My dry eye symptoms persist so I have to refrain from using the computer. Argh!
But because I have to do warm compress constantly over the weekend, I stayed in most of the time. That means quite a bit of crafting done. I was still working on the birthday cards my mom "ordered". Then I also did some organization. Funny I was giving many items "one last chance" before I send them to donation. But after I have played with it, I had a change of heart. Do I really want to toss it? I asked myself. Then I put that item back in my usual organization rather than the box which will go to donation. I learned this weekend that I need to stay strong. Once I have decided to part with it, I should never look back. Why did I go back to that donation box??
As I was making cards for my mom, I had a little detour and made a quick and easy layout, using the new Magical paper from Close to My Heart.
I almost always start a layout with my pictures. This way, I can ensure that I'm focusing on my pictures. Then I choose my papers. That's right, I choose the papers that fit my pictures. At this point you may be wondering why I chose the Disney-themed paper for my pictures.
For the pictures above, for instance, I notice that my nephew J was in a baby blue bib and I was wearing dark colors. The background of the picture is my brother's house and it was bright and white because it was in the morning. It also showed a bit of his fancy kitchen.
In the selection process, I knew I wanted to have some blue in the background. Blue was actually my "must have" because I wanted baby J to be the focus. I knew that Magical has some blue so I took a look at it. There is a sheet of blue patterned paper, which is actually the back of the black paper I used above, showcasing a repeating pattern of tickets. I wanted to use that as a mat for my photos, but the patterns are quite too big to be shown as a border so that idea was aborted.
There is a white patterned paper with very small gray triangles repeating throughout the sheet. That is a perfect paper for photo mats - it has subtle patterns that bring interest but not too distracting; AND the patterns are small enough to be recognized. I brought that paper close to my photos and bingo!
Now that I've decided on the mats, I would love to use colors and patterns that show a contrast. The black patterned paper with camera motives was perfect. It's black background against the white-matted photos. That's the biggest contrast I can get in the world, right?
The next decision I made was to bring in blue to the page. At this point, I only have black and white! So I used a sheet of blue cardstock as the base of the page. I wanted to use the "Love this" 6*4 card as my title, so I naturally used two strips of red patterned paper to envelope the black background.
Throughout the whole process, I didn't do anything to "De-Disney" the paper. I focused on the pictures and find the right paper with the right pattern and colors to serve the purpose I wanted. And I must say, although the colors of Magical may suggest a lot of Disney, the patterns like ticket motif, cameras, triangles are very neutral. They are not Disney-bound. Some crafty friends turn away from Magical because they say they didn't have any Disney photos. But who says Magical is only good for a Disney trip?
So that's my paper selection process. I always focus on my pictures and try to use the papers that share common elements with my pictures. Did I mention that the sketch comes from Reflections, a great How-to book for scrapbooking? It helped a lot during the process! I knew from the beginning how many sheets I needed so I wouldn't have to search for more than necessary. :)
When we adopt the paper for our own use, we are making it more versatile and maximizing it. How nice!
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