Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

Tag: design principles Page 1 of 2


While I am preparing for an upcoming event in May, I found time to create this page with Anna’s new release, ArtPlay Palette Moira, using photos of ferns taken in the conservatory at Lauritzen Gardens. I do wish I could grow these outside the way I did in California.

I often use an artsy paper and/or a template as a basis for creating unique looking pages for my photographs. For this page, I used artsy paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Moira as a starting point for the page design with my fern photo. I simply added the brushes, overlays and transfers I wanted to use to a solid paper. Artsy papers are excellent patterns for good design. 

Mask Photo
  • Place photo on Solid Paper #5 from ArtPlay Palette Moira.
  • Add inverted layer mask to original copy by pressing option and clicking on the mask icon at the bottom of the layers panel
  • Select an AnnaBlendz Artsy brush and stamp with white as the foreground color on the black mask to reveal the photo.
  • Duplicate the photo and mask layers twice and adjust the blend mode of each photo layer.

Note: On my page the bottom photo layer is on Normal blend mode at 40% opacity. The second layer is on Color Burn at 100% opacity. The top layer is on Linear Light at 40% opacity.

Build Background 

Below the masked photo layers, add two copies of a brush, a transfer and an overlay.

  • Just above Solid Paper #5, stamp Brush #1 on a new blank layer on the left side.
  • On the right side, add another new blank layer and stamp Brush #1 angling it differently.
  • Place Transfer #1 above the brush layers and align it with the top edge of the paper.
  • Above the transfer, place Splatter Overlay #1 along the bottom right edge of the fern photo.

Note: Brushes, overlays and transfers are included in ArtPlay Palette Moira.

Add Small Frames

Initially I dragged the group of small frames from Artsy Layered Template No. 289 above the blended photo layers. I then used that arrangement as a guide for placing the frames from Postage Frames No. 2.

  • Open the .psd file of Postage Frame #6 from Postage Frames No. 2 and drag on to layout.
  • Duplicate the .psd file four times.
  • Reduce the file size so that it just large enough to cover the template frames. There will be a difference in the width.
  • Slant and adjust positioning of the frames, masks and drop shadows to follow the positioning of the template frames.
  • Clip detail fern photos to the masks masks.

Note: My photos were all adjusted in Lightroom before exporting to Photoshop.

Define Edges and Add Depth

In the screenshot above, there is an unfinished gap at the bottom of the ferns on the right. It needs a more defined edge. Brushes and overlays help close gaps and finish photo edges. Glows add depth and light to a page.

  • Stamp Brush #6 from ArtPlay Palette Moira on a new blank layer in black above the blended photo layers.
  • Above that layer, stamp Different Stroke #17 from Different Strokes No. 12 on a new blank layer. Duplicate the stroke to darken appearance. Blend mode is Normal at 100%.
  • On the right edge, place Stain Overlay #1. On the left just below the frames, place Overlay #1. Both pieces are part of ArtPlay Palette Moira.
  • Add FotoGlow #5 from WarmGlows No. 8 and change the blend mode to Linear Burn at 100%. Duplicate the glow and place to balance the light.

Adding details creates interest and a finished look to a page.

Next time that you sit down to create a page, spend a little time analyzing the way Anna Aspnes designs her artsy papers and then experiment by manipulating the brushes, transfers and overlays from an artplay palette in order to create something unique. Let me know how it goes.

Finding My Style

I like to think that I’m an artist with both my camera, a Fuji X-T2, and the scrapbook pages that I create, at least I feel that way when I am making photographs or playing in Photoshop with Anna’s designs. My process objectives for scrapbooking are rather simple: choose the photos that speak to me and write the stories of those photos, stories that I want my family to remember. After giving some thought to what I wanted to share about myself as a member of Anna’s creative team, I decided that you might like to know more about where I am at in my journey towards developing my own scrapbooking style, not that I’ve finished the process yet.

In preparation for this post, I created a grid page with some of my favorite layouts over the years that I have been digitally scrapbooking. (Note that I never scrapped with paper.) The layouts pictured above span my early efforts at creating artsy pages from 2011 until the present. After finishing the grid, I made a list of common elements I noticed on these favorites. This is my list of the elements common to those pages.

  1. focus on photos
  2. include blending and extractions
  3. include journaling
  4. relatively clean and freeform overall appearance
  5. adapt one of Anna’s templates or paper designs
  6. color on neutral solids

Below are some examples of what I mean by the terms I used to describe my style characteristics.

Focus on Photos

I have always been the family photographer, with a little Instamatic when my children were young. I placed those often somewhat blurry photos in albums, chronologically, along with some older family photos. Fast forward to the present, I am currently capturing memories for my family with a mirror-less Fuji X-T2. When I don’t have my Fuji with me, I use my iPhone. The old photos in those albums have all been digitized now and labeled with keywords and captions in Lightroom.

I really do believe that as my photography skills have improved, so has my scrapbooking. That’s why I continue to take photography classes and practice. It is much easier for me to create pages if my photos are the best that I can make.

At times, I apply an effect to a photo either in Photoshop or with a plug-in from Topaz Labs just for the fun of experimenting, but I always come back to the basic photos. I sometimes combine a photo with an artistic effect with photos straight from my camera on a layout.

Blending and Extractions

What first drew me to Anna’s artsy designs was the concept of blending. In the fall of 2011, I enrolled in a course with Jana Morton just to learn how to blend. This layout combines both blending and an extraction, two techniques I love to incorporate in my pages.

With additional classes and practice, I have learned to work comfortably with the Pen Tool, the Quick Selection Tool and masking. Most of my layouts include at least blending and often extractions as well. This recent layout combines all six elements of my style: blending, extractions, color on neutrals, journaling, focus on photography, adapting a template and a clean free form design.


Telling stories about photos is important to me. My dad used to tell me stories about his childhood. I only wish I had them in writing. I know he’d love this medium of combining photos and stories. I include journaling on the majority of my layouts as is the case of this layout with two old school photos and journaling about an influence in my decision to become a teacher.

I gave the background photo on the page below an effect with a Topaz Labs plug-in, but the other photos and journaling are consistent with my style.

Clean Freeform Design

I like the relaxed, free form shapes of Anna’s designs. I like that I have the freedom to create clean pages as opposed to a more grunge or art journaling style with her designs. On this page, I used some of Anna’s brushes, transfers, twigs and texture to create art with flower photos. There are a few splatters, but overall, the white space and content create a clean look.

Adapt a Template or Artsy Paper Design

I often rely on the design of Anna’s templates and/or artsy papers to create my pages. They are a design learning tool for me. After participating in several of her classes, I know much better now how to adapt them to fit my needs so that my pages look unique. You probably can’t readily see the specific artsy paper on the layout below because I combined two papers and transfers, nor the templates’s basic design because I adapted the small frames to accommodate my blended focal photo.

I am working more with Anna’s templates to create two page spreads that I publish in books. This has been part of my learning in Anna’s classes, and adapting them is something that I’ve adopted as part of my style. The templates fit with my objective to share photos and tell stories.

Color on Neutrals

I use primarily neutrals for the backgrounds of my pages so that the color in my photos pop in contrast to the background. As I create double page spreads for my books, I am finding that I don’t have to use only one paper throughout the book. It’s cohesive enough for me to use lighter backgrounds and blend in sections of artsy papers when desired.

I do work with darker backgrounds, but I generally prefer lighter backgrounds especially since I am creating more two page spreads for self-published books.

You might consider creating a grid of favorite layouts for yourself if finding your personal style has frustrated you as a scrapbooker. After taking classes, experimenting and imitating the work of others, I often wondered about who I was as an artist. I didn’t want to be someone else. I tried to reflect on my pages while I learned, what I really liked, what skills I wanted to develop further, what was fun to create, what was important that I include on my pages. Believe me, there have been a number of my pages that I have not liked in the process of developing my own style. Knowing what characteristics I value in my style gives me more confidence when looking at new trends, the art of others or class content. It’s not that I won’t change with new learning, rather it’s more that there are style elements that just feel right for me as an artist.

Basic Design Principles

Not all my layouts are complicated, but I do try to follow some basic design concepts when I create a page, for example this page with ArtPlay MiniPalette Noel. I clipped my photo to the frame’s clipping mask and changed it to black and white with a gradient map adjustment layer. I placed my granddaughter’s eyes on the intersection of the guide lines creating an asymmetrical design.

Second, I clipped solid paper 3 to the fotoblendz mask and layered transfers 1, 2 and 6 along with overlay 2 and the word transfer to build a textured foundation for a grouping of elements and to repeat the colors in the frame.

Third, I added a background paper. I drew lines with the line tool to repeat the lines in the paper.

Finally, I added elements in a group around the title rather than placing them randomly on the page. The button and thread on the right draw the eye out toward the edge for balance.

Are you wondering what design principles I used: asymmetrical alignment to create tension, texture to create dimensional interest, proximity for placement of elements as well as repetition of the Santas and balance with the button on the right. I have shared more information about design principles in a video, Design Principles for Using Artsy Transfers.


Whirligig and Practice

As a retired classroom teacher, I know how important it is to practice new learning. If you read my last post, you’ll remember my aha moment learning about combining an artsy paper with a solid to create a two page spread in Anna’s Project 2016 class. For this layout using photos taken with an Instamatic nearly 40 years ago along with more recent photos, I again combined an artsy paper with a solid from Anna’s new ArtPlay Palette Garland. However, I needed to adjust the position of the main transfer on artsy paper 2 because I needed a little more space to add two small frames.

Notice at the bottom of the layer’s panel, I placed two copies of solid paper 2. Above, I blended in the edge of artsy paper 2 using a layer mask and brush from AnnaBlendz Artsy No. 4. I moved another copy of the paper to the right and blended in the main transfer. Next, I placed a copy of transfer 5 and blended in my photo with a layer mask. Note: I created a filter using Topaz Simplify for this old photo. I hope to explain what I did in another post.

Next, I placed two small frames that I dragged over from a template in Project Album Templates No. 2 and clipped two other old photos. I applied a similar filter using Topaz Simplify.

I began building a foundation for an element cluster using two small branches from MultiMedia Branches No. 6, a button and stain from MultiMedia Holiday No. 2, dots from ArtPlay Palette Yule and two brushes from Evergreens No. 2.

I finished the left side by adding the other layers from file 2 of MultiMedia Holiday No. 2 on the right side of the focal photo and adding two button threadz.

For the right side of my two page spread, I dragged over the layers of MonthReview Template 30B. I switched out the fotoblendz mask, substituting one from template 3 of Project Template Album No. 2. I placed transfer 3 and the gold paint along with two brushes from ArtPlay Palette Garland and another brush from Evergreens No. 2 on the right in order to balance the texture and green on the left. I placed file 4 from MultiMedia Holiday No. 2 along with a button from file 2 to finish my visual triangle of greenery. The word joy is from Holiday WordART Mix No. 5.

It might have been “correct” to change one of the photos on the left to black and white, but I didn’t want to lose the joy in the color of these photos. The red and green are repeated across both pages in the elements as well as the photos.

For nearly 40 years, I’ve always called this little wooden toy a whirligig. The heat rising from the burning candles makes the blades turn the manger scene. Of all the things I have for Christmas, this has been the most precious to me over the years, bringing me great joy!

The Gutter Between Two Pages

One of the ideas from Anna’s album class last fall that I’ve been working with this year is the concept of completing a two page spread on a 24×12 inch document rather than trying to work with two separate 12×12 inch documents. I can’t tell you how much easier it is to fill the gutter of two pages so they match precisely if you work on a 24×12 inch document.


The term “gutter” refers to the blank space between facing pages of a book. When I run my action for creating a new blank 24×12 inch document, faint blue lines appear dividing each side into thirds. That helps me determine placement for my pictures. The line running down the middle marks the gutter between the two pages. That line marks where the page will be cut in half to make two pages after I create my composite of all the layers in the layers panel.

For this page, I began by extracting the photo of my granddaughter on the right. With a brush from AnnaBlendz Artsy No. 3, I brought back in some of the grass for each extraction. Next, I followed the same process for the sequence of photos showing her pretending to emerge from a chrysalis. I placed the photo of my granddaughter with the line marking the middle of the page across the middle of her arm. After extracting the photo in the foreground. I gave each extraction a shadow, a few of the photos custom shadows. Note: Her pumpkin was really pink so I recolored it using the color replacement brush, an option included with the brush tool.

I used another photo to fill in the background with fallen leaves using layer masks to blend across the gutter for a seamless look.


Next, I began adding to the background by placing, across the gutter of my page below the extractions, six of the layers of transfer 4 from Artsy Transfers Kinsfolk.


I placed layers from artsy transfer 3 on the right and artsy transfer 5 from Artsy Transfers Kinsfolk on the left as well as several transfers and brushes from ArtPlay Palette Kinsfolk.


Another tool that I like to use for pages are Anna’s artsy layered templates. On the left side, just above the paper layers, I recolored and arranged a dozen layers from Artsy Layered Template No. 237, making adjustments as needed to opacity and blend modes. I used the placement of one of the frames from the template to determine where to place the frame from the artplay palette. I dragged both text boxes over from the template as well.

I finished writing my journaling and added a few dimensional elements. I created a composite at the top of the layers panel by pressing the keys command + option + shift + e on my Mac. I dragged the composite over to two new 12×12 inch documents to create a right and left page for my book.


Once I import the pages into Lightroom, I can see what the finished page will look like if I choose to publish through Blurb. I may try Picaboo this year, but that depends on how many pages I complete by the end of the year.


By creating two page spreads on 24×12 inch documents, I can be far more creative with what I place in the gutter. I don’t want to put journaling or a face across the gutter, but I love the flexibility of placing other things creatively across the two pages so that the whole looks balanced. These pages work together and aren’t meant to be viewed as separate pages. I’m looking forward to learning more about working with albums in Anna’s new class which will open in a few weeks.

Creating a Cluster

Fall color in our area is supposed to be at its best this weekend. So I will be outside with my camera tomorrow afternoon, hoping today’s wind will diminish. In the meantime, today I played with a photo of a neighbor’s beautiful fall display that I captured a year ago. I began by placing frames from Artsy Layered Template No. 236 on a new blank document. Next I clipped copies of my photo to the two masks and duplicated one mask to create a set of three. I then started building a background for the frames with an art stroke and Artsy Transfers Hinterland. At that point, I grouped elements to create clusters to act as a visual triangle to not only direct the eye around my page but also balance the weight on the right side.

Clusters take different shapes. The acorn cluster on the right side follows the horizontal line of the frame. File 1 from MultiMedia Pumpkins No. 2, a more rounded shape, provided a ready made cluster over the frame and background transfer below. Note, I added a branch and stitching just below the flower in the psd file for more dimension. However, all of the clusters on this page have three components: a foundation, dimensional elements and an anchor.


I might have kept the left side of my page blank, but I thought my page wasn’t quite balanced without something on that side. If anyone else has ever struggled grouping elements to create clusters, I though I would share my thinking about grouping elements on this page to form clusters. Based on my page design, I decided to create a vertical shaped cluster to repeat the shape of the frames.


First, every cluster needs a foundation or a background. I placed overlay 2 from ArtPlay Palette Hinterland to create the foundation for my cluster of elements. I reduced the size of the overlay about 15%.


Next I positioned a button next to the leaves on the overlay. That button serves as my anchor for all the other elements that I used to create the cluster. I gave the button a shadow. I placed a transfer from another multimedia pumpkin file just below the button to build more depth on my foundation.


Then I added the set of leaves from ArtPlay Palette Hinterland below the button but above the overlay and transfer for more dimension. I gave the leaves a shadow.


To extend the vertical shape, I added the twig (psd file that included a shadow) below the button and set of leaves, but above the overlay and transfer. I placed a button thread from ButtonThreads No. 2 below the button to make it look like I had tied down the elements.


I think that the left cluster not only moves the eye across my page, but it also helps balance my page, despite the fact that it isn’t as large or heavy as the two clusters on the right side of my asymmetrical page design. I encourage you to experiment by creating a cluster with a foundation, dimensional elements and an anchor.


Warm Fall Sunlight

In September, I wrote in a post, Then and Now, that “…There are layouts that I created early in my art play that I still love. There are also layouts that I’ve actually deleted from my Oscraps gallery.” Below is one of those layouts that I created last fall but still love for a number of reasons. I love the white space, the asymmetrical but centered design, the depth and interest created with two versions of one photo, the fall color and texture. I also like the mix of fonts in the title. I hope this tutorial inspires you to create a page of your own.

Fall is a beautiful time of year here in Nebraska, although it isn’t at it’s best until November. I captured the photograph 2015-11-07-174352that I used for the page below early in November last year. I no longer worry that I am staying current on my scrapbooking. I simply use photos and products that inspire me at the moment. For this photo, I used ArtPlay Palette Gentle Morning to create a page simply for the sake of art.


Select a Photo

Select a photo, duplicate it and link the copies. Give one copy a high-key lighting effect using either a plugin filter like Topaz’s Adjust or adjusting the curves with an adjustment layer. Resize mask 1 from 12×12 Page FotoBlendz No. 9 and the photo as needed. Clip solid paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Autumn Soul and the high-key photo copy to the mask. Change the blend mode of the high key photo to multiply. Add another copy of the high-key photo on blend mode soft light or overlay at 30%.

Note: High-key lighting refers to photos in which the mid-tones are much brighter because there are fewer blacks and there are more light tones. A skilled studio photographer uses fill light and backlight to create low contrast between brighter and darker areas in daylight and night scenes. I haven’t reached that level in my photography yet, but I have learned that this artistic lighting look can be recreated in Photoshop using a curves adjustment layer and a hue and saturation adjustment layer. Desaturate and reduce the opacity with the hue and saturation layer by dragging the saturation slider to -100. Play with the curves adjustment. It may look like an S or a bow. You want brighter tones and whites, fewer blacks and midtones without losing the detail in the image. The settings depend on your photo. For more information, see this post, Using Lighting Style to Create Mood.


Frame a Second Copy of the Photo

Place the frame and clip another copy of the photo to the frame’s mask. Increase the saturation on this copy of the original photo with the Camera Raw filter. Position taped textures 5 and 9 from TapedTextures No. 4 below the framed photo and trees on the right side.


Add Texture and Interest

Place brush 5, transfer 4 and overlay 2 from ArtPlay Palette Gentle Morning above the photo clipped to the fotoblendz mask. Add the layers of file 2 from MultiMedia Birds No. 1.

Note: I turned off some of the layers, added a color adjustment layer and erased a few of the birds using a layer mask.


Create a Cluster and Title

Create a small cluster with leaves and a bow from the ArtPlay Palette to anchor the frame to the page. Mix fonts and word art to create a title summarizing what you might have said with more detailed journaling. Place a quote from Rise WordArt Mix No. 1. Above the quote, extend the title with a phrase. Add a wood style to one word in the title and give it a small drop shadow. Add the date and place.

Note: For this page, in addition to the quote below my title, I used Boho Sans and Boho Script.


I hope that I have inspired you to create a layout based on this tutorial. I encourage you to create a page with white space, an asymmetrical centered design or repetition of a photo with different treatments. Say something about the photo on your page with fonts and word art rather than traditional journaling.

A Simple Process

My photography defines my current approach to scrapbooking. At the moment my grandchildren are young and I want them to have access to the photos that I make with my Fuji X-T and then store in Lightroom on my computer. This year, I am again focusing less on artsy pages for the sake of art and more on creating pages for another book using Anna’s templates.

I’m actually mixing templates from several albums for this year’s book, templates with informally arranged simple white frames, fotoblendz masks, stains, textures and white space. Sometimes I rearrange or switch out frames or masks. The similarity in template basics, i.e. frames, masks and elements, gives me lots of flexibility and makes my process for creating a two page spread much easier. However, every once in a while, I capture a photo I love so much that I want to include it in my book as a full page photo on one side of a two page spread with a template on the other side.


2016-09-30_photoThat is the case for this photo. When I made this photo, I placed my granddaughter in the center of my camera frame anticipating that I would want space to crop the photo for 8×10 and 5×7 framed prints. However, photographers generally place a subject in the frame using the rule of thirds. After making an adjustment in exposure, I cropped and printed from Lightroom.

In order to add this photo to my book, I dragged the photo to a new 24×12 inch document. I enlarged the photo just a little to fit the 12 inch height of my page and adjusted it’s position using Photoshop’s guide lines. That meant part of the photo extended onto the right page. To cover the part that extended onto the right side, I placed solid paper 2 from ArtPlay Palette Take Flight above the photo.


Next, I dragged the layers of page 12 from Travel Template Album No. 2 to the right side of my page. I added my title in the same position as the original title included with the template. Otherwise, I made no changes to this template.


I clipped my photos to the frames, masks and stains. I clipped adjustment layers to the photos as needed to lighten and/or increase the contrast.


Below all the template layers, I placed the pink stain and splatter from ArtPlay Mini Breeze (free with $5 purchase during the sale). I recolored the stain and adjusted the splatter’s color to blend with Kate’s tutu.


I then placed additional stitching from ButtonThreadz No. 1, two buttons and a butterfly from ArtPlay Palette Studious. To mimic Kate’s butterfly wings, I clipped a hue and saturation layer and fotoglow from ArtPlay Mini Breeze (recolored) to the butterfly. I dragged another copy of the pink glow above those layers, reduced it’s size and clipped it to the butterfly. I attached a layer mask to retain the black body of the butterfly. Note: I also clipped that pink glow on linear light at 35% above the top two framed photos to intensify the pink.


Once I finished both sides of my two page spread, I created a composite by pressing the keys command + option + shift + E. I then created two new 12×12 documents and dragged that composite on to those pages for my book and adjusted its position. I saved them by page number, pages 50 and 51, for this two page spread.


I then imported those pages into Lightroom and placed them in a collection folder that I use for the book module. Note: the faint lines mark boundaries in Lightroom as a reminder to not place anything important on your page beyond those lines for printing purposes.


I am planning on using this two page design with photos I captured of my grandsons in mid September as well. At the end of the year, when I have all my book pages ready, I will send the pages to Blurb through Lightroom. I could also use these 12×12 pages to publish a book through a different service.

The photographs and stories are all different, but I think these templates, light backgrounds, stitching, buttons, a consistent journaling font and informal titles on each two page spread will unify the final outcome. This is a project I am creating over a year so I don’t expect every page to look exactly the same. However, I think the style of templates, the white space and the informality will unify my book at the end of the year. Key to this photo book project is my emphasis on photography, wanting to share these photos is the reason I am creating these pages.


Then and Now

In celebration of Anna’s Five Years at Oscraps, members of the Creative Team (and Anna herself), are looking back at their art practice and sharing FIVE things they’ve learned or ways they’ve grown over the years. Team member, Linda Davis shares her thoughts in an excerpt from her blog.

At the same time that Anna is celebrating five years at Oscraps, I am celebrating the beginning of my journey playing with Anna’s designs. September marks five years of art play for me. On Saturday, September 25, 2011, I posted my first layout, Fall Hydrangeas, in Anna’s gallery at Oscraps, a layout that I created with designs I bought at the first sale at the opening of Anna’s Store at Oscraps.


Back then, I didn’t know a lot about how to work with Anna’s designs, but I was drawn to Anna’s freeform shapes and the concept of blending. The page design for my hydrangea page above was actually a lift of another page in the gallery. In the five years since that first post in Anna’s gallery, I’ve continued to learn how to work with Anna’s designs.

The page below reflects some of my learning over the last five years. I like to think that my style has continued to evolve with my on going learning. However, I don’t want you to think that this has been a smooth, even ladder of growth. It’s been a bumpy road. There are layouts I created early in my art play that I still love. There are also layouts that I’ve actually deleted from my Oscraps gallery; they are waiting on my computer for a redo.


Using a more recent page, Peonies, I want to share five strategies that I’ve learned about creating interest on a page over the last five years.

  1. Asymmetrical page design creates tension and that contributes interest on a page. On my 2011 layout, the focal photo is in the middle of the page. Yet, on the page with the peony blooms on the right third is a far more interesting placement for the focal photo in comparison to what I did with the hydrangeas. In addition, the way the background mask is divided enhances the rule of thirds.
  2. Mix photo treatments, i.e. watercolor, with standard photos on a single page. In this example, I applied a watercolor action to the background photo that I clipped to the mask. However, I created the extraction from photos as they came out of the camera.
  3. There is nothing quite like the depth and dimension of an extraction to create interest on a page. It has taken me several years to develop my extraction skills not only flowers but people as well. Remember to ground an extraction and to add a custom shadow. On this page, the threads serve to ground or attach the flowers on my page.
  4. Add elements, i.e. threads and buttons, for more dimension. The weight isn’t the same on both sides of my page, but the button and thread balance the bouquet in the mind’s eye.
  5. Stamp brushes, i.e. splatters, texture or stains, on your page. I like splatters so much that I’ve created a brush set of different splatters from Anna’s artplay palettes and templates. I continue to add to it. I also like the look of photos clipped to stains in the background, especially after changing the blend mode.

Yes, I’ve learned a lot in five years. I hope to continue to develop my art play skills. Take advantage of the sale marking Anna’s FIVE Years at Oscraps. Anna also offers classes now which will definitely help guide you as you play with her art.






Texture Supports a Story

At the beginning of August, I shared some photographs of the Anne Frank exhibit at the Museum of Intolerance in Los Angeles. I have asked myself how so much cruelty could have been allowed to occur to so many during this period of modern history. A statement, part of one recording, stayed with me as we walked through the exhibits: if you repeat the lies often enough people begin to believe them.

For this page, I wanted to contrast the photo of sisters Anne and Margo Frank as little girls with the time in which Jewish families were torn apart and murdered during World War II.

AnneFrank_APPCosmopolis, ATCosmopolis_lkdavis_1000

I am really a very traditional scrapbooker by design, often dividing my pages into three parts: framed photo, blended photo and journaling. However, my basic page components alone did not convey my feelings as I viewed the exhibit.


Conveying a feeling or look is one reason that I love different shapes and textures combined on background papers or paper frames, i.e. MultiMedia Frames No. 4, for traditional page designs for my photos.  In Anna’s new ArtPlay Palette Cosmopolis, solid paper 5 is a beautiful blend of a simple, more traditional solid with an unusual texture.


For this page, I arranged my traditional page components to fit solid paper 5. I extracted the background photo and placed it so that Anne Frank’s writing hand fit into the space between the torn edges on the paper. I blended some of the layers from set 5 of Artsy Transfers Cosmopolis with two png transfers from the ArtPlay Palette Cosmopolis to fill in the paper background. I could have stopped here, but I didn’t think my page conveyed just what I was feeling yet.


Adding texture changes the feel of a scrapbook page. To create additional texture on my background, I layered brushes from ArtPlay Palette Cosmopolis and ArtPlay Palette Antiquity along with the texture layers from frame 1 in MultiMedia Frames No. 4 and two png textures from Taped Textures No. 6.


Finally, I placed small clusters of elements on my page to create visual triangles that help move the viewer’s eye across the page. I also added a faded words from Art WordART Mix No. 1 just to the right below the frame layers.


For this page, I think that a special paper in combination with brushes and textures contributed to the poignant feel of the story that I was trying to convey with these photos. Artistic pages are more than page design; they are also a feel or a look that support the photos and tell the story.

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