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Embrace Randomness

Just a warning. This will be a long post & maybe will sound all chaotic, HA! Winners for my recent giveaways are listed at the end of the post!!

I want to first thank everyone who made April so much fun for me even amongst the chaos! Thank you thank you thank you!!! Thank you also to all that wished me a happy birthday on Saturday. It truly means a lot to me!!
Today Marks 2 Years Since I Started DigiScrapping!!!

I can hardly believe it! In many ways I still feel like a newbie, but looking through all the hundreds of pages I’ve made I KNOW I’m not, (and I KNOW I’m a bit crazy!!). I’m still learning & growing as I go & still as addicted as when I started!

Last July, and again a couple weeks ago, I printed all my layouts in 7×7 Hardcover Imagewrap Blurb Books. I meant to blog about them last summer, but time got away from me then. Since my 2 newest books just got here on Friday, I thought I’d write while they are still fresh on my mind! I now have 4 books with 200 pages each! (Technically 8 since I print a set for my mom too.) 😀

I know many of you are like me in that you scrap randomly. And I bet you think you’ll never get them printed into books because of that. One of my favorite designers/scrappers, Paislee Press, uses the idea I was originally thinking of doing & this is to pair the scrapped layout with a full size photo from the same day on the opposite page. I sometimes scrap with older photos & scans so I didn’t think it would be as clear & nice as hers since I’m not always using the highest quality images. Also I don’t scrap all 1 family, or 1 theme, or anything like that to make a specific FOCUSED book.

And so … I decided to embrace the randomness!!!

But randomness is hard with some of my slight OCD tendencies, so I decided to make a few rules for myself or else I’d NEVER print or I’d end up not being happy with what I DID print. Below is what each book has in common:

  • Only 1 kit is used on the cover, (a different kit for each book) – I’ve been using collaborative kits since they give me a larger variety in paper patterns.
  • Covers also each use a different Squared Template by TaylorMade – This is so when the books are next to each other they look like they belong together.
  • Title is from wordart – I try to pick one that would sound like the title of a book. Then I give them each a different subtitle about “everyday memories”.
  • The first layout in each book uses the same kit as their cover & uses a non-person photo – The non-person part is simply because I scrap from all sides & generations of my family & don’t want 1 person being the focus. This is also why I don’t include photos on my covers.
  • Print 2 books at a time, 400 layouts, so at least 2 books always match in size & paper texture if the printing company changes anything. (And in case I mess up like I did this time with the spacing on the spine, then at least 2 always match.)
  • Instead of the Blurb logo I make my own that includes the date the book was printed & again uses the kit used on the cover.

Really I do scrap randomly. One day I’ll scrap a new photo & the next I’ll use a scan of a photo from the 1960’s. One day I’ll grab a brand new neutral kit to scrap with & the next I’ll have a vibrant grungy kit. One day I’ll scrap my mom’s side of the family & the next my dad’s. One day minimalism, one day artistic, one day templates, quickpages, red, green, yellow, black, full-size photos, tiny photos, etc. etc.

Because of this, I didn’t want the steps I take for printing books to change my scrapping process. I don’t think about what page will be paired with what page until after I have enough layouts completed to do my albums.

Here is my book design process for my scrapbook layouts:
(some photos are from last summer & some from now…sorry the quality & lighting is poor in these but I wanted to get them up today anyway!)

Step 1. Print thumbnail versions of all my layouts & cut them all apart. Yep, 400 little thumbnails for me! Eek! The layout filename is printed with them so I know where to find the layout later.

Step 2. (longest step) Spread out all the thumbnails to pair pages together. With this step I’m looking for colors that look good together. Designs that complement. I also try not to put pictures from the same days together if I can help it, (part of making it intentionally random). Not all the pairing are absolutely perfect, but I’ve been happy with what I’ve done so far. Once paired I tape them together.

Step 3. To determine page order I then spread out all my paired layouts & just start picking them up – Randomly – until I have them in the order I want! (Or as random as I can while still trying to keep in mind some aesthetics.) These “mini-books” are rubber-banded together.

Step 4. Using Blurbs software I then add my layouts, in the order I just created, to their full-sized photo templates. My layouts are added as flattened JPEGS that I’ve resized to 8×8 & added a small white border to.

Step 5. Wait for them to arrive!!

Now in terms of critique.

  • Cover: Feels sturdy & nice to the touch. Color is great! Because these are big books, 200 pages, I’m worried the binding will loosen or pages will come out. (These isn’t real evidence of this yet, but I still think of it when I’m sharing the books with others). So far they are holding up nicely. I normally have them set up on end at my desk.
  • Color: I’ve been pleasantly surprised how the colors have reproduced compared to what I see on my computer. I think they pretty spot on considering how many different designers products I use. There have been maybe two pages that I thought were too vibrant for me. Otherwise. LOVE THE COLORS!
  • Paper: I was worried about how see through the pages would be if a dark LO was on the back of a white page one, but I hardly notice it with normal book viewing. I didn’t upgrade to the higher grade paper, so that could be even better!
  • Details: There does seem to be some pixelation with text & with some photos. Not so much that I wouldn’t print from there again, obviously, but still enough that I wouldn’t use them for my photo studio. Personal work is different. Also, maybe if I uploaded as PDF instead these details would look nicer. Haven’t tried this. Really though the textures themselves, the elements.. Oh they look so REAL!
  • Problems: When I printed last summer 2 pages in 1 book had these tiny little red dots on them. It was only in 1 copy of the book, (remember I print 2 of each), if it had been on more I probably would have sent the book back, but I decided it was okay, (2 out of 800 isn’t so bad!). Below is close-up of the dots on 1 of the pages:

Overall though…


Colorful. Nearly Perfect. Intentionally Random!

Template Challenge Winners:
ViVre – $5 Random Winner
Blanulak – $5 Random Winner
Dady – Template Set Of Choice
Sexy_Eyes – Template Set Of Choice
Day 9 Giveaway Winner:
Glory – $5 Coupon
Day 10 Final Winner:
France – $10 Coupon

Congrats Girls!!!!! I’ll have coupons & messages to you each tomorrow 😀 And again thank you for celebrating with me!!!

(Psst…someone forgot to turn off their spotlight sale so things are still 50% off through iNSD weekend!)

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  1. Printing Digi (part 1) | Elisa Hubbard Studios - [...] the link to my previous explanation of my process: Embrace Randomness. “I don’t scrap all 1 family, or 1…

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