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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bit of delay

Hi everyone, blogger seems to be having a bit of a melt down so the fourth part of this series is a bit delayed.
Hopefully blogger will play nice with images and I will be able to get the post out by Friday

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Scrapbooking Basics: Part 3 How to Embellish a scrapbook layout

Hi again, thanks for joining with me for part 3 of our series on Scrapbooking Basics. This time we are going to  look at the icing on the cake so to speak, the embellishments. You can see the  other two parts here.
Part 1: How to layout a scrapbook page.
Part 2: What are the best photos to use for scrapbooking.

So onto part 3, the fun bits, the embellishments.

What are scrapbooking embellishments?

Once you have the basics, the background paper or cardstock to hold the photos, the photos and the journalling. Everything else is embellishment. Each extra bit of paper. Every sticker, or stamp. Every rub on counts, it all counts as embellishment.

What kind of embellishment should you use on a scrapbook layout?

This question is a bit like, how long is a piece of string. Embellishments come in an array of different types, all sorts of styles. Different thicknesses, different shines and different acid content.

The acid free debated goes around and around in the scrapbooking cycles. I know that when you are first starting out this can be all consuming and this post is not going into the facts about acid free in scrapbooking. My take on acid free is that I use specially made scrapbooking products that I know will be acid free whenever I can. I do what I can to ensure that my scrapbook albums will be around for the next generation. In my project life albums I will often put things that are not specifically acid free, I do this because each little pocket is self contained. I also do this because if it is in my project life album and it is important to me, then I will have also made a scrapbook layout for it.

There are a great array of different types of embellishments. Try them all. Really try them all as you start out. You will quickly find the embellishments that you go back to time and again. There are also fads in the types of scrapbooking embellishments that are around. It used to be that every scrapbook layout you looked at had chipboard. Then it was tissue paper. Now I seem to reach for washi tape and flair badges.

How much should you embellish a scrapbook page?

Part of this is defining your scrapbooking style, this is something that will come with time. Again I would say when starting out, try everything. If you see a layout that you like, copy it, change it, see what 'talks' to you in the layout.

There are some great minimalist scrapbookers out there. My style is more layered, but I am not a lumpy bumpy ie I do not like huge amounts of dimensional product on my layouts. Below I am going to show you a couple of layouts that I changed around, they started simple and then I layered them up a bit so that they fit more with the other layouts in my albums.

As you can hopefully see from these two photos, this two page baby scrapbook layout was quite nice, very simple with minimal embellishment. This is my gorgeous grand daughter Tiana and her parents, my daughter and son in law. Tiana is now 3 and these layouts were made 3 years ago to show colour combinations, which we will cover in the next part of this series.

So before I put these layouts in Tianas album I had a look at the layouts around where these would go and knew that I needed to bring them more into my style of layers.
To give the layout layers without bulk I started with a rub on ruler up the side. This worked perfectly with the theme of the photos. I balanced the 20 cents on her little foot to show how little she was and again near her hand. (she has grown so much since then!). I added a layer of paper under the card and a little quote tag. These were the big things, then I filled in the spaces. A bit of washi tape, a transparent printed heart and a sticker. To finish it off I wanted to bring a bit of yellow to this side of the layout, not much just a touch, the 'hello' adds just a tiny bit of yellow to help tie the pages together.

Having started on the other side, this side of the layout came together quite quickly. Looking at what I had brought in on the other side. A quote card, a few more of the flowers that were already on the other page. Another scrap of paper to layer, this time behind the photo, two more of the little green stickers and a transparent printed heart. At the last moment I decided to add in the black and white 'blessed' sticker as I felt it helped to bookend the black rub on from the other side.
All in all this is much more my style.

The embellishments run on a horizontal line which will help to draw your eye across the layout. By adding embellishments to the main photo it helps to add visual weight to that part of the layout, which gives the photo the importance it deserves. The little journal card has been surrounded by embellishment, again this will make it important on the layout and draw your eye in. (journaling still to be done.)

This next series of photos shows another double layout from the same day. Again it was originally made about 3 years ago and before it goes into the album I want to bring it more to my style.

Originally there were three little rub ons to make a visual triangle on one page and the a strip of 3 landscape photos to anchor the other page.

It did not worry me that I was actually covering the rub on, I wanted to bring this colour into this corner but did not want the words on the card, layer on another flower :)

This corner started off with three sweet little flowers....

Now I have a spot to journal on, the rub on is still peeking out from behind.
This side of the layout was quite simple, I really wanted a title and to pull both sides together.
With the addition of flowers, title card and washi tape, this could have been left here. But I added back in those little flowers that I took from the other side, a couple of enamel dots and some butterflies.
This little bit of detail on the top of the facing layout completed the two pages. Just a little note Colours in computers and even photos can be misleading. All of the Our Story layout is on top of a purple / grape coloured cardstock.

What about if it is one single page, and one photo, how can you keep it simple while still layering it up?

This is a page out of the travel album I am currently working on. This is just a 4x6 photo so I knew that I did not want to let the photo get lost. The photo does not have a visual impact, for example there are no eyes looking at you to draw you in so it would be easy for the  embellishments to overtake the photo.

So the first thing for this layout was to contain it on the page. By matting the patterned paper and making it smaller than the 12x12 kraft cardstock, it gave the photo, journaling and embellishments somewhere to live. The title, journal card and embellishments all over lap the photo slightly, helping to draw them together and not leave them 'floating' on the page.

By keeping the embellishments to the one main colour, it helps to not overwhelm the page. There are a range of embellishments on this one page. Stickers, stamps, wood veneer, velum shapes and even bakers twine. Lots of embellishment without lots of contrast. The final touch on this layout was the addition of the bakers twine which bridged the patterned paper and the kraft cardstock.

And finally two layouts that demonstrate the way I usually embellish my layouts. with a visual triangle made from embellishment clusters. The thing to remember with embellishment clusters is to start with the larges piece and then fill in with the little things. By using a range of textures, wood veneer, stickers, bakers twine etc you will make the visual element more interesting to the eye.

First lets look at the 80s day layout that we looked at in part one.
one embellishment cluster with the title

 Another with the photos
And the third to complete the visual triangle with the date.
 This layout uses a visual triangle, embellishment cluster as well.

I am hoping this has given you food for thought (sorry with the above layout I could not resist putting that in).

If you are not sure where to start in picking out some embellishments, try a collection pack that will have paper and embellishments included. you can find those here
or grab a heap of things to try out by checking the clearance section here.

See you next week when we look at part 4 How to use colour in your scrapbook layout.

In this series we have already looked at

How to layout a scrapbook page.

What are the best photos for scrapbooking.

Thanks for reading,
LeAnne Payne

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Scrapbooking Basics part 2: What photos to use for a scrapbooking layout

Hi, welcome back to the second part of this series on Scrapbooking Basics. You can see part one here, How to layout a scrapbook page.

This week we are looking at What photos to use for a scrapbooking layout. This is quite daunting when you are first starting out. There are all these photos in boxes or drawers that you want to make look amazing and get them into your albums. So how do you choose what photos to use?

What are the best photos for scrapbooking?

This is a dilema that can get people tied up in knots. But the answer to me is really simple. The best photo is the one that tells the story.

Let me explain a bit. A few years ago in a quest to make amazing scrapbooking layouts I did a TAFE course that had a huge long name but basically was a photography course. I loved this course, mainly because I did the course with my eldest son, but also because we took photos of things that I would never have thought to take photos of. And this is what I learnt. I will never be a photographer. Yep thats it in a nutshell. I will never make it as a photographer. I just do not have what it takes. Don't get me wrong I have a really good eye when it comes to composing the photo, to seeing possibilities. But there is just no way my brain will remember what 'f' stops to use or which shutter speed I need, it just does not happen.

This might sound a bit sad, but it is not. Actually it is quite liberating. I know that when I am with my eldest son Rob, who by the way has an amazing website 'photography hotspots', then I will take amazing photos. Or if I am with my friend Karina who is a photographer then I will take amazing photographs. Why? because I will constantly be bugging them to find out what setting they are using and then copying them!  I do recommend taking a photography class or two if you can, you will find out if your brain can cope LOL. And you will make some terrific friends who share your interest.

But for the most part my photographs are not going to be amazing, every now and then I get a really good one, usually I get a swath of ok photos with a few blurry ones thrown in for good measure. And to me that is totally ok. I will use all of these photos on a layout. Why? because they tell the story of what I want in my albums.

Can you make your photos look better in a Scrapbook Layout?

There are tricks to be had of course, to make the photos look better. But at the end of the day if you want to tell the story and the only photo you have is blurred, out of focus etc, then go ahead and use it. Remember it is going in your album not on the cover of a magazine, it needs to reflect your memories, not your photographic skills.

Before you print off your photos try these tricks, can you change it to black and white? how about sepia? these are two of the most basic alterations you can make. Learn what photo editing options you have, if you are using photoshop there are heaps of filters and changes you can make. If you don't have photo editing software try this website, it is free and lots of fun http://pixlr.com/

But at the end of the day, if you are still left with a photo, out of focus, too dark, too light, wrong colour or even if the subjects are the size of ants, use that photo. Make the poor quality of the photo part of your story.

What are the best size of photographs to use on a scrapbook layout?

This is another good question. I love to mix up the sizes of my photos and I often do that when I am designing a page, then going to have my photos developed. I will design the page with different sizes. But again for the most part that is not what the pages of my scrapbook albums are made up of. I tend to print a whole heap of photos at one time, usually when I am getting ready to catch up on my Project Life album, so I will also print the majority of my photos in the standard 6x4 and 3x4. This is a cost effective way for me to do it. It also means that I will at any given time have a pile of 6x4 photos to be scrapped.

I like the look of  4x6 photos on a 12x12 page. (remember we are talking in inches). Generally I make scrapbook layouts that have more than one photo on the page. I know that goes against the big trend in scrapbooking. But for me and my albums I like to have photos as in plural on one page. In the layout above I have used 4x6 photos and given them a bigger presence by a larger matting.

I also scrapbook in both single page layout and double page layouts. (yes I put them all in the same album).  If you are making a double page scrapbook layout it will definitely give you room for different sized photos in the layout.

The layout/s above were actually done as two single layouts, as in the layout titled Taylor I had made first and then decided to a complementary one of Zac to go in Taylor's album. One photo to a layout is definitely not my normal scrapping style but sometimes the one photo is the story. The photo sizes on these layouts are 5x7.

Scrapbooking layouts for poor photos

This layout is a good example of how to use photos that are not great. The story I wanted to tell was of my two youngest sons feeding the ducks. Even when I was taking these photos I knew that it would probably be the last time one of my sons came. He was getting older and really did not like hanging out that much with his younger brother and mother anymore. So when I first got these photos onto the computer I was really disappointed in them.

Now this was before I started editing my photos, so these photos were printed out just as they were. Out of all the photos I took that day I got one good one (the duck) and the rest were just ok. So I enlarged the duck photo to 5x7 and let it be a feature. The rest of the photos are cut down from 4x6 photos.

The layout itself has a strong layout to make up for the photos, but if you notice there is no embellishment on this layout. Each strip of the pattern paper is matted with cardstock. Had I also put embellishments on this page, to my eye, it would have been overwhelming.
Would you like to try the layout above? This sketch and details is free for personal use.
Join me again next week when we will look at Scrapbooking Basics part 3: How to embellish a scrapbook layout.

Thanks for reading,
LeAnne Payne

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Scrapbooking inspiration

Giving a nod to nature with this scrapbook layout

I have lovely pink camellia trees growing along our fence.

I love how they brighten this spot and make it so pretty.
But alas a little bit of wind and the petals all come tumbling down.
Scrapbook layouts based around one colour are not something that I usually do but I was inspired by these layers of pink petals to make a pretty pink page.

I have the perfect subject for pretty pages, my sweet granddaughter and my own sweet daughter.

A bunch of die cuts, some that I made on the silhouette and some that I used my big shot to cut out as well as a few punched out of the scraps of the scraps.
Then I used the big shot to emboss the shapes. As you can see I cut out a whole heap, this is something that I usually do when getting out one of the machines. I grab a whole heap of scraps, both scrapbooking paper and cardstock and cut out a whole lot of shapes, all at the one time.

In the end I used shapes that were cut from the same cardstock as the base. The embossing on the shapes gives them a slight dimension while letting them be just a gentle element.

These stickers were the first thing I picked, don't you just love the font!
Then I matched the colour of the cardstock to the stickers.

So a quick little scrapbook layout made with scraps of scrapbook paper and cardstock and some photos that I had to hand. Just a little nod to nature.

Hope you find some scrapbooking inspiration today, if you would like to get yourself some of these wonderful stickers you can find them here.

Thanks for reading,
LeAnne Payne

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Scrapbooking Basics part one, how to layout a scrapbook page

Scrapbooking Basics

Hi everyone, well after such a break in blogging I am back with a vengeance. To start the new blogging journey I am going to do a 6 part look at scrapbooking basics. Ideas, tips, tricks that hopefully will inspire you and fill you with confidence so that you can start scrapping those photos.

This is something that I am often asked when teaching a scrapbook layout class, how do you know where things go?
So this series of blog posts will look at

How to layout a scrapbook page.

What are the best photos for scrapbooking.

How to embellish a scrapbook layout.

How to use colour in your scrapbook layout.

Where to get scrapbook layout ideas.

How to combine project life and scrapbooking together.

 Let's get started.

Part 1: How to lay out a scrapbook page.

Scrapbook pages come in a variety of sizes everything from 4x4 inches, to 12x12 inches, and everything in between as well as the magazine size of 9.5 x 11 inches. To keep it simple for the purposes of these posts I will be looking at the most common size the 12x12 inches. Even though we are in Australia and metric, when talking about scrapbooking most people will use the American measurements and speak in inches.

If we get back to the very basics to make a scrapbook page you need paper (acid free)photos (the memory you want to share) and journaling (the story you want to tell). Everything after that is up to you. When you start out this can seem overwhelming but really it is not if you take it one page at a time. There are some hints and tips that can help you like the way your pages look.

I bet you already know a whole heap about laying out your scrapbook pages, things that you just take for granted. One of the most common is that in western cultures we read from left to right, top to bottom. Automatically creating a Z on a page. In scrapbooking the Z becomes very handy.
I am going to come back to the Z principle when we look at embellishing a page in part 3; 'How to embellish a scrapbook layout.'. So for now just keep in mind that when you first see any scrapbook page, without a few direction tricks your eyes will automatically scan the layout from left to right and top to bottom. We sneaky little scrapbookers put a few tricks into the layout to direct your eyes onto what is important, the photos and journaling. In this post we will look at two of those tricks, the rule of thirds and photo eyes.

Why use the rule of thirds in scrapbooking layouts.

Rule of Thirds and Balance flows straight from the Z, it is the same four anchor points The rule of thirds says that most designs can be made more interesting by visually dividing the page into thirds vertically and/or horizontally and placing our most important elements within those thirds. Take this concept a step further, especially in photographic composition, by dividing the page into thirds both vertically and horizontally and placing your most important elements at one or more of the four intersections of those lines. This movie poster is a great example of the rule of thirds, the four anchor points, as well a great use of colour.

Look at this layout example, if we divide the page can you see how the eyes of both of the main photos fall on the line? This helps to keep balance in the layout.

Scrapbooking Eyes 

If the eyes are the window to the soul, then scrapbooking photos with eyes should be a revelation to the page, don't you think? So how does that translate to our scrapbook layouts? On most Scrapbooking magazine covers you will see a photo that has the eyes clearly visible and prominent. On the covers they usually use just one photo with the face looking directly out. This is an invitation to come inside the magazine. The eyes draw you into the layout.
But we are not doing the cover of a magazine. We are making scrapbooking pages for our albums so do the eyes matter? most definitely they do.

For some strange reason we humans have a natural tendency to look where someone else is looking. Use this to your advantage in your scrapbook page. Have the photos that show eyes looking into and not off the page. If the eyes look into the page, towards the other photos and elements and therefor lead the reader (you and me) to the other items on the page.

So lets make a page. Grab some photos, paper and we will get started.
 This is the process I go through when making a page. I am going to do a single page with these photos to tell the story of my youngest son's 'back to the 80's day' at school from last year.
After a short conversation with Sam about the 80's day we headed to the local Vinnies where we managed to get everything he needed. the shirt, the shoes, the belt and these fantastic pants that could have been tailor made for him. So of course this needed to be documented, after all can you imagine trying to describe this outfit to someone if you didn't have photographic proof? Definitely called for a scrapbook layout.
Once I have chosen photos, papers and a few basic embellishments, I then start my scrapbooking process by laying a few photos down. In the order above you can see that the end photo would be looking off the page. So lets swap it around and see what happens...
This way works better as that photo is looking into the page now. Still not entirely happy with it so play around a bit more and finish up with three photos, not four.

The finished page has 3 photos. Always a dilemma when first starting out is how many photos to use. I will look at that into a bit more depth next week in Part 2; 'What are the best photos for scrapbooking.'

I wonder if you can see the rule of thirds on this scrapbook page?
The base pattern scrapbook paper is cut one third at the bottom and two thirds at the top. Three of the anchor points have photos under them.

What if this isn't a scrapbook layout that you like? That is fine, no really it is fine, the idea of showing you this is so that you can see the elements that make up a scrapbook layout. I like this scrapbook layout and that is all that matters about liking it because it will be in my albums not yours. That is definetly something to keep in mind when making your pages. It is YOU that needs to like them, they will be going in YOUR albums.

This week try out the rules of thirds and check the direction of the eyes in your photos and see how you like your scrapbook page then :)

If you want to pick up some scrapbooking paper to play with at a great price we have papers for 50cents! go to the shop here

See you next week for part 2; 'What are the best photos for scrapbooking.'

Thanks for reading,
LeAnne Payne