Hello scrappy friends! It’s Amy. Today I’m going to share one of my favorite ways to get into a scrapbooking “flow,” so that one layout follows the previous one quickly and with less struggle. I think of it as an inspiration chain, and I challenge myself to do this every once in a while, instead of being very regimented in what layout I do next. (Which I sometimes am!)
First off, I start with something that inspires me.
Then, as I’m making that layout, I pay attention to my feelings (thoughts, ideas, connections to other stories, random memories) and to how I’m using my supplies, with the goal of using something from the first layout on my next layout. Here’s how it works:
I was reading blogs one night and I came across this image from Shimelle Laine’s blog:
The quote from Alice in Wonderland made me think about how it felt when my youngest was little, and always up before everyone else or, once my Bigs had gone to school, at home alone with me. So I decided that quote would form the basis of my next layout, even though I don’t have any of those wood veneer strips. (Little known scrapbooking fact: You don’t always have to own a scrapbooking product to “use” it!) This is the layout I made:
I always start my layouts by writing my journaling, and this little bit of text starts with the words “you & me.” So I was delighted, in that serendipitous way, when I turned over the green polka-dot paper I used to cut out the word “six” with, and found it had journaling cards, one of which had the same words. The "You & Me" card didn’t fit with the feel I wanted for this layout, though (one doesn’t need two titles, yes?), so then I knew I had the spark for my next layout.
Except then I struggled a little bit, because I nearly always start my layouts based on a story, not a supply. And my Inner English Teacher wouldn’t let me use it for a “things we do together” sort of list (because that would be “you & I,” not “you & me”). So I turned to my journal for a story, and I found a bit I’d written about my parent’s back yard, which made me think of a photo of me with my son Nathan…and I was ready to go:
I didn’t use the words straight from my journal. I wrote something new based on the original spark, but made it connect with Nathan.
Part of why I wanted to use the “you & me” card on a layout about Nathan is those orange letters. Orange is his favorite color! As I worked, I thought about our family’s connection with orange. I had never, in my entire life, owned something orange until I met the boy who would become my husband. He had an orange t-shirt and it was like a little, tiny epiphany for me—ah! People wear orange!—and I’ve been fond of orange ever since. (I should turn that memory into a layout!) So I followed that little spark of inspiration and, for my next layout, went looking for some photos I could use with orange supplies. I opened up my 2006 photo folder, did a search for “Jake,” and started browsing. (I try to label most of my photo folders with the names of the people in them, to make finding images of one specific kid easier.) The orange stripes on his shirt in these photos were just right for some orange embellishments:
For this layout, I dug deep into the bottom of my color drawers, to find some products I haven’t used for quite a while. Which means none of these supplies are particularly new, but I’m OK with that. I am working on thinking of my supplies as a source rather than a stash and it is helping me to use more!
I like this taking this “inspiration chain” approach to layouts because it forces me to think in new ways. I nearly always begin my layouts with a story to build on, which of course makes me happy, but following sparks instead of stories tends to lead me to stories I might not tell otherwise. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to go make that layout about our family history with orange!