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Thoughts on Process | Making Layouts

So the class I'm currently taking over at BPC is all about Project Life, but it's got me thinking about my process for scrapping traditional 12x12 layouts also.

Here's a layout I did recently:
This one was part of my design team work over at Scrappin' Goodtime. It features the KaiserCraft Kaleidescope collection, and then I added in some Prima flowers and bling from my own stash. I really love how it turned out!

Doing assignments for the design team has stretched me creatively. Prior to this experience I had never used product as the starting point for a layout before. So it was a challenge at first but over the past year it has definitely gotten easier. In fact now I think it would be a good way to help me use up some of my stash!

When I'm not doing an assignment and just scrapping for my own pleasure though, I most often start with a story I want to tell. Often that story is inspired by a photo I've taken, although sometimes it's just a random memory of something and I have to go find (or take) a photo to illustrate it.

The story also drives my product selection. I don't generally worry about matching the colors in my photos, although I do try not to clash too much. ;) What is important to me is that the products I choose have meaning to the story I'm telling. Sometimes that's a very specific message (like using a number "3" embellishment on a page about my son's 3rd birthday), but more often it's a subtle setting of a mood or feeling. Rather like the backdrop in a stage play.

The photos - the size and quantity - determines the foundation of my page design. After all, there's really only so many ways to arrange a given number of photos on a 12x12 sheet of paper. I also keep in mind the amount of space I'm likely to need to tell my story. 

Then the product comes into play. I feel like this is where the layout takes on its own direction sometimes, and what makes each page unique... What keeps this page with two vertical 4x6 photos from looking exactly the same as every other page with two vertical 4x6 photos. I generally start with patterned papers; I like layers. Before I glue stuff down I make sure I know what techniques I'm wanting to include... Things like misting and stamping I generally do directly on my background, while other things like inking edges or border punches need to be done to the layers themselves before they're glued down.

The photos go on top of the paper layers.

At this point I usually get my words down. The title comes first - and sometimes a long title is all the words I need on a page. I love using Thickers for my titles, and also those tiny little letter tiles. I also love mixing up sizes and colors and fonts - one of my favorite looks for a longer title. For the journaling, I almost always handwrite (as opposed to typing) so I need to make sure I have enough room for my elegant-yet-endearingly-sloppy handwriting. ;) Most of the time I'm writing directly onto the background or a patterned paper layer. Sometimes I write on my photos. And every so often I'll remember that I have a huge supply of journaling cards and I'll be able to find one that both fits my color scheme AND is big enough for my story. Lol

After journaling comes the fun part - pushing embellishments around for hours and days. Oops, I meant to say making fast, easy, and gorgeous embellishment clusters. Lol I love using clusters of embellishments on my pages, and creating additional layers by going under and over my title and even my photos. Having all the different elements touching each other like that just ties everything together in a warm, fuzzy way. :) For embellishments right now I'm loving wood veneer, Prima crystal flourishes, flair, chipboard, and of course my long-time favorite, Prima flowers. :)

If anything needs a touch of sparkle (and what doesn't benefit from that?!), this is when the Stickles come out. Stickles is basically fancy glitter glue, and I love it! All the sparkle of glitter without all the mess of the loose stuff.

And that's it! I try to add a date stamp in there somewhere but often at this point I'm scared to add anything else, for fear of ruining it all. Lol So then I just jot it down on the back.

I hope you enjoyed this look into my process of layout creation. I think the most important thing is just to recognize your favorite starting point - after that you'll be good to go. Please feel free to share your own process (or questions about mine!) in the comments! :)


Technology, Part Two | Then

NOTE | This post is a continuation of my discussion of technology in my life. The first part, titled 31Things | Day Seventeen: Technology, talks about the technology that is currently a part of my daily life. I decided that topic alone was long enough for one post, so here is Part Two: an informal timeline of my history with technology.

When I was born in 1978, telephones had wires and cords. The one in our kitchen was harvest gold and matched the refrigerator. My parents bought music to listen to at the record store, and played it on a phonograph with external speakers. The car in which they brought me home from the hospital had only an AM/FM radio. Stoves and ovens had dials, not buttons, nor electronic displays. TVs were enormous and weighed about 900 pounds (ok that might be a tad hyperbolic! lol), and were connected to "rabbit ears" or an antenna on the roof or in the attic of the house (as ours was). Cameras didn't auto-focus or offer any mode besides manual. They shot 35mm or slide film, and you only had your favorite slides made into prints, because even the standard 3.5x5 was too expensive to get them all. The only way to watch TV was live, and channels went off the air around midnight every night, playing the national anthem as the sign-off theme.


My life is crazy.

Okay, who is the funnyman who pushed the "fast forward" button on my life?

So much going on right now, and my life feels crazy. Lots of good things happening - but it's still a lot. I'd like things to slow down just a bit so that I can savor each experience as it comes.

If I can make it through the end of October, I will survive.

So. I will be back with more 31 Things on October 15th. In the meantime, I will leave you with this lovely picture of the sunset from the other night.



31Things | Day Seventeen: Technology


I am a self-professed technology junkie.
I am fascinated by the abilities and possibilities that is inherent in new technology.
I take after my dad in this regard.
I have learned not to jump on new technology the second it comes out, but to give the company a few months to work out any remaining bugs - and there's always something.

Around here.