Monday, March 25, 2013

The Process...

The first time I took the Scrapbook Remix class at Pretty Paper.True Stories, I took each Prompt very literally.  I stuck to the papers as best I could, I recreated the layouts as best I could, and I followed the instructions as best I could.  This time, the further in I get, the more abstract my interpretation becomes.  If there is a specific formula/sketch that the Prompt calls for, I still try to get it done - after all, the purpose of the class is to walk away having something stuck in the back of your mind that will be used later on my own independent layouts.  But then some of the Prompts just don't 'talk' to me.  It's in these Prompts that, rather than anything definitive to duplicate, the process becomes my task.

I am always interested in a scrapbooker's process; and, I often think about mine as I look at a fresh-made layout and wonder "Well, how did that happen?!". 

When I started scrapbooking (and depending on how long you've been a scrapper, this may apply to you as well), everyone took a photo and selected papers and embellishments to match.  This is still the preferred method for many scrappers and it works just fine.  Honestly it makes for very well coordinated layouts in your albums and that is very pleasing to the eye.  And this process is still at the forefront of whether I choose a cream-based vs. a white-based paper to scrap my photos.
But I believe nowadays many of us have turned this process on it's head.  While many times our photos still coordinate with the paper, it's the paper that comes first.  We purchase the newest and loveliest papers, and then in our need to play with them like a new toy, we find photos to coordinate with them.  Case in point: my recent road trip photos are the perfect companion to my new Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm because they are very white-based photos in which I wore a navy & white top and my mom wore lovely pink sweatpants (how fortunate!?!).  But whether or not I had those photos, I'm sure I would have found something in my vast stash of photos to coordinate - this latest purchase is getting used regardless of whether the photos are 'perfect' or not!

Then there are those themed papers that popped up on the scene many, many years ago.  We gobbled up these themes, as it wasn't enough for the photos or journaling to tell the story - our paper needed to lend a helping hand. I still enjoy a themed paper now and again - especially for Christmas or other holidays.  And if you really think about it, even those yellowed or distressed papers are the ones we will reach for first when scrapping heritage photos - and that actually creates a theme (of course, heritage photos aren't the only thing to scrap with this paper!)  But regardless of how much we like/dislike themed paper, they are merely an extension of the coordination of photo with paper... Christmas photos coordinated with Christmas paper telling Christmas stories - it only makes sense and can be exceedingly fun to boot!

Of course, photos and paper aren't the only parts of a process.  Layouts can be based on anything and everything.  New 'toys' can get our creative juices flowing - I've recently created an entire layout starting with a single diecut.  Or maybe we see a photo of someone else's work that provides the inspiration - I have a few of these recreations hanging around.  Or we find a sketch that speaks to us - I love a good sketch.  And more and more often, our process - regardless of how we get to any one point - involves walking away... we set the layout on our desk or put it in a slideshow, and then look at it later to get a fresh perspective (of course, if you're one of these scrappers, it's helpful if you use a removable adhesive until you're absolutely sure). 

And so, in the name of "The Process", I am going to talk about the process behind each of these layouts.  (I'm afraid you will find that my 'process' can often be as chaotic as the rest of my life!)

Background Paper: Crate Paper DIY Shop; Floral,  Pink Dot, Pink ZigZag, Blue Square: October Afternoon; Yellow Heart: Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm; Camera Sticker: Echo Park; Letter Stickers: American Craft Thickers, October Afternoon; Tape & Diecut: October Afternoon; Enamel Dots: Teresa Collins; Word & Label Sticker: MME; Wood: Studio Calico; Ticket Punch: EK Success
This layout was pretty darn simple - kinda - as the design comes from the Remix class.  I knew I wanted a vintage feel to the papers because of the subject: the Old Jail at St Augustine; but I didn't want them too vintage - a cream base would do for starters (thus, totally ignoring the tone & colors of the photos in lieu of choosing papers based on the story).  So I put together the layout on some kraft cardstock and went to bed.  Aha, when I awoke the next morning, I promptly hated this design!  As I was determined to use the overall sketch for the Prompt, I had to figure out what would make it more appealing to me.  I thought a wood background would be better to reinforce the wood in the stocks and then remembered this new wood doily design from Crate Paper and transferred everything to this background (thank goodness for repositionable adhesive!).  So far I like it much better this way.
Cardstock: Paper Studio; Patterned Paper: Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm; Wood & Mistables & Mist: Studio Calico; Letter Stickers: American Craft Thickers & October Afternoon Mini-Market; DieCuts: "2"-Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic, Flags-Pebbles; Stick Pins: Basic Grey; Inks: Tsukineko; Bling: Hampton Arts; Punches: Ticket-EK Success, Butterfly-Martha Stewart; Die: Circles-Spellbinders
This layout came about completely different and is not a result of the Remix class.  It all started with that "2" diecut.  I had the photos printed and knew I wanted to create a story based on the road-trip my mom and I had taken all alone.  When I found this "2" in my basket, I knew that I had to use it soon or it would get torn.  Then, in the middle of the night, it came to me: the "Road Trip for 2".  I placed my photos on the page and, knowing the colors would look great, pulled out the Lucky Charm blue floral.  And so I placed my photos with the title on the blue on the kraft cardstock... and watched my new movie (The Hobbit - so excited!).  I glanced back at the layout several times and it never once looked good to me.  So eventually I pulled it all up and placed it on a patterned background (an American Crafts Botanique); but while pulling that out I saw the chevron that just screamed 'road' to me.  So the borders were cut from that paper and the heart paper placed as well.  In fact, I went ahead and finished the layout as you see it now.  And it sat on my desk while I watched The Hobbit again.  When I went back to my desk - I didn't like it one bit....not one!  So I put it aside and started another for Remix.  Then, while barely into that next layout, I decided that all that prettiness needed to be put back on kraft cardstock - just to check.  And you know what - I like it pretty darn well this time.,. sometimes I suppose, you just have to play to get it right.  The layout is still a little busier than usual, but that's okay with me because I plan to put a 'just journaling' layout next to it to balance out all that busyness.
Cardstock: Paper Studio; Patterned Paper: My Minds Eye Dreamy 2 & Recollections (blue w/white dot); Chipboard: Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic; Title Card: Echo Park; Journaling Card: Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm; Label: October Afternoon; Punches: Ticket-EkSuccess, Heart-Martha Stewart; Tape: Recollections; Stick Pins: Basic Grey; Gems: Hampton Arts; Die; Spellbinders
You know how Shimelle will often show you several layouts using the same basic design? Well, I decided to try this as well.  So this layout and the next are just various designs based on the previous one with no story or photos chosen to scrap - just what was at hand - and the only real criteria other than the design was to use some paper that had been sitting around awhile (and wasn't in my "fave" bin).  And that's what this is - the same design with different paper... period.  Not even a process there!
Cardstock: Colorbok; Patterned Paper & Title: My Minds Eye; Diecuts: October Afternoon; Stickers: Sassafras; Stick Pins: Basic Grey; Twine: Doodlebug; Punches: Large Eyelet, Ticket & Small Scallop Circle-EK Success, Small Eyelet & Star-Fiskars; Pennants-The Paper Studio; Other: Eyelets, Journaling Card
Same thing here... just a duplication of the same design.  This time using 6x6 papers. (Basically this calls for a 4x6 piece on the horizontal, and a 6x6 on the vertical.  You will notice, however, that in each layout I stuck with the papers and homemade embellishment pieces coming from the same collection.  This was totally on-purpose.  While I most often try to mix-and-match papers from different collections/brands on a layout, it has become rather rarer to utilize papers all from the same collection.  I thought it was time to go back to this tradition just to make sure I still could!  Also, you'll see that I used a colored-cardstock on this layout.  Again, totally on-purpose.  When I started to create this layout, before I had even chosen a patterned paper, I knew that I wanted to use a colored-cardstock background, as that has become nearly unheard of... and with 35lbs of colored cardstock hanging around, I need to think about using it more often.
And then sometimes, there is no process at all - not even much in the matter of thinking.  Sometimes it's just copying - like the next two - and that's perfectly okay... no one who ever looks at my albums will have a clue that these are not original ideas and I obviously like them enough to recreate them.
Patterned Paper & Journaling Card: October Afternoon, Crate Paper; Twine: Doodlebug; Letter Stickers: October Afternoon, American Craft Thickers; Other: Cardstock, Eyelets
This one is from a Shimelle sketch.  I thought I'd give it a try for a little something different.  And while I like it fine enough to leave it as is, and think the design rather matches the subject matter, this will be a unique design in my book.
Patterned Paper: Background-Creative Imaginations, Green Print-Basic Grey, Blue Floral & White Floral-Dear Lizzy 5th&Frolic, Blue Screen-Echo Park; Journaling/Title Cards: Dear Lizzy; Chipboard: Basic Grey; Wood: Studio Calico, Punches: EK Success, Martha Stewart; Other: Scraps
This one is from Remix as well, and while it follows pretty closely to an example of the photo, being in the corner, there are definitely things about it that feel like mine when mixed up in my album - unlike the previous layout that is definitely unique.
Cardstock: The Paper Studio; Patterned Paper, Stickers & Button: October Afternoon; Thickers: American Crafts; Dies: Spellbinder; Punches: Scalloped Circle-EK Success, Bird-Martha Stewart; Wood Studio Calico; Twine: Doodlebug; Other: Journaling Card
 And then there is this layout, that is not from Remix or the result of anything but spontaneity.  I actually think this came from my great need to use my yellow Thickers that I crossed while pulling out my mint green ones. The OA papers were still laying out from creating a previous layout, so I just decided that rather than putting them back, I'd make a layout.  I cut the floral first actually (8x8), then the green (9x9) and then the pink last (11x11).  I found the blue check (3.5x12) laying in the stack.  From there, I just pulled out my Cuttlebug and started cutting scalloped circles and lacy circles and regular circles from the scraps on my desk.  Yes, I cut waaay too many, but that's okay, I just threw them in the basket with my other OA Flower Sack diecuts.  I had this photo actually matted and attached to another sheet of paper sitting in my desktop file (dish-drainer) and decided it would be perfect for this layout so took that starter-page totally apart.  Another of those backward-thinking processes I suppose.
(Disclaimer:  I have not looked at any of these layouts on my big-screen slideshow yet.  Therefore, they are all subject to change once I see what they truly look like!)
So this week a little something different: a challenge.  First, tell us your normal process - photos first with papers to match; papers and then photos & story; choosing a sketch or design first - whatever it is, tell us how you normally go about creating a layout.  Then create a layout following these criteria: choose an embellishment and base the entire layout around it, AND use colored cardstock + one other item from your older stash (eyelets, frames, etc).  When you write your answer to the 'PROCESS' question in the comments, either post a photo (does it allow you to do that?) or a link to your photo.  I can't wait to see what you come up with!!!!!
"Art flourishes where there is a sense of adventure, a sense of nothing having been done before, of complete freedom to experiment..." - Alfred North Whitehead


  1. Wow wow wow!!! I LOVE your pages!!!!!! I did a page based on Shimelle's banner sketch too and I love how yours came out--love the layers! I love the layouts too. And especially how you used lots of layers on some and then left lots of open space on others. I'll bet your album ROCKS. =D

  2. I feel a bit schzoid in my choices...I never do it the same way twice. In fact I could be watching a video and then it hits me, I need to scrap, so I abandon the video and commence to scrap. Sometimes I will see a post and see someones use of a product and bam....I have to scrap again. Most of the time I bang my head against the wall trying to reinvent the wheel and come up with something completely original when it would have been much more productive and easy to start with a sketch. Sometimes paper talks to me ( don't tell anyone) and I just have to use it. I love it so much that I have to create something with it. Better yet when I am inspired by fellow scrappers and can't wait to sit down and scrap!

  3. Just droppin in to say hi! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!! Hugs!