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Arrange Your Space for Optimal Christmas Scrapbooking

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

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Do you rearrange your table or space in any special way for scrapbooking during the Christmas season?

Is your setup working optimally for you?

This is a hectic season, so now more than ever I want my supplies easy to find and access. I only pull out my Christmas supplies once a year. They come out between late October to early November and then go home to sleep some time in January.

I typically only scrapbook Christmas and Nutcracker Ballet stories between that period of time, and once I put it away in January, I never touch the Christmas stuff again until October, (though, the Nutcracker stuff might come out to dance a time or two).

Here is how I’ve got my space set up this year and what’s making it work for me.

A Planning and Staging Area

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I don’t know about you, but I often need to spread photos out and look through the album I’m working in as I figure out how to best tell my stories.

Remember that five-page layout I made last month with old photos and Santa letters and a secret lucky penny?

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You can’t easily develop a story over several pages like that without some space to spread out that is separate from the actual scrapbook crafting spot. Sometimes I use the floor for this, and that is A-Okay. For optimum use of your time and to avoid the crazy confusion and lost items that inevitably happen if we’re not ultra-organized, it’s best to actually DESIGNATE that space, whether it’s the floor or not.

These days I am fortunate to have a table specifically for this.

What if you don’t make five-page layouts? Well, normally I don’t either. For single and double-page layouts, a Planning + Staging Area still does a lot to keep it all organized, especially if you want story-centered albums.

I use the above table this way all year long no matter how simple or large my story is.

The Scrapbooking Area

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Of course, I have a separate table for the actual crafting of scrapbook pages (though I’ve scrapbooked many, many pages on the floor, too!).

The main supplies for the season are set up strategically around the table. They’ve stayed in these spots through all of my November scrapbooking and will continue through January until I decide I am ready to put Christmas to bed until next fall.

Since we all scrapbook a little differently and with an emphasis on different types of supplies, your optimum table should be a little (or a lot) different than mine. But the principles that guide the most helpful setups are the same, so I hope you get a few ideas to improve your own space, based on the underlying principles behind my own choices.

I’ll do my best to explain those principles as I describe how and why I’ve arranged my supplies the way I did…

Separate Any Paper Types You Most Often Look For

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Over the years I’ve learned that while I like a variety of colors on my Christmas pages, there are two types of staple papers I especially look for while Christmas scrapbooking. They’re the stable, consistent threads among the variety in my pages.

And so it makes sense to separate them.

Anything you find yourself looking for again and again should have its own special spot.

So I divided my patterned papers into three piles:

  1. Textured white, sheer, or screen-printed transparencies.
  2. Red, red, red.
  3. All other Christmas patterned papers of any other color.

I like to have some red on pretty much every Christmas page, so giving the reds their own special space saves me SO MUCH hunting time.

What characteristics of paper do you consistently look for to use on most of your pages?

Separate them and give them their own spot!

Embellishment and Detailing Supplies

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Directly across from me on the table is where I like to put all my supplies for adding detailing to my pages.

This includes favorite embellishments, other embellishments, punches for decorative edges, etc.

Favorite Embellishments

Our newest embellishments tend to be our very favorite, so they’re in their own pile, (on the right) separate from the rest (on the left in the white box).

Now that I’m looking at these pictures I have an idea for making this even happier. We tend to like our stuff more when it’s contained nicely so I have a pretty dish I sometimes use temporarily for items like this and I plan to grab it for the embellishment pile on the right next time I scrapbook. :)

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Punches

I use decorative edge punches and my scalloped circle punches more than usual for my Christmas pages, so out they come on my table for easy instant access.

Red Detail Additions

I pulled out some red glitter, washi, and jewel stickers and set them right in front of me because they are especially useful for adding pops of vibrant Christmas red to any (and almost every) page.

Remember, anything you do or look for regularly should have its own special spot for easy access!

Less-Used Items and Miscellany

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As we move farther left on the table we get to items I use less often.

Did you notice I have things set up right-to left, instead of left-to-right?

Why would I set it up opposite of the way we do most things?

Right to Left

I’m right-handed and this right-to-left orientation prevents me from having to cross my right arm over myself and my page to grab things. It’s easier to lean right with my dominant right hand.

If you’re left-handed it would be easier for you to put your most commonly used items on the left and your least-used items on the right.

a) In the box I have my other embellishments, some more likely to get used this year than others.

b) The weird-looking items to the left of the box are for video shoots: a video monitor, some pressed powder, and post-it notes. These are not related to Christmas scrapbooking. ;)

c) The tray on the left is a combination of two needs:

  1. Project Life cards.
  2. Glittered items.

The Project Life cards are glittered, so while they’re not designed for Christmas, they are a great addition to my Christmas supplies, since glitter is another must-have on all my Christmas pages. But once I put Christmas away, these will go back to their regular spot with my Project Life supplies for year-long scrapbooking.

I also have some wooden pieces there from Crate Paper that have glitter, but were not designed for Christmas. These will go back into my store of everyday supplies, as well.

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What’s Not on the Table?

First — Purposely missing from my table this year are my die cuts and inky, mixed-media, technique-driven supplies.

I have so many great new Christmas products I’m inspired to use this year that I am highly doubtful I’ll feel the urge to pull them out this time around (other than Christmas Red Stickles).

In past years I have pulled out dies, stamps, inks, embossing powders, etc. that are Christmas-themed and put them in their own space. My die cutting, stamping, and mixed media supplies are so easy for me to get to anyway, that I won’t be in any way inconvenienced if I do end up want to use some of them.

Second — Also missing from my table are Christmas products from the past that are not currently inspiring me at all. I might get rid of these. For now they are sitting in a container and out of my way!

Third — My Nutcracker supplies are in their own separate container. I am scrapbooking fewer of these pages right now, and plan to scrapbook more of the Nutcracker stories AFTER the holiday is over when I’m winding down on my Christmas album scrapbooking.

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Did you know we spent an entire season last year on organization tips for setting up your scrapbook space, in general? CLICK HERE for lots and lots on organizing for scrapbooking.

And finally…

Do you want to see some Christmas scrapbooking in action? The four November and December video tutorials are all Christmas-related!

CLICK HERE for info about a Paperclipping Membership. :)

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For videos on Christmas scrapbooking, everyday scrapbooking, organization in scrapbooking, and much more, CLICK HERE.

You made it all the way to the end! Good job! ;)

Happy holidays and shine on…

Love,-Noell

Three Products to Help You Harmonize Your Pages

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

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When I was a girl I fell in love.

I was coloring a page with ocean waters in my coloring book. Instead of using one blue for the sea, I decided to try a mix of blue with aqua. That successful experiment taught me the power of harmonious color schemes. It taught me my favorite way to use color. I’ve been in love with this kind of color palette ever since.

Two kinds of color variety that will harmonize your pages:

  1. Monochromatic: a mix of lighter and darker or warmer and cooler versions of the same color.
  2. Analogous: a mix of two or three colors that are next to each other on the color wheel.

Here are 3 delicious products I’ve been using lately because they give me a perfect amount of subtle color changes, creating a harmonious feeling of movement and flow…

1. A Product to Harmonize Your Title

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Amy Tangerine’s Transparent Letter Stickers from the Yes, Please Collection: Each color comes in two tones, and the transparent quality helps them to blend with your background better, too.

How to use it to get harmony: Use both the light and the dark version within your title, like I did with light letters for “Monsoon” and dark letters for “Season.”

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Don’t mix it up though, meaning don’t mix light and dark every other letter, or with light popping up sporadically between dark letters. For the flowing harmonious movement we’re talking about, you want the color changes to graduate subtly. Start with one version of the color for part of the way, then finish with the other version.

2. A Product to Harmonize Your Patterns and Embellishments

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Amy Tangerine’s entire Rise and Shine Collection: The collection as a whole has lots of different colors around the wheel, but within that collection are patterned papers that wrote the harmonious color schemes playbook with their mixes of tones or analogous hues. And then there is the Transparent Sticker sheet that is my favorite collection of stickers of all time. The image in the link does not show the vibrancy of color that it actually is. You can see it a little more by the doodled “sunset” I added between “AZ” and “Monsoon” in the layout image above.

How to use it: For a super harmonious layout, pick from the papers an analogous color scheme of 2-3 colors as your dominant palette. Then if you want, just add touches of an accent color that is from somewhere else on the color wheel.

And don’t forget the epoxy stickers, one of which I used below…

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…which brings us to the most amazing ink pads ever.

3. A Product to Harmonize Your Stamping

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Ombre Ink Pads by Hero Arts: These gorgeous ombre inks blend analogous colors for you!

They come in Mint to Green, Red to Ruby, Pink to Red, Butter to Orange, Pool to Navy, Grey to Black, and Lime to Forest Green.

I’m just waiting for them to come up with Orchid to Purple. Oh, hey…I just came up with it for them! Wouldn’t that be a gorgeous addition to these harmonious beauties?

How to use it: Be sure to rotate your stamp a little as you pounce it into the ink so you the different colors blend. Otherwise you’ll have a line between each one.

You can see the Butter to Orange in the sun rays above (I added a bit of Scattered Straw yellow to the bottom) and on this cute fox below, with just a little bit of line between the yellow and yellow-orange. Oops, don’t forget to rotate that stamp sightly as you pounce!

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And now you have one key to creating harmony on your layouts!

Get Even More Harmonious

There are other ways to get harmony and unity in your pages. I’m doing a whole class presentation on this called, “Scrapbookers, Unite!” at the upcoming True Scrap event, hosted by Lain Ehmann. For the next few days you can get a half off the sales price.

SIGN UP NOW before the the early bird registration discount go away!

Click here for all the info you need about True Scrap, including a description of my class and the other classes you’ll get to attend!

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TS7 Class collage with title

Don’t forget, the 50% early bird discount will go away on the last day of September. Don’t procrastinate and miss out! Click here for info.

(All links are affiliate).

Create Layout Designs From Scraps – Paperclipping 272

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

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Would you sometimes love to scrapbook mindlessly?

No thinking, just doing?

Well, I can’t promise NO thinking, but I can suggest a way to do very little of it for the ultimate in scrapbooking relaxation.

It also involves using your scraps, so this method will give you more use out of your favorite papers, in addition to a cushier, more self-replenishing scrap experience.

Imagine sitting down and simply pulling from the top of a pile of scraps to create beautiful layers with lots of different patterns and colors you love…which sums up this method that I want to share with you today.

I demonstrated it twice with two scrapbook pages in today’s new Paperclipping video. You’ll get all the different tips you need to build a layout from scraps with very little taxing of the brain for ideas.

The video is waiting for you in the Member’s Area and on iTunes.

If you’re not a member, please click here to see how easy it is to get started!
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Inside an Album – Paperclipping 271

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

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What if your scrapbooks could create an experience?

For you. For someone else. For anyone looking through the pages?

I used to resist scrapbooking with a color scheme for a whole album — always looking for variety and freedom in everything. That’s now changed.

I’ve come to feel that with a hint (or more) of a whole story and bit of design unity inside our albums, the entire experience of viewing them can be greater than the sum of individual, randomly designed layouts.

Maybe you have these questions, though…

  1. What about the fact that photos come in a variety of colors?
  2. Don’t you get bored having the same colors?
  3. What do you do about layouts you already made before choosing a color scheme?

Let me show you inside one of my own albums and see if those still seem like barriers. You’ll see that some of these problems are not the beasts they seem, and you’ll get lots of tips for how to fix the ones that are.

It’s all in the newest video for Paperclipping members.

CLICK HERE to learn about the Paperclipping Membership!

Shine On,
Love,-Noell

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Repetition Do’s and Don’ts – Paperclipping 270

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

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Want to master a design principle?

Repetition is one of the key ways to creating a feeling of harmony in your layouts. But there are some things to watch for.

In the newest video tutorial of Paperclipping I shared some Do’s and Don’ts for how to use repetition in several different ways without making the page monotonous.

I shared two older pages — one that demonstrated a “Don’t,” and another that is definitely a “Do,” as well as a good example of how to fix the problem of the first page.

Then I assembled two more pages, working with those Do’s and Don’ts of repetition until my pages had a feeling of harmony.

See the sneak peek above?

Does it feel harmonious to you?

See how to do it in this newest episode of Paperclipping!

Note: You must be a Paperclipping Member to watch this video.

CLICK HERE to learn about our membership. =)

How to Pick and Mix Products for Kits – Paperclipping 269

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

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Would you love to be able to mix patterns together into an awesome-looking coordinated group?

Whether you want to mix patterns for a single layout, or as a kit that will coordinate an entire scrapbook album, there are things you should understand about color…

Three Important Things to Understand About Color

A single hue can have many different versions. There are three things that decide how a single hue, such yellow, will actually look. Knowing what these are can help you better understand how to mix and use color.

1. Tonality (tone) – Tone refers to how light or dark a color is. Color is made lighter with white and darker with black. The paper on the far left with the lines of triangles shows a variety of tonalities of the same colors (turquoise, green, and yellow):
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See the different versions of yellow? They are the same yellow except in terms of their tone, which changes from light to dark. Same with the turquoise and green.

It’s easy to mix a variety of tones of the same color in your kits without running into any matching difficulties. In fact, variation in tonality is a really good idea, so go ahead and mix lights and darks of the same color.

2) Temperature – The temperature of a color depends on how warm or cool it is, which depends on how much yellow or blue has been blended into it. The pink and mustard stripe on the left in this picture below is very warm. The paper with the spokes on the right is cooler (though not totally cold because it has both warms and cools).
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We typically say the warm colors are red, orange, and yellow, and the cool colors are green, blue, and purple, but that is not entirely correct. You can actually get warmer and cooler versions of every color. It is okay to have some cools and some warms together in a single kit, but it’s a little trickier than mixing a variety of tones.

3) Vibrancy – Vibrancy has to do with how bright or muted a color is. It is very hard to mix vibrancy within a color grouping and get it right, so if you are newer at color, it’s easier to stick with colors of the same vibrancy.

The spokes in the paper above are very vibrant, but the blue background is muted. They work well together because their temperatures are similar. The muted blue works well with that tiny bit of eggplant just to the left of it because they have a similar vibrancy and their temperature is not too different. Their tones are very different from each other — remember, it’s good to have a variety of tones.

But the paper with the spokes and the paper with the pink and mustard stripes are horrible together. They have very little in common — their vibrancy is opposite, their temperatures are different. There just aren’t enough similarities to unite them.

It is possible to have both muted and bright colors within a group (as you can see that it works in the paper with the vibrant spokes but muted background color), and the sooner you master temperature, the sooner you’ll be able to mix vibrancy well.

Most Common Color Problems

When scrapbookers come to me with color challenges on their layouts, the most common problem I see is vibrancy mixes that don’t work. The second most common problem is that the colors are not balanced across the page.

You learn it by seeing it.

  • Would you like to see me take a big mix of papers from different designers and different years and put them together into a beautiful and exciting kit?
  • Want to see examples of papers that work well together and papers that don’t?
  • Do you want tips for making the process easier?
  • Would it help you to see me create a style-vibe for a kit?

Today we released a new video that takes you through my process of making a coordinated kit for an entire album. You’ll not only see these color principles at work, but you’ll also see the inspiration behind achieving a specific style with variety. You’ll see pattern-mixing, choosing or eliminating papers, and you’ll see me assemble a layout from the new kit.
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This video is for Paperclipping Members and is available the Member’s Area.

CLICK HERE for information about a membership!

Shine On,
Love,-Noell

Not Too Big, Not Too Small, Just Right – Paperclipping 268

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

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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!

Shine On,
Love,-Noell
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The Dynamic Line Flexible Template, Part 2 – Paperclipping 267

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

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…

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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.

Click here to learn about a membership!

You will find the new video in the Member’s Area and on iTunes in the Member feed.

Shine On,
Love,-Noell

Writing for Better Story-Telling

Friday, June 5th, 2015

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.

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Journaling directed to Aiden reads:

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!”

Confidence.

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…

  1. 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.
  2. I varied the length and structure of the sentences. Compare each one to see how they are all different.
  3. I wrote with active verbs instead of passive ones.
  4. I drew a clear and specific picture of the action with my words.
  5. 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.

Shine On,
Love,-Noell

The Dynamic Line Flexible Template – Paperclipping 266

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

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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.

Click here to learn about a membership!

Shine On,
Love,-Noell

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. :)