Two of the more common questions scrapbookers want to know are:
- How do you know where to put your embellishments?
- How do you know when to stop?
Someone asked me one of these during my True Scrap class at the end of my presentation and I felt like I let her down because I really don’t believe you can give an adequate answer in just a few sentences.
The most common answer I hear to the question, “How do you know when to stop?” is “When you feel like you’re done, take one thing off the page.”
This answer may be adequate for certain scrapbookers, but it’s definitely not a principle that applies in general.
How does that help someone like me, who had to force herself to learn to add the first embellishment? (I have many old scrapbooking pages that have a background, photos, and photo mattes. And that is it!).
Or anyone who tends to use too few items, rather than too many?
Which of the item do you take off?
What if the page looks off-balance when you remove an item?
The Root of the Problem
As scrapbookers, we’re fortunate to have lots of beautiful and amazing embellishment options at our fingertips. You can’t say the same thing for paint or charcoal pencil artists.
On the one hand, we’re very lucky. On the other hand, our embellishment obsession distracts us from learning overall design composition. This is the problem: We’re so engrossed in the wonderful details of the embellishments that they’re the first and main thing we want to learn and focus our time on.
Three Concepts To Master for Powerful Embellishment Placement
If you master three concepts, which I cover heavily in my video tutorials for Paperclipping Members, you will never have to worry about where to put the embellishments, or when to stop because you’ll just know. Here are the three concepts:
- Building a foundation of focal point photos, supporting photos, and anchoring lines.
- General overall principles of composition, like balance and space.
- The design purposes of embellishments
Embellishments Have Design Purposes
Beauty is just a by-product. If you’re overly focused on how beautiful the embellishments are, you’re in danger of…
- using too many of them
- being too intimidated to use them
If instead, you focus on using them only to meet the design needs of your layouts, you will know exactly…
- How to make stunning embellishment gatherings.
- What’s missing on your page.
- Which embellishments to use.
- Where to put your embellishments.
- When your page is complete and it’s time to stop.
Gathering embellishments — in other words, layering them or clustering them — is a particularly good way to draw people into your page and make them want to stay and look a lot longer. Some of the ways to do that are to…
Gather embellishments into a frame around a photo.
Make a cluster of contrasting embellishments on a line or in a space that needs more visual weight or color.
Soften lines and form an implied directional curving line with your embellishments.
Today we’ve released a video tutorial to the Paperclipping Members that demonstrates all of these things and more. You will get to see me gather and place the embellishments for three of these four scrapbook layouts. You may watch the trailer by clicking the video below:
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Are you ready to watch the entire tutorial? If you are Paperclipping Member, please login to the Membership Area to watch it there, or find it in your iTunes library.
If you are not a Paperclipping Member, you can find out about membership by clicking here!