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Scrapbooking Starting Point :: The Colour of Matsuri Days

Scrapbooking starting points
scrapbook starting points
I’ve started this week drawn to red and black, so I’ve pulled out some always lovely red and black patterns from Jenni Bowlin and added a little splash of yellow from the Studio Calico Heyday collection.

scrapbooking starting points
I started by masking and misting that red patterned background, and I covered up what I didn’t like and left what I did like on show (the polka dots at the top left, misted in Pinstripe Mister Huey spray). Then I just started at the bottom of the page and piled toward the top – three border strips, one large block and a contrasting 6×6 paper on top of the stack. Everything is edged in a dark brown, to be a bit less harsh than black ink.

scrapbooking cropped photos
And now for a little tangent: I get a great many questions about why I don’t include more photos per page, and the most direct answer is just because I don’t like it. I like my photos at 4×6, and for the most part I like one to three of them per 4×6 page. I have plenty of exceptions to that, but that size is what works best for me. I have two connotations with page designs that really focus on including lots of images: my eyes can’t take them all in with so many images per page, which makes me feel a bit uneasy (even with significantly less embellishment than usual) and it reminds me of the sort of scrapbooking that involved a triangle of paper in the corner and competing for how many pages you could complete at a crop. I know that is fun for some scrappers – I’ve seen them relish it! It is not fun for me. It is stressful and foreign and uncomfortable for me. Just like ink droplets might make you twitch or covering up most of a layer of patterned paper might make you shout at me through your computer screen, too many photos on a page can just make my head spin because it’s not what I love. And I’m not going to make things I don’t love for the sake of a blog post or a video – so I’m afraid you’re stuck with a hefty dose of pages featuring one to three 4×6 prints! Since I print pretty much everything at 4×6, I have had a few commenters follow up the multi-photo discussion with the idea of cropping those 4×6 pictures. I rarely do, and today I tried it just to see if it would work. It didn’t, so this works perfectly to explain.

I knew I wanted to use that landscape 4×6 print with the smiling girls, but I also wanted to include some other photos from this same festival parade in Kyoto. They were all 4×6 landscape prints and there was no cute way to feature all three at full size with this starting point, so I needed to change something. I tried cropping those two images, and cut them so they were not only smaller, but now a portrait orientation, taller than they are wide. Especially with the top photo, it seems like this is a sensible solution because she’s the only person in focus in the picture, and the landscape image has lots of ‘wasted’ space to either side of her face. The cropped version is a disaster to me: losing that calming space to either side of her made the image harsh and awkward. It doesn’t look natural or fluid, and in both pictures it makes the people look somewhat out of proportion. These cropped images were not going to make me happy in the slightest, so I went back to the original files and printed them in their horizontal style with the original cropping of the image, but just at a smaller size. Immediately the images appeared calmer, more natural and gave a more honest depiction of the memory in my mind.

End of tangent, I promise.

scrapbook page
Here’s the finished version, with those two photos printed in their original orientation but at 2×3 inches instead of 4×6, and I’m much happier with that. I built the embellishment at the top right first, then replicated many of those layers over to the left, but also added a felt bow clip for dimension and texture and a little butterfly to keep it from being too boxy with all those squares and rectangles. The bottom right corner came last and it’s far more minimal, with the hexagon numbers for the date and a little punched heart, which is allowed both because I really do love Japan and because it was our honeymoon. As if you need permission to use a heart punch. Heart punches are always allowed in my world.

Other supplies include Jenni Bowlin stickers, Dear Lizzy and Heidi Swapp letter stickers, and My Mind’s Eye washi tape.

scrapbook pages
And a few favourite pages from the last starting point, which created all sorts of multi-photo pages, by the way. For a closer look at these pages, check out the posts from Kelly, Jacky, Alison and Katja.

If you give this starting point a try, I’d love for you to share your work – you might find your layout in the favourites next time!

09 July 2012

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29 Comments for Scrapbooking Starting Point :: The Colour of Matsuri Days

  1. Adel Says:

    Hi Shimelle, your explanation about just using smaller prints with the breathing room vs. a tight crop really helped me identify why I even like some of my project life 3 ×4 prints better than others – I resized the whole print not just cropped in close. Thanks for taking the time to show this difference.

  2. Alison Day Says:

    Oh what a gorgeous page! Can’t wait to get started. I’d like to thank you too for your “tangent”. :) When I first started scrapping it was all about piling as many pictures onto the page as I could fit but as my style has evolved, and my desire to tell the story behind the pictures along with it, I am totally okay with using only one or two pictures per page. Although, my Project 12 layouts are still pretty photo heavy!!
    Thanks for picking my layout as a favourite again!

  3. Mel Says:

    I love your layouts, Shimelle. And I’m like you in that I rarely want to put more than a few photos on a layout; I just didn’t completely understand why until I read what you had to say about it. Of course, there are exceptions, but for the most part, I prefer just a couple of photos, maybe 4 at the most, because I can’t really pay attention to more than that at one time. I like adding those multi-photo page protectors sometimes, if there happen to be more photos of an event or story than I want to put on one scrapbook page.

    Thank you for always inspiring us. I’ve learned so much from you! :D

  4. Cheryl Says:

    Love the layout, love the tangent, love the explanation! And thanks for explaining why it is important to make what you love, not what anyone else loves.

  5. Jamie Hensley Says:

    The layout is awesome,and I love your tangent and explanation. Thanks for staying true to your authentic scrapping!


  6. Lynsey Says:

    Hi Shimelle I love your pages with 4 ×6 photos. Since taking your cover to cover class you have converted me to 4 × 6 photos!
    Hugs Lynsey x

  7. Marsha Montgomery Says:

    Thanks for using 4×6 photos – that is all I use with an occasional enlargement.

  8. Fran Says:

    Hi Shimmelle, I have to say I’ve been following your blog for a while now ;) Love how you pull colors and patterns together so effertlessly , but I’ve been hesitant about trying something like them myself. This past week I was in my LSS,and they’re doing a monthly challenge (you get a kit with pre-chosen papers and embellishments), anyways they were not papers I’d normally choose but I thought “hey, it’s a challenge” Well I followed your last post using a Studio Calico kit and I loved how my page turned out! Thanks for all the inspiration you give!

  9. JavaJones Says:

    What a beautiful page—love the colors and the photos. And as we all know, there are no rules in scrapbooking. While I love to use more than one photo on a page, I love your layouts and your videos give me so much inspiration to scrap in my style. So a big thank you for sharing your creativity!

  10. glee Says:

    I hate to crop my pix as well because I shoot and frame the way I want the finished pic to look. I don’t print at home, so it’s always traumatic to have to resize and WAIT for the pics to be processed!!

  11. Krisje Says:

    Hey, I’m really intrigued to what exactly is the triangle op paper in the corner??? Just do what makes you happy, isn’t that what hobbies are for?

  12. senoritascrapper Says:

    Thank you for showing the difference between the cropped and resized photos. Very helpful! And I love, love, love this starting point and layout!

  13. Malin/malwa Says:

    I just want to say that I totally love you descriptions, pages and style. :)
    And I used this starting point twice! Both layouts are in the link, but I could only “inlink” one of them. ;)
    (Now off to watch Glitter Girl…)

  14. Alison Says:

    Thanks for another great Starting Point..and loved the tangent!
    Alison xx

  15. Lisa M. Zepponi Says:

    I liked your explanation. Question: did you print your 2×3 photos at home? If So, what photo software did you use? (I have a problem with the photo becoming distorted, i.e. I would only get half of the lady’s face or it truly will NOT print a 2×3 but 2×2.45 vs. the entire pic shrinking down to the 2×3 size.)

  16. mazapoint Says:

    I’ve see them delight in it! It is not enjoyable deliberate for me. It is edgy and strange and painful for me.

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