Saturday, 17 March 2012

Dreaming of Summer--Album Tutorial, Part I

Title Page to the Album "Welcome to the Cottage"
Layout: CTMH Elemental Workshop on the Go
My friend (also blog-follower and fellow-CTMH consultant) Kristin, asked me to post photos of the album I worked on at our annual scrap-booking retreat, in January. Others' ideas are always an inspiration to get you kick-started on your own projects, so I am happy to oblige; that is what blogging is all about! I would love it if the rest of our group would do the same--there was some serious creating going on this year...

Anyway, I thought I would also make the postings into a bit of a tutorial on how to get a vacation album done, as opposed to having it sit, unfinished, on the crafting table where no-one can enjoy it. So please bear with my thoughts on the subject!

This album, documenting our first summer as cottage owners, was a circumscribed project. That is, only so much time, so many photos. It helps to limit the size of the project. Then, I tried to limit my paper and embellishment choices. This is helpful in two ways: first, it gives a sense of cohesion and flow to the album; secondly, it saves the time of looking through your entire stash for that PERFECT item. If you discipline yourself to work only with what is in front of you the results are often even more creative.

For this project, I used a paper pack from Close to My Heart called "Elemental," pictured above.  It is a series of geometric prints in colours that worked well with my photos; because of the small scale of the prints, they didn't compete with the pictures. I also used the recommended complementary products, the dimensional chipboard shapes and the journalling pockets, because they coordinate perfectly. I made sure to have a good supply of matching cardstock on hand. A fun, new (to me) product was the baker's twine from The Twinery. It comes in 14 shades and is so versatile! I will demonstrate various uses for it as I share the lay-outs.
Second-third pages, documenting the journey!
The other aspect I limited was the use of fonts and die-cuts. I used the "Art Philosophy" cartridge for the Cricut, also available from CTMH, the "Go Canada" cartridge and one other Sizzix alphabet die set, "Slim Jim." Strictly speaking, this isn't much of a limit, as the Art Philosophy cartridge has over 700 images including two fonts! However. The idea again being to keep decision-making to a minimum and to keep the whole project consistent.

Just a couple of design do's to point out:

  • work in threes/design triangles. The orange/Sorbet elements on these pages are the dominant colour, but they don't overwhelm because their use is limited, and they help the eye to follow from the title to the journalling tag, to the map of the final destination.
  • Include ephemera/ticket stubs/brochures wherever possible. This helps to give a flavour of the destination to your project, and often includes information about which you don't otherwise have to journal. Here I included a postcard of the Confederation Bridge, which connects New Brunswick to PEI. You can't actually get a decent photo while driving over it, but it is an impressive sight and an integral part of the journey.

  •  Use the negative elements of any die-cuts to conserve paper and to repeat the shape for design cohesion. On this two-page lay-out I have a half-scalloped circle on the right side, and used the left-over paper for a border on the left.
  • Pay attention to and use any interesting details on your chosen patterned paper. The 12x12 CTMH papers have a zip-strip at the top, which you can cut off and cut up. I used the scalloped border as a "wave" on this page describing our journey over the Northumberland Strait.

  •  Add dimension and interest by raising some elements of your page with foam tape. I just buy rolls of Scotch brand tape by 3M, available from any office supply or hardware store. It is acid-free, photo-safe and you can cut it to any size you desire; great value.

  • Another easy way to add dimension is to create folded ribbons of paper. Just score your paper before folding, for straight and crisp folds.  This adds minimal bulk and great detail.

  • Go ahead and showcase current trends; they help to set your story in its contemporary time-frame. This year, banners are everywhere! I made sure to use them throughout the album, again for design cohesion. On this page, I used a banner, "hanging" off the back of the driver's seat, to add extra journalling.
Well, this has become a very long post! Time to focus on the day. I will continue my album posting during this month. Hope you will return to see more.

1 comment:

  1. Great pages... I love the folder ribbons of paper idea - especially big enough to journal on. That idea will be lifted ;-)

    xxx, Muggie


Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts!