Scrapbooking Challenges with Nicole Seitler

We are so happy to have Nicole Seitler here with a guest post today! If you’ve heard Nicole on the Digi Show podcast, you will know that she has a bubbly and super sweet personality. She also has a passion for scrapbooking! Here’s a little more about Nicole:

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profile_BW Nicole Seitler is a 34 year-old stay-at-home wife and mother to three (soon to be four!) beautiful children. She’s a Florida native and currently resides in sunny Sarasota, Florida. Nicole has been creating digital designs under the name Sugarplum Paperie since July of 2007. In February 2009, she embarked on a new adventure and became the owner of The Digichick (a digital scrapbooking shop and community).

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One of my favorite ways to get my photos off my desktop and on to a page is by playing along with a scrapping challenge! There’s something unique about having someone issue you a challenge… it’s hard to say no to a great one! Today we’re going to look at some of the advantages to regularly playing along with scrapping challenges at your favorite site.

If you’re like me, you might find that you let yourself off the hook too easily. I’m often telling myself that “I can always scrap later.” Well, if you do that enough, you might just find yourself at the end of the year with two completed layouts and a ton of guilt. (I’ve been there!) Or maybe you find that when the time comes and you’re feeling ready to scrap, you find that you don’t know what you’d like to write about or where to start as you arrange your layout. A case of Scrapper’s Block really stinks, especially when you’re in the mood to make something!

When someone issues you a great challenge, it can get you thinking–and fast! Playing along with your favorite challenges is like having a helpful girlfriend who reminds you of all the cool things you could try with your next page… all those little things you’ve been meaning to try, but just forgot about. It often gives me the itch to run to Photoshop right away and get to scrappin’. And I also find that it’s a great time saver for me! Someone has already done a lot of the thinking and planning. All I need to do is take up the challenge and scrap a page! I often find myself saying “You know, I’ve always wanted to make a layout like this but I haven’t done it yet. Well, why not now?!” I’ve found playing along with challenges to be the kick in the pants I need to get my pages done! The rush of finishing a challenge before the deadline is a great motivator as well.

I was really excited to get a chance to spend all day on Digital Scrapbooking Day scrapping. My husband was busy, my kids were entertained. It promised to be a great day! But sadly I found that when the time came, I wasn’t really in the mood! So, I took up a challenge at the Digichick to get myself back in the groove and I’m so glad that I did because I like this layout (even though I can’t wait to switch out this picture of me for a more flattering one–LOL!):

(All images are linked)

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Just knowing that other people where playing along too and that I had a deadline to meet kept me going. It’s fun to get to do things together like this! Being a part of a community is a wonderful thing. Sure, I love scrapping just for the love of scrapping! But scrapping with friends, even if you’re all in different parts of the world, is just a blast.

Another great thing that I love about a good challenge is when the hostess really gets you thinking about your journaling. It’s so tempting to just smack a date and a label on a page and call it done. But what does that say about the person in the picture or the place where it was taken? Our photos have stories hiding in them. It’s our job to coax them out. But that can be a rather intimating job, too! Challenges can be a big help when it comes to getting you to pull the meaningful stories out of your photos–or to even tell your stories without photos! Here’s a layout I love that I wouldn’t have even made on my own, without the help of a challenge:

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I’ve been a paper scrapbooker for years and I still love it! But I’ve found over the last two years–I simply don’t have the time for it! I’m here, in front of my beloved computer all day… so why was I not digi scrapping “full time?” So, I resolved: this year I’m committed to making my 2010 album be 100% digital! And I’ve found that the best way for me to reach this goal was to not only play along with challenges, but to host them as well. I like scraplifting and I love being on creative teams. But those things alone don’t get me thinking in quite the same way that a good challenge does. So, this year I applied and I was accepted as a member of the Digi Dares creative team (I’m still on Cloud 9 about that, by the way)! Here’s one of my layouts for a challenge I recently issued on the Digi Dares

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And I also hosted a scrapbooking challenge during a weekend event at a popular rubber stamping site that I used to be a part of years ago (called Splitcoaststampers – it’s the DST of rubber stamping). I created this layout for that challenge:

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I don’t think that I would have even made these layouts if it wasn’t for hosting these challenges. I was grateful for the opportunity to not only scrap something meaningful to me, but to get to encourage others to do so as well!

So, how do you get yourself immersed in the world of challenges? Where do you start?

First, the good news is that there are some great challenges going on all around you all the time in the digi world! Start by asking yourself “What’s my favorite site?” and then look at what they’ve got going on. Most every digital scrapbooking shop will run some sort of weekly or monthly challenge that you can jump right in to. And playing along at your favorite scrap shop is also a great way for you to win yourself some prizes in the process! So, be sure to start by checking out what’s going on at the places you already frequent.

Here are some other recommendations:

  • The Daily Digi has a great list of places to start looking for challenges here: Digital Scrapbooking Challenges
  • The Daily Digi also hosts it’s own fun monthly challenge, From the Files.
  • One of my own favorite places to find a good challenge (for years now!) has been The Digi Dares. The Digi Dares will actually soon be celebrating it’s 4th anniversary!
  • Another really great place I like to find challenges is the Creative Inspiration Blog.

I hope you’ll try out some new challenges for yourself as a way to wrap up your pages for the year! And I hope you enjoy playing along with them as much as I do. Happy scrapping!

nicole