Monday, February 7, 2011

Inspiration and Getting from Memory to Layout

Inspiration can be a very elusive thing.  Since, discovering digital scrapping in 2009 I have learned a lot but  I still consider myself a bit of a novice.  I struggle with inspiration and sometimes lean on templates for help.  Having no formal design training...except elementary school art...I do not feel bad about this.  I am still very pleased with the layouts that I make.  For me whole point scrapping is to preserve memories.  So getting from memory to scrapped layout is a rather free and loose process--template, page map, quick page, or original creation it does not matter to me.  Below are some of the resources that I use to start my layouts...I hope you find them helpful.

Page Maps:  Page|Maps Blog is a great resources for page maps and inspiration layouts. All sketches (maps) are free and the blog is updated regularly.  Here is an example of one of the maps available.

Gallery Inspiration:  I find that sometimes the best inspiration for a layout is browsing online scrapping galleries.  I frequent DigiShopTalk, Scrap Orchard, GingerScraps, and Scrapable.  Each one of these galleries provides a Search feature.  So if you have a specific topic that you want to scrap...just look it up to see how others scrapped it. Browsing a gallery or two may give you that creative spark you need.  But don't forget to credit the original layout in your credits if you 'lift' a layout from a gallery...good manners and also a big compliment to the original artist. Gallery browsing also helps me find digital goodies.  I can shop numerous stores at one time...that is if credits are present in the gallery uploads.

Templates:  As I admitted above I love templates.  Some scrappers feel guilty for using them...they feel they stifle the creative process.  For me they are the springboard that I need to get started.  Remember that templates are just a starting place.  You can delete layers, add elements that the template does not 'call' for, and really make the design your own.  So don't let the template 'stigma' take away the usefulness of these design tools.  Take a look at a recent layout that I made using a Simply Yin template  for my Project 52.  The template is basic giving only photo placeholders and drop shadows for the photos.  I embellished and journaled as I wished.

Digital Supplies: Kit:  Sweet Siblings by Stacy's Backdoor Door Designs and Sarah Bennet  (no longer available), Template: Template 186 by Simply Yin (SimplyYin Blogstore), Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 9, Fonts: Impact Label Reversed, Underwood 1913.

Design Notes:  I am loving Project 52.  The details of our life that are being captured are great.

Journaling:  Week four was another great one here in Thompsonville.  Ella continued to walk more & more on her own.  This mean more exploring & learning about what is OK & what the big NO-NOs are.  Travis surprised Ella & I with fried pork chops & gravy for supper one night...might I say that man is an artist with a frying pan!  Later in the week Ella & I went with Nana & Shannon to Cracker Barrel.  While there Nana gave Ella coffee for the first time...she was not impressed at all.  Nana also ate lots of cherry pancakes & put five pounds of sugar in her coffee...wonder if the the dear Doc was watching?  Later that day I put together Nana & Shannon’s new kitchen island & Ella rode around in her wagon (Powered by Nana & Shannon).  Travis, Ella & I also found a new restaurant that we really enjoyed...Azariah’s.  Travis had Shepherds Pie for the first time. I made some the next night and he promises mine tasted best...he is such a sweet Husband!  Speaking of firsts Ella also had a first at Azariah’s...cucumber.  It was a hit!  Since, Ella is walking so well we decided it was time to put the Chicco walker away. It was a favorite for a while but Miss Ella just no longer needs it Sunday Travis surprised his girls again...pancakes for a second week.  We are getting so spoiled.  Then Ella took some time out to help me be the Marsupial Muffin Makin’ Mama...notice how she is inspecting my work over my shoulder.  One of her favorite thing to do is to come up behind me in Travis’s arms & then flop over onto my back.  Just like Yoda & Luke from Star Wars! 

Miss Ella also had one other first this week.  She instructed me to let her drink form a Big Girl glass with a straw.  She did great & there was no mess!  Oh & check out that pic of her playing with my heels.  Those are the shoes I wore at the Wedding.  She fished them out of the closet & proceeded to try the on.  She is growing up too fast. And on other Kodak moment checkout Miss E using the mouse (bottom left).  She is on her tip-toes sliding the mouse around & watching the screen!  Our Little Genius!  What a great week!

Challenges:  Another creative way to find inspiration is via challenges.  I recently started participating in my first ever Progressive Scrap.  This is where the challenge leader gives specific instructions on what to add to your layout in interpret these instructions and go from there.  Thus far it is a neat experience.  There are also challenges that are more topic specific...such as the Out My Window Challenge hosted at Scrappin Digi Kreations.  This challenge follows the same subject (person, plant, etc.) for twelve months.  You are able to note the changes over time...very cool idea.  I am doing our yard...we recently moved and the yard needs some work.  It will be neat to track it over the coming twelve months.

Hopefully the next time you are hitting that proverbial creative wall one of these suggestions will help get you over the hump!