paper: pretty paper. true stories. {and scrapbooking classes with cupcakes.}: Sketch to Scrapbook Page, featuring a sketch by Allison Davis

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Sketch to Scrapbook Page, featuring a sketch by Allison Davis

scrapbook page @ shimelle.com
This week I was guest on the Paperclipping Roundtable podcast, in an episode all about ways to start a page, like sketches, starting points, and flexible templates. (You can listen to the episode here, or find it on iTunes. It’s free.) Allison Davis also joined the panel and if you know Allison’s work, you’ll know our sketches are quite different: she often does double pages, she tends to include many photographs, and her sketches include lots of little details and measurements for making it all fit together. Noell, the PRT host, uses a system she calls Flexible Templates, which is something different yet again: there is no sketch drawn on paper or screen, and instead she keeps a general idea of page structure in her mind as she works, then makes changes as she goes to make each page unique. So in preparation for recording the show, I decided to do a little homework: I tried one of Allison’s sketches and one of Noell’s flexible templates and filmed both so I could share how those concepts worked when combined with my own scrapbooking process.

You can find this sketch in Allison’s post on the Simple Stories blog. There is a link right under the image of the sketch that takes you to a full PDF with all the measurements and details, which scarily means you can also see all the extra photos and details I didn’t include on my page!


The supplies for this layout are mostly from the June Best of Both Worlds kit, plus a few extras from the supplies I’ve used several times throughout my backpacking albums, to help add a little continuity. I added a second sheet of the camera patterned paper from the kit to make a double page layout, but in the end there is so little of it showing that I think you could omit that sheet of paper without any trouble if whatever paper you wanted on the left didn’t have a twin in your collection. (Of course, you can also create the right side with a divided page protector and forego the 12×12 background completely.)

scrapbook page by shimelle laine @ shimelle.com
The original sketch includes nineteen photographs, and that’s just a bit too far for me, so I went with eight in the end. Six of these are just shy of 4×4 and two are 4×6, and it’s those 4×6 images that led me to make some bigger changes on the left side of the layout than I first imagined, but it worked its way out I think! Neither of those photos were images I wanted to crop, and that led to my first big realisation with working with this sketch: I prefer the composition of photos in the 4×6 set up. I certainly have square photos! But they tend to be just an image or two of any given event, as I will always use my traditional camera, not my phone, for the more photogenic stuff of life. I’ve spent years trying to improve my composition in that format, especially trying to find a good shot quickly, as all the photos on this layout were taken from the side of a relatively speedy boat. I looked at several different sets of photos trying to find images that would be improved by cropping to a square, and they were hard to find, so in the end I kept two of the images at their full size. I felt bad that I was cheating Allison’s sketch in what was supposed to be my homework, but at least it came with a little caveat that I was happy with how my photos were coming out, straight from the camera. I know that when I put a sketch together, I’d always be okay with changes like photo size or number, so I hoped Allison would be the same, knowing the sketch was still tremendously useful in putting everything together! (If you listen to the show, I think we’re on the same path with that one. Fabulous!)

One thing I really liked from this sketch that I don’t think I would have put together without it was the balance of the large, simple motifs on the cards on the right side with the smaller, more detailed embellishments on the left side. It’s the kind of balance that depends on something being the same but different, and also that several small somethings can add up to equal one big something. That’s definitely something I want to remember for future designs, as this is a bit different to the double pages I tend to create without a sketch, and I really like this look. Plus I have plenty of 3×4 cards, especially for a scrapper who doesn’t keep a regular Project Life album or anything! I’m all for bookmarking different ways to include 3×4 cards on a 12×12 (or 24×12) page.

As this sketch isn’t my own, there’s no guest or link up here, but you can find Allison’s interpretation of the sketch, complete with thorough notes, on the Simple Stories blog, and if you give this sketch a go, I know Allison would love to hear from your in the comments there. And see more of Allison’s work on her blog.

Next up, I give one of Noell’s templates a try! And you can hear us all talk about this entire process on PRT episode 166. I hope you enjoy!

14 July 2013



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8 Comments for Sketch to Scrapbook Page, featuring a sketch by Allison Davis

  1. Adel Says:

    This was a great post and video for adapting sketches. Loved the PRT discussion and love the results.

  2. Isbaha Says:

    I love your twist on this sketch !

    Allison probably won’t think that you cheated as she actually made a class about how using sketches and how making sketches fit what you need, and each month on her blog, she uses the same sketch several times with lots of variations (making a one page with a double page sketch, changing the number off photos, their size, and so on).

    Even if I think you are the queen of scrapbooking classes (I LOVE your classes and how they always help me to scrap my way and as I like to scrap but better, with more inspiration), I also do like Allison’s classes.

    I love your kindness with others and I love that you tried an Allison’s sketch and made it your own. You always offers so much inspiration, thank you !

  3. Tasha Says:

    She even mixes up her sketches like that, no cheating at all.
    I use her sketches for the majority of my pages now, I’m not sure I’ve ever actually used all the photos, or the same size photos, or even the same size papers.
    That’s why I love sketches, you can use them so many ways!

  4. Kim B. Says:

    I love your take on Allison’s sketch. I use her sketches most of the time and I very rarely actually use photos smaller than 3×3. When the sketch shows those smaller photos I usually put an embellishment in their place or don’t add them at all. I have taken a few of Allison’s classes and she encourages everyone to make the sketch their own and not follow it exactly (of course, that is perfectly fine too). So I don’t consider anything you did as cheating. :) I love how you explain how you come up with the ideas for your clusters. I hope to one day be able to do it half as good as you. Thanks again for a wonderful video. I always look forward to watching them.

  5. Tammy Says:

    Love that you created a page using one of Allison’s sketches (and so cool that you prepared ahead for the for the PRT conversation). I love both your starting points and Allison’s sketches. Use them all the time and it was fun to hear you both talk about your different approaches. I am so left brained that I generally need a sketch or a visual to get me started. Otherwise I stare at an empty page too long and would prefer my scrapbooking time to be productive. Sketches and starting points give me that boost, so keep them coming! :)

  6. Sherry C Says:

    I always enjoy seeing your creative process, tfs!

  7. Jo Says:

    I adore your Allison sketch interpretation! Such a lovely version that as beautiful motifs with hearts without being girly. I simply live the fact that you were able to take someone else’s style and TOTALLY made it into a Shimelle page! You are truly an artist! Thank you for sharing with me. Jo

  8. More Posts Says:

    I loved the post, It was really very helpful and informational.

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