Wednesday, July 17, 2013

{Tutorial} Create Your Own Challenge Book

I have a confession --

I am a list maker - I make lists of my lists. And each to do on my list has a list. I love lists!

In my scrapping life I make challenge books to satisfy that list making urge. I have my challenge blogs that I frequent, the boards I visit and the manufacturer challenges all in one tidy book. I cut and paste each sketch and color swatch, write down every instruction for each challenge and every blog hop that I participate into this book. I have been doing this for several years and have four such notebooks to look back in for sketches, color ideas and challenge inspiration for my scrapbooking. 

I wanted to share some tips and tricks on how to make your own challenge book. It truly is an invaluable tool to have on hand!

How To Attach
I cut out each sketch and color swatch after editing it (see below) and tape it in my book. Staples are lumpy, bumpy, and tear easily. So get yourself some Scotch tape!

The Notebook
I use a 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" notebook with a plastic cover or a chipboard type cover. I choose these because the first notebook I used has lost its paper cover bit by bit and is not very sturdy! I am not endorsing the Martha Stewart products at Staples office supply stores but I must tell you that I love them! Sturdy plastic cover, double ring binding, and a pocket page inside - they are wonderful! When there is a sale I stock up!


To set up your challenge book - you must get organized to be organized! 
Which challenge blogs do you visit, what manufacturers have a challenge on the blogs, what boards do participate in. Make a list of the sites and the date(s) that they post their challenges and the date(s) the challenges are due (if they are always the same) in the front of your book. 
I divide up my book by month. At the beginning of the month I make a page (or half a page if there is only one challenge a month) for the site and as the challenges are posted I will put them on the appropriate page. When I am done with that month I paper clip all those pages to the front cover so as not confuse myself!Here is an example from the challenges posted here at My Sketch World board.


Different types of Challenges - how I place them in my book

Sketches - Copy, Paste and Resize
- Right click on sketch and select copy
- Paste onto a word document
- Right click on object and select Format Object from menu
- Click on the Size tab 
Your goal is to change the layout’s size to a 2.33” X 2.33” square or a 2.17” X 2.17” square. These sizes fit well in the book, don’t take up the entire page, and still allows for details to be seen. It also allows for the most important part - planning ahead! If the message board or blog posts a sketch every week you know how much space those sketches will take up in the book (which is eight lines of the notebook paper) and can plan on devoting a whole page, half a page, or two pages.
For example when copying Lucy’s sketches from the MSW blog onto a word document the measurements are generally 4.33” X 4.33” so I would only have to subtract two inches from the height and width and type in the new dimensions. On some others the sketches are not as uniform in size and might require more math! Another example would be a sketch that measures 5.78" X 5.21". 
- I subtract 2.33 from 5.21= 2.88
- I type 2.33” in the width box.
- For the height box I would subtract 2.88 from 5.78 and get 2.9. 
- So my height box is 2.9” and my width box is 2.33”.
- This keeps everything in proportion and doesn’t distort it!
This seems complicated and you might want to just want to eyeball it! But I prefer to plan my notebook pages in advance!
For two page sketches - they are generally small on the screen to begin with so they can be copied and pasted with out altering too much. But it depends on the sketch site as well. 
Here is an example from my challenge book -

Color Swatches - 
On color story swatches there is usually a picture and then the specific colors they would like for you to use. I only keep the specific colors to save on space, computer ink, and space (did I already mention that?)
My example is from The Playdate CafĂ©. 
- Right click on color swatch and select copy
- Paste onto a word document
- It will look like this:

- Click and drag small square on side of picture (not corners) while holding the control key to crop out picture. It leaves you with a color swatch only to place in your book. This is what it will look like when you crop out the picture.


Challenges not mentioned above - 
Often with challenges on blogs or on boards I can just write down what the requirements of the challenge are! See the first page above - I just wrote what each challenge was from the designers. 

When I finish a challenge I post it to where it is required - my blog or the gallery of the message board and I highlight it! When it is highlighted I write down when the winner will be announced so I can make sure to look if I did win!

I hope that you make yourself a challenge book! It is so wonderful to have and to look back on the sketches, challenges and color swatches to inspire you when your mojo is taking a vacation and you are not!

By Kristin Perez


LisaM said...

Love your ideas here and girl, you are so organized!

Sharon Fritchman said...

You are amazing! I love this post so much! thanks for sharing your creativity with all of us!

Phillis Walrath said...

Wow, you are organized. I tried to use a notebook before to keep track of my sketches, and due dates. My problem was the sketches--they printed too big to fit in my notebook. SO some stuff I write down and other stuff stuffed in the book (or mostly falling out of the book). Shrink the sketch, tape it in the book. I can do that. Thanks so much for the advice :-)