This week we’re talking about developing your style…
Did you know that a slight size adjustment in your decorative items can make the difference between a page that looks finished and harmonious, and a page that doesn’t quite?
- If an important embellishment is slightly big, it overpowers our photos and makes the page fill crammed and lacking breathing room.
- If it’s too small, the page feels awkward and unfinished. The items on the page look disconnected and seem to be floating.
To show the difference size can make, and to help you identify when something is even just a little too small or big, I made multiple cuts of embellishments with my Cameo and compared them on pages I was making so you can actually see the difference between items that are just right, and items that aren’t up to size.
Hopefully by seeing these comparisons you will feel more empowered as you lay out your pages.
We uploaded this video tutorial to the Member’s Area an on iTunes today.
If you’re not a member, CLICK HERE for info!
What can you do with a single Flexible Template?
You can make an inexhaustible number of layouts that look very different.
But if I show you closeups of the template on two different pages, you might see that both layouts started from a single idea. Look below…
Do you see it? The idea that started each of these layouts is what I call the Dynamic Line Flexible Template.
I’ve used it a lot.
My Flexible Templates are not actually full templates for a page (such as a sketch). Each template is just a general design idea to get you started on a solid design foundation, but the details are all up to you and can vary with each page:
- Photo count – use as many or few as your story needs.
- Page count – single or double page layout…it’s up to you.
- Page size – 6×8, 8.5×11, 12×12…the templates work with any size you can imagine.
- Title placement – the size of your letters and the colors on your page play a major role in where a title will look best on any given page, so my templates don’t dictate title placement.
- Papers – your own personal style and story will factor in where and how much you want to layer or not layer. The templates leave you free to be you.
- Details – because you can take your layout is so many different directions with a Flexible Template, additional detailing, like embellishments, can vary just as much.
For example, on the first layout pictured above I used eleven different scraps and blocks of papers in layers on top of the background paper, whereas on the second layout I only used two. And on another page I made with this template, I didn’t add any layers of paper to the background at all.
In Part One of the Dynamic Line Flexible Template video I made two layouts with photos from the same event, with the same exact color scheme, and even most of the products were the same or from the same package.
Why would I do that? Because I wanted to show you how a few minor differences made the pages different enough.
So imagine what variety you can get by using different colors, products, and pictures from different events. That is what I demonstrated in this Part Two episode.
My Flexible Templates get you started on a page design (because starting can be the hardest part), but they give you as much flexibility and room for creativity as you want.
Design with Lines
Did you know that some lines will move your eye around the page quickly, while others give you a sense of slow, steady stability?
Lines are a big deal. They play a major role in how a person feels and where they look when viewing your pages.
Because line is an essential part of the Dynamic Line Flexible Template, I took this episode as an opportunity to demonstrate how to make these two very different types of lines, and to show you how those lines make you feel.
You must be a member to watch this very packed episode.
You will find the new video in the Member’s Area and on iTunes in the Member feed.
During this week’s Paperclipping Roundtable on better writing I promised to share a layout in order to illustrate the writing tips we shared (I captioned it below).
This is an older page. It’s not perfect, amazing, brilliant writing, but it tells a good story. And it’s not just a story about what happened at an event, but it illustrates Aiden as a toddler, and me as a protective mother of a three-year-old.
During one of Blake’s baseball practices an older boy, about 7 years old, challenged you to a race. You agreed and off you went.
Of course, we couldn’t expect your little legs to keep up with him and he hit the finish line with the declaration, “I won!” long before you did.
Here I was, your protective mother, irritated that this 7-year-old boy was gloating about beating you, my three-year-old.
But then you reached the finish-line, still at a full pace and with a huge smile on your face. You began yelling, “I won! I won! I won! I won!”
The boy tried his best to convince you (and the rest of us!) that he beat you. But he couldn’t overcome your boisterous “I won!” celebrations. He was frustrated.
And I have never stopped smiling about it.
Some things to look for in the journaling…
- I unfolded the story, beginning with the dilemma/conflict (2nd paragraph) instead of a summation, in order to create enough suspense to draw you in.
- I varied the length and structure of the sentences. Compare each one to see how they are all different.
- I wrote with active verbs instead of passive ones.
- I drew a clear and specific picture of the action with my words.
- I shared a very human story to which we can all relate as fellow humans.
I believe we all have great stories to tell. We just don’t always know how to tell them in a way that draws others in. Next time you write a story for one of your layouts, write it on scratch paper first, and then look at each of the tips above to see how you do.
Don’t worry if your first attempt doesn’t impress you. That’s why we revise. Writing is a practice.
Who’s ready for a new Flexible Template?
For those who are newer and don’t know what they are, Flexible Templates are the jumping off points I personally often use when starting a layout.
They are not as concrete as a sketch — they are purposely more vague to allow you creative play and tons of flexibility to meet whatever needs your photos demand.
Got one photo? Got ten photos? Most of the templates work will either way!
Rather than telling you where things should go, the Flexible Template provides you an abstract image to get you started, and then you take it from there, whether you’re working with a single photo or lots of photos.
Normally when I release a Flexible Template, I show you how totally varied your layouts from the same template can be by assembling pages on video. All of my resulting pages usually look so completely different that you’d never know they stemmed from the same idea.
But this week I felt like doing something different. I decided to show you how similar you can make your pages with the template, and still have enough variety in them that they’d look great together in the same album despite the similarities.
I used almost all the same products, or very similar products, and only varied a few details between the two pages, and I love how they look together in our Nutcracker album.
This video is in the Paperclipping Member Library and on iTunes.
P.S. I also shared in this video a tip I’m most proud of — one I’ve absolutely enjoyed using whenever I want to make a page with lots of flowery, fabric dimension. I do not like how flowers look in the page protector, and this tip solves that problem beautifully.
I shared this once before a few years back, but it’s always good to be reminded and to see it done with different supplies. Enjoy. :)