Are you ready for a new Blog Series at TLP? I am very excited to introduce to you all Dear Polly! You may have noticed her in this forum thread from a couple of weeks ago. Some of you asked some great questions for her and today is the day they will be answered! Now, if you posted in this thread and you don’t see your question here, never fear… it will most likely be featured in the future!
And you will certainly get the chance to ask more of your burning scrappy questions for future posts. Dear Polly is gonna be busy… and that’s how we want to keep it.
So, without further ado, here are your Dear Polly inquiries.
1. Dear Polly, how do i incorporate patterned papers onto my layouts without overwhelming the photos? Heather
- I do it in a few ways.
A. START with a tone-on-tone pattern paper as your background. Even a BUSY or HUGE flowers will be tone down if you are using tone-on-tone colors.
B. THINK SMALL – Everything in small doses is good, at least that is what people tells you, right? This is true about pattern papers. Find a template that has at least 3 small shapes and clip them to your pattern papers. Try to use odd number of shapes, it’s just more pleasing to the eyes.
C. MIX-SCALES – Mix the scales in your pattern papers. Use pieces that have a big scale, next to a small scale pattern paper. If your main focal point is a BIG FLORAL paper, then try a more geometric pattern with a smaller scale as your second pattern paper. For the third pattern it can be another floral but in a much smaller scale than the first one.
- Playing with paper is one of my favorite things. I’m not terribly good at it when it comes to background papers, but I looove to clip patterned papers to shapes. Shapes for me are often like an “element” on a page. I try to balance them in scale and color throughout the page.
- I love using busy background papers, but then I try to mat my photos, if you will, by more solid papers. This can be frames, elements surrounding it or true paper mats. This tends to draw the eye to the photo.
Here are a couple of examples of how I think patterned papers are used brilliantly.
2. Dear Polly, how do I cluster embellisments? Andrea
- I go with the Rule of 3 and try and use one stand-out element to highlight my photos and use 3 of the same element along with a multitude of elements that coordinate.
- It’s important for me to think of the page as dimensional (or paper). When layering elements in a cluster, place the flatter elements on the bottom and the more dimensional elements on top. And I also like to weave string or ribbon through clusters. Think “real”. And, of course, shadows are critical… which leads us to our next question…
Before we learn about shadows, let’s look at a couple of great clustery pages.
3. There were several Dear Polly questions on shadowing… newbie shadowing, banners, stitches. So here are some words of advice from her on shadows.
- Peppermint’s shadows (One Little Bird) are what I use, and when I have element on black papers I change the blend from linear to multiply…so it isn’t so heavy…and if you have warp, creating a new layer of your shadow is fun and you can warp that shadow to look so realistic!
Another way to get better shadows is to stalk the paper galleries…like Calico, and over at 2peas. See how it looks, and play.
- A good place to start is with Peppermint’s shadow tutorial. When shadowing, I try to keep in mind a few things. Papers are flat unless something is underneath them. Think about each object as you place it. Will it be under or above something? Is it naturally flat? The further I want an object to appear from the page, the more “distance” I give it. For example, using these settings in Photoshop: Linear Burn, 40% on a light paper, colo: #2C1901 – Distance: 35, Spread: 0 , Size: 42. Any item I place under that flower will have a lower distance value. Probably the best way to get better is to practice; don’t lean on actions as a go-to when starting out. Build up you shadows as you create a page. Checking out your favorite galleries/scrappers is also great way to get a sense of the type of shadowing you would like to achieve.
- As for Shadowing: I absolutely love Krista’s Drop Shadow Action
4. Dear Polly, How do I use templates more creatively? Jessica
- A fun way to mix things up us to combine 2 templates – just drag either just the photos or the entire template onto the first and scrap away.
You can either make the template items larger or smaller.
You can rotate the templates, either just to change the orientation or flip them horizontally/vertically.
Sometimes I turn off all layers on the template except for photo and paper layers so that I can create without the constrictions of exact embellishment/title/journaling placement.
Use all the photo/paper spots for papers and add your photos on top.
- I tend to like clean and simple designs, so with many templates, I hide layers I feel make it cluttered. I also like to select all layers above the background and shrink everything – move it around – or flip it. This makes templates very versatile and re-usable.
- Back in May, there was a fun tutorial on the blog on Merging Templates. Check it out here.
- And, of course, there was an MOC challenge on Combining Templates, using these free templates from Amy Martin. Take a look at this thread for more inspiration.
I hope Dear Polly answered some questions for you, and she will be back next month with more. Be on the lookout in the forum for a chance for you to ask your important or silly scrap/hybrid/pocket pages, etc… questions!