DFW Metroplex, Photo Organization, Photo Organization Coach, Photography, Scrapbooking

Building a Page

MEMORY KEEPING 101 – IT ALL STARTS WITH YOUR STUFF

Gather the Photos and Memorabilia

Before I ever get to building a page, I’ve already done a lot of sorting. When possible I try to do things in chronological order, but that’s me doing personal albums. Your albums may have a completely different organizational system and that’s just fine. After you do this a while, you start to get a feel for how much will fit into an album, but even I can get surprised about how much will fit on a page.

I try to do two page spreads whenever possible. I tie the side-by-side pages together with matching or coordinating papers, but I start with the photos and memorabilia. I gather what I have for a particular day, event or subject and I spread them across the two pages to begin visualizing what the page will look like. Do I have enough to cover two pages or am I trying to cram too much on there? Is there a good balance between photos and memorabilia? Does the memorabilia tell the story or will I need to add captions, titles and journaling? Do I need all the photos or are some repetitive?

Then I begin to trim the photos I am going to use and as I do I start to think about what I’ve got in the way of papers and embellishments which will fit the theme and complement the photos. I place the trimmed photos on the page in the configurations I think work best without actually adhering them to the page. This sometimes hints at the papers and embellishments which will work best.

The hunt begins. Sometimes I know exactly what I want. Sometimes I spend a significant amount of time searching for the right pieces. It is a bit of a balancing game. Usually there’s either a paper or an embellishment that comes to mind when I am placing the photos on the page. I get that and then I start looking for what will go with it, but there is no rule about what piece to start with, because other times I have bought a particular set of stickers for a certain occasion and they are my starting point.

Let’s say it is the wallpaper which comes to mind first. I will find it and scoot it under the trimmed photos. Perhaps the next thing is a journaling box that needs to fit into a particular space. Each step I take I put it in place without adhering it, because as long as it’s not attached to the page I can continue to play with it until I get it right. The bottom layer is the wallpaper. Next is the mat or mats. The photos go on top of the mats. Then you have to work in the journaling boxes, stickers and other embellishments. When it’s all in place, then you stick it down with the appropriate adhesives.

There are variations on each item based on your unique style. I’m a speed demon, so usually one mat is all I will use, but I have seen beautiful pages where the photos have 2-3 mats layered behind them. I’m likely to slap the sticker right on the decorative paper, but some people gather multiple stickers together to make a collage. Crafty people use something called Peekaboo Pockets to create layers of photos which must be flipped over to see all of the images and decoration or they create messages which slide out of a pocket with a tab. You can use all of these or none of these. It’s fun to try things out and see what you enjoy doing, as well as which results you like best.

Simple Pages – Completed Albums

What you have to remember as you decide how heavily you will decorate the page is this: The more complex the pages are, the longer it is going to take you to finish your album. This is why the more creative among us sometimes have a hard time finishing a page, much less an album.

The final touches on any page are the embellishments. Hear me when I say you can be a very successful and creative scrapbooker without ever using an embellishment, especially if you have budget and time constraints. If your primary concern is to have completed albums to share with your family and friends, then the fewer embellishments you have the better.

At the same time, for many of us, the embellishments are the icing on the cake. Yes, the mission will always be the main thing, but we want our Punches and Border Makers, too. We love hanging out at the craft store looking for the perfect stickers. Even the boxes which we journal in can be an embellishment.

Don’t come back next week if you’re not interested in decorating tools and supplies. I’ve already walked you through the basics. You’ll invested about $300 and whenever you start a new album you’ll spend about another $75. The embellishments are the budget breakers. They are also the reason I buy so much paper. The embellishments help set the tone and the theme of the page without anyone reading a word of your captions or journaling.

If you’re at all like me, you will barely be able to wait to learn about all the tools and supplies available for scrapbookers. I hope you’ll join me next week.

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