Friday, June 1, 2007

Planning the perfect scrapbook layout takes forethought, dedication and, of course, great pictures!


By Allie McComas

It was February, 1986. Yes, I remember it well. That was when I learned a life lesson that would stay with me the rest of my life. My Great Aunt "Emma", as I'll refer to her, brought over the first two out of her five photo albums that had pictures from her trip to the Middle East. The albums were each about the thickness of a dictionary (unabridged) and made an impressive "thud" when she eagerly plopped both of them in front of me.

As she stared at me expectantly, I obediently grabbed volume one. Inside, there were thousands upon thousands of rectangular pictures, perfectly lined up, six to a page, with a short description painstakingly typed, cut out and pasted under each picture.

If that weren't enough, she sat with me, as though I needed her help, and read each description out loud. Pointing to each, she said "Here I am wading in the Dead Sea. Here I am floating in the Dead Sea. Here I am getting out of the Dead Sea."

During that mind-numbing afternoon, a single word kept throbbing in my head. BOR-ING. Simple, rectangular photos in albums = BOR-ING!

If they weren't boring, I'd be writing about how to create an album just like Aunt Emma's. Thank goodness, most of us have evolved from the photo album to the art of scrapbooking. Can I get an Amen?

"Make sure your heart is in your work."

WARNING: Scrapbooking is very addictive! And, they have yet to invent "the patch" for it, so proceed with caution!

Scrapbooking is a very popular hobby these days because it offers a creative way to preserve your treasured memories. This enjoyable pastime allows your creative juices to flow as you craft wonderful, thematic pages of cherished moments.

But before you do anything, you must start with an idea and a blank canvas. You must decide what these pages will contain. You have to be pretty picky about the pictures, color schemes and embellishments you want included in your layout.

Start with your pictures (or even a single picture), the highlight of the page. Look at the colors in the picture. Think about placement, cropping, borders, and the supporting thematic elements for the picture. You want a design or layout that is pleasing to the eye and urges your viewers to turn the page to see more. It must have balance and flow. A good example of this is shown in Figure A.