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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What's HOT Across the Pond

Whew. I finished judging “The Best of British Scrapbooking” a few minutes ago and sent my results to Rosie Waddicor, one of the editors. It was hard. Really hard. There were so many great entries, and I wanted to give out a lot more prizes than allowed. But enough of that.

Recently, someone forwarded an email to me from Debbie Macomber. Not only is Debbie a great read, she’s also a keen judge of the marketplace and emerging styles. Debbie noted, and I have reason to concur, that trends here in the US often start in the UK and work their way over. That’s particularly true of scrapbooking. So allow me to share some trends, and tell me if you think you’ve seen them, too.

1. 3 – D embellishments. Used to be, all scrapbook pages were flat. In this group of entries, I saw ribbons looped up and stapled down to stick up like roller coasters. One memorable page had “google” eyes on a cartoon character. Those are those bubbly eyes where the pupils roll around. Yep, texture is definitely jumping off the pages.

2. Going green. Contestants used a lot of corrugated cardboard, ripping off the top skin of paper to expose the ridges beneath. Also used were bubble wrap, plastic wrap, and slivers of a Coke can cut into the shape of petals. No doubt about it, scrapbookers are recycling on their pages.

3. Doodling. Doodling hasn’t quite caught on here like it has in the UK. Folks here are too restrained. There, scrapbookers take a pen to about anything and add colors with abandon. The result? There’s a sense of playfulness to the layouts.

4. Cartoon art. Anime stickers, cartoon characters, simple line art, every aspect of cartoons showed up. I particularly enjoyed where one contestant cut out a photo of her head and put it atop a cartoon body and paperdollish arms. We’ve gone from one extreme to the other. Once upon a time, scrapbookers used templates to cut photos into stars and what-not. Then no one cropped anything, and now we’re cropping body parts and combining them with paperdoll limbs. It’s really fun.

5. Paint on pages. Paint was used to alter a paper’s original color, to create a background so journaling would stand out, to customize patterns by adding color or design, and to simply add seemingly random funky circles to a plain pattern to jazz it up. Also big is painting on the REVERSE side of an acetate overlay. Say you have a clear overlay with flowers on it. You flip it over and fill in the flowers with paint. Let it dry and use it on your page.

6. Collage and simplicity. I saw both ends of the spectrum. Collage pages included fabric, plastic, charms, photos, fiber, ribbons, epoxy stickers, distressed paper, memorabilia, rubber stamped swirls, embroidery, stitching, ephemera, buttons, brads, and so on. But, a goodly number of layouts were spare, with simple combinations of paper, photo and journaling AND tons of undecorated space to create a refreshing change to the busy nature of collage.

7. Birds. Oh, golly. There were bluebirds, robins, owls, of every sort of paper, color, and pattern. Closely following were dragonflies and butterflies.

8. Acrylic overlays. One was even cut into a body silhouette, secured at the top with a brad, painted from the back and then used to cover hidden journaling. This is such fun, and folks are getting more adventuresome with their usage.

9. Negative space. Okay, if you punch out a form, the empty space that's left behind is negative space. More and more of it is showing up on pages, and the background that peeps through makes this a fun and interesting addition. Not to mention, it can be a thrifty use of your apres-punch leftovers.

10. Flowers. In leather, silk, paper, and plastic. In fact, one trend I could rather do without was too many flowers on pages where flowers did NOT match the theme of the page at all. You see, trends are great fun, BUT…just like in fashion, you have to be careful that you don’t sacrifice what “works” for what is trendy. Just because flowers are hot doesn’t mean you should use them to decorate a page about the Grand Canyon or road racing.

11. Colored buttons. These were used en masse to form lines, to add punch to other groupings, and to act as the center of flowers.

12. Journaling boxes. We call them "boxes" but they don't necessarily have borders on them. These included pages that looked ripped from notebooks, artsy edged boxes, and just rows of lines sticking out from brackets or parentheses. Not only do journaling boxes add style to a page, they also encourage you to write!

You can bet my heroine Kiki Lowenstein will be incorporating this cool ideas in her next adventure!

PS When the winners are announced in December, I'll share some of the names and layouts with you. Until then, mum's the word.


Betty aka ZacksNana said...

Joanna: Toniann Carbone posted to a group she and I belong to about your article. So I came to check it out. Thanks! I found it very informative and interesting. I can see there are a lot of techniques I need to catch up on. I incorporate a lot of costume jewelry bits and baubles into my cards. Didn't see you mention anyone from the UK doing that! LOL
Thanks again for the article. I really enjoyed reading it.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Hi, Betty--
I don't recall seeing jewelry bits, but I will look again! And the images I had did NOT have commentary so I might have been looking at them and NOT noticed--you know how that goes. Even with the best of images, you can't always tease out what you are seeing.

I forgot to mention that shaped borders of all sorts are also a big trend. Both here and in the UK.

Now I'll have to check out Toniann's blog. I've joined AllTop which is an aggregator for scrapbooking blogs--but she may have posted before that.