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Tuesday Tutorials : Christine Middlecamp : "Almost Perfect" Layout

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This week Tuesday Tutorials welcomes Christine Middlecamp.


Christine's work is all about the details.

I really appreciate that a big part of her creative process is the craft of building each page. I see the layers she creates as a metaphor for the layers we all accumulate in our lives from moment to moment, year to year. I love that I can look at her work and see all kinds of interesting combinations of elements to try out on my own projects.

Growing as a creative person often involves "trying on" different styles as we come to discover what is just right for us. One of the things I hope you take away from this tutorial series is the opportunity to be inspired by people who may approach things differently than the way you naturally create.


For today's tutorial Christine has put together a great set of PDF instructions for you to download that showcases her entire approach step by step. True to her individual style her instructions are just as detailed as the pages she creates. Thanks so much for participating Christine!


Here's a look into Christine's process:


Collage


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Most scrapbookers are collectors by nature. We love to collect product to use on projects. Who doesn’t look forward to the latest releases produced by some of our favorite manufacturers every Summer and Winter during the popular event, CHA? It’s this time of year that I often run across links to sneak peeks of new product when visiting some of my favorite scrapbooking websites. I follow the trail of mentioned links in hopes of finding inspiring, newly designed products. I establish a long list of must-haves and patiently wait for the new products to reach store shelves. I’m fully aware that inspiration is right around the corner following CHA, and that by adding new scrapbook items to my collection, I’ll be motivated to try new techniques and build on old ideas needing update.


My heavily detailed scrapbooking style is the result of many years of collecting paper goods. I use an assortment of products to create multi-layered layouts that can often take up to two days to complete. Before starting a layout, I organize small piles of supply items around my work area, including rub-ons, label stickers, letter stickers, word stickers, stamps, chipboard pieces, die-cuts and more. I’m of the philosophy that if things are organized and accessible, more can be accomplished. I’m also inclined creatively to work with a large variety of paper goods. To create these detailed layouts, selection is key. My collection of paper goods is ultimately what drives my work. Without it, my scrapbooking style would be very different.


Lately I’ve been inspired by the retro-kitschy scrapbook products being put out there by manufactures and digital designers. They’re fun, interesting and a great way to offset an otherwise traditional layout. For my layout tutorial, I focused on using pastels, vintage elements, and retro inspired patterns to create a softly spoken layout about my son.


To learn how to create the following layout, click below to download the instructions and supply list (choose number one or two depending on your internet speed):

LARGE FILE : Download Almost Perfect Layout Instructions
(this is a large file - 50MB -so depending on your internet speed it may be quick or could take awhile)

SMALL FILE : Download Almost-perfect-layout-instructions-low (1MB)

and

Download Almost Perfect Supply Product List


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I use a host of scrapbooking techniques when working on layouts. There
are a select few I use over and over again. Some of them have evolved
over time, but for the most part, they remain the same. I depend on
them to build heavily detailed layouts. In supplement of the tutorial,
I’ve put together a small compilation of those techniques I can’t live
without when scrapbooking. Find them below:

PATTERNED PAPERS
Pattern paper is a great way to carry a theme throughout a layout. It doesn’t have to be specific to the theme though! In this layout, I spoke of my son’s blooming personality. I love watching him grow and evolve as a child. I think every mother enjoys watching her children grow up. My pattern paper choices are reflective of the happiness I feel when I’m with him. I’m especially fond of the “lemon” paper. It’s rhythmic, bright and does a great job of capturing the essence of the layout.



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COLLAGE GROUPINGS
Creating miniature collages is easier than you think. The key is locating a place for the collage on your layout. Pay attention to direction. Follow the lines. Where do your eyes take you when looking at your layout? Find an intersection on your layout and create a collage! The task of creating the collage might take a little extra time, but it’s a practical way to add detail. Collages don’t have to be perfect! The only rule of thumb I follow is to maintain a relationship between the items in the collage via proximity and direction. Keep things close together and pay attention to whether something is horizontal or vertical.


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SIMPLE LAYERING
The basis of layering doesn’t have to be complicated. Actually, layering is a “simple” technique. It’s a matter of putting one thing on top of another. It’s the collection of “layers” that ultimately completes the heavily detailed appearance of my layouts. In the example above, I combined a sticker, chipboard piece and flower w/pearl. The simplicity of the combination is charming and sweet.


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POP-DOT DIMENSION
Need a lift? Foam Core Pop Dots find their way on my
layouts all the time. If an area of collage is feeling “dull”, bring
one of the elements off the page with a pop-dot. I actually struggled
with this area of the layout. The alpha stickers felt flat, even with
the fabric brad and felt flower. By “popping” the resin flower off the
page, the area’s awakened and the title of the layout is more
noticeable.


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HAND-MADE LAYERED FLOWERS
I rarely use flowers “as-is”. I enjoy layering flowers with other kinds of scrapbook supply items like label stickers, die-cut flowers, cardstock, paint, glitter, brads, epoxy stickers, buttons and rhinestones. I use a combination of all these items along with pop-dots to create hand-made layered flowers. I have small drawers in my scrapbook area devoted to color coordinated die-cut pieces ideal for using with flowers. It’s my favorite technique. Even though most of my layouts are about my young son, I still use flowers on almost all of his layouts. I simply can’t go without.


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WORKING WITH LINES
Lines on a layout are like roads on a map. They create flow and structure. You wouldn’t know which direction to go if they weren’t there. Lines are easy to add to a layout. I like to use thin paper strips, borders, titles, repetitive elements, and large embellishments for creating directional movement on my layouts.


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Middlecamp_092608_034-Edit-bw Christine lives in South Saint Paul, Minnesota with her young son Ethan. She's been scrapbooking for over three years and has played multiple roles in the scrapbook industry both as a designer and teacher. Christine designs for Crate Paper & Sassafras. In the Past, she's designed for Prima Marketing, October Afternoon, and Studio Calico. She's also guest designed for various online venues. She hosts a well-established blog, "Retrospection", where she shares her latest work and the occasional project kit. Christine's work is very detail oriented. She has a passion for embellishments and texture. By combining funky unique scrapbook items, Christine creates beautifully layered scrapbook layouts that keep the eye moving around the page. Her work is highly ornate, though with an edge of playfulness and elegance combined. No detail is ever left behind.


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38 thoughts

  1. Amber says…
    07/07/2009

    Wow, that is absolutely beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing! When I'm not groggy from being up with my 2 year old way too early I'm going to come back, read all the details, and ooh and aah properly.
    Thanks so much for sharing!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Janene says…
    07/07/2009

    Absolutely love the details involved. And thank you for clarifying some of the confusion with he mini collages.
    Wasn't able to download the instructions. WIl check back later. thanks again!

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Lisa says…
    07/07/2009

    Thanks for sharing Christine! I love your work!

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Amy M. says…
    07/07/2009

    Great tutorial! Love all the details that are involved.

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Katie Squires says…
    07/07/2009

    I ADORE Christine's WORK :) This is an awesome lesson :) Tank-you :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Melanie says…
    07/07/2009

    Great layout - Christine is the layering & collage queen! Thank you so much for sharing!
    Unfortunately, I was not able to download the instructions.

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Ali Edwards says…
    07/07/2009

    Hi Melanie - did you try the smaller file size download?

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Rhonda H says…
    07/07/2009

    Ali, How can it be that I love both your clean, simple style AND Christine's layered-on look equally as much? BUT I DO!! What a great link to her blog. Thanks for keeping us inspired in so many ways. I just love the pic of Simon pushing Anna in the stroller. THey totally have the same smile!!! :)
    I finished Stacy J's LOM in May, and am eyeballing CZ's Sept BPS class and your Oct. one...am I crazy to try it? I figure if I got through LOM successfully, which I did, I can do them! Can't wait!!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Madeline says…
    07/07/2009

    Thanks so much for all of the tutorials that you give to us! I love this. I am very detail oriented.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Johanna Dietrich says…
    07/07/2009

    I haven't even really started scrapbooking big "layouts" yet, but I have wondered if there might be any other way to store them except for tucking them into plastic sleeves in an album (which somehow I haven't grown fond of yet – I love the touch and feel of paper so much, do I really have to trade that in for plastic?). Now that I see this highly three-dimensional piece, I wonder if Christine has figured out another way to store them and keep them accessible at the same time …?

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. jamaica says…
    07/07/2009

    wow, this is gorgeous! I'm not a layerer but Christine's layout makes me want to try, all those delicious details. thanks for inspiring me to get out of my box!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. [email protected] says…
    07/07/2009

    Thanks for this posting. It was beautiful and the instructions especially helpful!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Joy Buss says…
    07/07/2009

    This is a fun layout. Love that she gave a deatailed pdf for us to follow. Thanks again Ali and Christine!

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Tammy says…
    07/07/2009

    Thanks for sharing...I love Christine's blog...I stalk it regularly...She does amaazing work and she is so incredibly inspiring!

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Krista says…
    07/07/2009

    I am so excited that you featured Christine. She is amazing. Her project kits are amazing. I have really learned a lot from her technique wise. I highly recommend following her blog. Thanks Ali. Another awesome Tuesday.

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. tammy b says…
    07/07/2009

    wow! thanks for sharing this wonderful story teller with us. her work is inspiring and her generosity is amazing

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Francesca Di Leo says…
    07/07/2009

    I'm continually inspired by Christine's work and am a huge fan of hers. Great, great tutorial. If you buy one of her kits she sells regularly, these are the kinds of instructions you get - how awesome is that. Her kits are choc-full of product, and very detailed instructions on how to use the product.
    Francesca

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Queen of Bristol says…
    07/07/2009

    Wow what a fantastic layout - and thanks for the detailed instructions - it's always great to see how other people work.
    Sandy

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Gina says…
    07/07/2009

    I'm wondering the same thing as a previous poster - how is this displayed? With the resin flower as well as the big flower, I can't imagine it is in a book. Are LOs like this framed?

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Mariangeles_spain says…
    07/07/2009

    Love Christine too!! I follow her blog as weel as this one and Noell's.
    Thanksssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. ~KellyAnn~ says…
    07/07/2009

    I'm thrilled that Christine is the featured artist in your Tuesday Tutorial. I follow her blog and love her detailed layouts, great photography, honest journaling and sweet personality. It all shines through!
    Her layouts are pure eye-candy. I often revisit them and see something new every time....her layering and design-style are amazing.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Mariangeles_spain says…
    07/07/2009

    I can't open the large file. I get an error message : "file damaged and can't be openned" :(

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Katie F says…
    07/07/2009

    So gorgeous! Thank you for reminding me to start reading Christine's blog again!

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Kathy F says…
    07/07/2009

    WOW-Ali!
    I am gonna have to read this in pieces! :) I am so in love with Christine! :) Thank you for introducing her style to me. She is very inspiring! :) I really love how she can make everything come together. It truely is an art! :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Dawn says…
    07/07/2009

    I love this...the layering and all of the detail are just beautiful! Simply amazing!

    Reply 0 Replies

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