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
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.