November 12, 2015

"That" Layout

Have you ever gotten an idea for a scrapbook page and just weren't able to let go of that idea until you got that page made? This is the saga of that layout...

I've seen a lot of hand-stitching on pages lately and that, combined with the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States, gave me an idea for a page. I wanted to make a photo-less page and combine stitching and patterned paper into a pie chart to illustrate the make-up of my plate on Thanksgiving. (I don't really like the traditional turkey-mashed potatoes-gravy and instead fill up on stuffing and veggies). My idea didn't seem too complicated and so I pulled out my "Gather Together" kit to get started bringing my vision to life. 

My first attempt involved making a template for my pie chart on some scrap paper, then tracing the various pieces of the pie onto different pieces of patterned paper. So far, so good. I assembled the chart on some white cardstock, trimming the slices here and there to get a good fit. It took a little more time than I expected to get my pie in a nice circular shape. I used a needle to poke stitching holes around the edge of the circle and between the slices of the pie, threaded the needle with white crochet thread and started stitching. And there the problems began...

Since my cardstock base was white, the stitches just faded right into the background. And since the seams between the patterned paper slices weren't exactly even, some of the stitches disappeared under the paper. After stitching just a small part of the chart, I decided to move on to Plan B.

I thought that instead of sewing around the chart (even though that really was a highlight of the original plan), I'd use a black pen to outline it. Since I'd already put holes in the background paper, I carefully removed all the pieces of the chart, reassembled them on a fresh piece of cardstock and started outlining.

I first drew dotted lines to give the chart a faux stitching look but quickly decided to just go with a solid outline instead. And again, because of those uneven seams between the pieces, the lines looked wobbly and messy. After outlining just one or two lines, I got irritated and decided that I really didn't want to make this layout after all and I tossed everything into my trash basket.

Fast forward to the next day and that layout is still on my mind. I decided to try a new tactic and see whether I could salvage any of the pieces from the failed attempt of the day before.

This time, I stitched first and used black embroidery thread. Much better! Then I fished yesterday's experiment out of the trash and rescued the few pie slices that hadn't been outlined or stitched. I carefully measured and trimmed the remaining slices and finally, I had my pie. I thought I was home free...

I wanted a stamped title on my page and instead of getting the smaller stamping block that was in the next room, I used the large one that was out on the table. Unfortunately, that large block ended up with some stray ink on the edges and that ink smeared along the top edge of my page. I decided to trim the white cardstock and mat the layout on patterned paper. Crisis averted.

Now even though I carefully measured out the spacing of the letter for my title, I still ended up with a gap between the two large words. No worries, I thought; I'll just stamp something between the words to fill the space. Good save - I thought I was off the hook.
Just as I'm about to move on to the journaling, I drop an inked stamp on the bottom of the layout, and of course it landed ink-side down, leaving me with a lovely splat of black ink in what had been my journaling space. At this point, I realize that it's either the layout or me and I am going to come out on top.

I cut an arrow out of patterned paper, cover up the spot and add my journaling.
And at long last, my layout is done:

It will be quite some time before I attempt another pie chart.


  1. Oh, Susan! Kudos for pursuing that creative vision to its fulfillment! It really did turn out so well, and the touch of plum color just brings the whole thing to life. That alpha stamp set is DEFINITELY calling my name : )

  2. I felt every little bit of scrapbooking related woe whilst reading. There are some layouts, minis, cards, that end up being truly hateful! But, this is not only a testament to your indomitable will, it's also really beautiful!!! x