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Finding Your Own Style


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#1 BarbaraC1977

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 11:35 AM

I have thoroughly enjoyed making my pages, but of course, sometimes, I find they take TOO much time to do. Part of it is what I want to communicate to my family, friends etc, part is what techniques I want to try or incorporate. Part is scanning and correcting old images, unavoidable. Part is doing a very big project, Around the World 1996, over the course of three years and counting of scrapping, and trying to make sure it "fits together." Part of it is not having a "go-to, easy to get done" style.

I don't know if she finds it easy, but I really admire Jode2771 Wk35 Project 52 style, and her most recent image Larry with the mostly white backgrounds. They are anything but boring, because the color and photos make them pop. There are other prolific scrappers who have distinct styles.

How do you find a style, for a project, or in general? Do you have a "quick and easy" style for some scrapping and "freestyle" for other scrapping? The question here is for Jode and everyone. Tell us how you do it! Thanks in advance!

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#2 Nica

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 02:50 PM

I'll let Jody reply for herself with regards to her style and speed. However, I did ask her about her Project 52 and she told me that it was a blend of a couple of templates that she liked. That would be my recommendation to you. When I'm working on a larger project that I need cohesion for, I choose one or two collections to use throughout and I rely pretty heavily on templates to create a similar style as well. When it comes to individual pages, I couldn't tell you. :blush:

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#3 April Showers

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 02:52 PM

I use a quick and easy format for my Project SG pages. I have a formula I use every time and try to add a few little details to make them different. I use a background in the green family that works with my photos. I found that green (think nature) goes with just about any mix of photo colors. I create templates that work with my photos as I scrap. I always use a 10 or 15 pixel stroke with a drop shadow, so I created a style to make it go faster. I can do a month's worth of pages in an afternoon.
My regular layouts generally take a bit longer though some go together more quickly than others. I like pages that work together across from each other in my albums, so when I'm doing my "chronological scrapping" (hey, I'm well into 1999!) I do a 12x24 page, put a guide line at 12" and do both pages together. I've found one double page doesn't take me much longer than a single page.

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#4 ValerieT

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 03:11 PM

I do have a "formula" I use when scrapping, Photo, Papers, Cluster, I usually just use one kit everything is designed to go together. I tend to do my best pages when the kids are at school, it's nice and quiet and I listen to an audio book, but I only get 9 hours of quiet time a week at the moment (Kiahna doesn't start full-time school until next year). On these days I can do 3,4 or more pages. If I'm working on a project, then like others I stick to one or two kits and use templates.

I know the sort of person I am, so if a page isn't coming together easily, I usually end up deleting it and starting over. I won't agonise over a page for days, this is meant to be fun.

This works for me, but it won't work for everyone.

I wouldn't worry too much, if you are creating pages you like, that's all that really matters.

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#5 tiza126

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 03:40 PM

When I do a big project (like a vacation album or Project52), I will pick a couple coordinating layout templates and maybe 2-3 collections... and stick with just those. Limiting the amount of supplies available to me will help me go quicker and make the pages cohesive.

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#6 mimes1

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 04:09 PM

When I'm doing a large album I definitely stick to templates, and then I use a minimal number of collections, and repeat cluster elements throughout. That way I have a cohesive project without every single page being completely different. That would take for*ever.

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#7 Eden

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 07:19 PM

I agree Jody definately has a gift!

I find that albums are different from single layouts. Single layouts, I can throw away the rules and just be as creative as I like and my ability will let me, but an album needs a theme to make it into whole rather than a series of separate and unrelated layouts. But of course rules are for breaking LOL.

I'm in the process of doing an album of my mother's life, I've decided that my mother is the theme and I've allowed myself to have as many different styles as I like, the only rule is the two pages of each opening must use the same theme / style. I've used the change in style to sort mark a different period of her life. I think it's going to work!

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#8 MariJ

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 07:51 PM

Barbara, I saw your post earlier when I couldn't answer, blinked and thought I was seeing things as Jode and I had just had a PM/conversation about this very same topic this morning! I understand totally what you are saying. First in being in awe at how Jode can not only churn out such wonderful layouts, but do it so quickly! I've come to realize that like you, as a rule my LOs take a lot of time for me to create. And, that is just "me". I spend a lot of time playing with a page and actually have fun doing that. So I've decided I'd rather do that - have more layouts I like and enjoyed making, then stress about not making many more quick ones. Because no matter how hard I try, I just can't be fast! That part I just try to accept. That I'm a "slow" or maybe "thoughtful" style scrapper.. :)

I have also started to use collections when beginning a layout. I fInd a paper to go with my photo and go from there -- within a collection -- as I know everything will match. Then I'll look for additional stuff I need, but save some time using collections rather than pieces from all over. To get started, at least.

I've actually just begun to think about and find my own "style" and the biggest challenge is to try to accept that for what it is....
I am not fast.. I do a LOT of thinking and trying - I don't just dive right in and that's just me! I am always so impressed with how people can have an idea and then go with it into a layout - I never could, but it's happened a few times recently. I sorta feel like my "style" if you can call it that, is constantly evolving and not often the same...

Right now I guess the closest I have to a style is something that "grabs" me. It could be an interesting challenge, photo or even something I see or feel. From there, the best thing to do is go with my flow. Recently that seems to be lots of blending. Other times it was using more photos. What I find most helpful is to not agonize over every tiny detail or how I am creating. (& it's hard and I can't always pull that off) To just start a page and go from there. Because my style? Seems to change as the wind does... And my "style struggle" right now is to try to accept that. :)

PS I love how Jode is so eclectic in her scrapping - she does so many different things so very well!

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#9 KayMitch

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 10:16 PM

Jody's pages are amazing and I love how they most often seem to have a message or at least convey her deepest thoughts. She is so, so talented. I love her work. Kay
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#10 DixieLee

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 10:58 PM

I like how Marj stated that she is a 'thoughtful scrapper' and I am like that, I just don't move fast. And my style evolves. I enjoyed reading each comment. And with 5 little kids at home I am a scattered scraper/thinker!

#11 Sara Arell

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 12:27 AM

Jody's pages always inspire me - she is a true artist and I don't know how she does it, but her pages are always so creative and inspiring - wish I had her talent!
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#12 Smiles

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 09:30 PM

My scrapping style, if I have one, is similar to my quilting style. I choose lovely fabric and rather basic patterns to let the fabrics shine. I love using beautiful, more complex papers, and keeping the embellishments to a minimum.
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#13 Belle

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 02:26 AM

I always start with a template and go from there. I would take days to do a layout if I had to do it all by myself. So thank you to all the designers for making my life to easy and making me look clever.

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#14 jode2771

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 02:49 AM

Barbara, I am so very flattered, and thank you for your comments :-)
I have thought about this and thought about this... I usually start with one thing and build out from there - a photo dictates my page or I have a paper I want to use or a colour inspires me...

Once I have that thing I usually get a feel for where I want my page to go (it often ends up somewhere different!) - and can pick out the kind of embellishments or papers I want - fun and cartoony or realistic, coloured or patterned or plain... then the rest just has to fit....



I don't tend to mix styles and I don't like to add things that don't "FIT" - ie I wouldnt even look at flowers for a boy page, and I would never put cartoon with a serious realistic page... I love colour but I have found it is easier to work within a narrow palette than a wide one, if I do a green page it has shades of green, if I do black and white I keep it simple... I have also found neutrals work wonderfully easily and well - think Shabby Blanc.



I do tend to use lots of ribbons and word art as I like them and I do like to journal... There are things I often avoid like flowers or too many photos... I also tend to mix and match as I like to have a really individual page - I find it really hard to stick to just one kit.

When I need a kickstart or some focus or I am in a hurry... I use a template... I like to make them my own but they are a great starting point. The template I put together for my P52 has allowed me to keep up this year as my pages don't take long to put together and it is easy! I recommend a template for ongoing pages!! Brandy's Interactive text template has made it super easy for me to journal my pages too :-). Syndee's editable text is also great to use for word art.


Barbara, I was surprised to read your post too cos I never thought you would struggle - you always are so knowledgeable and technical, I admire your knowledge and your ability to share it.

You had me question how I actually pull a page together which was interesting for me, hope it gives you some insight into what I do, and that you find something that works easily for you :-)

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#15 Sara Arell

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 05:07 AM

Jody never ceases to amaze me with her style of scrapping - she is so versatile with her pages and can do anything from whimsical to serious - she just plain rocks when it comes to her layouts!
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#16 MariJ

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 07:29 AM

Jode I loved reading about your thought process and yes, that IS true. I would never have thought of Barbara as struggling as her pages are so wonderful. I loved your heritage pages, Barbara as you know.. And, now I am enjoying the travel ones I catch on the MB! They are wonderful and creatively beautiful work!

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#17 Cheri T

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 08:38 AM

Barbara, I too would never have known that you have struggled with your style. Your pages are always well presented and very eye-catching in the gallery!
I go through periods where every page takes me hours and only occasionally can pop one out quickly, and times where most pages seem to come more easily. When I need something to move quickly I use a template for sure and another thing I love to build on is the embellishment clusters in the boutique. Sometimes I use them as-is, and other times I just use them as a base and add more on top/underneath.

I think of myself as pretty eclectic - I do heritage and serious pages and lots and lots of little boy pages. And I love flowers, and have (I think) successfully used them on boy pages, especially when there's a mommy or grandma on the page;) (so it's sort of a girl page, right? lol) So I'm not sure I have a cohesive style, but that's b/c almost everything interests me and I change what I'm doing based on my goal for that page. If I'm doing a themed album, I will stick with more of the same style throughout. Not graphic on one page and shabby chic on the next, for example.

Another trick of mine is, I often scrapbook the "most important" photos and then just arrange the rest in rows across an entire 2-page spread with minimal to no room between them and at most a background sheet and piece of word art. For example, at the end of our 2009 family scrapbook, there are about 15 pages of nothing but wall-to-wall photos with an occasional blank spot I put some journaling in. It's not very attractive as compared to the scrapbooked pages, but it allows me to include the photos together, rather than having a separate photo album for 2009 (that no one tends to ever open - b/c that's how our 2007-2008 is).

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#18 BarbaraC1977

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 09:50 AM

I'm really enjoying and learning from this great discussion; thanks to everyone who's contributing.

I like Cheri's idea of "just show the photos," when you're not sure they're all scrap-worthy.

I guess I'm proof that technical expertise doesn't = easy, quick layouts. I know I should just "enjoy the ride," but as I get older, I feel the need to get things done! I have already had a wonderful set of experiences and family, and hope to have many more. I want to "leave a trace" for them. Hope this discussion continues further!

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#19 kerryveale

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 06:35 PM

I like to select two or three collections that are compatible (i.e., Time Traveler and Intaglio)... then I use the styles for those collections to make additional elements (with ScrapSimple embellishments usually) that are not in the collections. Because today's photos are so heavily saturated, I then use my Subtle Photo Styles to "tone down" the photos and possibly other elements from other, brighter collections that I want to use as well.

For example, on this layout, I used the Subtle Photos styles to tone down the photos and Amanda Sok's word art. And I used a Time Traveler teal metallic style to color the art from Amanda's Princess Brush set. Using the same styles throughout a project and two compatible collections gives a nice sense of continuity. I also like asymmetry and whimsy (such as adding glowing stars on a photo and on the layout).

I think we have an amazingly talented customer group here at Scrap Girls; I love looking in our gallery and seeing what you all have created! And Barbara, this was a great discussion thread to start!

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#20 Kate Davis

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 03:34 AM

When I do a big project (like a vacation album or Project52), I will pick a couple coordinating layout templates and maybe 2-3 collections... and stick with just those. Limiting the amount of supplies available to me will help me go quicker and make the pages cohesive.


This is great advice. I'm planning on doing something like Project52 next year. I'm also hoping my then 4 year old daughter will join me, she is showing an interest in both taking photographs and using PSE and I'd like to encourage it; plus I think it would be great to compare our books at the end of the year.

With this approach we can both select some templates and some collections before the end of the year and we'll be ready for January.
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#21 Claireee

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:31 PM

I just stumbled on this thread doing a search on photo books, because I'm discovering that I really like the look of a photo book, but I'm trying to determine what I want my "style" to be. I tend to be a thoughtful scrapper, too, but I also feel the need to get things done more quickly, especially as my almost 14-month-old is growing quickly! Then I see so many ideas between this site and Pinterest, and I start to get overwhelmed with all of these things I want to try. Thanks for the thoughts!
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#22 kerryveale

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:42 AM

Hi Claire,
well, the beauty of digital scrapbooking is that you can create a layout, and then if you decide you don't like it, you can redo it easily. Just be sure to keep your unedited photos intact somewhere. Why don't you just pick a special occasion (i.e., your baby's first birthday) and create some layouts just for fun! (by the way, she is beautiful, like her mother!) Playing is essential to finding your style... You could always redo the layouts later on as you refine your style.
I look forward to seeing your work/play!

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