I was sitting around last weekend, thinking to myself, "Okay, you don't write for a magazine anymore, and yet you've got all this practical knowledge about design just sitting in your brain, festering and yearning for a way to get out and reach the scrapbooking masses… or at least maybe your blog readers."
And then it hit me: who doesn't love a makeover? There's nothing that drives the point home better than a bona fide before and after. How many times have you not wanted to watch Oprah's makeover shows, but eventually found yourself shouting out to the t.v., "YOU LOOK 20 YEARS YOUNGER! IT'S A MIRACLE!"?
There's just something magical—and potentially educational—about a makeover. And I want to apply it to your scrapbook pages.
Enter my new monthly blog series called, simply enough: Design Do-Overs.
Now, a little history… back in the days of Simple Scrapbook magazine (which technically, is still IN the day, as our final issue hasn't even hit newsstands), we'd cover design, but we stayed away from page makeovers because our message wasn't one of making you feel badly about preserving your memories, even if they looked like ka ka du jour.
Years ago, Creating Keepsakes put out a special issue called "Marvelous Makeovers" and it was a huge hit with readers. So this idea isn't something I dreamed up out of nowhere. I just think the time is ripe for this type of process, especially for an unemployed graphic designer scrapbooker chick who has mad skillz to share.
Here's what I believe: design is just another tool in your scrapbooking skill arsenal. The more you know, the better decisions you'll make, and the happier you'll be with the results. Design education builds confidence and empowers good decision making, meaning you rely more on you and less on those idea books piling up on your nightstand.
So how's this gonna work? Good question. I'm going take one of your layouts (you, being a very special and brave blog reader) and make it over. Maybe it's a page you tried to make work for hours, but somehow, something isn't quite working. Maybe it's a page that you did, and liked, but then on second and third peek, it wasn't holding up. Maybe it's just an ugly scrapbook page. End of story. Whatever the case, I want your pages.
Consider this a page call of a different sort: I'm looking for your most disappointing pages.The ones you flip past just a bit more quickly when sharing your albums. The ones that make you lean over at a crop and say, "Oh, I JUST had my eyes dilated before I did that one." The ones that make you say, "I have no idea what I was thinking."
If I pick your layout, you will do the following:
1. Send me high resolution (300 DPI) digital photos.
2. Type up your journaling to include on the page.
3. Agree to do a very brief interview with me to be featured along with the Design Do-Over.
I will take your page, and do it over, using design as my weapon of choice. Then, I will feature the hows and whys right here on my blog, sharing design goodness with all. When it's all said and done, I'll send you the finished page, and a copy of your choice of my first or second book, inscribed with gushy loving design-related sentiments.
What we all take away from it, is a little sliver of design education, to help everyone make pages that look good.
Because no one should be forced into black-bar-over-eyes-land as a result of bad design.
To be considered for Design Do-Overs, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and write "DESIGN DO-OVER" in the subject field. Attach a low res photo or scan of your page, telling me why you think it's just not working. My plan is to select one page each month to feature in this new blog series.
Remember, this is NOT about public humiliation. I take design very seriously, people. And I will serve it up monthly. With love.
In other design-related news: I am working on an instant download Projects Now class for Big Picture Scrapbooking which is tentatively titled "5 Tips to Better Designed Pages" and will be both super affordable and chock full of my top 5 tips to help you improve your design instantly. Keep an eye out here for more information coming soon.
In other regular news: Happy Birthday, Dan Zielske. You hot thing, you.
In still more and possibly the most important other special news: My birthday is this Sunday, the 8th. I HATE not having a weekday birthday to receive anonymous well wishes from blog readers. Feel free to leave them today. No really. Go ahead. I don't mind.