Late at night when the kids are in bed, I like to have Ray select a few photos for some "Scrapbook Starts." That's my little nickname for these pages I start and don't usually complete right away. You'll notice these examples are pretty basic... they'll be spruced up sometime today, but here's a peek into my late night creative process!
I generally start with the photo itself. Thinking of a basic title, or the story I want the photo to tell helps me get into the mood to gather my supplies. The chosen photo or story may also influence the colors or theme of papers I'm shopping my stash for. It really helps to take the photo to the paper stored in our craft room; you can pretty easily tell what "goes" (and doesn't ) by holding the photo up to a few selections. There can be surprise pairings of patterns that emerge as my creative engines begin to turn over!
Next, I reach for add-ons like stickers or die cuts that I may have thought of while looking at the photo or searching for a background. The way I have my embellishments stored makes this a really easy thought to page process. Check out this tour of my craft room for a glimpse at one of the ways I've had my space organized. I look for either matching colors, a theme that fits, a phrase to use as a title, or maybe just something shiny that needs to be used.
I recently overhauled my die cut storage system, and along with my August Product of the Month Challenge and wanting to use more of my old stuff up this year, I'm hereby announcing that my product of the month will be... Die Cuts! On August 15th my fellow contributors to DieCutCrazy and I will be hosting another Blog Hop, so watch for that! Last night I got into my circa 2009 Storytellers collections and chose this "Delightful" set that went well with the photos and papers I'd chosen. The great thing about their die cuts is that they already look layered and embellished, so sprucing them up is not actually needed, but very easy to do. See how I layered photo corners over those already on the background patterned paper above? And in the layout below, I simply added paper flowers, and used my exact-o knife to cut out a small part of the design to layer on top for added dimension. There were more than enough pieces to spread across two pages that will go side by side in my album, so I put the extras into a new kit, made from papers I'd thought of using but didn't. I mean, why put them away when I can use them for another late night crop session?!
So sometimes, on simple pages like those two, I can add a few finishing touches that bring them nearly to "enter the album" stage. Touches like the brads in the centers of the flowers, or the hand drawn blackberry vines with custom blended ink splatter berries. Touches like the eyelets on those punched circles, or inking the edges to make the white core disappear.
On the page to the right, I chose a package of Glitz Design's cardstock stickers to embellish my layout. You can see the page is still lacking- nothing is holding the banner together, there is no title or journaling, and frankly, it's hard to tell what the story behind my holding a large gun with a gleeful smile is. And guess what, it's totally okay that the page is incomplete! I fully intend to go back in and put those finishing touches on sometime today or later this week.
In the meantime, I may think of a much better title (although, "Annie Get Your Gun" will be hard tobeat), I may change the angle of the story I want to tell, or add variegated yarn instead of black twine as I intended... the choices are all still there, but I can make them in the my actual craft room,during daylight hours easier than late in front of the tv, on a card table set up by the sofa at night. On the other hand, I sometimes find that I'm really okay with how it looks and I just add a quick dash of fiber and journaling to get it in the album pronto. These simple pages add a different visual element to albums that can almost become monotonous in all their embellishments and details. As long as those pictures are getting printed and/or our stories are being told, there's no "wrong" way to scrapbook!
So theres a peek into my late night creative process... now you know why I'm posting photos of my work to facebook at 12:23 am! Let me know, how do you maximize your creative energy? Do you have a little routine that makes it easier to craft in a jiffy? Leave a comment below, mark your calendar for August 15th's DieCutCrazy blog hop, and as always, thanks for reading!