The Big Reveal

I’ve been keeping a secret from you, but now I can tell you all about it!

For the past six weeks I’ve been participating in my first digiscrapping contest. I wasn’t able to post my entries because all the contestants were assigned number to keep the entries anonymous. We also weren’t allowed to upload our layouts until the contest was officially over. So now I can share my entries with you!

Overall, I’m glad I participated. It was a lot more challenging that I had expected, and I was surprised how much it drained me creatively. I have six wonderful layouts, but I had almost no desire to scrap anything else the whole six weeks after struggling to complete a contest challenge. I don’t know if I’ll ever enter one again, but I’m glad I tried it at least one time.

Week 1 Entry: Colorado Dreams

Journaling: I have dreamed about living in Colorado for almost 20 years. I am in love with the landscape, the mix of cultures, the glorious seasons reflected on the mountainsides. I don’t know when or how, but I hold on to the hope that I’ll get there in God’s good timing.

Notes: I was totally stunned when I found out that this LO was picked as one of the Top 10 layouts of the week one challenge. Blown away! It never even occurred to me to even hope that any of my LOs might get picked, let alone in the first week. :mrgreen:

Week 2 Entry: Random Acts of Loving Kindness

Tag: Spread love everywhere you go, first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor. Let no one ever come to you without leaving better or happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting. ~ Mother Teresa

My Journaling: Compared to most, I’ve had it pretty easy. I live in America; have a college education; have always had food and a roof over my head. I’ve had my challenges, but nothing like what many people around the world face on a daily basis.

Still, it’s the untouchable things that make my life meaningful. I like to call them “Random Acts of Loving Kindness.”

The guy who stopped on the highway to change my flat tire. A spontaneous hug from my teen. A sweet “I love you Mommy,” from my son. The phone call from my Mom who just called to say she loves me.

It’s also the chance to help someone in need, like Harriet in Uganda who I sponsor through World Vision. Helping the Mom at the play area when her daughter broke her arm. Praying for strangers when the ambulance zips past with it’s sirens blaring.

It’s these precious, small moments when I help someone else that bless me and fills my days with joy.

Notes: As thrilling as being in the Top 10 was the first week, it was even more exciting to have TWO of my entries featured two weeks in a row!

Week Three Entry: Budding Rose

Journaling (Lyrics):
Oh my tiny, baby girl,
You are the budding of the rose,
And the wind on the Blue Ridge Mountains,
Speaks your name when it blows.

When the winter brings the snow,
And the heat burns bright the coal,
We will hold close to the fire,
And speak your name, and speak your name.

Oh your bones are made of love,
and your skin white, ivory snow.
And when the King comes to this country,
your name he will know.

Oh my tiny, baby girl,
you are the budding of the rose.
And the wind on the Blue Ridge Mountains
speaks your name when it blows.

Notes: My Mother wrote this lullaby for me when I was first born. She sang to me every night for many, many years. Even now, I can hear my mother’s soothing voice, and imagine the soft sounds of a dulcimer in the background.

The font used in this layout is a scan of my Mom’s actual handwriting. I asked her several years ago to write down the lyrics for me, so that I would always have them. Who knew that one day I’d be able to use her handwritten note in a layout about such a special memory? Thanks Mom. I love you.

Week Four Entry: Hope

Top Journaling: “I am not a theologian or a scholar, but I am very aware of the fact that pain is necessary to all of us. In my own life, I think I can honestly say that out of the deepest pain has come the strongest conviction of the presence of God and the love of God.” Elisabeth Elliot

Bottom Journaling: By His light I walked through darkness. (Job 29:3)

Notes: The darkness of the LO, and grey journaling depicts the season of pain/suffering/darkness. The hands holding the world, and the white journaling below, symbolizes my belief that God is my light in the darkness.

Week Five Entry: Moth Prince

Notes: I didn’t start this LO with any plan in mind, it just sort of evolved as I went along. DS was born close to midnight, and has never been one to sleep much. Maybe that’s why I’ve portrayed him as a moth…because he’s always flitting around the house until the wee hours of the morning…

Week Six Entry: Make a Difference

Notes: As a family we’ve adopted certain habits; recycling, conserving water, saying please and thank you to all service people, volunteering, etc. Small things, but with the hope that they add up over time.

The best thing I can do is raise my children to live “lightly” on this earth, and to be polite and helpful to people they come into contact with each day. (Golden Rule and “Love thy Neighbor”)

Hopefully they will pass these values on to their children, and so on, creating generations of people determined to leave the people and planet a little better than how they found them.


I only placed two out of the six weeks, and I’m still waiting on the final score to see where I ended up over all. Check back later to find out how I did!


ETA: I scored 10th place! Although there was only one winner in the Intermediate category, I’m surprised to have finished as high as I did. I received points on my first 3 layouts (24,23,8), and none on my last three, with a total score of 55. Considering I’m pretty much a nobody in the digiverse, I feel pretty proud of myself! Not only that I placed so well, but that I also completed all six weeks of the contest.

I don’t know if I’ll ever do another contest again. It was fun, but stressful. I’ve discovered, however, that I need to draw a line between creating to preserve memories, and creating “artistic” layouts. If I try to make each and every layout an artistic masterpiece I burn out and nothing gets done. I tend to lean towards “clean and simple” anyway, and I think I need to embrace that part of me, while letting myself “play” with more artistic/busy layouts only for fun.

Here’s to “clean and simple,” and maybe I’ll actually get more accomplished. lol…..


8 thoughts on “The Big Reveal

  1. Amazing LOs. I loved your Weeks 1, 2 & 4 in particular & being able to incorporate your mum’s handwriting for week 3 is so cool! Congratulations on a job well done!

  2. Kristine/SHS

    Jen, these are wonderful. Congratulations on doing so very well — and at something you enjoy so much, wow! I enjoyed reading the text and journaling.


  3. Jen,
    They’re BEAUTIFUL! I LOVE the Colorado one and the 3rd one – the one with your dd! Those are awesome. I learned a LOT at the scrapbooking convention I went to.. and one is EMBRACE IMPERFECTION! I plan to journal about it soon before I forget everything I learned. You won’t BELIEVE the pages I made (and one entire album) in just 2 hours! They really keep you moving at those conventions and I realize that I DO like to do the artistic things, but as you already said.. it takes too long to get anywhere with those. I’ve been doing our vacation albums as artistic pursuits and pretty plain in our regular albums… so it helps with both sides. Now.. I need to get caught up on my artistic (vacation) albums so I can get back to REAL life album creating. I’m going to work as hard as I can between now and the first of the year to finish up some of my vacation albums and then concentrate on a year or two of regular albums before I start to tackle another vacation album!

    Anyway.. I’m going to be posting some samples a
    nd fun stuff on my blog.. hopefully soon!

    Thanks for sharing your layouts! They’re beautiful

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