Friday, February 19, 2016

Scrapbooking, design principles and pictures

Friday night and while husband and 8 year is playing SuperMario and my 6 year old is lying next to me watching a movie while I am surfing and again I found a scrapbooking podcast - Paperclipping with Debbie Hodge and Noell Hyman. One of the topics were design principles. The first part of this article are just thoughts that comes up while I am listening to the podcast.

I have written a bit of this topic the last month but I wanted to write a little more.   In my last post I shared my creative journey

Design principles. For me math and logic is a way of linear scrapbooking and just following principles is the same, or so it feels..  I just can't to that.  I can't do straight and I do not have the patience to read books about the subject - I prefer to cheat and just look at the pictures if someone is writing/talking about design. I didn't like math in school - but I was not into art either and English was the only language I learned to master - my French and German were not good - especially my German - I was never able to learn the rules, especially the German rules.

All the things Debbie and Noell are discussing about design is something that has actually been my focus when I scrap. For me the picture is what is important, BUT when I scrap I even sometimes add a photo LAST - I just scrap everything and then go and think about which picture could work.   One design principles I have never thought about when I scrap is TRIANGLE. If you look at one of my pages I maybe have incorporated it, but I never THINK about at when I scrap.

I have never used a color wheel, I have no idea which colors are where and which colors go with what, BUT I there are a lot of colors I don't like to scrap with. Green and purple is nothing I like to scrap with.

I actually do a lot of what they discuss about adding colors later - I do that too - I start with a few colors and then add more - I also start with white cardstock.  

When I pick papers for my layers I like to add a little contrast between my layers, I don't like to have the same colors/nuance in the papers on top of each other IF I am using other colors as well.  I go for some contrast when I scrapbook. The reason I choose contrast is that then you actually notice the different layers - otherwise I think each individual paper tend doesn't show and I do scrap to show how to use the papers.

Back to pictures. I sooo wish I was a better photographer, but I don't want all my pics to be staged either and our house isn't as bright as I would like. Also, allthough I am not a traditional scrapbooker focusing mostly on the events in the pictures - I do journal some on my layouts - they are not completely storyless - I just prefer to catch a mood. I also get no inspiration from scrapping event photos. 

When I choose my pictures I look for "light" - focal point. I really want my picture to stand out and often speak of itself.  I want to express something with my page and the pictures should in a way speak for itself.


I mostly scrap using 1 photo and it's not very big. I don't like scaling up the photomat. I need enough white space (One apparant design principles) BOTH in my pictures and in my layout as a whole. I don't like filling page, for me it gets too messy.  When it comes to my everyday snapshots taken with my Iphone often lack the things that spur my creativity. The pictures are often stale and boring, quite messy, with too many olors and not very focused. With a real camera you have a little better time to take better pictures.  About pictures - I have seen so many great page designs, but with awful pictures, pictures that should have been cropped better, made lighter or just black and white. Why spend so much time (and money) scrapbookin the page and don't care about the pictures you are using. For me it's very sad. It doesn't look when you mix a lot of patterns and colors with a busy photo.   I tend to divide my pics in piles of "weak" and "strong" photos. Weak photos are photos where you can't rest your eyes; noisy in terms of lots of colors, lack of contrast, long distance, unnecessary objects in the photo. If all of this is in your pictures - go safer and choose black and white and add extra contrast and add white edges around the photo. 

Then it's the stronger photos - the ones you just HAVE to take a look at. Again, my pics are far from professional, but I know how to get you to notice my photos. It's nice to get your own photo style.

I often crop my pics in other than 4x6 shape. Others you always can tell projects by their pictures  are Wilna Furstenberg, Marinette Lesne, Jessy Christopher-Tham or Marcy Penner , for different reasons - going from very contrasty to very whitened.  

I am one of those scrapbookers who have never taken a class in art, scrapbooking.  (I know I should have....), but after scrapbooking for a long time I have made a few observations and thoughts about what works and doesn't work.  I am not bragging about not taking classes,  I have just preferred to spend my money on supplies - it's expensive enough importing everything I want from the US. I NEVER get free shipping, if I go below 30-40 USD in shipping it's a small order and I can't shop with coupons at Michaels/Hobby Lobby etc.  

The first part I just wrote while listening to the podcast, this next part is more reflections after.

I decided to look up the design principles they were discussing in the podcast test myself how I do after listening

My emphasis is on the photos. Always first, but to highlight my emphasis I use layers of colors and paper. I wrote a tutorial for a tablet magazine once showing the difference with or without my layers of colors/stenciling.  I could like a lot of more mixed media artist just go for the mixed media, I just like to work with paper too... Here I picked TWO layouts where I think I have emphazied the picture - just in two different ways. One having a really big photo and the other using a "strong" photo.  I don't use green in any way in the photo...


This is the principle that I just don't like. I don't like doing this linear. The master of this principles is as far as I can tell Laura Vegas  She has so much lines and order in her scrapbooking it's incredible.

(edit) Here are a few of my attempt at this. One is made for Bella Blvd and sketch by Kristine Davidson. It took me a loong time to make this page and I did not feel comfortable making it, still tried to cheat a little. The other one is made for Pink Paislee

This I actually do. I often add multiple pictures in a row of either the same photo, sometimes the pics are the same but cropped/tilted a little different when they are put together.  I also use a lot of the same colors in my pages, or shapes. 

Contrast is really important to me, both in how I do my layers, which colors I choose for my pics, which pictures, which papers I choose, the type of technique products I use.  
Here is one of my most recent layouts with a lot of contrast. Both using fonts, lines and shapes.. 

When it comes to balance. I often just have my photo and layers in the middle and don't have any distracting things all around the page. Again - I wrote about this higher up - I just don't like filling a page with lots of things. I do however broke this on the page shown above where I filled the entire page. I also tried to break my "principles" with one of my recent projects for Bella Blvd.  How do you think I did with the balance here since it's a very non-typical page for me to make. I hardly did any contrast either. This was a Pinterest Inspired project posted this week on the Bella Blvd blog.  

This is also something I don't really think about when I scrapbook, but again - I first want to you look at my page. Since I am on different design teams - I scrap to sell products and I want to show the products off... My layers and mixed media are just there for the transition to be smoother to avoid too harsh of a contrast towards my white cardstock background.  Since I often put my pages in the middle or slightly to the side I want you to first look there and then move outwards to the different layers. So I guess this is also a principle that is in the back of my head, I just didn't know the name of it.

Example of with or without a mixed media background (more here)

This page is one of my guest design layouts for Bella Blvd

So for you few readers out there - how are you on design principles - do you know them, use them, why or why not ?? Can you name scrapbookers who you can match strongly to the different principles ???? 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Hip Kit Club March Kit Reveal

Hip Kit Club Member Price:  $29.95 (requires a 3 month minimum subscription)CLICK HERE to join!Individual Kit Purchase Price:  $34.95
Products Included:
  • 1 sheet – HKC Exclusive – Just Dream – Dreamy Paper – designed by Kim Watson
  • 1 sheet – HKC Exclusive – Just Dream – Soar Paper – designed by Kim Watson
  • 1 sheet – HKC Exclusive – Just Dream – Wonderful Paper – designed by Kim Watson
  • 1 sheet – HKC Exclusive – Just Dream – Abandon Paper – designed by Kim Watson
  • 1 sheet – HKC Exclusive – Just Dream – Explore Paper – designed by Kim Watson
  • 1 sheet – Basic Grey – Urban Lux – Lunette Paper
  • 1 sheet – Pink Fresh Studio – Felicity – Pretty Stripe Paper
  • 1 sheet – Pink Fresh Studio – Felicity – Ombre Wall Paper
  • 1 sheet – Pink Fresh Studio – Felicity – Flower String Paper
  • 1 sheet – Pink Fresh Studio – Felicity – Floral Birds Paper
  • 1 pkg. – Pink Fresh Studio – Felicity – Washi Tape Stickers (includes 3 sheets)
  • 1 pkg. – Pink Fresh Studio – Felicity – Wood Blocks
  • 1 pkg. – Basic Grey – Saturday Morning – Ephemera
  • 1 pkg. – Basic Grey – Saturday Morning – Printed Cork Stickers
  • 1 pkg. – Crate Paper – Maggie Holmes – Shine – Doll Puffy Thickers

Price:  $29.95**Hip Kit Club members receive a 15% off on all Add-On Kit purchases
Products Included:
  • 1 pkg. – Basic Grey – Saturday Morning – Flower Kit (cardstock, tissue, tulle & buttons)
  • 1 Basic Grey – Saturday Morning – 6×6 Paper Pad
  • 1 pkg. – Pink Fresh Studio – Felicity – Die Cut Shapes
  • 1 pkg. – Pink Fresh Studio – Puffy Sequin – Stickers
  • 1 pkg. – Pink Fresh Studio – Felicity – Silver Glitter Phrase Stickers
  • 1 pkg. – American Crafts – Dear Lizzy – Documentary Cork Thickers

Price:  $22.95*
*Hip Kit Club members receive a 15% off on all Add-On Kit purchases
Products Included:
  • 1 pkg. – Basic Grey – Urban Lux – Alphabet & Shape Watercolor Paper Die Cuts
  • 1 Pink Fresh Studio – Clear Stamp (3″x4″)
  • 1 jar – Shimmerz – Aqua Huez Watercolor – Blue Moon
  • 1 jar – Shimmerz – Aqua Huez Watercolor – Crazy Daisy
  • 1 jar – Shimmerz – Aqua Huez Watercolor – Green w/ Envy

Project Life
Price:  $29.95*
*Hip Kit Club members receive a 15% off on all Add-On Kit purchases
Products Included:
  • 20 HKC Exclusive Project Life Cards – designed by Kimberly Hutchison (not shown – image to be updated this week)
  • 1 pkg. – Basic Grey – Saturday Morning – Enamel Dots
  • 1 pkg. – Pink Fresh Studios – Felicity – Studio Puffs Stickers
  • 1 pkg. – Pink Fresh Studios – Felicity – Word & Phrase Stickers
  • 1 pkg. – Pink Fresh Studio – Felicity – Mini Vellum Alphabet Stickers (3 colors)
  • 1 pkg. – Elle’s Studio – Little Moments – Die Cuts
  • 1 pkg. – Elle’s Studio – Little Moments – Wood Veneer Shapes

Price:  $13.95*
*Hip Kit Club members receive a 15% off on all Add-On Kit purchases
Products Included:
  • 1 sheet – HKC Exclusive – Just Dream – Dreamy Paper – designed by Kim Watson
  • 1 sheet – HKC Exclusive – Just Dream – Soar Paper – designed by Kim Watson
  • 1 sheet – HKC Exclusive – Just Dream – Wonderful Paper – designed by Kim Watson
  • 1 sheet – HKC Exclusive – Just Dream – Abandon Paper – designed by Kim Watson
  • 1 sheet – HKC Exclusive – Just Dream – Explore Paper – designed by Kim Watson
  • 1 sheet – Basic Grey – Urban Lux – Lunette Paper
  • 1 sheet – Pink Fresh Studio – Felicity – Gold Foiled Chevron Stipe Vellum
  • 1 sheet – Pink Fresh Studio – Felicity – Pretty Stripe Paper
  • 1 sheet – Pink Fresh Studio – Felicity – Ombre Wall Paper
  • 1 sheet – Pink Fresh Studio – Felicity – Flower String Paper
  • 1 sheet – Pink Fresh Studio – Felicity – Floral Birds Paper

Price:  $10.95*
*Hip Kit Club members receive a 15% off on all Add-On Kit purchases
Products Included:
  • 6 sheets – American Crafts White Cardstock
  • 2 sheets – American Crafts Light Kraft Cardstock
  • 2 sheets – American Crafts Peapod Cardstock
  • 2 sheets – American Crafts Butter Cardstock

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Why do you scrap the way you do ?

Todays topic will be a little all over…. The inspiration for todays blogpost comes from the Scrapgals Podcast and Taheera Atchia’s blogpost. (The last because she is such a wonderful writer)

I will start by asking - Why do you scrap the way you do. Have you always done it, what made you start scrapping that way ? What inspired you then and what inspired you now ? If you haven’t change style - why ?? Do you consider yourself trendy.? And now some thoughts from the Scrapgals podcast - they talked about scrappers quitting because of new trends, new styles and new products and they didn’t feel like that was them, they also talked about those scrappers who only scrapped at crops. I have met a lot of scrappers that only scrap during crops and for years I have seen they scrap exactly the same. I totally understand why their style didn’t change. For me scrapbooking is kind of doing sports - do develop skills/getter better/change perspective you need to practice. There are several ways of practicing. You can scrap regularly, you can attend classes, lots of crops, browse galleries - anyway you have to be actively looking around and scrapping more.

My scrapbook journey

I started scrapbooking in 2002/03. My goal was to scrapbook travels I did in 2001 in the US. I looked for inspirasjon, made folders and folders of layouts I wanted to do - but I only looked, I never really tried much for myself, I was to scared to do the wrong thing -so I have been where a lot of scrappers have been - I felt like a newbie for a long time. Then I started going to crops and I looked at how people who won the challenges at the crops did and I really started trying different things. First I really wanted to do the lots of flowers style - I still have tons of Prima and other flowers - which I never really got the hang of. I kind of gave up too early, maybe ?? But I think the reason that I didn’t feel like filling the page with flowers was that they style of papers that they scrappers using lots of scrappers had. I didn’t feel like using pale, distressed colors, and I couldn’t then find my niche using that style. Since I didn’t have so much practice I started very clean and simple instead - that felt easier. And from there my style has evolved. How has it evolved. I have been practicing - scrapping very often. I attended crops, challenges, forums and still searched for inspiration and ways to learn. I tried new product - both acrylic paint, mists and stencils. I just had one problem. I am a very messy scrapper. I just couldn’t keep my desk clean enough to spray the mist or using the acrylic paint.

Here is my use of mists in 2010

A year later  (2011) I found out that spraying mists were too messy so I started using stencils with distress ink. Very dry solution and still had the same effect. Adding layers. I felt that the clean and simple style - was just too clean and simple and the pictures didn’t really stand out.

By this I started getting better srapconfidence, I had won scrap-challenges I had started to apply for scrap teams. As you can see my photo editing skills were to sooo good, but

This layout is from 2012.  I had started doing more layers - not just distress inks, but also with stamps. AND I had added more layers. I felt I had found a little niche.

I still felt I had more to learn and when I saw that there were several scrappers doing this style and some even saying they were copying me for some reason I felt that I needed to find a new niche….. I wanted to learn more - I had seen scrappers using watercolors and that really inspired me.

What happened in 2013 ? I found clear gesso. I had tried normal gesso - leaving my pages somewhat yellow. So instead of just using distress ink, I added also a waterbrush + mists to my layers. I downgraded the contrast part of my style and the layers got simpler.

Then 2014. I got even bolder with the color products….

What was new in 2015 ? I downgraded the use of distress inks and stamping. but added drops of mists and started using other products. This time real watercolors - like Ecoline and Peerless paper. I even started using watercolor paper instead of Bazzill paper

In 2015 I also got the chance to be on some great design team which has really helped me in my process of being a more versatile scrapper. I have been forced (and really enjoyed) being challenged to do new things. This is the result of one of this assignments. For Bella Blvd. I have always had a problem with filling a whole page. Why ?? Because I have always felt that when filling the page with paper the picture sometimes isn’t the focal point - which is very important to me. This time I felt this page worked because I used a use picture and it’s not in the middle. I still did some “my style” using color products…..

Styles and trends

Enough about that. Now on to styles and trends. I do not feel like I am hopping on every trend. Well. I bought a Silhouette in 2009 (but haven’t upgraded to the Cameo….) The main reason I do trends is because I am on the design team for kit clubs which nowadays are on top of all new trends I get to try out trendy stuff. I am not “connected” enough to be on top of trends or start new trends - although I really enjoy when people are trying out the things I do.

The reason I share my backgrounds on my blog and Instagram is to inspire people to use more products like this - to see that it’s not super hard and it’s not very messy - otherwise I wouldn’t do it…. As shown in my little scrapbook history - my style have both changed - and stayed the same. After 6-7 years - I still prefer white backgrounds. I have tried using background paper - but then I have a hard time using color products. I have tried using gesso on scrapbook paper.

Mye style has stayed somewhat consistent because I made an active choice. I wanted to scrap in a popular style(well not popular locally - because I attended crops for years where I was the ONLY one scrapbooking with white cardstock…) I made the choice because I wanted to make design teams and for me it seems like a good choice of material - starting with something I was familiar with. White is a color I like to have around me. I like white furniture - all my walls in my home are white. I just feel my pics will be the focal point with a white background. This is just my opinion.


Like I have written earlier - I don’t consider myself an artist. I can’t draw/paint anything that resembles anything - but I still like colors. Now to my approach to colors. Another reason besides messing up my desk I that I feel that spraying mists get my page “dirty” I can’t get “clean” colors when I mist - the drops are both small, uncontrollable and is messy. This is my I prefer a waterbrush and just dropping the mists.

Here is an example of a background where I have ONLY dropped mists/color products. I have used a lot of different shades of colors/colors to make the background more interesting - when I don’t use stencils/mists.

Why I scrapbook 

Another thought about trends. I never did Letterpress, and now I can’t get myself to do planners - I am just too digital to go papers when it comes to planning. In my family were share a googlecalendar with different colors for each person that we can see on our phones and computers. I am just no good with papers….. WHICH is also one of the reasons I don’t scrapbook traditionally, I am not a memorykeeper, into documenting (and I am a historian by education..…….) That is not why I scrapbook ANYMORE - as stated earlier I started that way - but not anymore - now I am just into it to play with products. I may journal - but I don’t care if I don’t. I hate scrapbooking special events and I don’t do minialbums or PL. PL because it actually limits me with the pockets - the cards are always the wrong size/wrong way and I didn’t like the round edges.

Why I want to be on design teams 

Scrapbooking is expensive and I have realized that I just can't get the products I want here in Norwat so if I want to scrapbook with the products I like I have two choices. Try out for teams with the products I love or spend and obscene amount of money ordering stuff from the US - and where I like to order - they are often out of what I want... Being on design teams lets me scrapbook using things I like. So here is my reply to Taheeras blogpost. I don't care so much about compensation for design team work. I would instead have paid money to scrap with it, have I not been picked.  The other reason for wanting to be on teams - is that it's teams. I love communities (even though I am often a lurker - to shy to post a lot). I also looove to be challenged and try out new products.

I would love to read your thoughts - see the questions in the beginning....