Scrapbooking with a Template, Take One

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For those of us who want the time to enjoy scrapbooking as well as making something interesting, there are a plethora of helpers out there.  They are called templates, and they can be found in blogs, magazines, magazine websites, and even your fellow scrapbookers have probably doodled lots of them.  I know I have.  I buy magazines every so often and like to read them, and then cut out everything I like and add it to a box.  They come in handy when I have scrapper’s block, or when I want to make something intricate but don’t have the time or inclination to think of what to do.
Today, I made a two-page spread for the honeymoon scrapbook I am working on using a template.  Yes, it was a blank page for someone else to put their pictures in.  But that doesn’t mean you cannot do this for yourself.  Why not make blank pages for yourself, so that if something awesome comes along, you already have pages ready to put them into to wow your family and friends.  It is faster, in my opinion, to make blank pages than to make ones for pictures you have had sitting around for ages.  But don’t worry, I have ways to make those pages go faster as well.  Anyway, let us continue.
Here is the template.  It was cut from a magazine, but honestly I could not tell you which one, because I cut this out well before I decided to make a blog.  It looks cool, and not too difficult (in my opinion).  The best thing about this template, and what makes it fairly easy, is that dimensions are written on there for everything I have to cut.  After that, picking out the papers to use is the fun part.  I only used paper, a paper cutter, and a little ink for cut edges for this page.
As you can see, I decided to move away from the greens and browns of the scrapbook so far and use a bright, delicious orange for the background.  This is going to be a page about food and taking a break, so I thought it would be appropriate.
When I am making blank pages, I work from back to front.  I start with the base paper, then the background paper(s), any large decorations, journaling, photo mats, and embellishments.  I know this sounds like “duh, how else would you do it?”  Well, normally I pick pictures that I want to see together, matte them, then figure out what should go behind them to make up the page.  So I pretty much am going to go backwards for me here.  After laying out the base papers, I cut out and tape down the background paper.  There are two large rectangles in this template that make up the background.  I cut the large piece of paper behind the picture mats.  It looks like it is supposed to be a single piece, but I used an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper, which wasn’t big enough.  So, I used two coordinating pieces of paper.  I think it looks kind of funky.
The second back paper I decided to make a potato brown.  For the large, interesting shape, I freehanded a previously used piece of Ranger Distress paper.  It had a kooky bingo pattern on it that I like, but can never find a use for.  One of the best things about abstract shapes used for filler is that they don’t specifically have to match the theme.  Their only job is to look good.  And possibly provide a nice space for journaling if need be.  Which I think this will likely be.
Next came the long pieces of paper across the bottom of the page.  Now, it looked to me like these could oh so easily be have been ribbon, or fabric or anything I wanted it to be.  For me, I saw this as a perfect way to use up those extra bits of paper I always get when I trim down background paper.  So I went into my scrap paper stash and found two pieces that matched the color scheme and were close enough to the right sizes for the page.  Note that I said close enough.  Like I say, templates and measurements – at least on this blog – are guidelines, not rules set in stone.  Besides, they look sweet.
Remember that potato brown paper I cut for one of the background papers?  I cut as many mattes as I could from the leftover for about four of the picture sizes listed on the template.  I put off white cardstock on those mattes, inked around the edges with walnut Ranger Distress Ink.  For the rest of the photo mattes I used a lighter orange cardstock than that of the main background.  Still sweet.
Last but not least, I added

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