Monday, June 14, 2010

Paperclipping Festival June 2010

I just love the things that I learn from Noell over at Paperclipping. Since I've been a member for more than a year and a half now, I have gone from paper scrapping to mostly all digital. (I am not giving up hopes of going back to paper because I LOVE it! Digi is just easier and less messy.) That doesn't mean that the many (almost 150 now) video tutorials members receive are not applicable to me. Good design is just that - good! And it doesn't matter if you're paper, digital, or both. Just tell your story and use good design elements and you will have created something you want to show everyone!

This layout is going to have to go down as one of my all-time favorites. (Another all-time favorite is here on my blog.) I used things I have been learning from Susan Tuttle's book Digital Expressions and the foundational understandings of good design I have learned from Noell. The concept I wanted to practice in this layout was leading the eye (Episode 19 Leading the Eye and Episode 22 More Ways to Lead the Eye). In the tutorial Noell talks about strategies used to help the reader move through the layout in the way that you intended. Some of the techniques that I used here are directly from this tutorial. First of all I created a focal point photo that is bigger than the rest of my photos and prominently located on the left side, where the reader will begin looking at the page. The next place I hope the reader goes is to the title, emphasized with the same brown as the mat on the focal point photo and the large blended background photo also creates a natural resting place for the eye. The oversized brown stamped letter "E" that begins the journaling completes the visual triangle (Episode 1 Visual Triangles) and the brown corner brush and painted heart element invite the reader into the story.

Here's the text: Emerging from the woodsy path onto the back part of Lake Runnemede, we were greeted with the sight of the lily pad covered inlet. We began to walk around the lake with your classmates looking for frogs and turtles but you kept your eyes on those flowers. Each time we came along one close to the shore you would remark how you wanted one. I told you that it was hard to pick the lilies because they have long stems that go deep to the bottom of the lake. When you saw that your classmates had pulled a few from the water's edge, you sighed wistfully, "I wish I had one of those flowers."

Now up in the field and heading to the other side of the lake, the lilies were no longer accessible. I thought you had given it up. You were content to get your pants as glistening wet as possible by walking through the tall grasses along the path. The water seeped through the cracked soles of your sneakers soaking your socks, but you didn't complain. The warm air kept you from getting chilled.  

We stopped and played at the gazebo with your classmates for a few minutes before venturing onward. The grassy path snakes around the edge of the lake. In some places the brush was cleared for closer viewing of the water or for anglers to cast a line. We came upon your friend Maddy and her dad. Maddy was admiring her beautiful white lily flower. "Oh I wish I had one of those! I want a flower," you told her not really expecting that it was possible. Maddy's dad heard you, and, as luck would have it, at that particular spot along the path, we could see the lilies perched upon their pads in wondrous glory. Thanks to knee-high boots, Mr. Henig cautiously stepped into the shallow water to pluck a small white lily from its throne. "Thank you," you said with awe and glee.  

The rest of the walk around the lake was effortless. You held your flower to your nose, consuming its awesome scent. "It smells like licorice," you observed and offered it to my face. "You're right. It smells exactly like anise," I told you. You used it for a microphone and sang your lungs out! You talked to it. You told it your wishes and dreams. All the way home, almost two hours later, including the bus ride back to school, sitting with Colin, and going to the restroom -  where you put it in the sink - you kept it safe and intact. We put the flower in a water-filled tin by the kitchen sink where it burst in sweet fullness all evening. By morning it had closed but the memory of your lily flower lingers like its licorice perfume. (Windsor, Vermont, June 10, 2010)

As the reader finishes the text, the series of four action shots serves as the great parting shots to complete the story. I am wondering if I need something at the end of them to serve as a period of sorts. Any thoughts?

There are a few more design principles at play here that help structure the layout. I like to be able to print my layouts on my 8 1/2 by 11 inch printer so I used a 17 by 11 inch background for the base of the layout. I knew that my story was going to require a lot of space on this layout and I didn't want to feel cheated in writing all the details. I chose to use two-thirds of the layout for the journaling and the last third for the shot of my daughter and her friend holding their lilies. The rule of thirds is carefully explained in Episode 40 Designing with Lines.  Although I am a little worried that the text might be hard to read because it goes right through the page split, scrapbook pages in an album lay flat and I don't think it will be that much of an issue. As it is I spent more than two hours making that journaling fit in the space I allotted. I made sure the text butted up against that dividing line and carefully sized the series pics to follow the same line as well.  I am very pleased with the results. I hope you like it.

If you read other posts on my blog you will see that I've been learning some digital collage techniques from Susan Tuttle. She does excellent work and her book is jam-packed with easy to understand and follow tutorials. The background blending is all a result of what I've learned from her as well as the word play around the title with the subtle text accents. I just love that stuff.

Credits: Laurie Ann, Music Note Paper, "Play it Again Sam," for ScrapArtist.comEclectic Designs by Gabi, Pink, Brown, Cream Cardstock, "Simple Basics," for ScrapArtist.comPainted Heart Embellishment, Anna Aspnes, "ArtPlay Pallette 10 Things 2 Heart Collection,"


  1. Wow, what a lovely collage with the digital techniques! It's great to see another Paperclipping member's work..yay!