Category Archives: Digital Scrapping

Top 5 Tips to Achieve Perfect Cluster Groups

Cluster groups are a scrapbook technique that baffles many scrappers.  Cluster groups are a great way to use some of the gorgeous embellishments included in kits and collections while improving the look of a scrapbook page layout.

Here are five key components to consider to achieve beautiful cluster groups.

  1. Repeat elements:  embellishments, papers, shapes, and colors.
  2. Odd numbers work best.  Three or five items always look better than two or four.
  3. Triangular arrangements work great in cluster groups and layout design.
  4. Place elements under, between and above photos and papers.
  5. Use clusters to move your eye around the page.

If you find it difficult to arrange clusters, try finding layouts or pre-made clusters that you like and study how the key components are applied.  Practice replicating the look in your own layouts.

First add several elements to use on a layout.  Then try multiplying, resizing, rearranging, and relayering to get the desired effect.  After all that if something just doesn’t seem to work, delete it.  As with anything new, it takes practice.  Since everything is digital it makes it super easy to practice.

Let’s explore a pre-made cluster.  A member of KimericKreations CT made this cluster using Kim’s Rustic Autumn kit.

cluster example

  1. The triangular shape is still apparent even in a more vertical design.
  2. Flower clusters-3 blue, 3 gold & 3 maroon flowers grouped and repeated 3 times.
  3. Blue leaves repeated 3 times.
  4. Banner flags-3 maroon flags, 3 plaid flags, 3 grey flags.
  5. Gold color repeated in heart & paint splatters at the top and middle, word art in the middle & circles at the bottom which also repeats the circular shape at the top and the clock in the middle.

When planning a cluster group it helps to copy/paste a minimum of three of each of the main items you plan to include.  Place them over to the side to start.  Then rotate and group some of them and place them in the general areas to make a triangle.  Some items, such as a single flair & single clock, work because the circular shape is repeated.

Now let’s look at a layout.  Instead of one cluster group, three groups create flow.

Slim vertical photo layout

Notice the general layout is triangular.  The cluster group on the top left, the butterfly on the top right and the clustering at the bottom use the five key components to move the eye around the layout.  Each cluster has an odd number of elements, three on the left, one on the right and five at the bottom.  The blue ribbon on each side of the photo ties in the blue umbrella.

If you are having trouble achieving beautiful cluster groups, try these five tips and see if they help.

How to Use the Rule of Thirds in Scrapbooking and Photography

The rule of thirds is a design principle that applies in all areas of creativity.  I wrote a post about using the rule of thirds in scrapbook design over two years ago.  You can find that post and some layouts using this rule here.  It actually comes quite naturally because it’s so aesthetically pleasing to our senses.

 

Today I found an article about using the rule of thirds in photography.  Photography is another creative area that most scrappers are compulsive about.  Read that article here.

 

We all know rules are made to be broken, right?  Yes, it’s easier to apply this rule when designing a scrapbook layout than in photography sometimes.  But do keep this in mind in your scrapping and photography endeavors.  Learn how to use the rule of thirds, practice it and watch your layouts and photography skills improve.  There’s a good reason rules are rules because they work!

Learn How to Use Photo Tiling in MyMemories Suite v6

I remember when photo tiling was first added to MyMemories Suite. I could hardly wait to learn how to do it.  I thought it was the coolest feature ever.  It’s very easy to do and really adds something special to a layout.  I recently wrote a tutorial about using the Group tool.  Photo tiling is one of the effects that uses the Group tool.  Below is a page from the tutorial.  You can find the complete tutorial here.

Grouping Elements Tutorial-010

When grouping animals or people be careful not to chop them up!  That is just not right, lol.  Here’s a page I made quite a while ago.  As you can see, it’s sometimes difficult not to chop off a shoulder or some hair.  Remember, you can always ungroup the photo and tweak the placement of each separate piece. But please don’t split anyone down the middle!

Photo Tiling in My Memories

Landscapes are pretty safe though and look really neat.

Sunrise

Learn How to Group Alphas in MyMemories Suite v6

I often group items in MyMemories Suite to make some tasks easier.  Alphas are one of my favorite things to use.  Some designer’s kits include really cute alphas.  For a long time, I didn’t use them.  One reason was because it took a lot of time and effort to get them all the same size and lined up just right.  But now MyMemories makes it so easy to line them up, space them evenly and then group them.  Once grouped they’re treated like a single element.

Here’s a page from the Grouping Elements tutorial I wrote.  In this section, you’ll learn just how easy it is to align, space, and group alphas.

Grouping Elements Tutorial-012

This is just one of the many things you can do using the Group tool.  You’ll find the complete tutorial here.

I’d love your feedback.  Please comment to let me know if you learned anything new and how you plan on using the Group tool in one of your projects.

Color Theory in Design

Color theory is a large part of many, if not all, areas of our creative lives.  Whether you’re an artist, photographer, fashion designer, interior designer, florist or scrapbooker, the colors you choose have a major impact on your composition.

I love color!  I love combining colors that will complement a layout or design.  That works out great since we have an almost endless supply of color choices.  There are tens of millions of colors in our wonderful world but they all start from three root colors.  The three primary colors when mixing paint are red, yellow and blue.  These are the root colors that can be combined to create every other imaginable color.

When you combine any two of the primary colors the resulting colors are referred to as secondary colors.  Most people know you combine red + yellow to get orange, yellow + blue produces green and blue + red equals purple.  These are the secondary colors-orange, green and purple.

Combining a primary color with it’s closest secondary color produces six tertiary.  Think of it like a family tree.  The primary colors are the parents, their children the secondaries and the tertiary are grandchildren.  The tree just keeps expanding to produce an endless array.

 

 

Light passing through a prism mixes a little differently.  The transmitted primary colors are the color of the light source itself and are red, green and blue.  The mixing of these colors of light is how television mixes light to get colors.

Keep in mind it’s not necessary to understand everything there is to know about the two types of primaries because the end result is that using different colors in relation to one another is the same regardless of the set of primaries.

How you combine colors in your layout is where the magic begins. Some colors just seem to work better together to achieve a pleasing design.  A color wheel is a great reference tool to easily learn which combinations work best.  Use color theory to take you scrapbook layouts to a new level.

12 Reasons I Love Digital Scrapbooking

I’m sure there are many reasons why digital scrappers prefer digital scrapping over traditional. This list is not intended to be all-inclusive. These are just a few of the reasons I love digital.

Scrap Artist

1. All of my photos and supplies are easily accessible in one place.
2. They take up very little physical space, about the size of a laptop or desktop computer!
3. It’s easy to store duplicates (or triplicates) of photos & supplies in a safe place, on or off site.
4. When I want to get some scrapping done, I just pick up my laptop and get started.
5. When I’m ready for a break, I just save my work and close my laptop.
6. No messes to clean up.
7. Multi-tasking. I can scrap, chat on Facebook, check my email, find a perfect kit, purchase it & download it all at the same time.
8. There is a huge community of like minded people that are now my friends.
9. Supplies can be reused. It’s easy to add, delete, rotate or tweak layouts until you’re satisfied.
10. You’re making everyday moments into memories of a lifetime.  Preserve those memories!
11. Make one of a kind scrapbooks for yourself, your family and friends. They’ll be glad you did.
12. Have fun while exploring your creativity, learning new things and exercising your brain.

Passport to Creativity

That’s just 12 reasons I love digital scrapbooking. I could go on and on.  I’m sure you can identify with some or all of these and then some. Leave me a comment and tell me, what do you love most about digital scrapping.