Sunday, June 5

Super Sketches

As Seen in GingerScrapsStreet Magazine May 2011

Super Sketches
Julie Ann Shahin

I can’t remember how I ever scrapped before I discovered sketches and templates. I do remember the moment I first heard of my favorite sketch designer, Becky Fleck, on a message board online. She was just starting out sharing her sketches at the time. Now today, she is a best-selling author of two fabulous books: Scrapbook Page Maps: Sketches for Creative Layouts and Scrapbook Page Maps 2: More Sketches for Creative Layouts and Cards. 

What are sketches/templates, and why do I love them so much? A sketch is a drawing, a map, or a rough draft, of what your layout will look like. It shows the size of your layout, where the photo(s) will go, patterned papers, and embellishments placement. The sketch comes first, then you use it as a guide when creating your layout. A template is the same thing, yet it is used in digital scrapbooking, and it comes as a layered photoshop document. In digital scrapbooking, you drag your photo or embellishment onto the specified layer, move it into place, and clip it to the template if appropriate. I love it because it makes scrapbooking one step easier, faster, and more fun! 

There’s no excuse that “I don’t have enough time” when you use a sketch or a template!
The three layouts on this page were all created using the same sketch. These designers were participants on a sketch challenge blog co-founded by a friend of mine, Diana Fisher. The blog is called, Sketchy Thursdays. You can find a copy of the sketch they used, and all the sketch/template resource information in this article on the Scrapstreet Blog

Family, Food, Fun by Sandra van der Geest 
Supplies: Paper: Sassafras Lass, Pebbles, American Crafts Dear Lizzy, Cardstock: Bazill Basics, Tags: Jenni Bowlin, Stickers: Sassafras Lass, Felt: K&Company, Buttons: Making Memories, Ink: Stazon, Markers: Sakura, Sketch: Sketchy Thursdays #2.3, Stamps: Kars.
Design Notes: This layout is 8.5” x 11”. I put the die cut stickers on cardstock first and cut them out. Now I could move them around over my layout until I was satisfied, before I attached them with some foamblocks. I also layered these with some buttons to create a more dimensional embellishment. I created the red folded-flower myself, as well as the beads on the left corner. I created the title by stamping the letters on patterned paper and cutting them out.
Editor’s Note: Sandra rotated the sketch 90 degrees, having the three photos in the sketch along the bottom of the layout, instead of along the side. I love all the color, and the flowers and buttons!
Journaling: (translation) On a Saturday afternoon, making our own pasta. Fun to do and it tastes very well too!

Let’s Adventure by sekky 
Supplies: Paper: October Afternoon, Cardstock: Core'dinations, Chipboard: Maya Road, Alphabet: Jillibean Soup, Alphabet Stickers: Making Memories, Die Cuts: Basic Grey, Journaling Spots: Pink Paislee, Stickers: Basic Grey, Buttons: My Minds Eye, Charms: American Crafts, Paint: Gesso, Ink: Tsukineko, Sketch: Sketchy Thursday 2.03, Other: ribbon.  Tools: Electronic Cutter: EK Success, Other: Tim Holtz, EK Success.
Editor’s Note: I love all the texture in this layout from the sanded cardstock, to the distressed edges of the patterned paper, to the corrugated alpha, to the really cool ribbon. Sekky stayed pretty true to the sketch, keeping the three photos along the side, and putting an element along the right side of the bottom two photos. Yet she added a fourth focal point photo, and takes the sketch a step further!

Rock Star by Anne Pennington 
Supplies: Paper: Prima Marketing, Chipboard: K & Company, Bling: Prima Marketing.
Design Notes: I used my Exacto knife to cut around the wings of the skull design on the paper in order to slip the pink polka dot paper under to achieve a raised embellishment for my layout.
Editor’s Note: Anne’s layout follows the sketch the most closely of three layouts here, with the rounded edge of the pink patterned paper, and the placement of the houndstooth tape and title. Yet she goes a little wild and “colors outside the lines”, so to speak, and that’s why I love this layout!

Sometimes a template can be more than just a sketch. Especially in digital scrapbooking, there are many varieties to chose from:
● paper templates to create various paper effects such as holes in your paper
● photo templates like storyboards, or layer masks to create a blending effect with your photo
● border templates such as a scalloped border which is quite popular
● card, craft, and hybrid templates
● text templates especially shaped text for Photoshop Elements users
● shape templates such as pumpkins and snowmen, or icons and symbols 

The next three layouts demonstrate the use of shape templates to create beautiful pages. ova used an Altered Art Smart Start template to make the rolling birdcage her own. Candy used a large heart puzzle template to make a very sweet family page. Georgia used a girl symbol template to make an eye-catching page about her niece, adding just the right embellishments! 

I Love You by zotova 

Digital Supplies: Templates: Altered Art Smart Starts No. 6 By Tangie Baxter Designs (Scrapbookgraphics), Hearts: Hand Cut Collage Fodder: Hearts By Tangie Baxter Designs (Scrapbookgraphics),, Border, papers: Art Journal Caravan 2011 Provisions {Parcel 05} By Tangie Baxter Designs (Scrapbookgraphics), Software: Adobe Photoshop CS4, Fonts: BetinaScriptExtraCTT. 

Editor’s Note: This layout by zotova caught my eye because of it’s whimsicality. I love how she made the template into an artsy page, filling the birdcage with collaged hearts. She also added in personal photos into the hearts for a fun and creative result! 

Journaling: Present freedom to the feelings and tell: I love you!!! 

Pieces of My Heart by Candy Risher 

Digital Supplies: Kit: Frolic by Sweet Tomato Designs (Polka Dot Plum), Template: I {Heart} You Template Set by Sweet Tomato Designs (Polka Dot Plum), Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5, Fonts: Sunshine in my Soul, Sketch Block. 

Design Notes: I used the magic wand to select each piece of the puzzle heart and used the individual pieces as clipping masks for my pictures and papers. I just centered the picture over the piece I wanted it to cover and used Alt+Command+G to clip the photo to the puzzle shape. I also used that technique for the paper strips behind the heart. This makes using templates super easy! 

A Girl Thing by Georgia Visacri 

Digital Supplies: Template: Boy and Girl Things by Studio Basic Designs (DigiscrappersBrasil) Papers: Plaid Addict by Rachel Young (The Lilypad), Silly Girl Kit by Jenn Barrette and Valorie Wibbens (The Lilypad), Dwell Kit by Creashens (Catscrap), Kitschy Kitchen Kit by Jenn Barrette and Sahlin Studio (The Lilypad), Flower: Vintage Stacked Flowers by Kitschy Digitals (Jessica Sprague), Stitches: In Stitches - Brights by Robyn Meierotto (Design House Digital) Ribbons: Ironed Flat Ribbons by Gina Miller (The Lilypad), Apron String Ribbons by Gina Miller (The Lilypad), Journal Card: Kitschy Kitchen by Jenn Barrette and Sahlin Studio (The Lilypad) Buttons: Thrift Store Grab Bag by Kitschy Digitals (Jessica Sprague), Crown: Ultimate Art Doll Collection by SherrieJD and Tangie Baxter (Scrapbookgraphics), Alphabets: Sporq (Dafont) and Pea Nicki (Kevin and Amanda), Photoshop Action: Little Honey Bee my My4Hens Photography and Torn Paper by Atomic Cupcake, Software: Photoshop CS3. 

Design Notes: I've always enjoyed working with digital templates: they allow us to create our pages faster and easily and also, to taste how it is to scrapbook in someone else's style and try a different design from our usual one. I think this one was just perfect to talk about my niece's love for girly things, she's so little and already loves everything that almost every girls like their entire lives: pink, jewelry, shoes, clothes, etc etc. I used a font for the title to create a retro feel. 

Journaling: cute colorful clothes, nail polish, sunglasses, shoes shoes shoes!, glitter, pink and purple, pearls and fake jewelry, lip gloss, princess bed...

So whether you are going with traditional paper scrapbooking like Andrea did making custom embellishments using her Cricut for her sketch, or hybrid like Marie in Pioneer Girl starting with digital and ending with a stapled tag, or going all digital using a layered template as I did with the layout “My Man”, scrapbooking is much simpler with a sketch or a template!
You may end up with an addiction to sketches and love templates as much as I do! You’ll find that you can be just as creative as ever using your imagination.
Here are some great sites on the topic:
PageMaps - digi and printable sketches
Card Positioning Systems - card sketches 

Valentine Mantle Decor by Andrea Amu 

Supplies:  Cardstock: Couture Cardstock, Bazzill Basics, The Paper Company, Ink: Staz-On, Tsunkineko, Sketch: Allison Davis, Adhesive: EK Success, Paper Heart Doily: Target. Tools: Electronic Cutter: Cricut Provo Craft, Cartridges: Cricut Provo Craft, Pounce Wheel Tool: Making Memories. Digital Supplies: Happy Holidays Houndstooth Papers: Chertel Designs 2009 by Chris Hertel, Fonts: Brush455 BT, Microsoft word. 

Design Notes: I love using sketches as an inspirational springboard for my own scrapbooking, and Allison Davis’s sketches from her site, are some of my personal favorites to follow! Here I used one of her 1 page sketch designs, sketch #3 to create my own page. I did my own variations by omitting 3 of the 3x3 photos and opting to add some Cricut accents in the blocks instead, and by changing up the journaling location and photo sizes a bit.

Journaling: This year I decided to do something out of the normal and decorate our mantle with some silver and red bling and love tokens for the Valentine season! I even decorated the girls’ remembrance box with some cute festive friends! 

Pioneer Girl by Marie Lottermoser 

Supplies: Other: ribbon, staples. Digital Supplies: Kit: Collection Manuscrite: by Katie Pertiet ( Tag: Urban Junque Collage kit by Rhonna Farrer (, Software: Photoshop CS5, Fonts: Euphemia, Smith Typewriter, Cambria. 

Design Notes: This is a hybrid page using a sketch by Becky Higgins from her book Family History Scrapbooking. 

Journaling: Grandmother Eila at the age of 7 years old. She grew up on a farm in Parma. In the first photo she is washing her buggy and in the second photo she is walking to school. 

My Man by Julie Ann Shahin 

Digital Supplies: Template: Altered Art Smart Starts No. 4 by Tangie Baxter Designs (Scrapbookgraphics), Storyboard: CoffeeShop Five Storyboard by Rita (CoffeeTeaPhotography Blog), Papers: Darkroom Collab by Tangie Baxter Designs and DeCrow Designs (Scrapbookgraphics), She Journals, Journal Anthology II, Journal Anthology V, Sing Sing (from August Mystery Case) by Tangie Baxter Designs (Scrapbookgraphics), Splatter: Splattergraffiti Millenium Treehouse, Happenstance by Tangie Baxter Designs (Scrapbookgraphics), Alpha, Stitching: Art Stomp! Collab w/ Roben-Marie Designs by Tangie Baxter Designs (Scrapbookgraphics), Star: Hand Cut Collage Fodder: Stars by Tangie Baxter Designs (Scrapbookgraphics), Piano graphics: Art Journal Caravan Provisions {Parcel 08} Tangie Baxter with Anne Sexton by Anne Sexton (Scrapbookgraphics), Bolthead: {TBD Classic Collabs} Treetop Serenade Tangie Baxter Collab with Sherriejd by Sherriejd (Scrapbookgraphics), Staple: Phineas Comes to Tea by Tangie Baxter Designs (Scrapbookgraphics), Word Art: Musical Interlude by Kim Hill (A Cherry On Top). Font: Mock Turtle Art Journaling Font by Tangie Baxter (Scrapbookgraphics). Software: Photoshop Elements 7. 

Design Notes: I rotated this template 90 degrees right in Photoshop Elements to make it more unique. Orange is my husband’s favorite color, so since the photos didn’t have any color, I thought orange would be a great backdrop and make this layout flashy. I do love color so when the template called for splatters along the border at the bottom, I chose one that was fun and colorful, co-ordinating with the orange. I absolutely love Tangie Baxter’s Paperworn Art Journal Styles that allow you to make the paint look like it actually blends into the paper below it. I am really happy with this template and how it showcases these photos I took of my husband and his favorite passion. 

Journaling: I love being married to a music man. He understands my art and I understand his. I love hearing his music everyday, knowing he’s following his passion and is happy. 2011

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