Friday, June 29, 2012

From the Archives: My Layout Process

Hi, everyone! I'm continuing to re-post older blog posts with useful information. I've chosen posts that answer some of my most frequently asked questions. This one is on how I store my scraps. This blog post was originally posted on June 11, 2009.

I wanted to take a little time to talk about my creative process since I've been getting a few questions about aspects of it: whether I use sketches, how I choose papers, colors, etc. So, I thought I would just go over it all. At least, I hope it clears everything up for you ~ it may actually just make everyone more confused! :D In this blog entry, I'll be focusing on layouts. I will do two more blog entries on this subject: one related to my process for creating mini albums, and one related to my process for creating cards.

I always felt that my creative process was a little bit backwards from what most people probably do. My assumption {which may be completely wrong, and probably is} has been that most people start with the pictures they want to showcase and build the page from there. I actually start with the paper I want to use {mostly} or layout design I'd like to try {sometimes} and think about the photos I want to use or the story I want to tell second.

So how does that work for me exactly?

When I do layouts, I scrap from kits I make ahead of time {2012 update: see yesterday's blog post for more info on how I make the kits}, so my process can go one of two ways:

1) making kits, choosing my story/pictures, and then selecting the kit I feel best matches the feel I'm going for with the story {more common}


2) making kits, deciding on the way I want the layout to look, selecting the kit I feel best matches the layout I want to create, and then choosing my story/pictures based on the idea of the layout last {less common}

In both scenarios, I'd already matched patterned paper to cardstock to embellishments when I made the kit, so when I actually sit down to scrap I don't have to worry about that. I also do not try to match my paper to the colors in my photos ~ that way madness lies. Almost all pictures look good with almost all papers ~ you'd really be surprised how little clashing there is ~ so I choose kits/pictures based on mood or emotion. Do I want the layout to be bright and cheerful? Subtle and understated? Serious? Scary? What reaction am I going for with this project? That's what helps me choose the right kit for the right project.

Once I'm ready to create, I just spread the photos out on my desk and start start playing. I grab different colors of cardstock and different patterned papers and just move things around until it look right to me. I am pretty decisive, so I just go with what feels good to me. I don't worry too much about the finished product ~ I just keep adding elements or taking them away until I love what I have left. That's when I know I'm done & it's time to start gluing stuff down ~ when I love it.

Very occasionally I get stuck for an idea. That's when I turn to my "Inspiration Notebook" which I keep in a basket by my desk with my idea books. This is just a cheap composition book here I glue layouts, magazine articles, etc., that catch my eye & I think will work for a layout. But that's a topic for another post, I think!

How do you create? What's your process? I'd love to hear from you!

Life's a beach. Scrapbook it.


  1. Loving these older post. Love your work. Wish it helped me. LOL

  2. Kathryn, Thanks so much for re-posting these old post. I had not seen them before so they are new to me and I'm learning a ton from them. I loved the video on making page kits. I'm going to try that method because I have no direction when i scrap. I just run around like a mad womam pulling all kinds of paper, embellys ,cardstock, stamps, diecuts and then when I sit down to scrap I discover half don't even make sense or go together and I have to run around some more and by the time I have similar items put together my mojo's gone and I don't feel like putting anything together, in fact I just want to go take a nap. I am so happy I saw your video, I believe this is going to save me so much running around at scrap time because i will have done the work before hand. Thanks and lots of Hugs!

  3. The most fun I have is when I need a little "something" like a card or special tag. After I determine what kind of paper would be appropriate I go to my stash and pull lots of stuff that goes with the project and person - stamps, lace or doily, or some embellishment like a special color of flowers or butterfly or special charm. Then I begin creating and run back to get ribbon or inks or punches or whatever fits as I create. I make a huge mess, have a ton of fun, and find lots of stuff I had forgotten. It also brings up lots of happy thoughts about the person that will receive the project. Love the creative energy that comes and happiness that comes from good memories. Mary Werner

  4. I definitely, start with the paper and try to work my photo or a photo around the paper...If I can't find a picture then that's when the doggies get their photo I don't have a big family (that gets along) so, sometimes scrappin makes me sad. But I love to create and watch all your techniques! Thanks for sharing.
    Hugz, Z

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