Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How to Design the Perfect Scrapbook Layout

Don't you just hate it when you go to the mall and it's so crowded you can't find a parking space?  And there are just too many people crowding you in and the stores have their clothes racks just too close together?

Basic human instinct of survival are just kicking in.  You were hot wired to want to have a place of visual advantage to easily see the path ahead, lots of room to "graze" to your hearts content. and a safe exit strategy.  We just want excitement and something that touches our emotions, but not visual overload or anything too boring.

Well, there are easy design principles you can use to create a scrapbook page that keeps those same basic anxieties at bay, and allow the "star of the show",  your picture to take center stage!  Now, you know there is no such thing as a "perfect" scrapbook layout.  Styles change, moods change, but these simple principles can help you create captivating and timeless layouts.

 Rule of Thirds                                                 
"Memories Captured" VIDEO TUTORIALA very basic rule from the photography world.  Imagine dividing your layout into 9 equal parts just by drawing four lines.  Just like a tic tac toe board.  One of the  four spots where those lines intersect are where your pictures dominant feature should be placed for greatest impact.  One of the best designers at capitalizing on this technique is Gabrielle Polloco.  If you are interested in seeing more of her works, be sure to check out her blog at

 White Space                                                   

Okay, white space isn't really always white.  It is just a clean space for the eye to rest, and the brain to process what it is taking in.  Too little white space, or too much visual clutter and the brain gets agitated and wants to turn away. Today's trend in advertising is lots and lots of white space and make the logo or message clear and  dominant.  The same is true in scrapbooking trends.  See how both ads are selling cleaner.  But one really stands out because of the effective use of white space.  Nope I don't recommend one cleaner over the other, just the use of white space.

A line is the simplest way to have the viewer follow your lead.  A line can be curved or head off in any direction.  But your visual line  should be easy enough for the eye to follow and end in the pot of gold...your picture or message you wanted to show off.    Notice how this gorgeous layout by Ingvild Bolme  from Prima's website use two lines to frame the darling picture.  

Remember the yellow brick road? Yep lots of twists and turns, but they kept to it because it was easy to identify as the way to go and they trusted the payoff at the end would be worth the trip.

It's easy....just try to use any visual image at least 3 times to create a pattern to set a theme.  More than 3? Just keep them odd numbers, it's easier on the brain and will keep it interested.  Many practicers of Fung Sui design principles believe odd numbers of elements create movement.  I love how this BoBunny layout repeats the shades of green and the stamped images.  Really balances the layout!  

This is another great layout from Gabrielle at  It's not only perfect to highlight the effectiveness of repetition, but the richness that adding texture can bring to your scrapbooking story.

Remember the yellow brick road we talked about above?  Well it was filled with excitement, things that made the journey anything but boring.  Well that's where texture comes in on a scrapbook layout. Texture can be created with mixing in metals, fabrics, stenciling with modeling paste, embossing, paints, using pop dots to create raised effects...just have fun and add texture!  It will keep your eye interested in continuing the journey and yet give it some "roses to stop and smell" or fill you with a excitement that will make the trip memorable.


Can't help's science...colors produce feelings and emotions in the viewer.  So use it to it's best advantage by playing with and easy to use color palette builder.  Good old fashioned color wheels are still great for helping inspire you with color mixes. But if you want something a little more new age...try some online color palette generators.  Just like with pattern, it is often more pleasing to use one dominant color, then at least two supporting, one secondary and one accent.  

Two of my favorites color palette sites are 
  • Adobe's Kuler Color Wheel  (even lets you upload an image or picture to suggest palette!)
  • Design Seed  Doesn't let you upload a pic to "match" but man oh man are her images inspiring and very often pull me off the couch and fling me to the craft table just by their pow factor!
Interested in learning a little more about color theory? See my post: 

So when it comes to creating a scrapbook layout that really pops, just remember to follow your own natural instincts.  After all you ARE an artist.  We are all wired that way!

Have fun and be fearless!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Free and Easy Tutorial for Designing Titles with Photoshop and Cricut Explore

Here's an easy "how to"  video I made to show how I use Adobe's easy Photoshop Elements and my Cricut Explore and the font bundle from the Hungry Jpeg to make fast, fun and one of a kind titles for your scrapbook layouts or cards.  Thought you might enjoy. 

Please be sure to share with all your scrapping and crafty buddies!  Can't wait to see what ya'll design! 

Have fun creating!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Freebie Fun and Easy Printables with Summer Font Bundle

The Hungry Jpeg is a super fun website I was introduced to recently.  Now I am usually not one to pay for fonts.  I mean with all the great websites around with 1000's of free fonts just waiting to be downloaded.  BUT, I was on the hunt for some fatter  fonts, ones that I could play with for great looking scrapbook layout titles and this special buy from thehungryjpeg really tickled my fancy. 

This huge Summer Bundle came with 
  • 28 fonts and 
  • 19 graphics packages.  
  • Can be used for personal AND commercial projects. Great for DIY Etsy / craft fair projects!  
The fonts were great by themselves, but the graphics are up to the minute watercolor flowers and icons and backgrounds, even have bunting and pennants! So how could I resist? And you may want to share this post with everyone you know who loves fonts and freebies!  ( buttons at bottom of post to make it easy peasey)  

Okay, enough trying to justify spending $29 on this digital download, but I wanted to make and cut some fun and easy titles with my Cricut Explore.  

But before I started making titles, I wanted to play with the graphics and fonts and made myself some very cool inspirational 12 x 12 inch wall art for my craft room.  ( I printed on my HP wide format printer, but you can resize to suit your needs)  So I wanted to share the FREEBIE printables.    It really really is super easy.  Hope you enjoy!

Then I played with making some artwork for children and baby rooms.  Just having about those Cricut scrapbook titles...
Coming soon!  

Let me know if there is a special scrapbook title you would like me to make when I get to playing!
Thanks and have fun creating!   
Please be sure to share this post with your facebook friends or one of the printables on Pinterest !  ( buttons at bottom of post to make it easy peasey)