Monday, July 26, 2010

Life in the Country

Over the past two months, I've done more scrapbooking than I have in a long time.


To be honest, I felt the desire to tell some of my stories, and my summer break afforded me plenty of time to scrapbook my favorite photos + words.

This is my latest scrapbooking layout--a single 12 x 12 page about Life in the Country. It was fun to compare and contrast rural life and suburban life.

The journaling reads:

Country living is a wee bit different than living in the suburbs. Here in the foothills, we are surrounded by hundreds of pine and oak trees, a whole host of wildflowers in the spring, and a plethora of critters: lizards, wild turkeys, woodpeckers, frogs, raccoons, ducks, deer, hawks, and skunks. Our water comes from a well, and our waste is flushed through a septic system. At night, it is pitch black, and thousands of stars twinkle in the sky. It takes us longer to reach our jobs, family and friends, cell service is limited, and our internet bandwidth usage is restricted, but these are small prices to pay to reside in the peaceful countryside.

As a result of all of the scrapbooking I've been doing, I've come up with a process that I feel works well for me; it takes me from an initial scrapbook idea all the way to a finished layout.

I'm choosing to share my process here for two reasons: 1) to help me remember what worked well so that I can revisit it in the future and 2) to provide a framework for newbie scrappers who might feel a bit daunted by the task of creating a scrapbook layout.

Here goes...

1) Write out a list. Jot down ideas/events/activities/people you want to talk about.

2) Choose one story from the list. Decide how many photos you want to include in the layout. You don't have to have a specific number, a range such as at least 2 or 4-6 or 20-25 will work. Also, keep in mind how many photos are vertical shots and how many are horizontal pictures.

3) Got journaling? Think about how much you'd like to say about the event/person/activity. Do you have just a few bulleted points to share or a whole page of text?

4) It's sketch time! With the photo and journaling requirements in mind, browse through layout sketch books, magazines or websites to find a sketch that will work. Try to find a sketch that includes the picture measurements.

5) Use Photoshop. Once you've found a sketch that is a good fit, pull your photos into Photoshop and crop them down to the appropriate sizes.

6) Order your photos. Upload your Photoshop canvasses to Costco and pick up your photos.

7) Let's talk color. When you have your photos in front of you, look to see which colors stand out the most. Are there a lot of blues or greens? How about reds or oranges? With the predominant colors in mind, select the solid paper color(s). Then, search for patterned papers and embellishments that compliment the solid papers you've already chosen.

8) Pig pile. Stack the layout sketch, papers, photos and embellishments in a pile on your desk.

9) Start writing. You may have your journaling ready to go or you may find that you write it after you've compiled all your supplies. Before I put pen to paper, I like to look back at the layout sketch as a reminder of how much space I have to fill. Occasionally, memories of the event or activity will come flooding back, but more often than not, I have to really work to remember the details. If I'm scrapbooking a trip we took a few years ago, I'll dig through boxes to find the journal I kept, detailing our adventures. Looking through photos on the computer oftentimes jogs my memory, too.

10) Dive in! Sometimes, I'm eager to start right away. Other times, I want to let the layout details and story ideas percolate in my head for a few days, maybe even a week, before starting. But if I put it off too long, I risk losing my momentum.

These ten steps have helped me to focus in on the stories I want to tell, keep me on task as I pull together the pieces of the layout, and ultimately, complete my scrapbook pages in a timely fashion.

What does your process look like? In what ways is it similar or different?


Tyler said...

Those are just halfway pictures. You can't really see the turkey. Can she turn it so I can see all the pictures?

Nicole said...

I guess creative photography is lost on the little ones.

Jennie said...

Nicole: I was trying to avoid plastering a picture of our house up on the internet. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. Tell Tyler I'll e-mail him a picture of the turkey, so he can see it more clearly. Thanks for reading my blog posts! :-)

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