Pet Week: Document Their Drawings

Hello everyone, Christin here today to share with you a new layout with the 2016 April Kits.  What do you do when you don’t have any pets of your own or any nearby, well you get your kids to draw some of their favorite animals. Luckily I have a 6 year old who loves to draw. The first things she does when she wakes up in the morning is sitting down by her crafts table in the living room. She has her spot (and I don’t – I have to scrap in the basement…..)

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I often photograph her little drawings and post them on Instagram, but I have yet to scrapbook any.  In case you didn’t know I am not too much of a documentary scrapbooker (should have thought so being that I am an historian…), instead I scrapbook mostly moods and feelings, but I do journal on my pages – by hand….  My journaling is also under the Elle’s studio and Pinkfresh Studio letters.  I also added some journaling on top of the page in a fuzzy cutted butterfly from the exclusive Project Life cards in the April 2016 PL kit.

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My approach to scrapbooking might differ from many – I don’t like using lots of big photos on my page – then I feel my page is so messy and my eyes just wander without finding one main focal point.  So my choice for wanting to scrap several photos is combining them (I use Photoscape) and printing them in 4×6.   This is also the reason you don’t see me scrap with a patterned paper as a background – I just can’t seem get my pictures to stand out when I scrap using that.  When it comes to design principals I recently discovered that I actually use a lot of them – just without paying much attention to them when I create, II just discover them after I am finished.    I have taken a few personality tests and one things that stands out is my use of Intuition and I don’t like things that are square. I need flexibility and freedom and I don’t like exact things – including things like math….So my personality shows in my layouts.  But on the other hand I don’t like to get to messy so my backgrounds are pretty controlled – I NEVER spray with the mists.  I don’t allow myself a big enough space when I create to spray with mists – phone, computer and all kits would be covered in color otherwise and I don’t want..

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A few of the principle I have a few thoughts on are alignment, repetition/rhythm, balance, contrast and flow

So one design principle that I have trouble with is making things very linear – the idea of alignment. Well – you might call 1×3 pics in a row linear – but that is as far as I go. I don’t use a cutter for my papers or my pictures – I use a pair of scissors – I just don’t care that things are not straight – I prefer the messy look.  I actually try to avoid lines, which is why you often see layers of doily paper, cut cardstock or basically anything that would disrupt the lines.  This is also why I don’t get stressed with deadlines – I don’t spend lots of time thinking of should I put this here or there… What takes time for me is the starting process – what should I do/make – after that things come easy….     Take a time and think of how your personality reflects your style of scrapbooking – are you in need of control and urge to document or are you more free and wild and use scrapbooking more as therapy ?

When it comes to choosing colors and thinking in terms of a color wheel – well – then that is pretty much decided for us, right in the kit ??  And Kimberly does an excellent job with that every month.  We still get lots of colors to choose from.   I have never used a color wheel, if asked I couldn’t say which colors shouldn’t go with which according to the wheel, but I have my preferences with colors. There are a few colors I often leave out when I scrap. I don’t like to scrap using purple, red and darker greens.  About purple – I rarely have any materials with that color. Red is also a difficult color for me – I don’t have enough mists, color products in the tones I like and if I try to make anything I might end up with something I don’t like – the same goes for green.  I also prefer to use pretty light colors when I scrap but adding a few layers of darker paper every other layer to create some contrast.  Not only do I choose lighter colors when I start out, I also start out with very few colors on my cardstock and then I add more if I am happy with it.  When I create my backgrounds I would never drop pink on blue/green while it was wet – then you get purple. So if I want to have both pink and blue/green I always try to add the opposite color after all the first layers are dry so it will not bleed and mix.   I also try not to use the same color on two layers on top of each other – unless all are the same color but different tones… I love using tone on tone.  Why – I want each paper to show (if only just a little..) and they might get lost if you don’t contrast each layer.  You want the layers to mean something – build up to the most exciting part about the layout – the pictures.    Apparently you shouldn’t use colors in equal proportions either, it’s better to choose one dominant color and then a secondary and an accent color. (gallon-pint-quart approach).

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More on pictures. First I wish I was a better photographer and had better light indoor and outdoor – the sun is always so low so it’s hard to get bright pictures without harsh shadows.   I want my pictures to stand out. If I pick pictures with lots of things happening in them I feel they lose the focal point I want to give them.  Since I want to express something – a mood or a feeling with my pictures rather just document it as said earlier – I really want my pictures to stand out.  But how to I do that when I want lots of pictures. First I of course crop my pictures.  In these pictures you can clearly see how I tried to just have a light background.  And I picked the brightest one to be bigger to have it stand out.  Outside I prefer to have more colors in the background. My kids don’t let me take many and I don’t get to choose my background, but I really prefer that my background has few contrasts – again so I can focus on the most important thing in the photo.  If my photo isn’t very good I try to add more photos in a series to get away that the pics are not that good. I tend to divide my pics into “strong” and “weak” photos and only the strong ones I can use with bigger versions. The weak photos are the ones who are more noisy in terms of colors – lots of them, lack of contrast, long distance, unnecessary objects in the photos – things that are hard to crop out.  If I still want to scrap these – I go black and white and try to add more contrast and a wider white edge around the photo.   The strong photo on the other hand I feel are the photos your eyes are really drawn to, and everything you add with embellishment or anything in a way fades in comparison. For these pictures don’t overdo it with embellishment,  you don’t want to steal the thunder…   You want the emphasis be on the pictures which tells a story.  The pics I chose for this layout are a mix, not all of them land in the strong category, and just one picture doesn’t say much. Here I have added a process – from how my daughter looks when she draws – how proud she is of her drawing and closeups of what she made.   If you combine pictures it’s a good idea to start with the whole picture and then go deeper and deeper.   The design principle closest to the idea of multiple pictures in a row is the idea of repetition or getting a rhythm in the page. That is why it’s better to have to pictures close to each other instead of widely placed on the page.

If you remember one the challenges from last weekends crop – Kim Watson hosted a challenge using a visual triangle – and using an odd number of picture.  This kind of layout are usually perfect for those small Instagram pictures.  You want to balance things in your layout.   Your designs don’t have to be symmetrical balance – you could do more asymmetrical if you like, and it’s apparently better to have things on the right side than on the left and better to have it on top than bottom.

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As mention a little earlier – the idea of adding contrasts in important to me and is a design principle to have in mind.  You can add contrast by using different fonts, different lines,  different shapes, different colors.   Here you see  I used different fonts in different colors.

The concept of flow is also kind of present in the layout. You start from the top with the pictures and then your yes go down the page to the title and last the journaling.   Usually when I create I keep the layers a bit tighter but since I had such a narrow field of colors in the midle I wanted to work against that and widen the area with paper to get that flow.

I hope you get some ideas on how to look at your photos and scrapbooking.

Christin Gronnslett dt

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