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In Depth: Becoming Jane

I've decided to start a new occasional series on my blog called "In Depth."  Basically, every so often, I'll take an art project I've made and pick it apart a little bit more.  Not a tutorial, really, but a chat about process; the thoughts behind each element.  I'd love some feedback on whether or not you like this and the other kinds of things you'd like to know about!

We're starting with this page:

I made it from the October Label Tulip kit:

For me, scrapbooking is usually about two things: telling a story and expressing myself artistically.  This layout is a perfect example of both. 

I teach a journaling class at my local scrap store, in which I emphasize and over-emphasize and then emphasize again, the great importance of telling your story.  I always say:

"A picture is worth a thousand words, but everyone's thousand is different.  So, tell yours!" 

I start most layouts with my journaling.  For this one, I knew that I had a lot to say.  So I figured that typing the journaling was the best idea.  However, my beautiful blue scalloped paper (you can see it in the kit photo above - blue cloud-like scallops around a white center) would not fit into my 8.5x11" typewriter.  Well, what's a girl to do? 

Here's where the artistic expression part comes in.  I chopped out the center of the blue paper (using an exacto knife, glass mat and no ruler - I wanted a wavy line).  Once I had the correct size paper, I set to creating the photo cluster.

Every layout has constraints.  It may be the colors in the photograph you're using.  It may be the product that you either have to or want to use.  It may be how much time you have to work on it.  For this layout, I knew that whatever I put in the center of the layout had to fit through the rollers of my typewriter.  So, I knew that I wanted to use very flat objects.  Therefore, the center collage consists of two strips of patterned paper, a large round sticker, several flowers cut from a piece of patterned paper, and a title made from stickers inlined with a white pen.

The danger of creating a totally flat layout is that your layout loses its sense of oomph.  To ensure that I still had oomph, I chose bright colors and objects that had a frisky and energetic line (like the wonky flowers).

The white pen on top of the letter stickers...

...and the Shimmerz ink drops...

...also add an energetic line and a sense of texture and movement without a lot of bulk.

Once my inside collage was complete, I set to typing my journaling, which I also kept irregular.  Thus bringing even more movement to the page.  Now, it was time to re-insert the center section into the blue scalloped outside.  I could have Frankensteined the paper together.  Nobody would have noticed the seams.  But instead, I decided to take advantage of the design opportunity by cutting the center section down and placing it on top of a piece of red cardstock.  When I reinserted it into the center of the blue scallop paper, I was left with a funky red border around the page. 

One of the things I always do when a layout is "finished" is step back and take another look.  Well, when I stepped back from this one, I could see that the inside didn't match the outside.  The inside had life and energy and the artist's hand was visible.  To rectify the situation, I doodled around the outside edge of the blue scalloped paper - a thin white line on the outside and a series of small dots on the inside of the edge.  


 Ah, bliss.  The two parts now matched in style and feeling!  How perfect!  And here's the finished layout, once again:

I hope you enjoyed this peek into my creative process.  Thanks for stopping by!