Thinking abstractly while scrapbooking

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Posted 6/21/2013 by Lisaj873 in General Scrappin'


PeaNut 556,801
June 2012
Posts: 410
Layouts: 7

Posted: 6/21/2013 9:59:24 PM
I have a hard time thinking abstractly sometimes when scrapbooking. For instance I got the sundrifter diecut pack. There are a lot of feathers in it. I wouldn't necessarily think about using a feather on my layout just because it is the right color unless it fit in with the topic of my layout. I also wouldn't think to use a number because that's how many people are in my photo or a word like thanks or something like that unless you could tell by the photo or page title that it relates in some way. I need to get past this I think so things aren't so limited. Shapes such as geotags or asterisks I wouldn't have a problem with using though because they look like just a shape and not something concrete.

Going Up

PeaNut 579,055
January 2013
Posts: 2,048
Layouts: 91

Count: 1
Posted: 6/22/2013 7:15:41 AM
i understand completely, and have been pushing myself to explore new techniques to use my pretty stash. when i put together a layout, i am finding that the supplies i choose are all geared to setting a mood or tone, so that when i or someone else looks at my albums, they feel as well as see the pages.

this layout came to mind straight away as i read your post. it's by a fellow pea and might be a way to introduce yourself to using items that don't "match" in the literal sense.

this talented young woman is on a design team, working with kits. i really like how she can seamlessly pull together little bits and pieces.

you could also try layering items that you don't think "go" with the layout so that the color is what comes through and not so much the motif. best wishes for happy scrapping!


PeaNut 280,931
October 2006
Posts: 532
Layouts: 0

Posted: 6/22/2013 8:11:31 AM
This is a struggle for me too. But I discovered that I look for things by color first so I have most of my supplies sorted by color. When I want an embellishment I think of the color and size only and I just pull out whatever I have that fits, then make final choices from that. SOmetimes I make fun connections I wouldn't have thought of otherwise.

But I still have a long way to go with this, for example, I don't consciously attach any meaning or think of shapes as a symbol for something. To me a feather is a good shape for a boy layout or a layout with an outdoor theme. In the end it's only going to mean something to me probably but I woudd like to teach myself to do more so I'm not limiting things so much.

Nancy Jo


PeaNut 501,296
March 2011
Posts: 868
Layouts: 10
Loc: Minnesota

Posted: 6/22/2013 8:54:52 AM
I struggle with this too. Things such as geotags, hot air balloons, feathers, or the big & symbol. I have to have a "reason" to use it on my layout or I just can't bring myself to use it. Even random sayings such as "We were here" or something equally as direct. I just can't use it unless its about a place we went or it relates in some way. It makes it hard to use an entire embellishment pack!

Purple Sparkles

PeaNut 3,486
March 2000
Posts: 623
Layouts: 7
Loc: In My Scrap Room

Posted: 6/22/2013 9:28:52 AM
Glitter Girl is very good at making use of abstract things. She's gotten me to loosen up a tad about using non-literal embellishments on my pages. I'm still taking baby steps, but her videos provide great inspiration. If you haven't watched her videos, I highly suggest them.



PeaNut 260,218
May 2006
Posts: 2,153
Layouts: 31
Loc: Missouri

Posted: 6/22/2013 9:49:46 AM
I would suggest thinking of the items in terms of color, size and building embellie clusters. I still refuse to use feathers, they are just odd on a layout


PeaNut 561,149
July 2012
Posts: 602
Layouts: 15

Posted: 6/22/2013 9:54:37 AM
maybe find a LO that you like where someone has done it and just scraplift them for your first try. It will get easier after that!!

likes shiny things

PeaNut 114,614
November 2003
Posts: 22,668
Layouts: 499
Loc: Ontario, Canada

Posted: 6/22/2013 10:08:55 AM
I have a hard time doing that, too! I'd look at a layout made by someone else and they'd have this really cool icon on there, that totally worked and looked awesome. It would be the kind of thing I'd normally just leave in my stash thinking, how am I supposed to use this?

I started looking at icons and images as shapes and colours. I find that using these shapes works best for ME if I don't combine too many different types on one page -- so I might use a typewriter and speech bubble on one page, but no other shapes, and on another page use feathers and hearts, but leave the stars for next time.

Give it a try! If you are really unsure you could place those image elements on your page, take a picture and leave it for a day or two. What do you think when you look at the photo or stop and look at your page? Do the elements work or still feel out of place to you? I find that things *appear* slightly different in photos than in person, and often use photos of my layouts to decide whether or not they are done or if they need something else.

See things that shine on Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 302,969
March 2007
Posts: 5,301
Layouts: 1
Loc: participating in WWR and RAA

Posted: 6/22/2013 10:09:45 AM
Along with thinking of them in terms of color and shape, I would also try thinking about images less literally and focus more on their "feel". I would use feathers with outdoor photos, particularly if it involved relaxing, because feathers have an outdoors, calm feel to me.

Hey! Where's my theme music?!?


PeaNut 433,880
August 2009
Posts: 565
Layouts: 0
Loc: NW Ohio

Posted: 6/22/2013 10:16:27 AM
I am trying to do this a little more, but honestly, for me, I don't want to do it too much. I don't want my family/kids to get distracted wondering why I put a feather on a layout of one of them fishing or riding a bike or something.


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