Monday, April 03, 2006

Using Scrapbook Sketches for Inspiration

By Christina VanGinkel

There are sketches available from a variety of places to help you plan the layout of your next scrapbook page or pages. Many scrapbook magazines offer a sketch of every page and or design in their magazine, and numerous online sites offer them in various forms. To those of you who are new to scrapbooking, you might be wondering what a sketch is. I know I was confused the first time I heard the term used in conjunction with scrapbooking, believing it to be some form of embellishment that artists were sharing. A sketch is actually a blueprint of how a layout could look. It is a rough estimate of where to place the title, photos, borders, and other embellishments. It is, simply, a sketch of how a layout could be assembled.

What amazes me most when I look through all of these many sketches is how many different designs scrap bookers have been able to come up with to assemble a single or double page layout. Even when you consider in the different combinations of page sizes, such as 8 1/2" by 11" or 8" by 8" and the popular 12" by 12 ", it is still astounding the many different ways one page can be assembled!

Some of my favorite sources for sketches to use in my own layouts include:

Creative Sketches for Scrapbooking

Creative Sketches for Scrapbooking, by Becky Higgins is broken into sections depending on how many photographs you have to include in one layout. For example, if you have three photos to scrap, flip to the section that shows sketches that incorporate three photos, if you have a single photograph, just flip to the sketches that are designed around single photos, etc., etc. There are a total of fifty-two sketches, for a year's worth of scrapping inspiration. The sketches are all laid out in miniature in the back of the book, forming a very useful visual index, making this a fantastic book on all accounts. My only gripe about

Creative Sketches Volume Two

Creative Sketches Volume Two, by Becky Higgins is a nice follow up to volume one. These two together are enough sketches to keep any scrap booker, novice or experienced, making fresh layouts for a long time to come. This book does take into consideration that the user has access to a computer though, as some layouts include numerous (one shows fifteen) photos of a small nature. As my daughter pointed out to me though, those layouts could be used with traditional sized photos, with the many smaller block used as journaling or color blocks!

Quick and Easy Sketches for Scrapbookers

Quick and Easy Sketches for Scrapbookers, by Nicole Cummings is as essential a tool in your scrapbook supplies as your trimmer, scissors, and paper. It is full of innovative designs that will have you scrapping away many a day.

Besides these books on the subject, many magazines on the topic of scrapbooking routinely include sketches of the designs included in their pages. This is a great idea, as it allows the average reader to better visualize how the stunning layouts might work for their very own pages. I for one sometimes have a hard time looking at the layouts in a magazine, and translating them into a form that I could use for my own pages, and inspiration is the reason I ultimately buy the magazines in the first place. By including the sketches, it allows me to see beyond the glitz and glamour of many of the designs, and see how I might use my own supplies to achieve just as visually stunning results, for my own memories. My favorite scrapbook magazines that routinely include sketches in their pages include Creating Keepsakes and Scrapbook Answers.

There are also online sites that offer scrapbook sketches, free. I found quite an assortment by doing a search for Scrapbook Sketches and Free Scrapbook Sketches. Kindred Creations online actually has a nice selection of sketches for free that are from Becky Higgins, the author of the two Creative Sketches book I mentioned before, so be sure to check it out if you want to have a look at some of her work before purchasing one of the volumes.

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