I have a new layout up over at Kerri Bradford Studio today. It's not often these days that I have new photos to scrap with. But every few months, I take photos for this adorable little family. This is my cousin Brad, and his wife Issa, and their kiddos, Zachary and Madison. I'm behind on editing photos for them, from the last two times we've gotten together, but I just had to edit a few of them to use on a new layout.
I know I've mentioned this before, but I'm going to mention it again. I remember talking to a scrapper friend (who does not own a die cut machine) a few years ago, and she commented on how if she had a die cut machine, she could probably get by with only cardstock, patterned paper, and die cuts. I thought she was crazy. But I'm finding that as Kerri's store grows and grows, with new kits popping up almost weekly, it's becoming even easier to create layouts using only my Cameo and paper, and just a small sprinkling of basic embellishments to finish off the pages!
One of the things that I love to do when I sit down to create using Kerri's cut files (or even from the Silhouette store), is to pull my photos directly into my Silhouette software to help with the planning of my layouts. Did you know you can pull your photos into your software? You just click on "open", and then make sure to select "all files", so that it will show your photos, instead of only wanting to show you Silhouette files.
I simply open up each photo and size it to the exact same size that I've printed that photo. This allows me to move the photos around on my cutting mat (within the software), and figure out where I want my photos to be on the page. I start playing around with different shapes, backgrounds, words, and phrases, until I come up with exactly what I want. I always save what I'm doing as I'm working, since I usually don't do my planning and cutting at the same time, or even on the same day or week. And if there's any shapes that I think I might want to use, but I'm not positive, I just move them to the side of the cutting area. This way, I can swap pieces out if needed, and those shapes are all still there when I pull up my saved file to work on it again.
Another advantage of planning out the page design this way, is that you can size all of your cut files according to how they fit on the page with the photos, so you have a much better chance of cutting them the right size, instead of guessing how small/big they need to be. It's always a good thing when I don't have to cut things several times, because my "guessing" was off.
Once I have the design set up the way I want it, I separate the shapes and start the cutting process. After everything is cut, I use my planning "layout" as a guide to simply place everything where it belongs on the page.
For this layout, I had a pretty good idea where I wanted my photos to fall on the page. I wanted to create a grid-like design for the page, so the first few shapes I picked where these smaller background pieces from the Life Centrals: Circles kit and the Life Additions: Backgrounds kit. I sized them both to 3x4" and cut them from pink tone-on-tone patterned papers.
I cut the word "perfect", from the Something To Say kit, from green cardstock, to add a bit of green to the page to compliment the green in my photos. And the fun little "date" cut is from the Say What 3 kit, which I cut from the brown tone-on-tone patterned paper that I used for my title. I cut both of those from white cardstock as well, and layered them together.
I knew I wanted to use one of Kerri's handbrushed script words for my title, so I chose "family" from the All In The Family kit. I added the "love" from the February Fourteen kit to complete my title. I cut both words from patterned paper and white cardstock, and layered them together.
While I love to dig through my patterned paper collection and mix and match from different manufacturers, sometimes I don't want to put that much thought into things. I made my choices very simple for this layout, as all of my patterned papers came from Pebbles. With the pinks, blues, and greens in the photos, my mind immediately went to Pebbles. I also am a huge fan of their tone-on-tone patterns and knew they'd be perfect for this layout.
A lot of the patterned papers are on the older side, but they're still favorites of mine. The tan text pattern is a newer one, and I always love a good text paper for backgrounds. I pulled the cute little clouds from Kerri's newer Happy Camper kit. They were perfect for adding in a little blue to the page, to go with the boy's shirts.
Like I mentioned earlier, with all the fun die-cutting pieces, I find that I don't need a ton of embellishments on my page. I did add a few basic ones here, and they're all from Pebbles as well. A few buttons, a few enamel dots, and a chipboard flower.
I didn't end up with very much green on the page, even though I had lots of green in the photos. So I cut two hearts, from the XOXO kit, and and ran them both thru a dotted embossing folder. I layered them together and machine stitched down the center, so the sides of the top heart have some lift to them.
I find that if I take a bit of time to plan out my pages like this ahead of time, everything comes together so much quicker once I sit down to actually work on it. I start with all of the cutting, and then piece it all together just like I had planned out, and then finish it with the journaling, machine stitching, and embellishing. Always a good thing when pages can magic themselves together so easily.