March 24, 2008

You Ask and I Answer

I've gotten a few emails from folks asking about my scrapbooking process. Until now I haven't answered them, well, mainly because I haven't had time, but also because I'm not particularly satisfied with my whole scrappin' set up at my mom's house. I need my own space to s p r e a d o u t. Dig? And thinking this makes me feel guilty because I am so very blessed to have a place to call home while I tried to rebuilt my boat, which has been slammed into the rocks and burned.

*** Ever notice how this is the blog of metaphors? Man, come and get your metaphor. Good gracious. I've got boats and shoes and all kinds of things going on. ***



First, I take pictures and edit them with Paint Shop Pro 8. I had dreams of upgrading to Photoshop so that I could use some cool actions on my photos, but as I haven't hit the lottery or found a money tree sapling yet, those dreams will have to wait. So I edit them for color balance, contrast, clarity and saturation. Typically, the automatic photo fix option does not work for me because it's too much of some thing. It looks okay, but I'm OCD like that and want everything to be perfect. And it never is. And I'm never happy with my photos. But moving on.

Now, I should mention here that every day I visit all of my most favorite blogs and read them with love and admiration. Many of those blogs are scrap related (Jennifer Pebbles, Heather Melzer, Cathy Zielske, Elsie Flannigan, Ali Edwards, Donna Downey, Jenni Bowlin, Jamie Waters, American Crafts, and Making Memories). I also look through the gallery of Garden Girl layouts at 2 Peas In A Bucket every day. Each time I see a layout that I like, I save it in a folder on my external hard drive. I right click on the photo and > save as > Location/name.jpg. I then print all of them in color and take them home to slobber over- I find that 2 fit perfectly on a regular sheet of paper and can be popped onto one page in Microsoft Power Point. I suppose this is the same as ripping out favorite layouts in scrap mags, but I don't receive any scrap mags so I opt to do this instead.

Once I have edited my photos, I decide which photos to scrap. I send those to print at Walmart (I greatly dislike Target's digital processing, blech!). When the pictures have printed, I set aside some time on my schedule (usually an evening, after kids' bedtime) to plan pages.

Lifting, Plain and Simple

When the time on my schedule has arrived, I get all excited. In a pile are my freshly printed photos. Next to that I keep my printed inspiration layouts. And in my lap is my handy-dandy scrap journal. I look at the picture(s) I want to scrap. Then I flip through the printed layouts until the Heavens open and the angels sing and my soul has found a match.

Then, I sketch. I sketch the layout using my pictures and make notes to myself about journaling, embellishments, etc. My sketch looks something like this.

I usually sketch out 10-20 pages at a time. This is how I am able to scrap 10 pages in one weekend. It's all planning. That's the secret.

Putting it All Together

When I have time to sit and scrap, I can easily pull out my stack of pictures, my handy-dandy scrap journal, and start working from those sketches, one at a time. All of the planning really eliminates time wasted wondering and guessing. Since I have to squeeze in scrapping in between binky and bottle washing, dinner making, homework helping, baths, and calls with my attorney and Lulu, this process works well for me.

Here are two layouts all the way through.

First, a photo of Mabel at about 3 weeks. I love this picture. It makes me feel smooshy and fuzzy inside.

Here is the layout that I decided to lift for it. Layout by Cathy Zielske, photo from her blog.

Next, my sketch of my future page. Even though my lift is 8.5 x 11 and I scrap in a square (8x8), I can make it work.

I use abbreviations to help myself - like CS (for card stock) 1, CS2 - meaning I want 2 different colors of cardstock. PP is patterned paper. I also like to jot down potential titles so that when it's go time, I don't get stuck. Sometimes, I still get stuck.

The page in process (please don't pay attention to the dangerously cramped dining room table).

And the finished page, which you will notice doesn't exactly resemble my sketch either. It's just a jumping off point. In this case, I decided the heart in the lower right corner of the photo would be overkill since I decided to use those lovely rub on flowers from Heidi Grace. I also decided to forego the big M on the lower left of the journaling block. It's all about balance and that wasn't doing it for me.


Next, a photo of Mabel and Jonas that I just LOVED.

The layout I lifted.

My sketch.

As you can see, I varied the sketch from the lift from the very beginning. Sketching it just makes it mine. Makes my heart adopt it. I've tried to scrap directly from lifted pages before and am not very sucessful. I just need this middle sketch process, I guess.

Side note: years ago, I tried making a computer-developed planning sheet in Power Point. My OCD self loved it. All smooth and black and white. It even had check boxes for the colors I planned to use and blank lines for a list of embellishments. You know, I only used that thing twice. I gave a schlew of them to Lulu. Lulu, did you ever use those planning sheets? My point is, I think the reason they didn't stick with me as a system was because they weren't bound together (the handy-dandy scrap journal seems to work best) and because I didn't draw them by hand. Listen to me, Folks, draw it out! Who cares what it looks like. No one is looking at your writing but you. I tried it the OCD perfectly stretched ppt square way and it didn't stick. Use your hands and a pencil and go to town. Okay, tangent over.

Here is the page in process. I'm loving those mini alpha rub ons by Doodlebug. A new favorite thing, for sure.

And, complete.

And, since I have them on hand, here's one more.


I loved this picture from the moment I saw it on my camera display the day after Mabel was born. Such a favorite. And I waited to scrap it because I wanted just the right page.

And I also loved this layout from the moment I saw it on Jamie Waters' blog. I kept it handy, waiting for just the right photo. On planning night, I decided it was time to put these two favorites together.

Here is my sketch.

Clearly looks different from Jamie's layout since I only had one photo. Now - I actually took about 20 pictures of the first time the boys met Mabel, but since I'd not seen this layout to lift yet when I ordered the prints, I'm stuck using the one 4x6. If I'd remembered I had them before printing, I would have sent out for smaller prints so I could use 2 or 3 on this page.
No in-process photo for this one, but here is the finished page.

One of my new favorites.

So, there you have it. I hope this helps those who asked - and anyone else, too. It's my process. It might not work for you. But experiment! Find your own groove and work on your mojo!

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