Monday, August 13, 2012

Take a Shortcut



There are so many tips, techniques, templates, and tools that make scrapbooking very easy these days.  No longer do you have to come up with an (original) idea.  I'm all about easy and I love shortcuts!  I like saving time, money and preventing headache(s) on each page and/or project.

Asking for and getting help with a page design is the fastest way to a finished layout. Sketches, templates and kits allow me to put more focus on my pictures and the stories, i.e., the bones.  A good layout, simply has good 'bones'.  Scraplifting (yes, it's legal and used heavily by all scrapbookers) always helps me when I don't feel creative or I'm stuck in a rut.

I use sketches and templates with almost every page.  I even sketch my own designs and include little post-it notes and include them with my power layouts as I pack for a crop.  Sometimes I scribble a magazine reference, or a page #, or some other tidbit to help jog my memory when I actually sit down to create the layout.

I also tend to buy matchy-matchy product (the manufacturer has already done the hard work for me).  Ninety-nine percent of the time, I will buy the whole line when it makes it debut (gasp! - I can't believe I just wrote that!).  Then, after gathering all of the patterned paper and the embellishments, I head over to the cardstock area and buy coordinating cardstock (before I leave the store!).  I package it all up together in my studio so that it's easy to find (by the way, I file by theme -- more on that later).  Sometimes not only will I buy an entire line, but I will also buy coordinating or similar lines from the same manufacturer.  Often they are interchangeable. 

Here are three reasons why I don't "recreate the wheel" when I scrapbook:

1. Good Design - Sometimes my creative mojo just isn't happening. Relying on a great sketch or template helps me create an attractive page without a lot of brain damage.  In my busy life and because I take waaaayy too many pictures, having a design shortcut makes all the difference.  If you love something you've seen somewhere, what is the harm in personally recreating it?  I print mine and keep them handy in "My Inspiration" notebook.

       Here are my top two places for printable sketches:
2. Less Clutter - When I start with a sketch or template, I know what supplies I need up front. I can quickly shop my stash like I would the grocery store using a shopping list. There is less mess and clean up is easier. I find that a sketch or template helps me limit the choices too -- there are way too many "really cute" papers or "fabulous" embellishments in my stash tempting me.

3. Out of the Box - Like most scrapbookers, I tend to navigate towards the same types of page designs again and again. Using a sketch or template helps me move out of my comfort zone and try a new design approach on for size. I definitely have my go-to sketches.  I've used some over and over.  Simply rotating the sketch 90 degrees, or the flipping the photo orientation, or swapping the right side with the left keeps a sketch fresh.

Believe me, in the 13 years I've been scrapbooking, I have used every template ever invented and read every magazine or design/idea book ever written.  Ever.


  1. I totally agree with your post. I do the same thing and find this help make scrapping less stressful! Thanks for your inspiration over at Let's Scrap.

  2. Another great, thoughtful and powerful post, Judy! And, I couldn't agree more. Personally, I have adopted the KISS technique (paraphrased somewhat here): Keep It Simple, Scrapper!