I recently wrapped up teaching my Design Your Life workshop over at Big Picture Scrapbooking. I ran the workshop twice during the past two years and have decided to retire the class and begin working on a new design course which will debut in 2011.
After going through it the second time, I realized this: I really like a lot of the pages I did for the class. I like the sketches. I like the finished pages.
I'm going to be releasing several of my favorites from the class over at Designer Digitals in the coming weeks for anyone who wanted to take the class but couldn't.
One of my favorite layouts from class was from our week studying color, and it looked like this:
(The papers are older on this page, forgive me for not providing links.) The challenge was to take some of the fear out of combining patterned papers. The solution? Find a few papers that pick up color from your photos, and combine them with neutrals (white and kraft). And don't lose to much sleep in the process.
This Gratitude Template is available as a layered PSD file, but also in PNG and PDF for you non-Photoshop users. You can print out the PDF onto your choice of neutral cardstock, trim along the crop marks, and create one or several pages to document things you are thankful for.
My students became very familiar with printable PDFs and crop marks. For those of you who are unfamiliar, you can use crop marks to show you where to trim your photo/element etc.
I created a lot of the original artwork for the class using Adobe InDesign, which allowed me (via a plug-in) to put custom crop marks on all of the elements for my class.
Crop marks can be tricky to use at first, but here's a quick photo montage showing how to use them with a paper trimmer:
For this example, I simply printed out the PDF file onto my favorite Bazzill white cardstock, and trimmed.
You can use crop marks in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements when you print something out. Let's say you want to make a 4 x 6 journaling block with crop marks. You simply create a new document that size, add your journaling, and when you send the file to print, you select the crop marks option (in CS it's under the Output drop down menu; in PSE 8 it's "More Options" and "Trim Guidelines.")
I decided to make a new layout in my gratitude series, this one focusing on being grateful that I have such amazing access to good food, and that I can afford to go out and get it. My page ended up looking like this:
I took some of my papers from the Studio Calico Joyland kit and paired them with some simple neutrals. My photo had color all over the place, so I just took a deep breath and thought, "Just grab two papers that go together (they both shared my favorite shade of green) and two neutrals and make the page."
I will tell you this: I stress far less over choosing the best colors ever as far as my patterned papers go these days. Sometimes, you've just got to let go a bit, and say, "This'll do donkey. This'll do."
SUPPLIES: Little Man Zig Zag Quite Contrary 2-sided paper (My Mind's Eye) • Avignon paper (7gypsies) • Gratitude Template (Cathy Zielske for Designer Digitals) • scallop blade (Fiskars) • chipboard heart (Heidi Swapp) • ZIG Writer