Happy July, everyone! I don't know about the rest of you, but I (Vivian) am in the midst of our busiest summer ever, juggling work, the kids' camp schedules that change from week to week, travel, and catching up with friends we haven't seen in a while because, well, spring was busy!
Enter clutter. Something has had to give this summer, and I've chosen to ignore the things that pile up on the dining room table. (Don't worry, I'm still attacking the clutter, just less frequently than usual.)
For today's tutorial, we are going to look at clutter in two different ways...and embrace it! First, the layout, and then the discussion of clutter...
Clutter, Part I:
Take photos of your clutter. Don't stage it, don't rearrange it, just document it. On the day I took the photo in the layout above, I was struck not by the messiness of the clutter, but by the story the clutter told. It's not a stunning photo, it's not particularly well-composed, but it's real. I tend to pull my best photos (from a photography-as-art standpoint) and use those on my layouts. Here, however, I took a step back and let the story lead.
Clutter, Part II:
Embellish with clutter. I've already dispensed with the idea that clutter = mess, so let's look at the dictionary definition (from Merriam-Webster) to help us understand what clutter might mean in a design sense: to fill or cover (something) with many things. See? Clutter does not equal mess, just space that is filled. October Afternoon's Public Library collection, featured on this layout, includes several patterned papers that fit the dictionary definition, interpreted through the lens of design. In our effort to embrace clutter, let's add to the clutter! One of my favorite techniques is taking a cluttered (remember, we are using this term in its positive sense!) patterned paper, like the Children's Section patterned paper I used on my layout, and adding embellishments on top of it. It's fun to play around with doing that in two different ways.
First, at the top of the layout, I largely added embellishments that matched the patterned paper in tone and sheen (the bird die-cut circle, the "discover" sticker, and the "weekend photos," "favorite," and "recorded" die cuts):
Second, at the bottom of the layout, I mismatched the tone or sheen of the embellishments (the heart sticker and the "my story" chipboard). These two embellishments create balance on the layout, with the heart sticker's sheen balancing the sheen of the spider tin pin at the top, and the pink of the chipboard embellishment balancing the pop of pink in the patterned paper above the photo.
So, don't de-clutter, embrace or add to the clutter to tell your story! All you clutterers out there, please share your work with us in the October Afternoon Flickr gallery so we can admire it.