I'm back to talk more about tackling Christmases past. If you haven't yet read my post from Monday, you might want to read that first, since it explains the why, what, and how about how this project started. You can check it out HERE.
I worked on my first two double page layouts last weekend, to share for my feature on the Scrapbook & Cards Today blog today.
On this first layout, from our 2013 Christmas get-together with my side of the family, I got a total of 18 photos on my two page layout. I mentioned this in my previous post, but I really do aim to get the majority of my photos on the page. And I did just that here. I still had some photos left over that I didn't use, but most were duplicates or photos that looked very similiar.
When I have lots of photos to include, I will often create a 12x12” photo collage for one side of the two page spread. I then create a smaller collage to include on the opposite page of the spread, which still gives me room to include a bit of patterned paper, my title, journaling (if I feel it’s necessary), and a few simple embellishments.
***When I first started thinking about tackling this project, I had THIS layout in mind, as I just loved the overall design.
Knowing that I wasn’t going to have room to add a ton of product really helped narrow down my choices as far as what I wanted to include. I stuck to 3-4 patterned papers for each layout. I have picked up some Christmas papers here and there, and have some olders ones in my stash as well. I looked thru all of those first, and then if needed, will find everyday papers to fill in the gaps.
I picked out three patterned papers from Simple Stories for this layout, and you can see that they're really not themed papers, but more simple patterns. You'll also noticed that I hardly used any patterned paper at all. I only needed a few strips of patterned paper to add to the page, and then I did use the same patterned papers to die cut my title as well.
My first choice for my titles was to die cut them with my Silhouette Cameo. These layouts end up being pretty "flat", especially since one side of the spread is just a large photo collage. So the die cut title keeps with the look. Also, I just really, really love die cut titles! Although I am open to mixing in some stickers or chipboard alphas if I decide I need them.
When it came to embellishing, I knew I would keep it simple by using brads, buttons, and a few basic punches. I also have a small stash of Christmas themed embellishments, both old and new, that I may pull from if they coordinate. These tags are a great example. They're from My Mind's Eye, and I've had them for about two years. They matched the Simple Stories papers so well, it's like they were meant to be used together. Those came jus as you see them too. The layered tags, with the brads already there.
I pulled the 4x4" "Be Merry and Bright" die cut card from the Simple Stories collection as well, as it matched the cream/yellowish patterned paper that I used for my title. It also helped fill up the space on the left side of the page, since I wasn't going to add any journaling.
Journaling. I guess that's something I should mention. I almost always journal on my layouts, even if it's something short and sweet. But I don't necessarily feel like I need to journal on these Christmas layouts. Maybe I'm wrong, and maybe I should be writing something down. When you get down to it, our family Christmas get-togethers are a lot alike. We're usually at my parents house, it's the same family members (every few years, we get a few extra family members that visit from out of state), we do the same gift exchange game, and eat a lot of the same foods. I feel like if I were to journal on these pages, it would be the same thing every year.
Both of the photo templates that I used on this layout are from Kerri Bradford's Storyboard #7 kit. This smaller template isn't too tall in size, so that I still had plenty of room to groove at the top of the page. I did combine a few of the openings in the template, since it was originally set up for 8 photos, and I only used 6 photos.
This was mainly because of the orientation of my photos, and not being able to crop them all down small enough to fit the smaller openings. So I just combined two openings, in several different places, in order to fit a wider photo. I actually did a video tutorial on this a few years ago, which you can view HERE.
This is by far my favorite photo template to use when I want a full page collage. Like I said, it's from Kerri Bradford's Storyboard #7 kit. That kit has another full page template as well, but this one just seems to work really well for my photos, while not making all of the photos too teeny tiny.
I always adhere these full page photo collages to a sheet of cardstock, just to make them a bit more stable. I know they get slipped into an album, so it's not that they necessarily need the extra stability. But it definately helps when I'm trying to photograph them.
My second layout is from our 2012 Christmas get-together with my side of the family. I used the same 12x12” photo template as I used in the first layout, but I used a slightly different template for the smaller collage on the first page. I then added two individual 3x4" photos right above the smaller photo collage, for a total of 20 photos on this spread.
But that wasn’t enough, as I still had leftover photos that I wanted to include. Some years I take more photos than others. This was one of those years.
So I also created two 6x12” photo collages, using Kerri Bradford's Picture That: Go Long kit, which I am including in a 6x12” page protector that will be inserted between these two pages in my album, for a grand total of 29 photos. Kind of hard to see here, as the photos all blend together, but it's there.
I feel like the photo of my brother in the orange cone hat really clashes with the rest of the page. Lol. There's a story behind that. And it's not even a hat. It's been traveling around our family for years, and is sort of an inside joke :)
I used a mix of die cut words, using my Cameo, and chipboard alphas for the title on this layout. See that word "love" there? It's such a skinny little outline word, but I love it. I was running it thru my Xyron sticker maker thing, and it totally ate it up. It was a jumbled mess. But I really didn't want to re-cut it, since I had already put my Cameo away and really didn't want to set it all back up again, dragging my laptop back into my scraproom.
So I did the best I could to un-jumble the word and re-shape it, as most of the backside did end up with adhesive on it. It doesn't look perfect, but it's good enough for me. And I even told myself that "no one will ever know, except for when you tell them all about it on your blog". Lol.
The silver chipboard alphas were from the dollar section at Target last year. I’m pretty sure I bought about 14 packs of them, because silver was all the rage at the time, and because I loved the font. And because they were only a dollar. I know, I know. By buying so many packs, they soon became a $14 purchase, but you know you need several packs in order to spell out anything when you only get one of each letter in the pack. Lol. It felt nice to actually use a few of them!
Instead of adding a simple strip of the black text patterned paper along the top of the page, I used a scalloped edged banner punch to create the fun row of flags across the top of the page. I also wanted a bit more silver to tie in with the chipboard letters, so I used my scalloped border punch on a sheet of silver glittered paper to create a thin border strip to add along the side of the page.
Personally, I have no problem with having layouts that look very similar in my albums. Usually, these layouts don’t end up next to each other, so it’s not going to be super obvious that I used the same basic page design. This is especially true with Christmas layouts, since they’re a full year apart in the albums.
I figure if using the same basic design, some of the same elements, and even the same photo templates helps me tackle something that I’ve been avoiding, then it’s all good. I would rather create quick and easy pages and “get it done” … then to keep pushing these photos and memories aside, all because they’re subjects or themes that I either don’t enjoy doing, or am too overwhelmed to dig into.
I'm hoping to have a few more of these to share next week, if all goes as planned. Stay tuned.