Dissecting Design

Hello Daisies! Did you have fun at the crop? I know I thoroughly enjoyed the time I got to play and chat with everyone.

Emily here with a little dissection for you today, I’m hoping that with a little bit of break down, I can encourage you to play along with my challenge from this weekend’s crop!

First off, I printed a large black and white photo of my son playing basketball. Part of my challenge was to silhouette a photo. This might frighten you, take you back to the 90’s when silhouetting was big (and the reason I quit scrapbooking back then, I couldn’t bear to cut up a precious photo. Now with digital prints, I don’t worry about it.), but here are some tips that should help allay fears.

  • The best kind of photo for silhouetting is a front-on, full to 3/4 body shot. Head shots are great too, if you can get the whole head and shoulders in the picture.
  • Go big! Not having the bounding box of a traditional photo, going big allows your photo to stand out.
  • Sit your photo on a shelf of some sort. Floating in the middle of the page DOES.NOT.WORK.

My shelf was the bottom of the page. Once I had my photo silhouetted, I started clustering some elements around it. Don’t be afraid to go over and under your photo. It adds a lot of dimension. And don’t be afraid to stitch through your photo, again with digital files it’s easy to reprint if you don’t like the look.

My next addition was the large “BE YOU” text. Don’t be turned off by pink on a boy’s page, and don’t worry about not being able to see the entire letter. As soon as I added that strip, this layout started looking like an ad. It also grounded the photo. I hadn’t attached my photo or cluster yet, so I took those off an stitched down the strip of text.

The title work was what took me the longest. I tend to like long titles, if you have to move them around, that’s a lot of letters to move. I originally had the title in two rows, but it just didn’t look right, so I snugged it up against my son’s left arm and turned two lines into three.

I added my subtitle, “shooting hoops,” and decided I wanted more turquoise to balance that out. I didn’t have any turquoise embellishments or paper, so I used the border on the sheet of Jillibean Soup stickers, the place where the company puts their logo and product name or information. You’ll notice both stars are partially hidden behind the photo. It’s because I couldn’t get a full star w/o some text in it. It worked perfectly. AND the stars were adhesive, just like the alphabet! Use what you have, be creative!

Next I added my splats of paint. Another part of my challenge was to add these. I don’t naturally gravitate toward paint on a layout, but this month I really tried to use it in a way consistent with my simple graphic style. I decided to use white on white, so the paint element wouldn’t overwhelm my design. I watered down the paint, loaded my brush, and held it over the places I wanted paint. With a little encouragement, I was able to get paint in the appropriate spots. It took about 3 hours to dry, but I like how it looks.

My final step on the layout was to add my journaling. There were a number of places I could have done this, but it seemed to balance with the large black title best if I kept the journaling snugged up to my son’s left side again.

I honestly had a blast putting this layout together. I’ve had a serious mojo block for a number of months, but I think stepping out of my ordinary method–silhouetting a photo instead of using a traditional rectangular image–really helped jump start my creativity. Using paint, something I don’t usually do, also shook things up and I ended up using paint on every project I did this month!

I know for some of you, some of these things can be scary, but I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try this challenge. It may be just the thing you need!


May sketch challenge
Pick Your Cocoa Daisy Crop Promo: Day 3


  1. PaulaSG

    Wow! This is amazing! Fabulous layout Mle!

  2. kissy

    This layout is sooo cool Emily!!

  3. j



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *