Friday, 4 April 2014

Cutting Into A Collection!

Hello everyone, Jemma here today!

Are you a photo-first scrapper? Someone who selects a photo and then chooses just the right papers, cardstock and embellishments to showcase it? Or do you see a paper collection for sale and fall in love with the colours, textures and ephemera, hoping that the perfect photos can be located in your to-scrap pile?

I'm generally in the latter category, partly because there are no bricks & mortar scrapbook shops nearby, meaning that I generally shop online, and partly because I have years of photos to scrap with so it's easier to start with stash that I want to play with.

However making that first cut in the first sheet of paper of a kit or collection is always a little tricky:
Which side of a double-sided sheet should I use?
Would those stripes be better cut vertically or horizontally?
What if the next page's photos needed this paper design?
What if I run out of a favourite pattern?
Here's a look at my Seven Step Process for cutting into a collection; specifically what I did with the Teresa Collins' My Name Is Collection.

Step One - Look at the Collection

First of all I emptied out all the papers and thought about the sorts of pages I might use them for. Highlights from the A sides included:
• a whole sheet of monthly 3x4 cards for a year-long project
• lots more 4x6 and 3x4 cards with quotes and phrases or space for journalling
• a sheet of 16 fun kraft polaroid frames
• a sheet of words and phrases that could be cut into strips
Teresa Collinns - Hello My Name Is - S J Crafts

Flipping the sheets over, I discovered that there were some versatile background patterns amongst the B sides and realised that I would have to choose which 4x6 or 3x4 cards I definitely wanted to use before cutting up any sheets at all.

Teresa Collinns - Hello My Name Is - S J Crafts

Teresa Collinns - Hello My Name Is - Months - S J Crafts
Step Two - Reserve "Special Sheets"

I'm not a pocket page scrapper but I do like to scrap monthly summaries each year so my first job was to cut up the sheet of calendar cards for this year's album. I'll use these with scraps from the other papers and some of the left-over 4x6 and 3x4 journalling cards. I'm full of admiration for the designer at Teresa Collins - if I had been using divided page protectors the designs are intact on both sides after cutting.

Step Three - Grab Some Photos

I had two (sets of) photos in mind for these papers by now: a selfie of my son's girlfriend plus kitten, and a set of photos from a visit to a match museum last summer.

Step Four - Extract/Discard Journal Cards

I cut the 'Polaroids' sheet to release my favourites (the B side pattern didn't need any special consideration) and chose 3x4 cards from 'Record' that would work with the photos.  I knew I would never, ever use one of the 4x6 cards from 'Love' ("Don't Forget You Are Awesome") so it was an easy decision to cut it free and use the B side instead.

Teresa Collinns - Hello My Name Is - Polaroids, Record, Love - S J Crafts
Polaroids                        Record                           Love

Step Five - Start Cutting, Shuffling, Sticking

I decided that I would never use the A side of 'Journal' and therefore paid it no attention when cutting the sheet up. Some paper & card shuffling took place before I decided to add a block from the 'Words' paper to to align with the back of the 4x6 card, again paying no heed to the B side as it was a uniform pattern:

Jimjams - Cattitude - for S J Crafts

Teresa Collinns - Hello My Name Is - Noted - S J Crafts
The second set of photos needed a double layout, plenty of "white" space and non-intrusive patterns.  Along with another 'Polaroid' frame, and a 3x4 card from 'Record', I cut two horizontal strips from 'Noted' to stretch across the entire width of my sheets for continuity. Having used/reserved a number of the 3x4 cards from 'Record' I had to be creative with the remainder of the B side and lay short strips of the graph paper just under the photos. It was a real jigsaw!

At this point I did make a mistake and tried to use strips of the kraft ledger paper from 'Tag's before deciding that I hated it and replacing it with strips of red cardstock. No matter though - I need scraps for my monthly pages!

Step Six - See What's Left

OK so that was a single and a double page done and all but one sheet of paper ('Lucky') cut into ... so I cut it up to stop myself being too precious with it!

Teresa Collinns - Hello My Name Is - S J Crafts

Step Seven - Go Back to Step Three & Repeat

Time to take stock and start thinking about the next pages ... my yearly album needs some of those reserved polaroids, journalling cards and scraps, but I'm sure that there's at least one more 12x12 to come ... I'll be back!

Are you tempted to cut into a collection? SJ Crafts stocks a wide range of Collection Kits to play with, check them out!

Jemma x

Jemma blogs at Just Jimjams where she recently celebrate her 400th post, pop over there for more inspiration!


Lesley G said...

Great post Jemma.
I am usually a photo first gal but do also fall in love from time to time! That's a great way to decide on cuts etc, I ALWAYS struggle with which side to use hence the mass of papers have stored from 6 years ago!!!

Tracie said...

Fab post Jemma, gorgeous layouts!
I go through stages, at the moment I am a 'photo first' person but it's bound to change again! I usually find that if I love a DS paper I love BOTH sides, if I'm not keen you can guarantee I won't like the reverse either!!

scrappyjacky said...

A really helpful post,Jemma...loved seeing your process. I'm usually a photo first scrapper....but do try to sometimes do it the other way.
I do often struggle with which side of the paper to use....why are the best papers in a collection on the back of each other???
Love how you've made such different pages with one collection.

Missus Wookie said...

Fascinating seeing your process Jemma. Thanks for sharing.

Sandie said...

Great post Jemma.... I love how you so clearly described how you use your paper sets. I sometimes struggle to use them as I think a better idea might come up or can't decide what side to use. I have got much better though and I have plans for several sets and look forward to using them.

Virginia said...

Fab post hun, I always go over and over kits until they are fully exhausted!

furrypig said...

great to see what goes on inside that brain/mind of your's Jemma and what a creative process it is!

Lisa said...

Interesting post Jemma. I am often a paper first scrapper - I mix it up a lot - and go through a similar but not identical process when working with my monthly Scrapabilly kit. In fact, the process you went through with the Teresa Collins collection was quite similar to what I did with it in March. Selecting which journalling cards and the predominant A or B sides works well for me when I get a collection in my hands and want to decide how to work it. Thanks for sharing and that second spread is really lovely. I hardly ever make spreads - must remember to add them into the mix

alexa said...

I am always interested in process, so this has been fascinating. I love your decisiveness about what you won't ever use!

Annie Claxton said...

Really interesting post Jemma, thoroughly enjoyed following your process. I tend to start with the goodies and pick photos to suit - but then I have years' worth of photos to choose from! :o)

Lisa-Jane said...

This is pretty much how I use a collection too - I have to make decisions about which side to use before I start or I would never cut into anything!