Friday, July 22, 2011

Embellishment Tutorial

Recently, I was given a request from Teri to do a tutorial on how I embellish.  Teri commented that when "adding little bits & bobs & doodads" to my LO's,  they "look perfectly scattered" and "have a balanced - but - random look".   I thought of how best I could explain my process.  It is just kind of what I do so to break it down was a bit of a challenge.  I have determined a few things that I know about what I do and will show you examples from some of my LO's!

I have realized that most of my LO's are centered around a three colour palette.  Each colour will be used in different amounts.   In this LO,  turquoise is the main colour, pink is secondary and then there are just touches of yellow.   I am noticing that many of the super amazing designers will put in touches of colour that one would think would not match and yet they add the perfect contrast.  I find this hard to do but am trying to achieve this colour confidence.  In this LO, it is the touches of green.

Some LO's may have more colours in the palette such as this one.

You will notice that my embellishments mimic the same colour palette and balance.  Keeping your colour palette and balance in check will allow you to use more embellishments without them looking like over kill.  I am guilty of overkill at times. ;)

You often hear scrappers talk about the "visual triangle".  In my mind, it is creating that triangle around the focal point which is your photos.  You will notice on sketches that designers often place their embellishment areas in a triangle around the photo.  I often create my own triangle if it seems to be lacking on the sketch.  This triangle helps to keep the embellishments in order and allows your eye to really focus on the photo which is after all what we want to shine in any LO!  :)  Here are some examples.

Point one is the circular embellishments in the top left corner.  Point two is the title and point three is my journaling area.  This is not always a hard and fast rule, because as you can see, I also have a small circular element above the journaling area.  The eye still will feel relaxed and not feel like it is roaming all over to figure out what is what.

On this LO, point one is the owl and cloud embellishment,  point two is the title and point three is the circular cluster with ticket.  This embellishment placement guides your eye around the photo.

One way to use lots of embellishments but to keep them orderly is to use clusters of embellishments.  When I see a flower on a sketch, I don't just put one flower or one circle.  This is a spot to arrange a little cluster of yumminess.

You can see how I interpreted this sketch

into this LO.

I think that what gives my LO's that "scattered" look is the use of brads, pearls and buttons.  These wonderful little circular objects can be strategically placed to guide the viewer's eye in a very relaxing manner.

Notice how the little pearls in the top left corner guide your eye down towards the photo.

 On this busy LO, the red pearls guide your eye through the LO from top to bottom.

Embellishments can also be placed in such a way as to create an element in a sketch.  I decided that I didn't want to use an actual circle when using this sketch.

The placement of the clouds, butterfly and banner flags gives the illusion of a circle.  It allows many embellishments to be orderly.

Lastly, layering up embellishments is still my favourite way to get lots of interest and detail on my LO's.

I hope that this has helped to inspire in some way.  Keep in mind that I spend hours looking and studying what other scrappers do!  Yes, I am the first to admit that I am the queen of scraplifting!  I love that this high tech world of ours allows us to have so much access to others who enjoy our passion!  I love seeing what other scrappers have thought of and then giving it a go.  I keep a folder in my I Photos where I drag anything that inspires me!  

I will leave you with a list of links to some of my favourite designers.  These are the ladies whose work I stalk!!  hee hee  Take a peek and be totally inspired by their talent!!

Happy Scrapping!!  Jen :)


  1. Jen, you really do have a wonderful knack for embellishing and layering... all of your LO's are amazing!!! Thank you for sharing. BTW.. my little one loved looking at your pages! He loves the pages of Mo, Lady and Thomas and asked how old Thomas is, if he is the same age. I told him no, that Thomas is still a baby. :)

  2. That was a great explanation of your lovely style - I love that scrappers are so open and helpful - I think I'm in need some of your advice! Thanks

  3. Yay! Jen, thank you, thank you, thank you! This tutorial really made it so much clearer what you do! I wonder if I can get into my scrap room today...I am inspired! :) You're the best!!! :)

  4. Jen, thank you so much for this information, it is very helpful!!

  5. Very interesting post Jen, I have enjoyed a good read out in the sunshine here today :)

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  7. Nice tutorial with lots of useful info. :-)

  8. THanks for the shout out my friend ;)


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