Monday, March 7, 2011

Layering embellishments

One of my favorite techniques is layering embellishments. I like to find different embellishments and group them together for an interesting look on the page; the more you look at the page, the more you can see. I did that with the following page, inspired by several shots of me as Wonder Woman when I was a kid. Priceless.

I tend to embellish last, and I think it through after I've created the basic page. Here's my process for embellishing:

1. I survey the page for embellishment spots.

This was the page after I built its foundation. It's a solid start: I misted in red and yellow on top of the paper, which has a happiness meter on it. I worked within the design of the paper for this page.

When it comes to embellishment location, I tend to be a slave to the visual triangle. Most of the time, that means locating embellishments next to the title, the focal point photo, and the journaling. In this case, I pulled a couple Studio Calico notions out and put them on the page, just to see how they looked. I liked it, but I had only two, so if I wanted a triangle, I'd have to do something else.

(That's the lap desk and ottoman I work on, BTW.)

2. I pulled out embellishments I thought would coordinate.

I went through my stash and selected some products that would match the color tone of the papers and the photos, as well as ones that would fit the look of the page. It wasn't terribly frilly, so I avoided anything particularly delicate. I went with things that were primary colored and sort of...superheroish, if that can be a word.

I put these next to the layout to see which fit the color scheme best and worked best with each other.

3. I layered according to my three guidelines: something flat, something dimensional, and something textured.

I wrote about this last week, but when I embellish, I think about layering in threes:

  • Something flat--stickers, paper, rub-ons, stamps
  • Something dimensional--dimensional stickers, flowers, gems, brads
  • Something textured--stitching, especially, but also paint
In this case, I used some Studio Calico label stickers for flat, some brads, the notions, wood veneer buttons from SC, and a photo turn for dimensional, and a little linen thread in the buttons for texture. Here's what I came up with at that point:

It looks nice, but without much in that third layer, I thought it lacked movement, so I added some stitched flourishes. Here's the final layout:





One final thing: I didn't make each embellished spot the same. They're different sizes, the biggest by the title, which I thought was the most important, then the next by the journaling, then the smallest by the supporting photos. I wanted the eye to travel in that order though the layout.

ETA: I should mention, I had several ideas for adding more embellishments, specifically brads to the scallop sticker on the left and machine stitching on the patterned paper. I decided not to, since the page looked good as is. I applied this principle by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:

"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."


(I'm not suggesting I'm perfect, BTW--but the quickest way for me to destroy a page is to put too much stuff on it. I'm living my One Little Word: Reduce!)

So there it is, my childhood dream of being Wonder Woman.

20 comments:

joel & ginny said...

What a great post, Jennifer! I often stop at step one or two here, but the stitched flourishes really bump the LO to the next level and tie it all together. Thanks for the inspiration!

Erika said...

uber cute.. I came just to see your underoos! Great post, very helpful!

GLOANN said...

Thank you, Jennifer. I had never thought about it in the terms of flat, dimensional and textured. Gives me some new clues for getting the look I want.

Andrea said...

Great post!! I am definitely going to come back to it to help me layer!!

Ashley Horton said...

Thanks for sharing the thought process for putting your lo's together, Jennifer. I really struggle with layering and feeling like I need to fill up my page with stuff. These are great tips.

Dottie said...

Love the tips on flat, dimensions, and texture. That stitching really finishes it off. And...I love your Wonder Woman!

All about UNC! said...

Thank you Jennier - like Gloria - I hadn't thought about it in terms of flat, texture and dimensional. Great information. I'm trying to get better at layering.

clmk523 said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing your process!

BabyBokChoy said...

thanks for sharing your process and you look like one amazing wonder woman there :)

Ladyofthelake318 said...

Had to see the underoos! You make a terrific Wonder Woman! Thanks for sharing your porocess for layering.

Briana said...

I love the photos! Your page turned out great- thank you for sharing a little insight into your creative brain!

Angela said...

So fantastic! That has really inspired me and helps me understand layering! Also, love your quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry... He is one of my favorite authors.

Amanda Johnson said...

Thanks for sharing your process...I love the way your LO turned out and it will definetly help me next time I go to layer embellies!

Sue, a.k.a. midwestgirl said...

Great post! I love thinking in three's, and your flat, dimensional, textured tip is wonderful!

DanaMK said...

Thank you! As you know, I struggle with layering in general so this has been really helpful. I plan on using your advice on my next LO.

ZoezMom said...

Fantastic post! I appreciate your layering process, thank you for sharing!

Melissa said...

What a great way to think of embellishments - flat, dimensional & texture. Your layout looks great and I agree the flourishes were a nice finishing touch.

csewy said...

Awesome ideas for embellishments!! Love your work, always knew you were Wonder Women!!! Thanks for sharing!!

Tricia said...

Love the layout, thanks for the tutorial! You are right, the stitching was the perfect finishing touch

Kirsty.a said...

This is so helpful. I admire those embellishments on oter people's layouts but I can never do it myself. This is partly because I hardly ever buy embellishments so I don't have a great choice, but my New Year's Resolution was to make more of my own and this will really help me make the most of them. Thank you