It’s the plaintive cry uttered by scrapbookers everywhere, that phrase that escapes your lips in a fit of frustration when your frazzled brain just can’t fathom what in the world you should add to your layout. The nearly complete page just sits there, silently mocking you as you begin to weep, fervently wishing you knew the answer to that universal question, the one that is destined to be the bane of scrappers’ existence until the very end of time itself: “what else does this page need?”
As scrapbookers we’ve all been there. I’ve been there, and I’m here to proclaim to all who are suffering from this plight that’s at the very heart of the human condition that I’ve survived it, and so will you! And not only am I here to spout platitudes (ha!), but I’m also going to give some concrete advice as to how you can move past your worse case of scrapper’s block into the shining sun of a fresh, creative dawn.
What is this miracle advice, this holy grail of all scrapbooking tricks, you may ask?
Allow me to present to you Exhibit A (and scrapbooking’s latest trend): The Cloud.
Above: My Mind’s Eye Fine and Dandy True Blue (Daydream)
Yes, dear friends, the cloud, while not the only answer to this burning question, is a powerful tool to have in your creative arsenal. What was once merely a hot trend in scrapbooking is quickly moving into the pantheon of basic shapes that are universally accepted on layouts no matter the context. Much as flowers, hearts, stars, and butterflies (oh, those lovely butterflies) have become as common as basic shapes such as circles, triangles, and squares, clouds are making their way onto scrapbook pages about every subject and in every style under the sun. Having an array of such shapes (whether that be product or the tools to make them) at your fingertips and training yourself to turn to them in your darkest hour of need can provide a powerful jumpstart to an otherwise flatlined cropping session.
The first line of defense for most scrappers, and arguably the most popular scrapbooking supply, is patterned paper. If this is your scrappy drug of choice you’re in luck, as there are many, many cloudy options for you to choose from. Many papers stick to the standard “blue skies and fluffy white clouds” theme, such as the patterns shown below.
Sassafras’ Sunshine Broadcast line features a near-photo realistic print in the common blue and white color scheme with touches of vintage aging and distressing, called “Enlighten” (below).
Some papers add a bit of embellishment, such as this playful piece from the Echo Park “Little Boy” line called “In the Clouds” (below).
Doodlebug Designs proves that clouds can carry a holiday theme, as well, as shown in this pattern from their “Spooky Town” Halloween collection, “Midnight Sky” (below).
Bella Blvd adds a funky patterned touch to the fun collection of doodled clouds in this bright yellow print called “Creamsicle Clouds” (below) from their “Sunny Happy Skies” line.
There’s no shortage of cloud embellishments on the market today and, like patterned paper, they’re available in a wide variety of styles and colors.
Studio Calico’s cloud rub-ons (pictured below) come in several different colors and patterns, including popular wood grain and ledger prints.
Sassafras includes a cloud shape in one of their paper lines’ coordinating cardstock sticker sheets. Sunshine Broadcast, Sweetly Smitten, and Ellie’s Tale are just a few examples.
My Mind’s Eye’s “Fine and Dandy: True Blue” line features several cute patterned clouds in its chipboard set (pictured below).
DIY types will appreciate the number of cloud-related tools on the market.
Fiskars produces both large and extra large versions of a cloud shape for their popular (and oh-so-easy-to-use) squeeze punch line. Both of these punches are now staples of my personal scrapbooking tool arsenal and have a place of honor in the tool basket next to my crafting desk.
Both My Favorite Things and Papertrey Ink carry cloud dies that are compatible with almost any manual die cutting machine on the market.
Papertrey even makes a coordinating stamp set so you can color, pattern, and customize your cloud cutouts to your heart’s content.
The American Crafts City Park line also features this stamp set, complete with – you guessed it – clouds!
Above: American Crafts City Park stamp set (Fountain Accents & Phrases)
Now that we’ve taken a tour of some of the available cloud products, let’s look at an example of how we can use them.
I recently scrapped a page about my latest 5K run, held on Memorial Day. It’s a very patriotic event, so I chose a vibrant red, white, and blue color scheme and broke out some stars and a sheet of pennant banner paper. The top right corner, though, looked a little lonely when it had only the glittered blue flourish to keep it company.
The solution? I broke out my trusty cloud punches (the same Fiskars set that I talked about just a little earlier), and punched both the large and extra large out of the “B” side of my patterned paper. The result was the perfect finishing touch for a page about a fun outdoor event on a hot, sunny day.
In the real world, clouds come in all shapes, sizes and types: stormy gray rain clouds, wispy thin clouds that sail through the air during a day at the beach, flat, white clouds on snowy days, and of course the big, fluffy clouds that we’ve all come to associate with sunny spring days. Cloud products in scrapbooking are just as diverse and can be used for any variety of page subjects.
Next time you’re stuck on a page and searching for the perfect accent, pick up one of these cloud products and give it a try. It might just be the finishing touch you’re looking for!
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