- What do I already own that's similar? Is this different enough to justify the purchase?
- Is this similar to something else I've already used often on a layout? Does that similarity mean I'm more likely to use this new thing (because it's worked for me in the past) orless (because it feels repetitive)?
- Does this fit into the reality of my scrapbooking or the image of what scrappers are supposed to use? This question helps you think about why you want to buy this new product. As an example: I am consistently drawn to chipboard letters when I'm looking at new stuff. But when I'm actually scrapbooking, I tend to get frustrated by chipboard. Inevitably it doesn't stick (if self-adhesive) or the process of altering it is too time consuming. I know that most scrappers love chipboard. I love it too, in theory; I love it on other people's pages. But in the reality of my layouts, I don't use it that often.
- How will this product help me to tell a story? I find that last question to be the most clarifying. It lets me see the new products in a different light. Maybe a saying on a sticker reminds me of a story I haven't told yet, or of an experience I'd like to write more about. Sometimes color can evoke memories, or textures. Sometimes it is a shape—a leaf can remind me of how summer feels, even in the middle of winter, and spark the desire to scrap a summery story.
- If I'm altering with patterned paper, I nearly always paint the vertical edge first, with acrylic paint. Some of the paint will, of course, slop over onto the top of the letter or shape. Before the paint dries, I place the patterned paper right on top of the paint, then smooth it down. As it dries, the paint adheres the paper just as well as any glue, and I can skip the gluing step altogether.
- If the chipboard shape I'm using is self-adhesive and reversible, I alter the back side. This doesn't work, of course, for many letters (like F, G, L, and R), but it will work for some (like T, A, and V), and most shapes can be altered this way. I peel the backing off and then start sticking stuff down right on top of the adhesive, which is easier to work with than wet glue. Then I just glue the piece down on my layout.
- If you are in desperate need of two chipboard shapes, but you only have one, try peeling that one piece into two. Most chipboards are thick enough that they can take this abuse! The resulting two pieces might need some sanding or paint to look presentable again (make sure to peel carefully!), but you've solved your desperate plight.
- Although it seems like it would be too thick, chipboard can be sewn. Use a denim needle and a wide stitch length; sew slowly so your needle doesn't break. You also might have to adjust the tension, too. It looks nice when you're finished though!
Working with whatever type of product or medium you want, incorporate at least one botanical shape (flower, leaf, grass, tree, etc), one narrow rectangle, and one curvy shape (paisley, fleur-de-lis, swirl, wave, etc). Try for a mix of old and new supplies.
Celeste made this layout using the suggestions in the challenge:
I love this layout—the colors, the products, and, mostly, the journaling. I think the products do exactly what products should: they draw your eye to the photo and create a mood that enhances the story.
(Did you see that!? I used some chipboard!) Here is what I mean about mixing old and new. The yellow patterned paper (from Echo Park's For the Record line) is a new one I bought just a couple of days ago; the brown pattern is about a year old, the big flowers are somewhere in between, and I've had some of the small flowers for years. But when I opened up my flower drawer, I didn't look for new. I looked for what worked with the layout I had in mind.