Up for a little challenge today? How about a 30-minute challenge? I put this layout together in a half an hour, with some help from October Afternoon's Midway and Farm Girl lines, and my trusty Sprinklers!
Step 1. Gather your supplies and decide on a color scheme.
Before the clock officially starts, take five minutes to grab your focal photo and a bunch of supplies that work with the colors in your photo and the theme of the layout. Try to use your scraps as much as possible! Don't forget to add a few accents to the mix. I tried to keep my supplies limited to those that worked with the red, aqua, and gray color scheme that I had in mind. It helps to reach for collections that are already coordinated, like the October Afternoon collections that I used.
Then...start the clock!
Step 2. Embrace a simple foundation.
Quickly decide on your background paper. It's a good idea to use neutral cardstock or a simple pattern as the foundation, so that you can work in different supplies without having to overthink or struggle to make different patterns work together. I mounted kraft cardstock atop the graph pattern from a sheet of Farm Girl "Almanac" paper. Estimated time: 3-5 minutes.
Step 3. Add some color.
While collecting supplies, I noticed the remnants of a sheet of cardstock that I had run through my die-cut machine earlier this week, and decided to use it as a mask. I placed it over the layout's foundation and spritzed Sprinklers (Token, Pink Balloon, and Miss Mary Mack) over the mask, moving the mask as I switched colors. If you'd rather not use a mask or don't have one on hand, consider spritzing the color directly on the page or dripping it over the page. Mist lightly, though, or dab the color with a paper towel, since you want the Sprinklers to dry quickly. Estimated time: 5 minutes (though dripping will take under one minute!).
Step 4. Start layering.
Place the photo and its mat (if using one) in the desired location on the layout. I like to use the rule of thirds to guide me, especially when I am working against the clock! Cut some of your papers and scraps into strips and overlap them behind the photo and/or at its base, or do your own thing. In addition to the paper strips, I added a few lengths of October Afternoon washi tape. Estimated time: 10 minutes.
Step 5. Add the journaling.
Rather than deliberate just where to place my journaling, I opted to add my journaling to some rectangles cut from the Farm Girl "Almanac" paper (mentioned earlier). That way I could add them over or under items already on the layout. The journaling is relatively short and simple, so it took me under five minutes to generate, print, and add it to the layout. Estimated time: 5 minutes (faster if you handwrite).
Step 6. Add some stitching.
I spent the last few minutes bonding with my sewing machine as it raced across the page, adding stitching to areas where papers intersected as well as around the page itself. This part is optional, of course, but I love the look of stitching on layouts, so I tend to do it with all of mine. Estimated time: 3-5 minutes.
If you happen to go over 30 minutes, don't sweat it! This is just a fun exercise to stop you from second-guessing yourself and to get you to start playing with paper. It's a great idea for those days when you have to squeeze in your scrapping time, taking it where you can get it -- and we all have those days, don't we?
I'd love to see your 30-minute layout! Be sure to share yours in the October Afternoon Flickr gallery.