Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Studio Calico Challenges

I've become a big fan of challenges.  They both provide inspiration and force me out of my comfort zone.  They keep me from falling into a creative rut - the rut where all my layouts start to look alike. 

Lately I've felt like I was headed there.  Most of my layouts are 2 page designs, and most of the pages I've finished seemed to have a horizontal focus.  They used elements that ran across the pages horizontally to link the 2 pages and the photographs tended to be spread from side to side with any open areas in the design being at the top and/or bottom of the page.  So I'd been thinking about doing a layout with a more vertical focus to connect the two pages, but couldn't seem to get started on one.  This week's Studio Calico sketch challenge provided the jumpstart I needed.

SC 7/22/2012 Sketch challenge inspired by Nicole Samuels

The sketch is a one page sketch but had the photographs concentrated from top to bottom on one side of the page.  In this layout about making Christmas cookies, it was easy to extend the design across the second page, maintaining the vertical focus.

I incorporated my journaling into the photo blocks by printing it on vellum in a size that aligned with the different photographs.  I added a couple of small stickers to highlight the journaling.

 The next step was the vertical title.  This was a great opportunity to play with this week's weekly challenge.  the challenge was to use at least three different letter products to create a long title.  Since I have a really hard time combining different lettering styles, I wanted to push my self to do this.  Here I used American Craft Thickers (for the "C"), October Afternoon Sticky Keys, and these great red herringbone letters from Jillibean Soup that were buried in my stash.

After I put the vertical title on my layout, I wanted to add the banner elements.  As I played with the design, I decided they needed to be horizontal to balance the photo blocks and title.  I combined a piece of ribbon, an old BG journaling tag, and a BG tag from the PB&J collection.  The snowflake is a piece of a border sticker from a BG Christmas collection.

The last thing to do was to add some embellishments to the far side of the page to balance the layout.  I used more BG Christmas stickers, another tag from the PB&J collection and a MME brad to finish it off.  

I love the completed layout.  It's different from anything of done recently, incorporated a variety of products from my stash in new ways, and combines 3 different lettering styles for a fun look. 

What are your "Creative Ruts" and how do you get out of them? 


  1. Julie-
    This is a fantastic page. I tried to comment on the SC post,but you linked the original image and i couldn't comment! So i came here to tell you what an awesome job you did. Thank you SO Much for playing along!

  2. lovely two pager with the sketch. i get inspiration from magazines or from posters i see on the street

  3. You did great with that sketch. Love your double page with Christmas feel to it.... Hey , time flies; we'll be there before we know it!!