Today's Post is courtesy of guest blogger and beginner scrapbooker Michelle.
Thanks for giving us your unique insight into the world of Dizzy Izzy Retreats!
If you have been toying with the idea of joining us at a Retreat, make sure to read on. Hopefully we will be seeing you soon!
I recently had the privilege of attending the Scrapbooking Retreat at Stanwell Tops on Friday 25th– Sunday 27th May. This was my second retreat as I also attended Dizzy Izzy Scrapbooking’s first retreat in November 2011. I thought that seeing as though I have a little bit more experience with the retreats now, I can give an overview for all you beginners out there (like me!) or to those who keep thinking “I couldn’t do that!” I’m here to convince you that Dizzy Izzy Scrapbooking retreats really ARE the best way to learn the hobby!
1. Be prepared – make sure you pack your papers, embellishments, glues and cutting tools (i.e. scissors, paper trimmer) before the day. I made the mistake of thinking I had everything in one bag but I’d left half of my essentials at home. Fortunately at retreats, everyone is so friendly, someone always has a spare of whatever you’re after! (Thanks Tracey!)
2. Pack smart – only pack photos, papers, embellishments, etc. that you think you will need for the weekend. Over the retreat, I completed 5 pages and a class. So I really didn’t need my heavy Martha Stewart scrapbooking box full of all the papers I’ve collected at craft fairs over the last year… I think now that my taste and themes are becoming more obvious, I know the papers that are going to work with the photos I have with me for the weekend.
3. Try something new – Fleur, Tracey and guest demonstrators (this time, Kate, Jodie and Jen!) are a fountain of knowledge and really make an effort to introduce new ideas and techniques. I learnt to make a button embellishment out of a bottle cap, how to use washi tape, using dimensional magic (fun!) and making a decoration using a scallop punch and divine twine! These were demonstrations that literally took just 5 minutes out of my scrapping time and I learnt so much from them and applied them to some of my pages!
4. Don’t be afraid to ask – don’t know if that ribbon will match that hideous jumper in a photo? Ask someone! Scrappers at retreats become your instant friends, especially those who share your general region of desk space. Often they’ll look at a page and say “Oooh I have a ribbon for that!” or “try this!” But they won’t know if you need help if you’re sitting there just glaring at your page…
5. Have a sticky-beak – there are so many different styles of scrapbooking out there and at a retreat, the room is filled with inspiration – just look around you! On my way back from breaks, I’d sneak a peek at others’ works, taking notice of their layouts, colours, etc. You don’t have to copy everything, but it might just give you the bit of inspiration for a page you’ve wanted to try!
6. Enter the challenges – the challenges give you a good focus for your pages. So it doesn’t matter how stuck you are, if you look at a challenge and commit to doing it, you’ve got half the problem sorted! I didn’t win anything this time, but people voted for my pages and I was really proud that I had a go!
7. Stick it down! – a catch cry in retreats. Things often turn out better when you haven’t measured to the millimeter, or you can try to improvise if something doesn’t go “quite right”. Take a step back and look at your page every so often but don’t obsess over the measurement, angles or effects you’re going for. The trick is to work with the page as you do it.
8. Participate in the games – the games are a good way to stand up, move around and take a break! It’s also a great way to get to know the scrappers around you!
9. Visit the shop – there are so many goodies on sale in the shop! The shop is equipped with everything you could want – papers, embellishments, bling, stamps, paints, and of course, lovely assistants!
10. Relax – it’s a retreat after all! Appreciate your surroundings and let your creativity flow! The best thing I did this time was to pack my trackies, not only because of the chillingly cold weather, but also because it helped me feel at home and comfortable.
I hope you find these tips helpful. The main thing is to enjoy yourself, have fun and learn lots! I hope to see you at the next retreat