Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Question and a Scrapbook Layout

I have a question: how do you get good photographs of your layouts?

I don't have a 12" scanner so I can't scan them. I used to take photos with them flat on the table but I tried some instructions from the Paperclipping website (which I love, I should do a post about that) to take them with the page taped up vertically, but I don't have some of the things she used. I think the results were an improvement, but still not great. I am having a really hard time getting them square in the frame - usually there is some "keystoning" where the top is wider than the bottom (or vice versa). When I cropped these, I could get the title, which spans the two pages, to line up (it lines up in real life, I promise!). I spend forever on trial and error and wasn't happy with the results so he whole thing was very frustrating. I really need a better method!

Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Masks: Flourish
Well, since it's here, I will share the details of this layout too! I tried something new: painting on my paper with acrylics. You can use art acrylics of course but these are just the inexpensive little craft acrylics they sell in every craft store. The large flourish on the left side is made with a Tim Holtz Flourish Mask (a reusable reverse-stencil which is adhesive backed so you put it on your paper and then work over it, then remove it to create a patterned effect).  I started with a dark blue color and when I was done it was way too stark and the paint was too clumpy.  Even James thought it didn't look right.  I thought about chalking it up to learning experience and starting over, which would have been ok, but before I did I took a sanding block to it, smoothed it all out, and then painted over it with pearlized paint.  This muted the overall look and added some nice shine.  At that point I was happy to get to use it for my layout.

I cut out the image on the right side by partially tracing, partially drawing a corresponding shape on cardstock and cutting it out with a craft knife (hey! my craft knife skills are improving!).  I painted the background page and the cut cardstock with the same pearlized paint to bring the whole look together.  Another weakness of my photography is that you can't really see the tiny silver stars scattered over the layout.  Although they don't show up well in the picture, I think they really add something.

Oh, and check out Sammy's mini-mohawk!  It shows in every picture.  It was what his hair did naturally at that age.  Hee!


  1. I don't have a 12 x 12 scanner either, but I do have Photoshop Elements. It has a function that allows you to merge photos. I scanned each 12 x 12 four times to make sure all edges were covered. After correcting their rotation, I merged them. It's not perfect, so there was some cropping to do. I was also able to merge my left and right pages into one document. Might be something to consider.

  2. SummerDay, thanks for the info! I have some questions about it - Do you loose some image crispness when you correct the rotation? Also, does it take a while to merge the images? I'm a little dismayed at how long it takes me to try to get good images.

  3. I posted a few free scrapbooking layouts for everyone to enjoy.

    great article thanks!