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TSR Sketch

{reported by Aly Dosdall}

Being a mom of 5 kids, I'm always looking for ways to streamline my scrapping process. Using a sketch as a design base for a page is a great way to cut down on time. It takes the guess work out of your design process while still allowing you some flexibility to make the sketch fit the needs of your particular scrapbook page or project. To some it may seem like using a sketch limits your creative possibilities, but I'm going to show you how using a sketch can actually increase your options.

I created a sketch for this article in both 12x12 and 8.5x11 formats:

After I drew up the sketches, I went to work creating 3 different projects based on them. None of my projects actually ended up following the sketches exactly, but that's what's so cool about sketches--they don't have to!

My first project is a 12x12 digital heritage page. For this project I used tilted photos for the top three blocks, and my journaling for the lower block. Instead of placing my title at the bottom of the lower block, I placed it on an upward sloping border strip to emphasize my title. The circle element is slightly to the left and down from the original sketch, but it works for my page.

"Uphill Both Ways" materials: patterned papers, tags, watch face, photo turns, brads (7Gypsies digital) + digital vintage frames (Katie Pertiet) + fonts (Liorah, Futura, Galeforce) + software (Adobe Photoshop CS2)

My next project is an 8.5x11 traditional paper page. For this page I used a single photo for the lower block of the sketch, and three tilted journaling tags for the top. I placed a rounded rectangular element and a title across my border strip.

My final project is a card. I rotated the sketch 90 degrees counter-clockwise and replaced the 3 tilted photos with a block of patterned paper triangles in a quilted pattern. I left out the circular element, and placed my sentiment in the block opposite my patterned paper.

"Thanks So Much" card materials: patterned paper (Black River Designs) + ribbon (Offray) + stamp (Hero Arts) + ink (Stampcraft) + square punch (Marvy Uchida) + pen (Zig Memory System)

Looking at these 3 projects, it's hard to tell they all came from the same sketch. The only similarities between all 3 are a border strip across the middle, and equal margins around the outside. Here are a few other ways to alter the sketch:

1. flip it horizontally or vertically
2. rotate the sketch on its side clockwise or counter-clockwise
3. divide the lower block into 3 smaller blocks to match the top
4. replace the upper 3 photos with a photo collage
5. replace any block(s) with patterned paper
6. journal around the outside to create a border
7. replace the circle element with a cluster of embellishments, or a journaling tag

I hope this article has helped you to see the endless possibilities that sketches can provide. And the best part is, they save you time so you can accomplish even more during your precious scrapping time. If you create a project using one of these TSR sketches, be sure to leave a comment with a link to your project. We'd love to see your interpretations!

What do YOU think?

Do you use sketches? Do you like them or do you think they limit your creativity? Tell us your favorite sketch artists or sketch blogs.


Rebecca G said...

I almost always use a sketch. Some of my favorites: 52 sketches (designed by Julie Bonner), Inspired blueprints, pencil lines, Let's scrap, and Nuts about Sketches.

Rhayne said...

I do use sketches a lot. Mostly my own but I also like Pencil Lines. I just find that sketching out a layout saves me time when I can actually find the time to sit down and do something :)

Gabrielle Watson said...

I love using sketches for my projects. There are times that the sketches are so detailed that I feel limited in what I want or can put on my page, but then I realize that I can do whatever I want with my page because well... it's my page :D

I love many of the online sketch sites, sketch challenge blogs, and the ones that you find in most Scrap magazines.

I also love SCRAP lifting.
That is where I get a lot of inspiration, etc.

heather said...

I use sketches probably 90% of the time. I love the ones from Page Maps I went into their archives and printed off and bunch to use for inspiration. I'm also still using my Creative Sketches for Scrapbooking by Becky Higgins. I know it's old but it's a classic and never seems to go out of style. That is what I like about sketches vs just lifting pages with a sketch you can just add in whatever trend is current.

Ashley Harris said...

What great projects Aly! Love the sketches!

mustangkayla said...

I'm a huge sketch fan these days! I love the one you shared with us! And great layouts and card using the sketch!

Diana said...

I love sketches and use them for most of my layouts. I go to Becky Fleck's PageMaps and Valerie Salmon's Got Sketch? most often, but I'll take a sketch from anywhere once I like it.

Unknown said...

Fabulous sketch! And great projects!

*Paula* said...

Nice job Aly!

jill said...

i use sketches probably 75% of the time. I love pencil lines, becky higgins, and all the sketches included in Scrapbooks etc magazine.

Marla said...

I LOVE using sketches because it gives me something to go from and great ideas.

Joni Parker said...

I use sketches maybe 50% of the time. Just depends on if I already have an idea for a layout or need that little jump start. I find that sketches are great inspiration to get me started or if I'm having a "no mojo" day, I can just use the whole sketch!! I like 52 Sketches, The Scrappiest, Stuck on U Sketches & Pencil Lines.

Allison Cope said...

I love using sketches too Aly! One of my favourite sketch sites is:

Scrapamum said...

I usual do layouts on a whim but when I'm stumped I turn to my Pagemaps book. I love it when I'm have artists/scrappers block ; )

Sam said...

I love sketches and usually jump to PageMaps first or create my own. It's a good starting point and let's me focus on the fun stuff.

Rebecca Ednie said...

I LOVE sketches!! I use them for at least half, maybe three-quarters of my scrapping and card making!! They don't often end up exactly like the sketch though. More often just inspiration or a jumping off point to get me from mommy mode into crafting mode. Otherwise I just sit there with too many options to even begin!

Kate Block said...

I LOVE sketches, especially when I feel like I am in a rut. I did one album using only 3 sketches, I turned them, switched up the papers and embellishment, etc. When I took it for "Show and Tell" to my card/scrap group, they were amazed when I told them I used the same 3 sketches for the 20 two-page layouts. Then it was like they were playing "Where's Waldo" matching sketches.