Category Archives: sketch

Book Update (and a couple recommendations to tide you over)

Book Update (and a couple recommendations to tide you over)

It is taking me a little longer than I thought it would to finish up my latest book about using sketches in scrapbooking. How’d you like to help me decide on the title and cover?

This is what I’ve got right now, which one do you like the best?

Option 1

Option 1

Option 2

Option 2

Option 3

Option 3

Option 4

Option 4

Just let me know which one you like most in the comments below.

To tide you over until I get my booked finished, I’ve got a couple recommendations for you.


and two:

Why should you read these two books?

You should read The Happiness Project because of one phrase in particular: the days are long, but the years are short. This was the impetus that started Gretchen Rubin on her happiness and habits journey. This was the idea that made her realize that she needed to pay attention to now, because all too soon today becomes yesterday, and then last week, and last year.

Folks this is the reason we scrapbook. We scrapbook because we know that as soon as we live a particular moment, it’s gone forever, unless we capture it in some way through memory keeping.

We scrapbook because it makes the current moment so much more happy, either because we’re trying to be present and aware of it, or because we’re actively scrapbooking, and making pretty stuff. Making stuff makes most people happy, at least in my experience.

You should read The New Rules of Scrapbooking because Jennifer Wilson is a woman after my own heart. In her book, she lists five basic rules of scrapbooking, that basically tell you to ignore all the rules and all the guilt that you think makes up scrapbooking. It’s a freedom manifesto for the scrapbooker plagued by self-doubt, fear, and guilt. Scrapbooking is a hobby that should help you feel more free. Jennifer’s rules will help you get there.

What is a Sketch Master?

What is a Sketch Master?

Since I released my first book on scrapbooking a year and a half ago, I’ve been planning a whole series of books about scrapbooking. I’ve got about ten different book topics planned that cover scrapbooking everything from vacations to family history.

The one that’s closest to completion is one about how to use sketches. The first draft is done. Now I’m going back through it to try to make sure it clearly says what needs to be said. Once that’s done, I’ll need beta readers. If anyone is interested in being a beta reader, please drop me a line at I’d love to have the input.

sketches ||

The sketch book is going to be called The Scrapbooker’s Guide to Mastering Sketches, and the idea of being a Sketch Master is introduced there.

A Sketch Master is someone who’s able to read and understand sketches (or blueprints, pagemaps, or templates) and turn them into lovely pages of their own. They can adapt and change a sketch to fit their own needs. Additionally, they can take outside inspiration, and turn those things they find into sketches as well. They are even able to create their own sketches from scratch. Finally, they really start to grasp the underlying structure of most well-designed pages, which gives them a real sense of freedom, and they start creating pages without a sketch safety net.

Sound interesting at all? Hopefully it’ll be ready to go next month. Wish me luck!

Getting Sketch Happy

Getting Sketch Happy

sketches ||

Who out there is afraid of sketches? Maybe afraid is too strong a word.

Intimidated? Unsure about how they work?

Who out there has heard of scraplifting or CASEing and has no idea what it is exactly, or how to go about doing it?

Want to learn?

If you are local, I am offering Getting Sketch Happy at my home on March 28th. This will be a two hour class, and it is only $10!

We’re going to be learning how to identify the parts of a sketch, how to adapt them to the photos and stories you want to use, and how to create our own sketches.

We’ll look at a few pages we love, and learn how to turn those into more pages we love, without having the pages we make look repetitive or boring.

We’ll talk about ways to set up the design of themed albums to create a unified but eclectic look.

You’ll end up with a couple completed pages, plus a bunch of sketches of your own so you can keep creating once you’re home.

In short we will become sketch masters!

Who’s up for a class?

Class will be March 28th, from 6-8 pm. It may go longer if we need to spend more time on any topics that anyone finds difficult. I will be supplying sketches and examples. You will need to bring your basic tool kit (trimmer, scissors, adhesive, journaling pens) as well as any photos or supplies you want to use. Use of the tools I have on hand is included in the class price, but if you want to raid my expendables stash, that will be an extra $5. Seating is extremely limited.

Buy the class now for $10:

Or if you want to be able to raid my stash, buy now for $15:


And come join the Facebook event!

Working with a Sketch

Working with a Sketch

Let’s start with something a bit different today. Let’s look at one of my favorite parts of digital scrapbooking– page templates.

A digi template is a pre-designed digital page, where all you need to do is add papers and photos to finish your page. Most of the time, when I’m doing a digi page, I use a template. I just love how easy it is!

My friend Jen of Jen Wright Designs creates digi templates and other digi products. She shares new templates on a weekly basis. Her current template can be found here: Jen Wright Designs. This week, we thought we’d show you how to use a digi template as an inspiration point for a more traditional paper page.

jen wright designs sketch

As you can see, Jen’s template is nice and straightforward, with lots of strong structure. It’s very easy to use as a sketch for a paper page.

I started out by looking for pictures that I could either trim or print smaller to use as supporting photographs.These were already printed at a smaller size, and the orientation of the larger picture fit with the orientation of the sketch.

rock hound ||

The first paper I chose was the circled star card from a Project Life set. The other papers were scavenged from my scrap bin, using the colors of the photos and the PL card as an inspiration point. I didn’t have enough ‘O’s for my title, so I cut out one of the rocks to use an additional O. After I had finished my journaling, it still looked like it needed some kind of embellishment. First glance around my desk led me to a small bottle of plastic pebbles, which fit perfectly with my theme. Many glue dots later, the page was done.

As you can see, I kept pretty close to the template. I merged the top left two spaces together, used rectangular rather than square photos on the bottom left, and rounded my corners. It’s not exactly like the template, but it is pretty close.

Since it IS card month here, let’s adapt this to a card too!

happy hour card || jen wright designs template ||

I think I am on an orange and blue-green kick this week.

As you can see, this stays very true to the structure of the original template, just leaving off one of the smaller spaces on each row to fit on the smaller area of a card.

The stamps were all colored with markers, for a quick and easy card.

Do you like this template? You can see more digi templates over at Jen’s website. Pick one out and turn it into a page or card! You can do it! It’s fun!

Don’t forget, if you want a card from me, sign up for my email list up top! I’d love to send you a card!

Supplies used: (affiliate links)

Stuck on Grids

Stuck on Grids

Design doesn’t have to be hard. Why is it, that as scrapbookers we try to make our hobby more complicated than it needs to be?

One of the simplest designs to use, that works over and over again, is the grid design.

It works because it gives your page very strong structure, with lots of implied and even visible line. It works because you don’t trap white space, and have consistent margins throughout your layout. In some cases, it even helps you include the rule of thirds on your page. (The rule of thirds, in case anyone is interested, is the theory that if you picture a tic tac toe frame superimposed over your photograph or page design, the focal point should be at one of the places where the lines intersect. This helps make your photo or page more interesting and dynamic.)

How about, rather than telling you all about how wonderful grids are, we just look at some examples, shall we?

DYL title page ||

This was created for the first online class I took–Cathy Zielske’s Design Your Life class over at Big Picture Classes. (Life changing class by the way. If design confuses you or overwhelms you, you need to take CZ’s class. It’s excellent!) Simple nine square grid. Very strong structure, no trapped white space, and even margins. The flower and quote become a focal point because they are closest to one of the intersecting grid lines.

fabulous 5 ||

You don’t necessarily need to have a photo or piece of patterned paper in each square to be a grid. This page lets the center square be the focal point, and the lack of actual squares doesn’t make the structure any weaker.

joy ||

You also don’t have to have a nine square grid. You could have a four square grid, or even a 49 square grid. What makes a grid so flexible is that the basic structure is so strong. The rule of thirds is more likely to be used when you aren’t using a nine square grid. Above, you’ll notice the eyes for both kids is about where the imagined tic tac toe grid lines intersect, and the title of the page below is also partially on one of those imagined line intersections.

so many reasons ||

Your grid doesn’t even have to cover the entire page.

Mom will you help me build ||

A partial grid can be a great way to get a lot of photos on a page, and still have a strong design.

sand people ||

A grid also doesn’t have to be straight. Give it a little twist, and you’ve added a whole new batch of fun to your layout.

Don’t you just love how versatile a grid based design is on your scrapbook pages? It really does give your layouts a strong foundation, while giving you room for creativity.

How often do you use grids? Have any you’d like to share?