I think my fondness for the Sex Pistols comes from a similar place – this is music that demarcates a boundary line, art that captures a moment in time when everything was in flux, after which things would never be the same.

anarchy - Brenda H

“Anarchy” by creative team member Brenda Hollingsworth

This month’s Pixel Scrapper blog train had the theme of “England.” I wasn’t feeling too inspired until somehow I suddenly decided to make a punk kit and then it came together in a matter of days. Punks dressed in black leather and Royal Stewart Tartan (irony in fashion before irony in fashion was fashionable) with outrageous hairstyles are still a prime tourist attraction in London, so this kit would be perfect for scrapping any of those photos. Otherwise I’m curious to see what you make of it. You could combine bits of it with pieces from the rest of the Pixel Scrapper England Blog Train. Maybe you’ve got your own punk rock rebel kid at home, or maybe you have an art journal page waiting to emerge about your own experience with the counterculture sweetness of punk rock love.

The Anarchy in the UK mini-kit was available here for free through July 1st, and now it can be found at Pixel Scrapper.

PS_scrumptiously_UK_preview_blog

Whoops! I only realized I’d somehow left her out of the Credits page after I’d already uploaded the kit to three different places, so a special shout-out here to the Graphics Fairy for the adorable vintage couple showing their “true colors” in this kit.

Pixel Scrapper May Blog Train ~ Renewal

As soon as I saw the soft, vintage-feeling color palette for this month’s blog train combined with the theme, “Renewal,” I immediately thought of libraries! I love libraries – nearly every book I read I get through my city library. Libraries led me to think of books (I love books!) and things just kind of took off from there.

PS_May15_BTpalette

First I went a little wild at the library’s semi-annual book fair, which is held in a huge hangar-like pavilion. Table upon table of books, as far as the eye can see. I really wanted authentic library pockets and checkout cards to scan, and I found some great ones. The mini-kit I was planning to make ended up mushrooming into a full-size kit packed with art journal style and vintage ephemera. I’m still working on the kit, but for the blog train I wanted to share a fun template and quick page with you, to help you make pages about your favorite books, your books-I’ve-read list, or your books-to-read list!

As I often do when I’m making a kit, I was simultaneously making a layout so I could get a feel for how some of my designs worked together. This page documents my favorites from the books I read last year (I read a lot of fantasy and romance in 2014 – no judging! It was a stressful year, that’s my literary “comfort food.”). I had so much fun hunting online for book cover images and the page brings a smile to my face every time I see the familiar images of the books I enjoyed so very much.

layout_bestbooks

As my contribution to this month’s blog train, I am giving away both a quick page and a template. The quick page has empty spots so you can include your own book covers to document your reading – or I’m thinking it would be super fun to make a page documenting a kid’s favorite books over the years, or any number of other book-related layouts. The pocket template I created for this layout is perfect for folks who like to get a lot of photos on the page – 24 little square spots to stick your pics in! Download link is beneath the image.

preview_QP_template copy

You only need to choose ONE of these links:
Direct download from Dropbox
Mediafire Download (in case Dropbox is unavailable)

Happy reading, and happy book-documenting! If you’d like to check out the rest of the Pixel Scrapper May blog train – theme: Renewal – take a look at this thread.