Creating Scrapbook Pages with Unity and Variety

Unity and variety are two of the most fundamental principles of design. When used correctly, these two principles complement each other and result in artwork that looks just right, complete, and pleasing.

Unity happens when the parts of a scrapbook page or layout (or any kind of art) work together to be seen as a whole. It’s difficult to specify exactly how to achieve it because unity is an impression of the person that is making the observation. It is a feeling that is conveyed to the viewer of the art. And because we’re unique, each of us with our own perspective, it comes down to who you are making your art for.

With all that said, there are a couple of tips that have proven time and time again to result in artwork that looks unified to pretty much everyone.

Unity and Variety #ctmh #closetomyheart #unity #variety #harmony #artprinciples #designprinciples #ctmhdocumented #bashful #ctmhcentralpark #thincuts #stichedhearts

The first tip will sound fairly obvious: greater unity can be achieved by reducing diversity! In this instance, we specifically mean reducing how much diversity you employ in each of the main elements of design (shape, color, lines, texture, space, value, and form). In our example above, you can see that we kept to just a handful of colors and basic shapes, most of them created by straight lines. Because the various elements of the page share many attributes, there is less diversity and greater unity.

Our second tip to building unity in scrapbooking is the use of repetition. Looking at our example again, what repetition do you see? Let us know what you find in the comments below. (Hint: there is so much more than just the square shapes! 🙂 )

This leads us to the second principle of design we are discussing today. To create pages that are visually interesting and exciting, you have to have variety in your art.

Variety occurs when you use differences and change on your pages to increase visual interest.

The scrapbook page we are sharing with you today is made up of 12 3″ x 3″ squares. This works well in this instance because of the variety in the patterns, colors, and photos. The elements need to be alike enough so we can see that they belong together and at the same time different enough to be interesting (harmony).

The principles of art are tried and true methods for organizing the elements of your art. When all of the pieces work together, the result is harmonious! Make an effort to strike a good balance between unity and variety on your scrapbook pages so that your albums will be brimming with enjoyable works of art! Keep following us on the blog to learn more!


Recipe:

12″ x 12″ Love Today Page
D1772 My Acrylix® Documented—Scrapbooking Stamp Set, X7234B Documented Paper Packet, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z5941 Bashful Cardstock, X5984 Pixie CardstockX5984 Pixie Cardstock, X5963 Poppy Cardstock, X5983 Sorbet Cardstock, X5961 Saffron Cardstock, Z2844 Pixie Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z2852 Poppy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, X7234C Documented Complements, Z4177 Documented Dots, Z4171 Documented Titles, Z4197 Central Park Alphabet, Z4182 Thin Cuts—Stitched Hearts, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Sewing Machine

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Tonya Sheridan: Why I Love the Close To My Heart Community

Tonya Sheridan: Why I Love the Close To My Heart Community #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhconsultant #stickyboy #family

There is no single word that describes the Close To My Heart community better than “blessing.” During this month of gratitude and Thanksgiving, I want to share why this community has been such a blessing for both myself and my family.

Close To My Heart—her Consultants, her Home Office team and Executive Team, and above all, Jeanette, have become a family to me. They have not only helped me discover who I am but also have helped me define the type of woman that I aspire to be. They have continually supported my dreams and fostered my growth as an individual, mother, leader, artist, and businesswoman.

Tonya Sheridan: Why I Love the Close To My Heart Community #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhconsultant #stickyboy #family

This family is composed of a community of many: my personal Team, my larger Team, my fellow Consultants across the country and around the world, and our Home Office teams. They have provided a support system that is like no other—a community that has seen each other through tears of sadness, trials and tribulations, losses, sicknesses, triumphs and celebrations, and complete joy. I have found strength within these relationships and have witnessed bonds like nothing else I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing or being a part of. These relationships are indeed priceless. They are genuine. They are real.

Within this community and on this journey that we call life, I find hope, respect, empowerment, unity, and togetherness. I find individuals building each other up. I find inspiration, faith, and celebration. We share a passion for preserving our memories and these relationships. I truly believe that these passions are what enable these unique relationships to grow. Along my 9-year Close To My Heart journey, I have been taken under the wings of great Consultants and encouraged to fly. I find myself now taking my own Team, and others who are now where I once was, under my wings. Their goals have become my goals to help them achieve. I want to walk with them as they make their dreams—with both Close To My Heart and in their personal lives—come true. All the while, Close To My Heart will help them grow and let their inner beauty shine.

Tonya Sheridan: Why I Love the Close To My Heart Community #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhconsultant #stickyboy #family

I am continually touched by the caring, selflessness, and giving nature that is a trademark of the Close To My Heart family. I have witnessed first-hand Consultants rally to help families recreate their families’ memories when they lost their homes to floods, help fellow Consultants earn incentive trips, make cards for troops overseas and at home, and hold creative fundraisers for our amazing charity partner Operation Smile™ and so many other personal causes. This selfless nature speaks volumes to the character of the Consultants and their company.

One of the things I love the most about our community is that even though I am the Consultant, my own family is treasured and valued as well. My children are asked about with genuine interest, not just as a formality. Little details are remembered by the Executive Team and other Consultants, which I find truly endearing.

To illustrate, my most cherished Close To My Heart memory is shared with my daughter, Abigail. She is now eight and has grown up with CTMH. She can do the “twist-twist-tap-tap-tap stamp dance” in her sleep, and with sass! She can name most of the colors in our palette, knows many of our products inside and out, and could probably teach my classes better than I could. She loves Close To My Heart and tries to be a part of it. Last year, Close To My Heart did a special promotion in which copies of Sticky Boy were sent out randomly with orders. Abigail wanted me to have one so badly! She stalked my orders looking for a Sticky Boy, helped me post to his Facebook page that she would give him a good home, and more. The campaign ended, no Sticky Boy had arrived at the Sheridan household with my orders, and Abigail was in tears. The following week, a package arrived addressed to Abby. Tucked inside was a handmade card and a stowed-away Sticky Boy. Never have I seen such delight and pride in her eyes! That is the magic of Close To My Heart—a magic that is incomparable! One individual taking note and blessing another. Astounding.

Tonya Sheridan: Why I Love the Close To My Heart Community #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhconsultant #stickyboy #family

The Close To My Heart community is truly a blessing. Within Close To My Heart, I have found the place where I belong.

Thank you, Tonya, for the beautiful blog post. We’re so glad that you’re part of our Close To My Heart family!

A few months ago, Tonya sent in some beautiful artwork for Monica and Jeanette that we just had to share. First, this beautiful Designed Décor chalkboard, which features an array of messages that embody Close To My Heart’s mission:

Tonya Sheridan: Why I Love the Close To My Heart Community #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhconsultant #stickyboy #family

Tonya also sent both Monica and Jeanette amazing cards inspired by a page we created at Convention this year:

Tonya Sheridan: Why I Love the Close To My Heart Community #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhconsultant #stickyboy #family #ctmhconv2015 #makeitfromyourheart

Didn’t she do a wonderful job of turning a scrapbook page into a card? Tonya, we’re so lucky to have you. Thank you to all Consultants and customers who help make our Close To My Heart family fabulous. We love you all!

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Back to the Basics

What makes a work of art a work of art? What turns a good scrapbook page into a great scrapbook page? There are many answers to these questions, but one thing that contributes to great scrapbooking and all types of crafting is having a strong design.

There are certain principles that contribute to the strength of a design, which can really elevate the final product. Many well-seasoned crafters probably use these design principles without ever having “learned” them or even realizing they are doing it. However, for those who are new to crafting, these principles can be absolute lifesavers, and they can even give you a great place to start—a springboard for reaching greater heights. And even the most gifted crafters will inevitably find themselves tangled in the details of a complicated project as they struggle to see the big picture. At such times, it’s always good to get back to the basics.

In the artwork below, one of our artists has done just that. Taking four basic design principles as a guide, our artist created this beautiful scrapbook page:

My Sunshine

So, what are the design principles that work together to make this page so wonderful? We’re so glad you asked!

1. Pattern. Now, we’re not talking about incorporating our B&T Duos™ patterned paper here, though that does go a long way to make any project beautiful. 🙂 We’re talking about using repetition. In the page above, you can see a strong pattern of horizontal lines—the horizontal strips of paper above the photograph, the Cricut® banner underneath the title, the kraft paper behind the photo, and even the lines of corrugated metal in the photo itself! The possibilities for creating patterns through repetition are endless: Try repeating colors, shapes, and many other elements to create pattern.

2. Unity. Having all the different elements on a page work together is what makes the page look well thought out. Think of it like an orchestra: There are many different instruments, but they have to work in harmony to play something beautiful. One way to create this harmony is through color. Our artist used many warm tones on the page: Gold shimmer trim, Honey, Canary, and kraft cardstock, a strip of paper from the Brushed paper packet, a Canary stamped image–all these pieces tie in nicely with the color of the boy’s shirt in the photograph to create a sense of unity. Unity can be created a myriad of ways, so get creative! You’ll find it’s much easier than you think!

3. Variety. Though it’s important to create harmony, it’s also important to make each element unique—this is what makes the page have depth. An orchestra wouldn’t be an orchestra with just violinists! Start by determining what you’d like to unify your elements. Like we mentioned above, our artist used warm tones to create unity. Then, for variety, she used several different textures, shapes, sizes, etc. There is also variety in the cool colors used in the bottom half of the page versus the warm colors used in the top half. All of that further plays off the contrasting colors in the photo. Using a variety of products, from embellishments and twine to embossing folders and Cricut® cuts, also makes adding variety even easier!

4. Balance. This design principle is demonstrated in spades in the page above! Our artist decided to use symmetry as her primary means of creating balance, though there are other certainly other ways to create balance. Placing the photograph in the very center of the page, she then embellished all around it in a beautifully balanced way. Notice how the width of the “My Sunshine” title mirrors the width of the Canary, Cricut®-cut strip above the photograph. The symmetry of the page is not strict—those aqua dots are not lined up, people!—but the sense of balance persists in the way the elements offset each other on the page. You have to love how the gold shimmer trim and the Canary stamp in the top left part of the page balance the “July 2015” sentiment and the Glacier Extra Thick Twine bow in the bottom right.

Now that you’ve taken a few steps back to find your center, it’s time to return to your crafting space and tackle that tricky project. You can use these four basic design principles to help you through any crafting project, and before long, they will become second nature to you! Happy crafting!

Recipe

12″ x 12″ My Sunshine Page
Reflections: Front and Center—Basic
D1599 My Acrylix® Geek is Chic, X7190B Brushed Paper Packet, X5668 Honey Cardstock, Z1375 Kraft Cardstock, X5764 Pear Cardstock, X5770 Glacier Cardstock, 1275 Outdoor Denim Cardstock, X5772 Canary Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy Cardstock, Z2031 Paper Fundamentals Enchantment Assortment, Z2155 Topiary Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z2643 Canary Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Z1853 Aqua Dots, Z1918 Teal Shimmer Trim, Z1985 Gold Shimmer Trim, Z3039 Glacier Extra Thick Twine, Z1995 Honeycomb Embossing Folder, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z1851 Scallop Border Punch, Thread

Cricut® Shapes:
Artbooking
¾” Border <3> (p. 40)
1 ¼” Shift+Border <Vacation> (p. 67)

 

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