Trial and Error – Why the Journey is Important!

Over the years, I have learned a lot about the creative process. First, it’s a journey and along the way, there are stumbles, falls, surprises, successes, and failures. Stopping midway through the creative journey leads to missed opportunities.

Recently, I was working on a design team project for the Hedgehog Hollow and I got stuck on a card design. I couldn’t figure out how to create a project using the products I was given. I spent about two hours making cards, trying different techniques, testing products, only to throw way about a third of what I was making.

Trash can filled with misfit projects!

Then it happened…I made a card that was actually pretty decent! It took several tries, a bit of frustration, a tiny bit of creative doubt, and a whole lot of trial and error. But I did it. Hooray!

Victoria Marie Designs for the Hedgehog Hollow (2020)

Roughly seven cards later, this was the finished product (see above). Had I not worked through the process of trial and error, trusted the creative journey, I would not have gotten to this point.

Below are photos of some of my past projects that took a while to complete. Through trial and error, I was able to work through the creative process to produce a finished product.

“Favorite Selfie” – Completed after 2 attempts.
“Color Me Happy” – Three days later…I finally got it!
“Cool in the Pool” – The shaker element in the word “cool” tripped me up!

Why Does this Matter?

The expectation that we should be able to go from point A to point Z of the creative process can be a bit self-defeating! We compare ourselves to artists who’s projects appear to come together so easily, as if their creative process is flawless and magical.

(Spoiler alert – it’s not!)

What we sometimes do not see is the trash can filled with projects gone awry. What we don’t see are the multiple attempts at trying something new or working through a creative block. We ALL go through this…even the most seasoned scrapbooker has been stuck a time or two (or more)!

The urge to give up is strong. Self-doubt creeps in and we say to ourselves, “I just can’t do this.”

But friend…we can.

The journey from point A to Z is where the good stuff is! The creative process gives us room to experiment, find out what works and what doesn’t. We make adjustments and try again. We get frustrated and walk away. And then we come back and experiment some more. We work through the learning curves, and with each step, we add more information and skills to our knowledge base.

At the end of the journey, we often walk away victorious, or if we do fail, we can celebrate the fact that we are much more informed at the end of the process than we were at the beginning.

THIS is why trial and error matters.

The next time you are working through a tough creative challenge, remember that the process is just as important as the outcome. It is through the creative process that we learn, grow, and develop our skills. If you don’t know how to do something, find a resource and get crackin’!

Don’t be afraid of the journey. Embrace trial and error…you’ll be glad that you did.

5 Awesome Kits Using 1 Scrapbook Paper Pad!

If you are like me, then you probably have a few scrapbook paper pads in your scrappy stash. I love using paper pads but have found that in the midst of my other supplies, they are rarely used. I firmly believe that ALL of my craft supplies are meant to be consumed…paper pads are no exception!

Last week, I hosted a live session on the Victoria Marie Facebook Group where I deconstructed an entire paper pad (Memorandum by Pink Paislee) with the goal of making scrapbook kits.

My process is simple:

1) I removed ALL of the papers from the pad. Yep, you read that right…I removed every single page from the paper pad!

2) Next, I separated the papers into groups that can be used to create scrapbooking kits. The Memorandum paper pack features a variety of pattern paper designs, pages with pocket cards and labels, and several with bold and muted patterns. Each grouping contains 3-5 papers in varying styles.

3) After coordinating the pattern paper groupings, I reached into my stash to select supplies for each kit – die cuts, stickers, stamps, textured embellishments, etc. Each kit has enough materials to make 2-3 scrapbook layouts. Of course, larger kits can be created by adding more paper and embellishments.

4) Each kit was then stored in a Memory Keeper paper holder.

Here are the 5 kits I created using the remaining papers from the Memorandum paper pack!

Kit #1
Kit #2
Kit #3
Kit #4
Kit #5

It feels so good to finally put my paper pads and older supplies to use! All of the kits I created contain products from different manufacturers. Of course, you can use products from scrapbook collections or pre-made kits as well.

Over the next few weeks, I will be using these kits to make several scrapbook projects and sharing this process during the weekly Victoria Marie Facebook Live session, hosted on Fridays at 2:00 pm CST!

To join the group, click HERE! To use a time converter, click HERE!

NOTE: All replay versions of the Victoria Marie Facebook Live sessions are located under VIDEOS in the Victoria Marie Facebook Group!

Stay tuned for more paper pad kits to come! Thanks for stopping by!

Why You Should Stay in Your Own Lane – The Comparison Trap

In 2019, I experienced a series of creative slumps. I felt that everything that I made was 100% crap! I struggled with creative ideas and I began to produce a lot of lack luster projects. Unfortunately, I started comparing my creative work to that of my colleagues. It seemed like they were making highly innovative scrapbook layouts, traveler’s notebook spreads, mini albums, and pocket pages. Meanwhile, my brain grasped at any creative idea I could drum up.

I took a seat at the front of the struggle bus.

I also felt that I wasn’t producing content as fast as other YouTube content creators. I wondered how they were able to post high quality content on their YouTube channels everyday (or every other day) and why I struggled to only produce 1 video per week.

Sadly, I fell into the comparison trap.

It happens to the best of us. We are cruising along, doing our thing, then BAM! We begin to doubt our abilities and judge our talents against the talents of others. The comparison trap is vicious, leaving many people feeling as if they can’t cut the mustard. And sadly, some folks quit or give up something that they truly enjoy out of frustration and/or jealously of others.

You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.” Sage words from my good friend Dr. Phil!

(Okay, technically, he went to the University of North Texas, the same college I attended for my bachelors and masters degrees, so naturally we are good friends. I digress…)

After months of laboring in the comparison trap, I finally had to face reality. There was nothing wrong with me or my creative work. The truth is…my expectations were out of whack. I was comparing apples to oranges.

Interestingly, we all do this at some point. I have talked to dozens of scrapbookers over the years who have stopped making layouts because they began to compare their talents against the talents of other scrapbookers.

We all have an idea or expectation of what we want our projects to look like. We get frustrated when it takes us longer to master a specific scrapbooking technique when it seems so easy for Suzy Q!

Darn you Suzy Q!

So, what do we do? How do we begin to stay in our own lane and confront the comparision trap head on?

First, acknowledge when you are starting to compare yourself to other artists. Do you feel jealous, envious, angry, or sad when you are looking at the work of a fellow artist? Do your behaviors change as a result? Do you become stressed, experience a creative block, or simply want to give up? Address how you are feeling head on and be honest with yourself.

Second, do something about it. You may chose to simply let go of those feelings and direct your energy into making projects that you love and enjoy, appreciating your individual talents, and accepting your limitations.

Or, in some cases, maybe you stopped following a specific designer on social media if you cannot seem to shake your feelings. It’s okay to let go until you are able to consume their content without falling victim to the comparison trap.

Lastly, recognize that we are all different. We have different talents, interests, expectations, work flow processes, and circumstances that impact what we create. You are doing yourself a disservice by comparing your talents and output to that of someone who’s circumstances, talents, years of experience, and bandwidth are different than yours.

At the end of 2019, I resolved to focus on my creative goals and projects, absent from comparing my work to that of my colleagues. I learned to appreciate what I bring to the creative arts industry and to support this community the best way I know how. I took ownership of my insecurities and came through the comparison trap storm a little be wiser and a lot more confident.

I learned to stay in my own lane.

From Paper Pad to Kit – LIVE on the Victoria Marie Facebook Group!

Hey friends! Do you have 12 x 12 paper pads (or any size paper pad) that you DO NOT use? Are your paper pads collecting dust? Well, now is the time to show your paper pads some love!

Join me this Friday for a fun 1-hour LIVE session on the Victoria Marie Facebook Group! During this live session, I am going to show you how to make scrapbooking kits using 1 paper pad!

When: Friday, May 15, 2020

Time: 2:00 pm CST (Click here for a Time Converter)

Where: Victoria Marie Facebook Group – Click HERE to join!

For this live session, I am using the Memorandum 12×12 Paper Pad by Pink Paislee. In the following weeks, I am going to use the kits that I make from this paper pad to create stunning scrapbook pages. You don’t want to miss out!

The Victoria Marie Facebook Live Sessions are held every Friday at 2:00 pm CST! Be sure to join the group and subscribe to the Victoria Marie Blog and eNewsletter to receive information about future live sessions!

I hope to see you there!