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I have talked a lot about working outside my comfort zone in order to push myself creatively. If I had to choose an area in which I was the most uncomfortable, it would involve creating layouts without a photo. I rely very heavily on a photograph to inspire not only the story I want to tell but also the products that I wish to work with.The photo also guides my design. Without it, I don’t feel like I have a starting point. So what did I do when I encountered a prompt in which I was required to not use any photos?  I handled it by searching for a new place to start.

spiral-notebook-381032_1280Like many, I often begin my scrapbooking process by choosing a photo. When I see the photo, I have a story to go with it. In this case, I would have no photo. Starting with the story seemed like a good idea. But what story? Family stories have been lurking around the back of my mind. I have done several podcasts about documenting your family’s past and I have been involved in few discussions about heritage photos over in the Get It Scrapped message boards. The thing is, I don’t have photos for many of my family stories. It’s part of why I haven’t documented them. These stories gave me a good starting point. I narrowed my decision down to one in particular and then wrote it down in a notepad.

I chose a story about the time it snowed in South Florida. Yes. It really did snow in south Florida. Don’t believe me? Check here and scroll down the timeline to 1977. I was too young to remember the snow and so this particular story was told with a bit if humor and the slightest hint of a tall tale in the making. As the story went, my Grandfather owned a Doughnut shop and he had told his employees, in a joking manner, that the only time they could ever call into work was if it snowed. Evidently, he had  a lot of call ins on this particular day. Who would have ever thought it would snow in south Florida! Having a tale to tell helped me with the next step. I could now choose my supplies.

For whatever reason, I seem to amass a small collection of winter motif papers despite the fact that I have always lived in a warm climate. This was one of the ” aren’t you glad you have that in your stash” moments and I got to dig out all of my winter papers. I also chose a supply of journaling cards. Most journal cards are 3×4 and 4×6 in size, which just so happens to be the same size as the photos I typically work with. I set to work writing my story inside a 3×4 journal card. I had an extra on hand in case, I needed two. After using just one 3×4 size card, I added a 3×4 filler card with a phrase that would support my story. I now had two 3×4 size items to create my design around.


Christy Strickler Tips for Scrapbook Layouts without Photos My Scrapbook EvolutionThere was Snow in Florida by Christy Strickler |Supplies Patterned Paper: Echo Park, American Crafts;Letters: Elle’s Studio, American Crafts; Journal Cards: Cocoa Daisy; Acrylic: Colorcast Designs; Wood Veneer, Sequins: Studio Calico; Ink; Tsunkineko;Stamp: Create Indie; Button, Transparency: Freckled Fawn: Other: tape, glass beads


I did utilize the winter theme, but I also add bright colors and flowers. After all, the story is set in Florida. The bright items and flowers add a bit of tension while giving visual cues about the story setting.

Knowing that I had the two 3×4 size items to design around made it so much easier for me. I was able to follow along with my normal scrapbook  process to complete the page. I feel a lot more comfortable now with creating layouts without photos. The eureka moment was when I realized that journal cards could take the place of photos in my page design. I can’t believe I never saw something that obvious before, especially since I have substituted them for photos on other layouts with multiple pictures.

Do you make layouts without photos? Or do you find them as challenging as I once did?

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promptedno6-sq an article from the Get It Scrapped Blog






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