I am not one of those people who needs to rush through the scrapbooking process. I don't mind when a layout takes a long time since, for me, scrapbooking is a hobby and I like spending my time doing it just as much as I like the finished pages. What I do mind is when I spend hours and hours on a page and then end up not liking what resulted. That always makes me feel dejected.

I also take a lot of scrapbooking classes. I like learning (and teaching) and I'd say I am a good student because I always do all the work. I never take a class just to download the stuff and never look at it again. So I was really excited when I signed up for Cathy Zielske's "Design Your Life" class.

Plans Change.

Soon after I signed up for the class, I found out that I was pregnant and right after that morning sickness took over my body. I've spent the last 10 weeks being really really sick so even though the class started six weeks ago, I hadn't completed even one assignment.

Last week, I finally started some medication for the nausea and have been a bit better so I decided to take a look at the classes and spent some of my weekend processing photos (which I hadn't printed since JULY!) and writing journaling. I printed it all out and put it aside. Sunday night, I finally sat down to scrap some of them. And here's what I got done:

There's actually one more layout but I am saving it. So that makes TEN layouts in one night. That's definitely a record for me. And I actually love each and every one of them. They all have photos, words and some small accents; all I require from a layout.

While I don't need this productivity all the time, it feels good to get a bunch of my stories on paper and it also reminded me a lot of what scrapbooking is about for me. I don't need to spend hours thinking which embellishments I am going to use. I want to tell our stories, capture our moments.

If you find yourself in a need to be more productive, here are a few things that helped me:

1. Sketches. Cathy gave sketches and printable digital elements for the journaling so I knew how many photos, what size, etc. Not sure where to start? A Million Memories has dedicated boards for sketches and for free digital downloads.

2. Essentials first. For this process, I just put together the photos and journaling first and used a lot more cardstock than I've been using lately. This meant that most of my layout was done already and I just used my embellishment stash for smaller accents. I also used a lot of my scrap papers.

3. Simple Design. Cathy is a simple scrapper so her designs are simple but elegant. This speaks to me and keeping it simple allowed me to get a lot more done.

What are your tips for a productive scrapbooking session?

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