- Organizing my patterned paper and cardstock by color, not brand. This sped up my decision making quite a bit, which allowed me to be more productive.
- Subscribing to Studio Calico. I know some people hesitate to grant decision making to someone else when they spend their scrapping money. I am one of them. I must admit, however, that it stretched my creativity to work things together that I may not otherwise have thought to pair.
- Bazzill stitching templates. I've been a cross-stitcher since elementary school, but the stitching templates, especially the flourish one, made it so much easier (and quicker) to stitch on a layout. Just enough to add a layer of charm.
- Sassafras Lass paper. Mind you, I'm a pretty linear person. This company? Not so linear. It was good for me to stretch and use their stuff.
- Upgrading to PSE 7. I did this to take a Jessica Sprague class. I still haven't experimented much with adding frames, brushes, etc. to my photos, but I havebeen able to more quickly edit my photos than I have before, and with better technique too. Working with better photos makes it easier to scrap well, IMO.
- Experimenting with smaller photo sizes. I've always tended to scrap 4x6. Too much hassle to change photos sizes in PSE 3, which is what I think I had. Now that I have a higher level program, and a little knowledge to boot, I have made a wallet sized photo template I use again and again to put two small photos on a 4x6 print. This new size has helped me see my pages (and the creative possibilities) with new eyes.
- Scrapping different sized pages. I'm a traditional 12x12 scrapper (except my vacation albums, which are 8 1/2 x 11). Two things expanded my horizons: taking The Challenge of Me at Big Picture Scrapbooking, where I was assigned 8x8 to scrap, and this layout: I tried so hard to make it work as a 12x12 with no dice, then something clicked, I trimmed the paper to 8 1/2 x 11, and it worked. I did a similar page in the same size with similar success:
- Not fighting the block. I am a linear scrapper. I find I'm much more productive when I resist any urges to "break free" of what I am really like, and just scrap in a block. (Seriously, I see people again and again advertising that scrappers should "break free" of being linear, or sequential, etc. Is it really breaking free if that's who you are? I don't think so.) I suspect the same is true of people with a more free-flow style. If they tried to make the page linear, it wouldn't be comfortable with them. Here's a good example of a blocky style:
- Clustering embellishments. Maggie Holmes does this brilliantly, grouping a few accents together to suggest a bigger accent. True confessions: I have a stash, a fairly sizeable one. When you have a few embellishments, this is an effective means of using them up. It's also a creative way of adding energy and texture to a layout by pairing together items that might not otherwise be put together.
- Scrapping with a purpose. I find it easy to scrap when I figure out why I want to scrap a particular photo. Once I figure it out, then everything falls into place. If my answer is basic and dumb--"I want to scrap this because it's the time we went to the Arboretum"--I put the photos aside until I figure out why I want to create a layout about these photos. I also found myself scrapping more single photo layouts this year, mainly because I could figure out the purpose with the photo. If I wanted to scrap the photo because I loved the photo, I asked myself, "Why?" Once I figured that out, the rest would fall into place. Here's an example: I love this photo. When I asked myself why, it was because of the white space on the left of the photo. What seemed like an error in photo composition ended up being a perfect place for my list that I created while camping in Maine in 2008.
Monday, January 18, 2010
My favorites from last year
Looking back at last year, I felt like several things enhanced my creativity. What helped the most? Here's a list: