Thursday, August 6, 2015

To plan or not to plan, that is the question...

Simon Says make a plan which for me is quite easy because by nature I am a planner, I not take comfort in methodical research & planning out of anything in my life.  I find it very difficult to just "let loose" and allow things to fall as they may - this applies as much to crafting as it does to other areas of life, I just can't throw paint/ ink/ paper down & "see what happens".  From the time I started scrapbooking up until my eldest was a young toddler I carefully sketched out every layout on graph paper.  I selected the pictures I wanted to use & printed them out on basic printer paper to refer to as I was designing.  I bought specific paper & embellishments for each layout and printed out pictures in the specific size I had drawn out on the sketch.
Sketch & photo selection circa 2008

Then only after I had everything planned out, I would create the actual layout. I say "create" but really it was more assembly since I never-ever deviated from my carefully constructed sketch.

Completed layout circa 2008 (title is only different because my mom found the pre-made die-cut somewhere)

By the time my son was born in 2010, this much planning had become very tedious and quite frankly boring.  I had such limited free time with a toddler & newborn (with health issues) that I just couldn't bring myself to spend so much time sketching every layout.  I tried to craft in a more free-form fashion allowing the pictures to dictate the layout & paper on the fly but the lack of a plan/ direction drove me crazy.  And so I hit a slump that lasted well over a year until I discovered pre-made sketches & the radical (to me) notion that you could alter said sketches for several different layouts. By using pre-made sketches I cut out the time-consuming part (for me) of scrapbooking and could focus on the actual creation of art & preserving of memories.

These days I order standard size 4 x 6 pictures in 100+ batches and cut them down as the layout and/ or story to be told dictates.  And I buy paper & embellishments just because I like them without a specific layout in mind.  After selecting pictures, I often start with Mid-Week Mojo sketches because they're convenient (& who doesn't love the chance to wing goodies? ;-) ) and then pull out paper & push it around until it looks right.  Since I very rarely stick to the provided sketch exactly, this is about as close to open-ended creative play as I get ;-).

Since I made a layout about Crystal Palace for my son's album, I of course had to make one for my his elder sister as well ;-).  The pictures are very similar but I wanted a more feminine look & to play up the classic architecture of the restaurant.  My first thought was Teresa Collins's 'Family Stories' line, but the black paper was way too dark for the colorful pictures & dominated the visual space.
After I switched it out for a cream-colored floral paper from Teresa Collin's 'Tell Your Story' line, the rest of the layout came together easily.  Taking cues from Mid-Week Mojo Lilac sketch #4, I inked & layered more paper & embellishments from 'Family Stories' and stamped the floral design in the upper right hand corner.
The journaling is hidden in the envelope down at the bottom.  The envelope came with a plain white card so I stamped it for interest & embossed the sides.


  1. You are definitely a planner! Interesting to read how you do your planning, so yes, this challenge was definitely right up your alley! Thanks for joining us at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge!

  2. Lovely layout. I can relate to my early crafting being more "assembled". Isn't it fun to look back and see the change. Keep it up!

  3. Congrats on the spotlight! Woo hoo!