PRT086 – And the Heavens Opened

What happens when you combine an understanding of design principles with scrapbooking? That’s what we’re talking about in this week’s episode. Come listen!

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  • Melissa Lytle

    I just love what the discussion on Roundtable brings out between the panelists and how it makes me consider things I wouldn’t if I was just “hearing” one point of view on a blog, article or podcast. I always look forward to hearing the discussion. Thank you!

    I get so frustrated scrapbooking sometimes. I’ll look at my page and know something isn’t right but can’t quite put my finger on it. I know some very basics of design from way back in my high school journalism class but I think (hope) maybe things will come a bit easier if I study up on some design principles. Hmmm, wonder where I can get some info on that :) I think it may be time for a membership!

  • Melissa Lytle

    And wow, Izzy, congratulations on your film and award!

  • sarahdg

    My least favorite design principle is “white space.”  For me, open space is a rarity and is unnecessary.  My scrapbook is about my pictures and I want to put on as many as possible!  Yay pictures!  I do like the visual triangle though, and I try to use that on my pages.

  • Hee! :) If you already have a basic understanding, I bet a updated study on it will have a huge impact and might be easy for you to pick up! We’re running a special promotion through tomorrow. If you’re not on the email list you won’t have seen it, though. If you sign up now you’ll get the final email tomorrow. Or you can email me and I’ll get you the info!

  • Hey, thanks! :)

  • Yep — having lots of open white space is not a “necessary” rule. I don’t tend to leave a lot of white space either, even though I like the look of it.

    And yet…even for those of us who don’t leave tons of white space, it’s an applicable principle:

    1) Pages need breathing spaces, even if those spaces small. I consider photos that have a shallow depth of field with blurred out backgrounds to have white space much of the time, and those backgrounds can be that breathing space. Been meaning to do an Paperclipping video on this topic for a long time.

    2) It’s good to use small amounts of white space — margins and alleys — to define spaces and lead the eye in a hierarchical order through the page to the various photos. (I do already have a tutorial on this subject).

  • Rochelle Barnes

    Great show as always! I’ve listened to them all, but I think this might be my first comment. Oh, I’m a member too.
    I believe I have a natural sense of design, something I’ve used in many ways over the years. (Did I mention I’m in my mid sixties? :) However, when I started scrapbooking it took me a while to trust my instincts, & it wasn’t until I took Cathy Zielske’s, Design your Life class at BPC, that I realised my ideas about design, were just as relevant to scrapbooking, as other things.
    My scrapbooking philosophy is that “every page tells a story”, and while I’m designing and assembling that page, I am immersed in that story. Sometimes I go very slow on purpose because I’m enjoying the process so much and don’t want it to end! 
    Yes, the photos and the journalling are the most important elements to me, but I want everything on that page, including colours, to support the story, so that the person who looks at my pages gets a sense of the story by reading the title and “reading the design”. Hopefully then, they’ll be intrigued enough to go on and read the journalling.

  • Another great show!  It’s only been about two years since I learned that principles even exist.  What a difference!  Now I can look back on older layouts and know exactly what it is about it that bothered me before.  I wish I’d known sooner. 

    Very exciting to hear my comment about neutrals read on this episode.  Izzy said he probably botched my last name- yep!  (It’s French for “of the rose” and pronounced de-ROSE-e-a.  It sounds like Cartier, Garnier, or dossier.)  I just did a layout about that recently!  Growing up as a Jones, it was quite a surprise to marry into the name deRosier and suddenly have to deal with misspellings and mispronunciations.  :)

  • That is exactly my philosophy — maybe that’s why you were interested enough to become a member! :)

    Thank you for your membership and for sharing your experience. I’ve struggled at first the same way when I try a new form of art. It takes me a little bit of time at first to get my design eyes on for it!

  • As a former design student, I LOVED this episode! I loved hearing your takes on “the rules.” 

    My favorite “design rule” is white space… but I’m SO BAD at executing it, because I always want to put MORE on. And then BAM. My layout is overloaded and there’s no white space. My favorite trick to “combat” this is to design on a 8.5×11 page and placing it on a piece of “plain” 12×12 paper. I get to overload the 8.5×11 page, but still get the white space when I put it on the larger paper. Ali Edwards does this a lot too, I think. 

    Another scrapbooking “design principle” that I SO admire when people can execute well is LAYERING. I cannot layer to save my life– any advice? 

  • Paula G

    HELLO PRT!!!!  Well I found the podcast a month or so ago and being the type A personality that I am, I started at episode 1 and have just now caught up (I too have a long commute and am able to listen to my iPod at work).  Not only have I listened to very single episode, but I just this moment signed up for my very first online class ever – True Scrap! (Yes I have NEVER signed up for any training of any type before and even used your link).  I’m so excited!

    May I state the obvious?  I love the Round Table.  At first I was skeptical about listening to a group talk about scrapbooking, but thought I’d at least give it a try.  I was so surprised to find myself completely engrossed in the conversations.  Not only has it been interesting but also extremely educational.  Believe it or not, I didn’t even know there were such things as blogs out there.  Unlike some of the audience, I love it when you talk tech, and share aps.  How else am I going to find out what is out there? 

    Keep up the great work Noell, Izzy and Nancy!

  • Kirsty Smith

    Hello from London!  I often listen to PRT while pottering around the metropolis and every time I feel like I have a million shiny pennies to chuck into the discussion.  And then I epically fail to comment.  Sad face. 

    But this week I’ve nailed it – yay!  I found this design principles discussion really interesting as I don’t scrap like this at all.  At least, not consciously.  And I don’t feel any need or wish to do so either, so it was totally enlightening to find out that some people scrap like this.  I go with a more intuitive thing, I suppose, figuring out my story, my pictures and my pretty things, cheerfully shuffling them about until I have that epiphany moment.  And I like doing it that way, it works for me.

    I tried the triangley thing a couple of times, but it seemed to me that I’d invariably end up chucking one of the points of my triangle anyway.  So I packed it in, and now I go with that feeling that tells me if something doesn’t work, or if it’s fab.  (In my humble opinion anyway)

    I thought the discussion about only scrapping what you need was interesting too.  My favourite thing on any page is my journalling as that’s what’s important to me.  And I write a lot.  I’ve been told that I have a tendency to be a fraction on the wordy side, and that I’m inclined to go on a bit at times.  I prefer to think of it as eloquence run amok :D

    So, do I need all that journalling?  No.  Much of it is quite daft.  And being a possessor of that British stiff upper lip and lofty reserve, it’s not touchy feely journalling.  What I like about it is that it sounds like me; I can hear myself speaking in my voice through my words.  It might not be touching and poignant – in fact it’s disorganised and chatty and scatty and a bit stream-of-consciousness –  but I like to believe that anyone reading it will get a good idea of who I am and how I see the world through the way I tell things.  Plus, I’ve done it like this since I started keeping a diary in my teens.  So my journalling might be too long.  And I don’t technically need it all.  But I’m going to keep it all regardless,  The design principles can take a running jump and quake and cower before my lexicon of opinionated waffle.

    However, I do have to do a little bit of forward planning to get on all the things that I like onto a page.  A couple of episodes ago, one of your guests mentioned that they didn’t think of journalling as a design element.  I couldn’t disagree more.  It can totally be a design element but you have to have it there from the start and think about where to incorporate it.  I’ve found lots of scrappers say they couldn’t fit any journalling on, or they don’t like the way it looks.  But you almost never get people saying that about photos because lots of us set out with a picture at the beginning of a page.

    So I do a little planing and do my aforementioned cheerful shuffling with my pictures, the paper and my words written out on a bit of scratch paper so I know how much room they’ll need.  And I love scraplifting bits and bobs from other scrappers’ pages, and I stalk the internet for inspiration and blatant idea-theft.  

    Having thought about it, I guess this is my own take on design principles.

    Keep up the podcasts.  They’re terrific!

    Kirsty xxx

    P.S. It was brilliant to have scrappers from abroad.  You should totally get a UK scrapper, and people from all over in fact, and see if and how scrapping styles differ.

    P.P.S. I volunteer :D

    P.P.P.S. See? This comment is far too long.  But on the bright side, it makes up for all those times when I didn’t comment.

  • Anonymous

    I love this comment– I get a sense of who you are, Kirsty, across the miles. Regards from Johannesburg, S.A. and BTW, on blatant idea theft– I get paid “by the word” kind of, and never use one phrase when twelve will do, so consider your phrase regarding “eloquence run amok” duly stolen.

  • The key principle to layering is contrast. You also have to be willing to only show tiny bits of pretty things – for a lot of people that’s hard b/c it seems wasteful to hide so much. Gotta do it to make it look good though.
    There’s a lot to say and show on layering and I’m not sure you can condense it to a comment. I have lots of tutorials on layering embellishments and it’s the topic of my True Scrap class this month.

  • Wow!! That’s awesome! Thx for listening to all the episodes and for supporting the show by using our link for True Scrap! I hope you love it (I think you will!!).

  • Yep, that’s a definite design take!! :) I don’t remember that comment before on the journaling. That’s the topic of the next paperclipping tutorial: how to better work journaling into design, since it definitely is a major design element. You make an excellent point about the timing of when to include it.
    BYW – I’m wordy too. ;)