Burnout, Plans and Clawing Back the Mojo
This year has been a year alright. And we’re only in October.
We embarked on a major house renovation (building a second floor onto our house) and while I pep-talked myself to deal with the physical aspects (dust, mess, chaos, stress) I was woefully unprepared for the mental toll. My husband recently told a friend “it kinda takes over your life and brain” and that’s it exactly.
The constant planning, organising, pivoting and decision after decision after decision left me in a fog. I also lost my scrap space and had to cram my way in between Brett’s work laptop and Eli’s gaming PC. Even though I am a happy minimalist, it just wasn’t the same without my pretty things around me. I was a bit blindsided by the hit to my creativity.
I realised only recently that I’ve had a textbook case of burnout. Constantly exhausted, unable to concentrate, lack of motivation, bad sleeping patterns, regular headaches. Well d’uh. Who isn’t burnt out right now?
But as the build winds down, along with the year, I’ve felt a real change in my energy and am looking forward to settling into my new creative space and making pretty things. (Getting my dining table back and my record player set up again last week did me a world of good too).
I’ve been finishing off some of my 2023 projects and re-imagining others. I’m turning silly ideas into silly layouts that I love. I’m in the mood to make. So here is a little update on where I’m at with all things scrapbooking.
I’m very excited for December Daily this year (my 16th one!). Some daily creativity is just what I need. I’m planning to do a hybrid mini album again - I just love the tiny-ness and the low stakes. I’m going to play it very cool and calm and just wing it come December.
I came up with a template for a sentence-a-day project earlier this year (available in my shop here if you would like to play along) but didn’t get far. I think this will be a great thing to restart in January and continue through to the end of the year. I love having a project to capture all of the small things and I only need one photo or sentence (or both) each day (and skipping a day or two is totally OK too). I’ll do my pages digitally 8x10 and print as a book at the end.
I recently looked at all the pages I’ve made for this book that got derailed in June. I love them! I also have a bunch of regular digital layouts I made in January and February so I’ve decided to incorporate those photos and stories into this project and just call it my 2023 book. I’m going to take the next few weeks to add some July-November photos and stories then work on it alongside my December Daily to finish it off. It’s a very minimal style photobook so shouldn’t be too much work.
Just a quick aside - I always include December in my yearly projects even when I’m doing December Daily. I feel like it gives a ‘proper’ look at our year and I don’t mind doubling up stories or photos at all. And with my small format December Daily, there will be lots of extra photos around to use.
I’m thinking about working with a physical album next year alongside my longer photobook projects. I know I’ve categorically stated my preference for photobooks over physical albums so many times, but the pull is there right now. I’m yearning to just take a piece of paper, stick down a photo and write something now and then (ha! - paper scrapbooking, have you heard of it?). It doesn’t all have to be highly conceptualized year-long books and thematic projects (saying that to myself of course :)
I’m thinking an 8.5x11 album that’s just available for me to add different sized pages when I feel like it. Some digital, some paper and some both. Stories that might not fit into a larger project.
There’s something about holding a finished page and flipping through a growing album that you can’t get from the photobook process. I’m craving rainy afternoons with scissors, paper and photographs (and the digital version of that). Back to basics. I will also have more storage space at home so I’m also not as worried about adding another physical album to the mix.
My camera roll is a sad, empty place right now unless you count paint colours, IKEA aisle locations, tile choices and random photos of the dog. Time to get thoughtful about this really important part of scrapbooking.
This week my Christmas/December templates are going into the shop (10x8, 6x8 and 4x8) , as well as some Journal Cards. I have a few more ideas so might add to the Christmas collection over the next month or two. My goal with the shop in general is to add new templates or products most weeks on Saturday (Sydney time). I like a schedule to work to and to create some expectation for my wonderful customers.
Coming soon, I promise (probably around February). I know people have been waiting (not a lot, but a few of you!) and I appreciate your patience. Turns out classes are really hard to develop and take a ton of work and bandwidth. Getting there though! My first class options will include minimalist scrapbooking, digital basics and writing.
November is giving me January feels this year. New start, Spring in full swing here. Thankful I’ve found my crafty mojo again and excited for what’s next. S.