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weekend creative : hand-drawn grids + repeated shapes

Ae_everydaylife_low

I like organized layouts.

I have done my fair share of a variety of different kinds of layouts (single photo, artsy, words + photos, etc), but truth be told hand-drawn grids (where the grid is drawn onto the background cardstock) are one of my most favorite ways to actually construct a page. Using a grid provides a home for all my elements: photos, words, embellishments, stamps, patterned papers, etc.

Something about working in this fashion always seems to encourage me to dig through my stash and find some of those long-lost embellishments I forgot I had purchased.

All supplies from Designer Digitals. Ali Edwards: Hand-Drawn Overlay Grid (available Sunday), Stacked Dates (available Sunday), Painterly Backgrounds No. 1, The Story Word Art, Everyday Twill; Katie Pertiet: Messy Stamped Alpha No.2, Botanist Notebook Vol.2, Clock Parts 2, Curled Journal Spots, Journaling Strip Masks, Lil Bit Tags; Pattie Knox:Absolutely Acrylic Elements; Jessie Edwards: Gloriously Paper; Andrea Victoria: Faux Bois-Woods, Pina Paper Pack; Lynn Grieveson: Flitter Kit

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Layout created for a class Margie taught this past year. Click for larger image. Supplies: Cardstock: Bazzill; Pen: American Crafts; Everything Else: Making Memories - felt flowers, ribbon, stickers, patterned paper.

Here's the process I go through to create a hand-drawn grid:

1. Punch out a bunch of squares with my Marvy Giga punch. Use all those squares to figure out how many I want on my layout. Most of the time I fill it up (16, 2x2 squares on a 12x12) but you could also do half a page or a single row of squares to create a smaller grid.

2. After punching I arrange them on the background cardstock and use a pen (American Crafts Precision Pens) to draw around them to create the hand-drawn boxes (use the punched pieces as templates).

3. Don't worry if there are little pen mistakes in your grid - that is part of the "look" and the "charm" of this style of grid. If you want it perfect you could create a bunch of squares on your computer and print those out onto cardstock. The digital version of my 12x12 hand-drawn grid will be available from Designer Digitals on Sunday (could easily be printed onto an 8x8 for a smaller version).

4. Add elements. Not all places within the grid "homes" need to be filled with a bunch of stuff. Sometimes just a word sticker is enough - especially on antwo-page spread. I also like to have some elements breaking out of the grid shapes (such as the larger flower on page one of the two-page spread above).

A hand-drawn grid design such as those above would be a cool base for a holiday project...hmmm...need to put that on my list for this year (similar to this one I created a couple years ago).

You may also notice that I like to do a painted background underneath the hand-drawn grid. This is as simple as dumping some paint onto the cardstock and using your brush to create a sqaure that does not touch the edges of the paper. Let it dry before drawing in your grid.

One of the biggest ideas here is this: don't reinvent the wheel design-wise each time you go to tell a story. I love grids. Hand-drawn. Computer generated. Punched. Etc. Basically any lined up repetition of shape. They are a great way for me to organize information + accents and they are a great starting point for just about any project.

Here's a couple non-hand-drawn grid/repeated shape examples from the past:

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Here's one from 2005. The white on top of the green cardstock is an old transparency from Karen Russell's Narratives line. Those metal rimmed circle tags continue to be a favorite today.

Grids don't have to be hand-drawn. Grids do not have to be squares. Grab a glass from the kitchen and create a layout based on a bunch of circles or gather a bunch of chipboard circles and use those as your foundation. Think repetition of shape.

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Above is my second-ever layout from back in 2002. Photos placed together to create a grid with "gutter" space in between each photo. This was before I had purchased any embellishments at all - words + photos and some vellum.

The examples from Three Things this week were also grids.

And one more I posted last weekend featuring a circle grid (good example of partial page grid):

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All products from Designer Digitals: Ali Edwards: Layered Template #22, Circle Overlays + Frames, Family Hand Drawn Words; Katie Pertiet: Little Forest Friends, Krafty Ledger, Flossy Hearts; Patti Knox: Have A Heart, Absolutely Clear Acrylic Elements, Have A Heart Felt 3; Anna Victoria: Autmn Crush

And the cover page for my Week In The Life CKU album from 2007 (I have plans to do another version of this project sometime in the next month):

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This one is really a bunch of square punched photos and patterned paper squares all gathered together in a nice grid format. Again, it's not rocket science. It is punching things out and lining things up and finding a way you like to do things and repeating it for different stories.

Another way to think in terms of a grid? Use divided page protectors - they essentially provide you with homes for all your elements. You can read more about working with those here.

Today's prompt is to create a layout (paper or digital or both) that incorporates a literal grid. Play around. Try creating a hand-drawn base or play around with aligning a bunch of the same shape on one or two pages.

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[ weekend creative is a semi-regular feature appearing on Fridays : past projects can be located in the archives. ]

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46 thoughts

  1. Emily J. says…
    09/19/2008

    Some great layouts Ali!! I am definitely going to "lift" some of your pages featured. have a great weekend!

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Amy K in FL says…
    09/19/2008

    I think maybe this is what I need to do for our Europe trip...I have so many pictures I want to use, and if I just repeat this format for at least each city we visited, I'll have a good start. Maybe it'll help me finish my week in the life album from CKU too! Thanks for the reminder.
    Amy K in FL

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  3. Amy says…
    09/19/2008

    great ideas Ali, can't wait for the new DD products!

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  4. Felecia says…
    09/19/2008

    What I love most about your style is that you get so much of a story on one page! Love this!

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  5. jenny says…
    09/19/2008

    Loving this inspiration.....I was stuck on a page last nite..and this will be perfect. Great advice you gave...don't reinvent the wheel - design wise!

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. ms ellie says…
    09/19/2008

    Thank you for the inspiration! I love the simple style.

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Nicky Anderson says…
    09/19/2008

    Like it a lot - may try and get a few done this weekend around redoing Brody's bedroom - we ordered him a bunk bed - he is so excited. Hence time to repaint, new flooring (take the old carpet out), new maps and pictures for the wall. I think I am more excited then him. Also, just got my Wacom tablet and Photoshop elements in the mail this week - time to play, try some of your templates and take a new look at combining digital and traditional. May be a good way to try a grid!!!! Have a great weekend!!
    Have you got your lockers painted and ready to go yet??
    Nicky

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  8. Erin M says…
    09/19/2008

    Thanks for reminding us that we don't need to "reinvent the wheel" every time we sit down to create. I often get stuck on the design and just waste too much time worrying about that, rather than just getting the memories onto paper.
    Thanks for the constant inspiration Ali!

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Mary Rogers says…
    09/19/2008

    oh my gosh! those baby pictures of simon - what a little chub he was! love this and I can't wait for your new stuff to show up in the DD store...

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  10. Ann-Marie says…
    09/19/2008

    So simple and yet so AWESOME!

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  11. Laura T. says…
    09/19/2008

    Ali - Absolutely LOVE ALL of these layouts. I've never thought about hand-drawn grids. I think I may need to try this soon.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. noell says…
    09/19/2008

    I love your gridded layouts, Ali. It's so good to see some new ones together with some of your older ones. It also fascinates me how early you found a concept you love (you gridded your second layout!).
    I have a layout I love, which I've repeated, that I base one what I call an "invisible grid." The grid isn't drawn and it's not 100% filled up, but enough of the places are filled so that it implies a grid--our brains are able to fill in the missing spots and sort of feel the grid that isn't all the way there.
    Here is a link to the layout:
    http://www.paperclipping.com/2008/06/13/questions-about-the-gridded-layout/
    I have a video tutorial on how to do it, but it will be archived soon, perhaps this weekend. Here is the link while it's still free:
    http://www.paperclipping.com/2008/06/09/paperclipping-46-invisible-grid/
    Have a great weekend!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Nikki says…
    09/19/2008

    This grid style and your talent for pulling it off in such an artistic way is why I gravitated towards your work when I started scrapbooking!

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  14. Johanna says…
    09/19/2008

    Thanks so much for this post! This one really "got" to me :) (I've tried to put down in words what it actually was, but somehow I didn't get it straight – it has a lot to do with seeing your second-ever layout and your current work next to each other though and suddenly feeling flooded with hope, that I can do this, too!)

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Sara says…
    09/19/2008

    A couple of years ago when I found your blog I started doing a lot more grided layouts (thanks for letting us borrow your style!), and it's totally changed the way I scrap. I do strictly digital, and love getting more photos on a page. I'm always amazed how I can use on template on so many pages and none of them look remotely the same because of embellishments. When I stopped reinventing the wheel I got so much more caught up and love that there is some consistency that pops up from time to time to pull the whole book together as well.
    Thanks for all the great tips... hope you're feeling well!
    sara
    http://gitzengirl.blogspot.com

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Kristin says…
    09/19/2008

    Thanks for so many ideas Ali - I love this style, i love order in my home and also in my scrapbooks!

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Christina says…
    09/19/2008

    Hee heee....baby Simon was soooo cute.

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. noell says…
    09/19/2008

    Sara--what a great comment about having some consistency in the album. I have also found that duplicating templates doesn't take away the variety--but there is still that underlying consistency that I hadn't really considered that can pull the album together. You just gave me another reason to duplicate even more. =)

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Bonnie says…
    09/19/2008

    Hi Ali.
    Congratulations on baby #2 and I love seeing Simon just blossom! I want to thank you for sharing yourself -- your mind, your eye, your art, your perspective. I have a doctorate in Org Behavior but consider myself -- in all venues of my life to be a storyteller. I strive for pushing the creative exploratory edge in my teaching, research, photography, personal life...all of me! -- and in merging the space between academia and life in its fullest. I have struggled to explain this since it usually results in categorizations that I reject and that don't fit. I just can't wear anything anymore that doesn't fit. So instead I simply "do" and the more I lean (sometimes fall!) into this the more I emerge. I am now experimenting with breaking traditional research boundaries through art using photography, digital scrapping and other hybrid forms. It is exhilarating. I wanted to tell you how much you sustain me in this journey. You are unique in that you do push the limits beyond traditional notions of scrapping (and I respect traditional, radical and new forms yet to come) and I find myself resonating with how you gently nudge and push intellect into the scrapping world in new ways (not that its absent at all!). I teach in a business school in Cleveland and if you are ever inclined I would love to invite you to speak at our school. Management today is about breaking boundaries, expression of thought/idea and innovation -- my working theory is that stories are the way through the chaos. Thank you for being a touchstone of clarity for me. You possess a beautiful, gentle genius. Blessings, Bonnie

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  20. Kate says…
    09/19/2008

    I'm a grid girl too! I love the new stacked date you came up with.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Laura says…
    09/19/2008

    i have really been using these grids with scrapbooking old photos I have...and it is so helpful. Thank you for your wonderful designs!

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Jessica Stoops says…
    09/19/2008

    Ali- I had been thinking about that square punch you rave about for awhile. Your post today pushed me to finally get and try some grid layouts. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Jess

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Molly I says…
    09/19/2008

    Good stuff! These are just classic, timeless layouts. I love all of your work, Ali, but this look is the reason I was drawn to your books and your style in the first place. Hope you're well.
    - Molly

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  24. jennlui says…
    09/19/2008

    ooooohhh great inspiration! thanks ali! sometimes it's the simplest things, like repeating squares, that make a light bulb light up!!! i'm running to my art journal right now!!! have a great weekend!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Lisa says…
    09/19/2008

    This is a technique I learned from you at WITL/CKU/Nashville last year. I've used it many, many times since. It has become a favorite for me too. And I can't tell you how many friends have bought the square giga punch after browsing through my layouts. You should have bought stock! As always, thanks for the many things you teach us, Ali.

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