I've worked all day on the worst scrapbook page I've ever done. *UPDATE WITH FINAL RESULT*

Two Peas is Closing
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Posted 1/19/2013 by Belia in General Scrappin'


PeaNut 503,375
March 2011
Posts: 1,411
Layouts: 3

Posted: 1/19/2013 10:49:03 PM

Here's what I decided on for the final page: final result

Thank you so much for all of the feedback (and commiseration!) You had so many good ideas- I especially liked the idea of using vellum, except I don't have any and am on a freeze, or trimming around the outside and adding a border, but I couldn't spare the room.

The page is still busy, but I tried to tone it down even more and add some movement. Whoever said that there was too much going on and your eyes kept bouncing around was exactly right!!!

I learned so much! Thanks!


UPDATE: So here's the link to the page in my gallery:

hot christmas theme park mess

The first image is when I stopped and was like, WHOA.
The second image is as far as I got last night in fixing it.

Honestly, this morning I don't hate it as much as last night. I just hate how the pictures are lost in all of the PP chaos. Any suggestions as to where I can go from here would be awesome!

P.S. This is Santa's Village outside of Chicago. Didn't even know there was one in NH!

OP: Seriously. I don't know whether to laugh or cry! It looks like Christmas threw up all over the page.

I'm not a perfectionist or anything, but I've NEVER gotten 3/4 done with a page and said "OMG This is horrible!" and started tearing things off and covering things up. NEVER.

I really should have taken a picture for y'all, but I am too embarrassed! It's a 2-pager with 9 photos from a local amusement park called Santa's Village. I started with a color-blocked-ish LO, and I figured I'd put some Christmas patterned paper I got from a stack at HL in the open blocks, plus a little journaling and a title.

I have no idea why it went so wrong because the papers are all from the same stack, but it is so busy and just a HOT MESS.


Anyone ever BTDT? Or have any idea what I could do to salvage this, sight unseen? (yeah right...)


PeaNut 478,124
August 2010
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Posted: 1/19/2013 11:01:40 PM
oh my...I think you just described my last 2 scrapping sessions to the tee! Probably why I haven't scrapped in 2 months. I am determined to try tomorrow and not have high expectations. Also, when this happens, I just move on and try not to dwell on it. Since I scrap to preserve memories and to have fun, I just chalk it up to "not one of my best" and move on. I rarely redo it or stress too much. I just don't pull that one out for people to see



PeaNut 281,136
October 2006
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Loc: DFW, TX

Posted: 1/19/2013 11:03:02 PM
I'm so sorry! Maybe replace some of the patterned areas with a solid color (maybe even a cream, white or Kraft) to tone it down a little? That is frustrating!

Honestly, I have gotten done with a layout and hated it, and moved right along anyway. But I know there are many others in the "redo it if you don't like it" camp.

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PeaNut 416,788
March 2009
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Posted: 1/19/2013 11:05:42 PM
Me! Some of the worst pages I've ever done were Christmas ones too.... and the more I worked on them, the worse they got!

It may be time to cut it up. If there are parts that you like - this photo on that paper - crop where you begin to not like it. Think of the divided pocket pages. Would this photo(s) work in a small area like that? Could you divide a your page graphically like that if you don't want to use the divided pocket pages?

Sound too crazy?

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PeaNut 272,954
August 2006
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Posted: 1/19/2013 11:09:22 PM
This is why I don't glue anything down till I am sure I like my layout. I make my layers, embellishment, etc., but wait for adhering it.

And yes, I have totally had to start over once or twice because a page was just turning out too busy or whatever.

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PeaNut 314,572
May 2007
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Loc: Queensland, Australia

Posted: 1/20/2013 7:06:11 AM
Happens to the best of us.

I stopped doing Christmas layouts, could just can never get them looking right.
I went through a period a few years back where everything I did was like that but through that I learnt to never glue anything down till I am 100% sure and happy about what it looks like, too much paper got ruined by me pulling layouts apart to try and slavage things.


PeaNut 426,757
June 2009
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Posted: 1/20/2013 7:15:28 AM
If I get 3/4 through my layout and I cant work out where it's going wrong I usually put it away and come back to it later with fresh eyes. If you really hate it and the photos are important then I'd say pull the photos off and start from scratch. You might be able to pull a few elements you did like onto the new page and find the right balance.

I am all for sticking it down as I go but I try and use AC dot adhesive (or whatever it's called - glitter girls favourite) because then I can still tweak it if needed. I can't wait till its all done to adhere because I find that once I remove everything it never goes back into the same spot or I knock it and spend too much time moving things an inch to the left or whatever. ahh

I'm sure after a break you'll figure out what to do

xoxoxo Sarah


PeaNut 418,377
April 2009
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Loc: SE Wisconsin

Posted: 1/20/2013 7:23:21 AM
If I was that unhappy, I'd take it apart and start all over. Been there. Done that.


PeaNut 428,650
July 2009
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Posted: 1/20/2013 7:35:28 AM
I just pulled the picture off of a layout and threw the rest away. The page just couldn't be saved. I started over and I like the new layout now. Then I went to Archivers and replaced the papers I had to throw away.

If I hate a layout it just has to go.


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PeaNut 69,081
February 2003
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Posted: 1/20/2013 7:48:31 AM
I scrapped yesterday for 6 hours and got 17 pages scrapped, and while simple they look good enough for me. So when you find yourself in that situation, put that aside and move along.

BTW, I socialize very little, stay very focussed, and have all my stuff that I own for those photos with me so I know what I have available to use.

My very worst pages are my first ones back in the day. Nothing can compare to those.

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PeaNut 286,696
December 2006
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Loc: Washington, DC

Posted: 1/20/2013 7:56:17 AM
I've done that twice, with the same photo/story. There's an emotional story behind the photo so I really want the layout to look just right. Unfortunately, nothing looks just right. So, I have the photo sitting in my space waiting for me to be properly inspired. It's a sadder, more serious story, so I think that's why I'm having trouble with it.

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PeaNut 413,587
February 2009
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Loc: Western NY

Posted: 1/20/2013 8:21:00 AM
I hate doing Christmas pages for the same reason. I suck at them. They always turn out horrible. lol. I just put them away in the album and move on to something else.

Chocolate......who needs a reason?!

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Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 108,542
September 2003
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Loc: ND

Posted: 1/20/2013 8:27:05 AM
I've always struggled with using a lot of patterned paper. My layouts tend to look a little too busy hence why I stick mostly to solids, etc. with embellishments added in.

I'm just guessing your photos are probably pretty colorful? If so the patterned paper probably overloaded the page with color. Sometimes a done layout is good enough and you should move on. Other times it really is ok to start over.


"When was the last time you did something for the 1st time?"

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 160,610
August 2004
Posts: 6,482
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Posted: 1/20/2013 8:32:32 AM
I've had this happen to me many times, with albums and pages; sometimes the things we choose just do not work. When, this happens to me I just take a deep breath and redo the work , usually with very different product or by mixing in different papers and embellishments. Think about the pictures and the story you want to tell the feel for what you want to convey will guide you to your end result. Good luck. This happens to the best of us.


PeaNut 122,801
January 2004
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Loc: Ontario Canada

Posted: 1/20/2013 8:35:52 AM
Been there, sympathize!!! I agree that Christmas LOs more often take a turn for the worse. I think it's because the papers are so busy and colour heavy. I recommend getting out your un-do, and starting again. You'll feel much better, and it won't take so long this time because you'll have an idea of what you liked on the page, and what you didn't. (Or, put it away for a few days )

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PeaNut 251,919
March 2006
Posts: 5,411
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Loc: Toronto, Ontario

Posted: 1/20/2013 8:41:03 AM
Can totally relate! I've had this happen more than once. My only advice... don't hesitate to redo the layout! Toss this one because if you're not happy with it, why bother keeping it? I've redone numerous pages that I hated and I'm glad I did. Set this one aside and work on something different first. When you come back to it, you will probably have a completely different idea for the layout.

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PeaNut 503,375
March 2011
Posts: 1,411
Layouts: 3

Posted: 1/20/2013 11:31:12 AM
Thanks for all of the empathy! Glad to know I'm not the only one.

amom23- I think you hit the nail on the head! The photos I have are pretty busy and colorful- they're from an amusement park, after all- so the busy PP along side just isn't working.

But I really hesitate to throw it out and start over. I mean, my scrapping time is so limited anyway, and that's just not me. Usually if I don't like a page I figure that at least I got the page done, so I'm already ahead of the game.

Maybe now that its morning I'll go ahead and post a picture. AT least it will give you girls a good laugh!


PeaNut 258,780
April 2006
Posts: 743
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Loc: The Great Northeast

Posted: 1/20/2013 11:41:30 AM
Can you pop the photos off easily? If so, what if you mix cream paint with just a bit of water and lightly white wash the page? It will tone down all the prints and bring some uniformity to it. It may not work at all, but if the page is already a loss, it doesn't hurt to try. I've white-washed paper that was too loud before.

Is it Santa's Village in NH? My kids used to love that place. We haven't been a couple years though.


PeaNut 272,082
August 2006
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Loc: Midwest

Posted: 1/20/2013 11:41:35 AM
I do this quite often. I'd have to toss it and start over. I'm slowly learning how NOT to stick everything down until I'm sure I like it. I order Un-Du in massive quantities so that I always have some on hand.


black eyed pea with soul!

PeaNut 15,878
May 2001
Posts: 25,921
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Loc: LI, NY

Posted: 1/20/2013 11:53:15 AM
I've been trying to get Xmas 2012 done too. Holidays LOs feel so repetitive for me. I'm going to wait a while and go back to it.

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PeaNut 548,665
March 2012
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Posted: 1/20/2013 12:04:23 PM
Sorry you are having trouble...but Christmas Village! In New Hampshire?! My kids LOVE that place!
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PeaNut 542,930
February 2012
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Count: 17
Posted: 1/20/2013 12:45:45 PM
I don't think it's that bad. Maybe a solid color dimensional embellishment. Rosettes maybe? Good luck.
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Wise~old Pea

PeaNut 17,460
June 2001
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Loc: Central NJ

Posted: 1/20/2013 12:50:02 PM
With the title/date added I think it is fine. Busy a bit, yes, but so was your day there. Colors are great..


PeaNut 556,456
June 2012
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Posted: 1/20/2013 12:52:30 PM
I don't think it is nearly as bad as you said! It might be a bit busy with the varying picture sizes PLUS colorful pictures PLUS varying patterned papers.

If you can get the pictures up I like the whitewash suggestion. Or what about matting all of the photos with a narrow white border for continuity. I feel like you need a neutral so if you add any embellishments maybe stick with white/Kraft? I am new to this so I may not have the best suggestions but that is what came to mind.
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PeaNut 1,583
October 1999
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Count: 3
Posted: 1/20/2013 12:53:20 PM
I think the way you fixed it is fine. I would just call it done and move on.

Next time you have many busy photos, pick one color for your background (white, black, red)and just add a little pattern...like a title box and then journaling box. Or keep the photos big and lay them out edge to edge like the old Becky Higgins style.

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PeaNut 273,602
August 2006
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Loc: Phoenix, AZ area

Posted: 1/20/2013 12:53:44 PM
looking at both images, you did a lot to help 'tone down' the 'Christmas vomit' (lol!!) of bright colors, and bring the attention back to your photos.

I see that there's one block that still has that very busy present-patterned paper (the block with the small photo in the middle, on the right-hand page). Perhaps you could cut a piece of vellum that would fit that block, and cut a square in the middle to let the photo show thru, but would help tone down the patterned paper??

other than that one block, I think you did a GREAT job in cutting down the busy-ness of the papers.

"Accepting anything without question is the antithesis of critical thinking and education. ~wren*walk, 8/20/12"


PeaNut 574,604
December 2012
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Posted: 1/20/2013 1:51:49 PM
I think I'd ditch the horizontal striped paper and be able to salvage the LO.

design girl

PeaNut 451,040
January 2010
Posts: 551
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Loc: Idaho

Posted: 1/20/2013 2:29:58 PM
I think you did a great job of toning it down without losing all the time and effort you put into the original and starting over. You could maybe add a "visual triangle" of embellishments to help highlight three main areas on the layout.

I think part of the reason it feels busy (aside from the PP, which you fixed) is that there is no where for the eye to go so it just bounces around the page. by highlighting three key areas you give your eye a path to follow and space to rest.


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PeaNut 262,757
May 2006
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Loc: Big Bottom Valley

Posted: 1/20/2013 2:32:01 PM
I'm liking your "fixes" (and laughing at your Post Title)

A good night's sleep ALWAYS helps, IMO.

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PeaNut 516,416
August 2011
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Posted: 1/20/2013 2:52:11 PM
Oh I like your layout! And, you got it done!


PeaNut 366,164
March 2008
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Posted: 1/20/2013 3:02:15 PM
The layout is really sweet and fun; the photos so colorful and happy. The second is easier on the eyes. One suggestion for the second: take out the gift paper on the right side and replace with the green for consistency. Then then focus would be on that cute photo instead of the paper around it. Then change out the green border on the photo to the left of that one to red. Balanced and done!

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PeaNut 272,954
August 2006
Posts: 8,491
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Posted: 1/20/2013 4:40:16 PM
I don't think the pictures get lost at all. I was expecting a layout plastered with embellishments or something.

If you want the pictures to pop a bit more, though, maybe you can lift the pictures, add one more thin mat behind them in another color than the mat they have. Or pop them with pop dots or poster tape.

They look fine, though.

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Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 268,201
July 2006
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Loc: Northwoods

Posted: 1/20/2013 5:07:23 PM
I love your ideas and suggestions, Marrianne.

Another idea when you have lots of clearly themed photos is to use some of those ideas from 4x6 photo love series class that Shimelle did for 2 Peas.

If I felt Christmas "overload" when scrapping that many Christmas-colored photos, I'd probably use her idea of stacking them up on tops of each other "tag style" and then finishing my page layout. That way the page isn't too overly themed but you still can enjoy all the photos one at a time.


PeaNut 412,905
February 2009
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Posted: 1/20/2013 5:20:06 PM

The second is easier on the eyes. One suggestion for the second: take out the gift paper on the right side and replace with the green for consistency.
Exactly what I was thinking. for me, the photos were totally lost in the first one, but the remake is much better with those bits of pattern gone and the title bars added.

I'd get rid of the gift paper, replace it with the green spotty, and mat the little photo in red or white for contrast. With so many bright, colourful photos, the bright patterned papers really aren't needed. IMHO anyway.


PeaNut 101,686
August 2003
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Loc: Massachusetts

Posted: 1/20/2013 5:42:25 PM
I like the layout. And yes, I've done the same. Many times.

The only thing I would change is to double mat the little blue train picture. It gets lost as it's small, and the green mat is small, and the presents are large.

Or even just mat it with a red? I'd say white, but I don't think that would show very well. Or a thicker mat?

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PeaNut 449,226
December 2009
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Posted: 1/21/2013 2:33:14 AM
I don't see a darn thing wrong with it

I like embellishments so would add some large (plain) brads or something as mentioned by Design Girl but that may be because "I like embellishments" (did I mention that?)

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PeaNut 171,792
October 2004
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Posted: 1/21/2013 7:44:20 AM

This is why I don't glue anything down till I am sure I like my layout. I make my layers, embellishment, etc., but wait for adhering it.
And yes, I have totally had to start over once or twice because a page was just turning out too busy or whatever.

Me too.

As for your layout, the red for the title and date really helped tone down the overall glare factor and makes the page work. I don't think the photos get lost in the pp. With the mats they stand out a bit more. If you are still unhappy, I vote for as another poster said the vellum overlays on the pieces you want. Or maybe try double matting all of your photos, but using a white as one of the mat colors. Honestly I think it's fine. Of course, you have to do what makes you happy. I'm usually in the oh, well, I'll do it better next time camp.

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PeaNut 18,232
July 2001
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Loc: Ohio

Posted: 1/21/2013 8:29:11 AM
As the saying goes ...

DONE is better than NONE!

One trick I learned for layouts with lots of photos is to have all the pictures touching. Allison Davis / Scrapbook Generation has tons of great sketches for 2-page many-photo layouts.

And it's really really not that bad. You've probably just been working on it so long that you have lost your objectivity. Can YOU live with it in your albums, or is it going to annoy you everytime you see it? Answer that question and maybe that will help you with what you should do.


PeaNut 463,295
April 2010
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Layouts: 3
Loc: New York City

Posted: 1/21/2013 10:22:20 AM
I feel absolutely let down because based on your description I was expecting some Christmas product vomit in multiple layers with pictures completely hidden under the mess.

This LO is absolutely fine. Pictures are easy to see and not too much product. The only thing I' change is that small photo on the bottom left on the right page. I'd either print it in a larger size, change the background PP, or make a more distinctive mat, like from black CS or something. Otherwise, it's all good!



PeaNut 555,986
May 2012
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Posted: 1/21/2013 11:53:17 AM
Don't be so hard on yourself, OP! Version 2 is easier on the eyes, but nothing is wrong with Version 1!
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legend in my own mind

PeaNut 6,186
August 2000
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Posted: 1/21/2013 12:00:32 PM
I'm with LottaFire - don't be so hard on yourself.

I do like #2 better than #1.


You Wanna Peas of Me?

PeaNut 45,810
August 2002
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Loc: Over the Hill and Enjoying the View

Posted: 1/21/2013 1:19:54 PM
LOL All of us can say BTDT. I think V.2 is quieter. If it were me, I would try this: take away the white space on top and bottom, cut the side strips in half, and move everthing slightly apart to fill the pages ala the old Deluxe Cuts Color Blocking look. See if that makes it less busy and lets the different patterns behave.



PeaNut 50,300
September 2002
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Loc: five min. from insanity

Posted: 1/21/2013 2:09:11 PM
Angel you took the words right out of my mouth.
I love the old Deluxe Cuts Color Blocking. I still use my templates, and refer to the book when I am stumped.

Belia, your second one is just fine. As I always say to my dd; who's going to care in 20 years. LOL But if you ever find one the the color blocking books from Deluxe Cuts get it you can still do the same thing even without templates. It is along the same line of what your LO is.


PeaNut 172,435
October 2004
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Posted: 1/21/2013 4:45:57 PM
It's cute! I'd cover some of the stripe with a solid color so it wasn't so busy, and I'd call it a day.


PeaNut 82,553
April 2003
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Loc: Right where I want to be!

Posted: 1/21/2013 8:34:11 PM
Cute! I like it just the way it is! Move on to the next page...
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