Category Archives: Scrapbooking Ideas

Scrapbooking Stories About Your Mental Health Struggles

Finding Freedom - butterfly closeup.
Finding Freedom – butterfly closeup.

Last week Ali Edwards and I had a candid conversation about our personal struggles with mental health on the Paperclipping Roundtable. We both suffer from anxiety and mild depression and a few other issues. I also have ADD.

I mentioned some of my pages that deal both directly and indirectly with my own struggles: once in a while I specifically mention my illness or disorder and talk about them directly on a layout. A lot of the times I just scrapbook the stories that inevitably lead from these struggles, but don’t explain how they are a result of my disorder/illnesses.

I decided to share many of those pages with you this week. If our episode made you want try scrapbooking about your own struggles, but left you wondering how to actually say what you want to say about your own condition, these examples might get your thoughts moving.
Continue reading Scrapbooking Stories About Your Mental Health Struggles

4×6 Photo Blocks – Paperclipping 294

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Some things are worth repeating.

One of those things is this design idea:

When I have 2 or 3 photos that I’m scrapbooking on one layout, I almost always push them into a single block. Then I design my page around that block.

It’s an easy way to scrapbook, but for several design-related reasons, it can also make it easier for a viewer’s eye to take in the design and to stay on the page.

Of course, there are several design concepts you can use to make the design of this type of page work well. Today we released a video where I share the following:

  • The design benefits of a photo block of 2 or 3 photos.
  • Many of the design concepts and principles that apply to this design type.
  • Assembly of two different layouts so you can see the process and get some ideas for creating a page this way.

This video tutorial is for Paperclipping Members.
CLICK HERE for information about a Paperclipping Membership!

Title Strategies – Paperclipping 290

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Do you love adding titles, or hate it?

Is it hard for you, or easy?

Do your titles tend to vary from page to page, or do you typically design them the same way every time?

I love the process of making titles. It’s one of my favorite things about scrapbooking. I love seeing them on my pages, too, as I flip through my layouts. Well designed titles can be real attention-getters.

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Titles can help lead your eye through the page, if you lay them that way.

In today’s episode of Paperclipping I share four strategies I love to use when laying out my titles. Not only will these strategies help you to capture viewers’ attention and to guide viewers through your pages, they’ll also help to prevent you from making pages that are too busy or titles that feel awkward in their space.

This video is in the Member’s Area and on iTunes for Paperclipping member access only.

Please CLICK HERE to learn about a membership.

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Five Strategies for Scrapbooking Big Stories – 289

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Do you have any BIG stories you’ve procrastinated scrapbooking because the number of details, or smaller stories with the giant story, is intimidatingly high?

I definitely have a big story.

I lived in the Philippines for well over a year. I lived with Filipinas, so everything about about my life at that time was entirely foreign to me. The number of details I want to document and relive via scrapbooking is pretty massive. :)

On top of that, this was more than 20 years ago. I was not shooting many photos back then, so my photo-to memory-ratio is low.

Maybe you’ve had this problem as well. It’s typical of big, old stories — stories we can’t return to in order to shoot the important photos we missed at the time.

Maybe you’ve gone on an epic travel adventure. Maybe you lived somewhere far from where you are now and would like to memorialize it. Maybe you were once part of a cool project for several years and never scrapbooked it. Maybe you want to scrapbook the life of a parent or grandparent.

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It can feel like there is so much thinking or planning to do for albums like this that you need to wait until that time when your life is wide open and you have nothing in the world to do for a few months.

Haha. That’ll never happen.

That’s okay. You actually do not need a massive, open chunk of time. You can take it in small bite-sized chunks. That is how I do all of my projects.

Little bits at a time.

A little bit is still something.

Today I’m sharing five strategies for tackling your biggest, most overwhelming stories in miniature bit-sized pieces (and dealing with a shortage of photos, too!). I demonstrated these strategies with my Philippines album (and documented a dozen or so different memories) in a video tutorial I’ve shared with the Paperclipping Members.

Since my Philippines story is one of my very favorite of all my own stories, I hope you’ll enjoy my memories with me!

If you’re not yet a member, please CLICK HERE for info about a membership.

What’s your big story?

Let’s talk about it.

Leading and Anchoring, Part 2 – Paperclipping 288

A Growing Hobby

My focus for April’s member videos has been to tackle two common layout problems:

  1. A lack of focus or direction for the viewer.
  2. Awkardness of the items on the page.

Lack of Focus

Believe it or not, if we as artists or designers do not direct where a person should look when viewing our layouts, then most people won’t bother to look for more than a second or two! Without guidance that is hidden within the design, the eye will tend to wander off the page with nothing compelling it to come back. Or worse, the lack of direction will translate as confusing — as having too many items competing for your attention.

The result? A lack of interest in our page.

Our lazy brains just do not want to bother dealing with multiple items competing for our attention.

Awkwardness

And if we don’t anchor the items we put on our pages — yes, even when we’re going for a random look — we end up with pages that feel as awkward as most of us were at age twelve and thirteen.

Design Ideas that Lead and Anchor

By the time you’ve watched both Part 1 and Part 2 of the Leading and Anchoring episodes I made for April, you will have four totally different layout templates that you can use and make your own.

These page ideas have leading and anchoring already built in, so it’s a great way to practice these design concepts.

The photos in this post are sneak peeks of the designs for Part 2.

Paperclipping Members can login now to the Member’s Area or go to iTunes to watch Part 2 (and I hope you’ll give these ideas a try!).

CLICK HERE to learn about a membership!

P.S.> Here’s what to do if your membership expired:

  1. Go to http://members.izzyvideo.com/amember/member.php
  2. Login.
  3. Click – Add/Renew Subscriptions.
  4. In the Membership Type drop-down window choose Paperclipping
    1-year renewal for $28.

Enjoy!
First Telescope

Leading and Anchoring – Paperclipping 287

Big, Sweet Welcome Home closeup
In need of a layout idea to try?

This week I picked two design principles and made them the crux of my scrapbook pages.

Any time you’ve run out of ideas you can pick a design principle and let it inspire the direction of your page.

Not only can this get you moving forward on a layout, but it can also be a great way to practice or explore the design principle.

So my tip today is: Pick a design principle and use it to jump start and inspire your design.

Friends From the Stage closeup
The last time I did this I chose the principle of harmony, and in the process I learned more about my own taste and visual preferences.

This time I chose two principles — leading the eye and anchoring — and combined them to make the main design elements of both of the pages I scrapbooked in the newest Paperclipping video. I then showed (in the video) comparisons to other pages where those principles were used more subtly, or where I took the complete opposite approach.

The 6 total layouts I featured in the video show you just a sampling of how versatile design is. And that’s just one reason why design is so super cool.

So, do you want to try this design principle exploration?

You can choose your own design principle to focus on today, or you can watch my video and go with the design principles I chose. You can scraplift my layouts, or you can use the principles and the ideas to inspire your own design.

You must have an active Paperclipping Membership to watch the video.

CLICK HERE for info about a membership.

Shine On and have fun paperclipping!

Finding More Meaningful Stories from Your Event Photos – Paperclipping 286

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There was a time when my scrapbooking pages told the obvious stories.

If we went to the beach I scrapbooked about us at the beach. If we got together with extended family I scrapbooked about the event with extended family: who was there and what we did.

And that’s fine. I like looking back at the things we did.

But eventually I figured out how you and I can take control of our story-documenting and not let our calendar be the major deciding factor of how we tell our stories. I began to scrapbooking in a way that yields even more stories, and is especially meaningful.

A single event can provide an almost inexhaustible number of stories. And those stories are pieces of other larger macro-stories — themes running through our lives.

For example, photos from a date night could also become a story about…

  • your date nights habits in general
  • the personality of you as a couple
  • the types of restaurants you love
  • the night life of your city
  • your favorite friends to get with
  • your sense of fashion
  • taking Ubers there and back
  • your favorite drink
  • whether you and your date have the same interests or have to compromise

…Etc.

If you listened to our Deep Dive audio course with Shimelle Lain: The Story-Centered Album, then you’re familiar with my process of having story albums — albums that tell a story.

Story albums each tell a larger story into which you want to dive deeper. Those albums help me prioritize which stories I choose to spend my limited time scrapbooking; in which directions I lean as I look at an event with its photos and determine the deeper story threads that are subtly lurking.

So this week I printed some photos from last December’s Nutcracker Ballet, which my daughter danced in…but I bypassed her Nutcracker album.

Instead, I chose to tell stories with some of the Nutcracker photos that I will slip into other albums.

  • One of them is a layout about the opportunity to dance regularly in Phoenix’s beautiful historic theater, the Orpheum.
  • The other is a layout about myself, and it is related to some longtime threads of my own life: a change to my long life of performing on stage, as well as my life-long interest in volunteering.

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I am glad I was able to look beyond my daughter’s performance in the Nutcracker to see other, less obvious stories.

I decided to make this the topic of this week’s episode of Paperclipping.

Do you want to be identifying the more meaningful stories of your life from the basic events and photos?

If you’d like some help, be sure your membership is current.

CLICK HERE to start your membership.

If it’s time to renew…

  • Click here.
  • Login.
  • Click – Add/Renew Subscriptions.
  • In the Membership Type drop-down window choose Paperclipping 1-year renewal for $28.

Ready to dive deeper into your stories and your scrapbooking?

Let’s do it. <3 IMG_8430

How to Keep It Clean When It Could Be a Big Mess: Three Ways

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Are you a scrapbooker who loves to make a mess, or do you like to keep it clean?

Maybe you love some of the effects of messy scrapbooking, but your style is clean and graphic.

Here are three ways you can play with the mess, get some of the results of messy scrapbooking, but still have a page that is clean in its overall appearance…

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1 – Color Medium Layers
Start with a piece of cardstock or water color paper and play to your heart’s content with two or more colors in any choice of medium. Once dry, place it behind a big open die cut and trim away the sides. Then mount it to a white background.

You can add patterned paper to some of the open spots.

Tip: If you work with colors while they’re wet like I did with the greens and yellow that you see behind some of the circles, don’t mix warms and cools. Mixing warms and cools while wet will usually result in some murky browns.

So if I want to add warms to cools, or vice versa, I wait until the warms are dry before adding cools.

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2 – Water Color
Layer the same die cut to make it thick (I used about 4 cuts of the tree frame). Mix up some water color and do some messy painting on your layered cut. Use it as a “messy” but subtle embellishment on a clean and graphic page.

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3 – Memorabilia in Pockets
Memorabilia can be messy — especially when your memorabilia is a collection of your child’s handmade creations. Cut the memorabilia into small pieces and put them into the pockets of a pocket page, along with some patterned paper.

This is a good way to corral a bunch of pieces together onto one page, while still keeping the overall look of your page pretty clean. Pocket pages are a great way to facilitate a clean look.

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You can even combine all three of these onto one 2-page layout and still stay true to your clean style, while having a bit of messy play.

So go ahead and have fun paperclipping. :)

Shine On,
Noell

P.S.> Paperclipping Members can see this page come together in video tutorial, Paperclipping 273 – Binge-Cutting, Experimenting, and Staying Organized.

Scrapbook Your Memorabilia – Paperclipping 285

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Your memorabilia can be some of your very favorite parts of your pages!

That’s how it is for me, but it wasn’t always that way. I used to find it awkward. It often made my pages ugly.

But I was determined to use it. There is nothing like real life stuff to help us tell our stories. Photos have their own special way of doing it, writing does, and so does memorabilia. So I worked very hard over a number of years to make my memorabilia work for my design, to help make it look awesome.

I’ve gotten better and better at it. Here are my top ten tips for how to make that happen…

Ten Tips for Designing with Memorabilia

  1. Alter memorabilia with your favorite altering supplies and techniques to maintain your style.
  2. Treat your memorabilia like scrapbooking products, adding it to your page the way you do your regular stash.
  3. Think of it as a focal point, like a photo.
  4. Think of it as an embellishment.
  5. Think of it as patterned paper.
  6. Use your memorabilia as your title.
  7. Use it in place of a journaling block.
  8. Cut your memorabilia up and only use the most relevant portion.
  9. Create a color palette that compliments or harmonizes with your memorabilia.
  10. Be excited about these wonderful pieces of life!

Want to see it in action?

It’s the topic of this week’s Paperclipping video tutorial and the above photo is a sneak peek of one of the layouts I put together.

I’m super excited to share it with you!

I did two layouts — a cleaner, simpler one for scrapbookers with that style, and a painterly artsy one for those who like to get messy with layers.

The video is for members and is ready to watch.

If you’re not yet a member, please CLICK HERE for info about a membership!

Elements and Shape – Paperclipping 284

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After two injuries took me off my feet for a combined total of 12 months, my clothes fit me differently now. A few pieces, thankfully, fit me better and give me a decent shape. Many of my favorite pieces no longer fit so well and make my shape look…bulgy. =)

So I’ve been having a shape-adventure, learning which styles of clothing give me a nice shape now.

Shape works exactly like this in design and scrapbooking.

Yes, we add shapes to our pages in the supplies we use, we sometimes divide our pages into shapes such as rectangles, but do we intentionally think in terms of creating shape on the page, the way our clothing creates and changes the way our shape looks?

Shape seems like a simple subject — rectangles, triangles, circles, etc.

We know that as scrapbookers we use supplies that are in these and other shapes.

But there is an additional way to use shape, and that other way, for me, is the key for getting most of my compositions to work. I’m always thinking in terms of creating shape with the items I’m adding to my pages.

Not adding shapes, but creating shape.

Two separate things.

Continue reading Elements and Shape – Paperclipping 284