Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Choosing themes and colours with S J Crafts

When I first started scrapping a few years ago, the general trend, and I thought "the rules" were that you tried to match the colours in your photos with your supplies.  Of course that poses a problem when you don't have an exact match, and a near match can sometimes make things look forced or can accentuate the colour difference.  

lately I've been focusing more on the feel of the page or the story behind it. Using embellishments to bring out the focus of the story can give you much more scope for using different colours.  Changing photos to black and white can prevent any dramatic clashes and can often really pull the theme together.  Of course it can also help you to use up colour schemes you have in your stash already too.  

I used the Crate Paper Boys Rule collection from S J Crafts because the retro feel of the range was perfect for the photos of the gym.  You might have seen other photos on my blog of the gym in colour - the iron work in the weight machines is actually orange and a really close match to the orange in the collection, however, I didn't want to have to over-think where I put the orange embellishments.  Sometimes using colours very close to those in your photos can cause the image to get lost and this page was very much about the journey I am on so I wanted to make sure the embellishments were not too distracting or clashing.
The background piece is actually a great match for the back and white in the photos so the splash of orange in the photo mat lifts the pictures and stops them getting lost.  I wanted to use the cassette tape paper because music is such a big part of my training sessions but it has a lot of colours in.  If I had used colour photos, I would probably have had to cut the tapes out individually because of the likelihood of clashes and overlaps in shade.  Obviously the strip of tape measure washi tape highlights the theme a little more.
I wanted to create this page to remind me of how important it is to remember that I have just started on my fitness journey.  Yes, I do have a long way to go and it will be a long process so I have to bear in mind that this is just the beginning of a new me and it won't happen over night.  I have to be proud that I have started.

The embellishments in this collection are aimed at young boys but they fit perfectly here too, like the little word pieces from the ephemera pack and this fab veneer Boom!, which seems to be a word I hear often at Spartans gym!

Of course there is nothing to stop you using the colours in your photos as the lead if you are careful about your choices and they enhance rather than detract from the images.  I find the best way is to pick out one or two colours from the photos and then add in other colours.  Keeping a slight distance between the supplies and the part of the photo with the matching colour in it can also help.
In this layout I wanted to focus on the fun and playful vibe rather than overloading the page with seaside supplies.  I've picked out the orange from the hat and shorts but it is not a perfect match so I have kept them apart.  I also picked out the yellow from the te-shirt which is a better match but it does change shade in the photos depending on the light - this obviously makes it impossible to try and get an exact match in your supplies!
Choosing sunny colours lends itself well to the happy theme of the page and this helps to pull everything together.  Adding in the star print paper with the blue and green in it reflects the colours in the sea and the sky closely enough that it works, without being so close that it is trying to match and failing.
I've used embellishments from the ephemera pack and journalled onto one of the blocks from the cut apart sheets.  I love piling on layers from coordinating supplies and they don't have to be really specific to work. Here they just echo the theme of play and some of the colours I've used - they don't have to be boy specific layouts to use things from boy themed collections.
I added shells, twine and a cork heart from my stash to echo the natural beach feel without being over the top.  The veneer "4 fun" token from the collection was perfect here for the four friends playing on the beach. The journalling talks about the fun they had skimming stones and how great it was for me and our friends' mum to catch up while they played... until one of them found a hypodermic needle among the stones.  That's one theme I won't be accentuating in my embellishments!!
I've done a bit more shopping today on the S J Crafts Bargain Basement sale and the things that jumped out at me were always the feel of the colours or the styles and not the specific name or theme of the collection. I'm looking forward to using some Basic Grey Hipster on some more of my gym training pages because it has the right touch of orange and again with that slight retro feel.  I hope you find some bargains there too and expand your choices beyond the pure colours in your photos.  Let me know if you do!

Bye for now


  1. great layouts! I love the way the little bit orange makes the first one pop! the sea side photos are so fun! Have a great week! Vickie

  2. I adore these pages. I know what you mean, when I first started scrapping, I'd only pick colours in my photos. But I think these days I'm more relaxed about scrapping and I tend to pick colours and papers that I just love

  3. Just been catching up with your Blog, LJ......lots of lovely projects to look at...and Good Luck with the fitness regime!
    Alison xx

  4. Fabulous layouts!!! I love all of the embellishments on the first layout! You had left a nice comment with a question on my blog so I thought I'd get back to you with an answer: I push some of my gellatos on to a craft mat and mix it with the embossing paste there before adding it over my stencils. :)

  5. They are really great layouts x

  6. Fab pages Lisa-Jane, and I really enjoyed reading about how you think the whole thing through and use the colours and embellies to tell the story.
    And guess what!? You won the prize for my leg on the Refresh Your Craft & Soul blog hop - please let me know your address so I can post it to you :o)xxx

  7. All good advice. It's always interesting to read the process behind the page. Oh dear, it's been quite a while since I visited you too. There has not been much blog hopping (or indeed writing) around these parts lately. 'Twas lovely to see you popping up in my comments the other day xx


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