Last Christmas was very special. Jim and I celebrated at our home on Martha's Vineyard with all of our children and of course, my darling grandson, Rigel. Sadly, it would be Jim's final Christmas with us, but it filled us all with numerous joyful memories, and left me with dozens of fabulous photographs to scrapbook!
We had a Christmas-themed layout (by Design Team member Jennifer Russel) posted on Let's Scrap and I jumped at the chance to create a layout with a wonderful photo of Rigel on Christmas Eve, standing in front of my Christmas tree, in awe of all the twinkly, magical ornaments.
The toughest part of beginning a layout (besides choosing the photos) is picking the right background paper to support the story that is being told as well as supplying visual impact. It's tricky business.
I began by laying my focus photo on a pile of Christmas-themed papers to see if anything jumped ahead of the pack- Then I tested the top contenders by laying the photo of Rigel in his bright red sweater and the Christmas tree over each one. I tried a pretty paper with a Christmas tree print- too soft. Then a gorgeous paper with old-fashioned Santa images- too bright. So I switched to solids: The green was too dull; the red was nice, but perhaps a bit much, so I tried a couple of softly patterned reds- Nice...I liked both of them, but did they support the storyline about Rigel's mesmerizing experience? Not really. So I tried some patterned scrapbooking paper that had images of Christmas ornaments on them... I loved the whimsy of this, but the paper on the left was too retro and the paper on the right was just the wrong color. In the end, I chose papers that I had tossed aside because they were the wrong size. I had trimmed the bottom boders off of them once upon a time, so they were no longer 12x12, and they were a bit flimsy, but gorgeous. Eureka! I mounted them onto firm red cardstock and suddenly had the PERFECT paper!
Silly me didn't snap a shot the the paper in my excitement (you'll have to wait for the reveal) -I feverishly went to work on the layout. I had my photos picked
-generally going with photos where Rigel was sporting his red sweater to
give the layout balance. I titled the page "A Martha's Vineyard
Christmas," I got my journaling block ready, and now it was time for the
embellishments. Remember the presents on the bottom of the scrapbooking
sketch? The base of the layout really did need something. I tried Christmas tree die cuts first (sorry about the glare in the photo):
Then I tried Poinsettas...
Then i came across the perfect little 3-D "stamp" images in my stash! They almost look like little presents, and even have a little sparkle. That's it!
Now, one problem I ran into is that the papers didn't line up well at the seam. This can happen with double-page layouts, and it may not be a horrible problem once in an album, but I'm a Design Team member at Let's Scrap, and it has to be perfect on the Main Page, or I won't be able to sleep at night, LOL! ...See what I mean? The border is OK, but the garlands don't line up!
Ha, ha...you got a little sneak peak of this gorgeous paper! So I placed an ornament sticker, that came with these papers, over the pesky area:
The photo's a little off-color, but you can see how well the holly on the green ornament hides the mis-matched garland.
You can also see that I covered up the blue & gold striped ornament on the left (above) with a 3-dimensional sticker that also has some festive bling on it. This is a great way to add interest and depth to your pages.
It also prompted me to add more bling-y accents to some of the other ornaments as well.
(On this close-up, you can also see the distressing on the corner of the photo on the right. It was something I read about - how scraping the sides of your photos creates a sort of "framing" and helps them pop. Well...I tried it. Not sure I'm a huge fan, but it added a little interest to the pictures on the right side...I didn't attempt it with the large photo.)
Now, if you ever get into a jam like that, and you don't happen to have a matching sticker, like I happened to have, don't lament! Just fussy-cut what you need -and be clever. I cut these ornaments from the area of the scrapbooking paper that was going to be hidden by the large photo. This is a great tip for stretching your supplies! I used my extra ornaments to create more interest on the pages. I also added some lovely little holly sprig rub-ons to add a little pizzaz to the title and to the journaling block, which I placed in a gilded frame. OH!!! I almost forgot... I added a really fun detail! I loved the top border of the paper I chose, but I didn't want to sacrifice the top of my Christmas tree to showcase it. I had already mounted my photo onto the paper, but I just had to fix it! So I fussy-cut the top of the tree in the photo and carefully trimmed around the garlands, so that I could slip the tree over the garland border. (This was very tricky, indeed!) And for a touch of whimsy, I even topped it off with a 3-D star! For some reason the color is off on this photo, but you get the idea...cute...right?
OK...you've been so patient...ready for the big reveal? Here you go... I know you want to see more detail, so here's the left side... And the right side... You like? I had a lot of fun with it. This Christmas will be a New Hampshire Christmas, as we are all headed for a huge family reunion at my sister's house, where I'm sure we will completely over-whelm my poor 91 year-old dad...you would think he would have earned a little peace and quite, but we will have none of that!
I hope you're all having a wonderful Holiday Season and I hope your Christmas will be as happy as ours was in these photos.
Merry Christmas from Enikö!
(I hope you let me know you were here by leaving a comment! It would make me happy!)