Sunday, December 23, 2012

Lisa's Creative Process

I have a little confession... I’m a very changeable person and not very organised. And this also applies to my scrapbook process. J So, even though I’m describing my process below, I can’t really promise you that it’s always like this! I tend to go where my mood takes me. Sometimes I start with a story I write down, sometimes it’s the photo that drives the steps I take, product can often inspire me to create without any idea of which photo or story I want to end up with and then there’s challenges which very often drive my direction. And I like it that way. I like the variety of the way my brain works and I might make two layouts right after each other and use different ways to create them, depending on how I feel.

However for the purpose of this blog post, I decided to just create a page I had on my list and see what I did so that I could describe it for you.

I started off with inspiration from my challenge blog – to be inspired by babies. I had a pile of photos to choose from the recent arrival of my new niece so in this case, I picked out a photo next. For products, I knew I wanted to base my design on white cardstock so out that came. Then I went to my piles of stash and started flipping through, picking out anything that spoke to me. Pink and pretty shades were the idea I had in my mind and before long I had a half dozen or so sheets of paper or scraps that seemed to go together. I laid them out and added a few embellishments to the pile so I could see what would work together. A few papers got taken out straight away and in the end, I only used a few of those selected.

Here we have all the products I thought I might like to use. There’s a few items from My Mind's Eye (Follow Your Heart) along with some BasicGrey, some Bo Bunny, a sheet from a Swedish paper company, Maja Design and Prima. I liked the addition of the neutral greys to the pinks and wondered if I could incorporate the Polaroid designs in there too somehow. The unusual thing about this layout is that I have used a large photo – it’s 5x7 with a wide white border. I tend to use smaller prints right now so I knew that would be a bit of a challenge for me.

The next step for me is to lay out some paper blocks to see how the colours are combining and to estimate the layers I want to incorporate. I generally just cut up blocks of paper and only then work out how and where to put them. In the photo you can see one or two other papers that I have already cut but couldn’t work them into the design so I left them out. I lay out the papers on the page to see them together and then add a few of the embellishments I might like to use. At this point I realised I wanted a doily so added that in. My process is very fluid! I might add in some small items to my clusters such as the SC veneer items, fishing them out of my stash as the idea comes into my head.

At this point, nothing is attached and nothing is fixed in my mind. I very often stop and start again at this stage. But on this layout I then picked everything up and started gluing down, lightly pressing them down until I know that the position is correct. When everything looks about in the right position, I flatten all the items down with my hand to fix them all.

Next up comes the photo and the beginnings of my embellishments, usually placed in small, dimensional clusters, and very often forming some sort of a visual triangle or diagonal across the page. These design principles help bring your eye around the page to the items you wish to draw attention to. In this case, it’s bringing your eye from the start of the title at the top, down through the photo and across to the second part of the title at the very bottom.

It’s now that I start rummaging around in my stash for extra little items to add in to my clusters. I was rather limited for this layout as some of my stash (such as buttons) is still packed away after our move so I limited myself to whatever I could find on my scrap table. 3 small pink buttons it was! I also try to make sure that I’m working in odd numbers, which tend to be more pleasing for design. There’s a small cluster of three at the bottom and the same at the top. There are three birds and one butterfly. It’s not a hard and fast rule but something that just tends to happen naturally.

For this layout I continued to poke around on my desk and discovered some washi tape that I had just purchased, so a few strips got added here before I looked through my alphabets for something that would be suitable. I knew I wanted to write a long title but wasn’t sure what or where. When I came across these small BG letters, I knew they would be perfect due to the large number of letters on each of the sheets. I did this title back to front, starting at the bottom with the last word and working back to the beginning of that phrase before deciding how the title should start (wording) and where I would put it. That is another reason I like the current trend for small letters so much: it doesn’t restrict me so much and I can usually find a small corner to squeeze in these words.

One of the issues with creating the page like this is that there’s been no planning for my journaling! If I have a lot to say at this stage, I’m in trouble and this is when I might realise I need to add a 6x12 page for the story. Or maybe create some sort of hidden journaling pocket. This is when I realise that I should plan more! However, for this layout, I was lucky as the photo is the main focus, the title is long and says a lot and therefore the journaling was almost not needed. But I don’t make many pages with no journaling at all, so I got out some rough paper and jotted out a few lines until I found something a bit more than, “You are gorgeous and I love you”! Then I copied this into the small corner I’d picked out and was relieved to find it fitted in. Sometimes the last sentence of my journaling gets missed out when there’s not enough room, or I just move to another free part of the page. I’m just not that organised!

The last thing I did was to add some super thin paper strips (as you cut them, they naturally develop a curl) along the side of the photo with a small pink ribbon bow at the bottom that had caught my eye in my scrap bag.

Now it’s time to step back and have a look to see if everything is working ok together. I check for balance, for colours, for crooked letters (although they are always a bit crooked!), for if something else is needed to add a little extra.

This time around, I decided it was enough. I could have continued building up those clusters, scattering more stuff around or maybe splatting some ink to add a little extra something.

So there you have it, a typical page following a typically chaotic process for putting it together. I hope you enjoyed this little insight to my rather disorganised brain and if this is different to how you produce your layouts, I’d love to see you give this a go and see how you get on!

Merry Christmas everyone!



  1. Totally fascinating & not that dissimilar to my own way of doing things...especially re the journaling. Lovely, soft baby page...& I really, really like that washi:):):):)

  2. Your process is very interesting! The baby page you made is just gorgeous!

  3. I do the same thing with journaling - play around until it fits :). Very pretty page!

  4. Lol, I often forget to leave space for journaling too! I love the thin strips of paper down the left side, I thought they were threads. They look very pretty. x


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