Traditional Layouts

Building A Brand With Mood Disorders | A Layout About Healing

Hello Lovelies, this is a new series I want to share with you on my personal journey of building a brand from the ground up while coping with chronic mental illness. I am not a medical professional and therefore do not offer medical advice, only stories of my personal journey in hopes that others might be inspired as well. Mental illness lies to us every day, and it is my hope through sharing my stories, my truths, that you might find hope and strength too. If you would like to learn more about my journey I invite you to read the Larkindesign Brand Story. You can read all the posts in this series here. Thank you for being here!

Building A Creative Brand | Learning to Heal

Thank you all so much for your wonderful reception to this new series. Your thoughts and love sent my way were all so positive and I am thankful for each and every one of you! Today I have a mixed media layout to share with you and I want to use the blog post to share a little of the back story with you. It was really difficult last week to acknowledge and act on the realization that creating the digital collections was not serving me well. One of the things they don’t tell you, when you start your own brand, is that it is highly possible that you will try many different things before you succeed. For many business owners, they do actually launch successful the first time, and grow amazing businesses seemingly on their first try. For some it happens that way, and for me it has not happened that way at all!

For some, building a brand comes after many trials and errors, and it can be especially challenging to do this with trauma, PTSD, depression, and any other mood disorders. What that actually looks like in real life is that trying many different things means many different things not working out. That means failure. There is no denying that, for whatever reason, the digital kits I created failed to sell. I am pretty educated and have a pretty good idea of why, and in the end it’s not productive to beat myself up, or feel bad about it, it simply is. The hardest thing, actually, as a survivor, is not taking it too personally, accepting it as part of the learning experience, and being gracious to myself and others as I go through this.

Larkindesign Mixed Media Scrapbook Layout

I follow Elsie and Emma of A Beautiful Mess, and have long been so inspired by their creativity and their business successes. I find it most inspiring that they will tell you how many times they, too, have personally experienced these trials and errors in their business. They call it pivoting their business. When something doesn’t work out, simply try something different. And keep trying until you get it worked out. I love their messages in this regard, and it is incredibly uplifting to hear that even incredibly successful business women have struggled to find the right fit, too.

On the outside, the trials and errors of building a brand can make the artist seem disorganized, even untrust-worthy. You’ve heard it all: “oh they just didn’t know what they were doing,” “they didn’t know what they were getting into,” “they couldn’t just stick with it,” and on and on. And maybe all of those things are true. On the other hand, no one really knows what they are doing and no one really knows what they are getting into when they start a creative brand from scratch. Even if someone pivots their business by stopping something that isn’t serving them, they are still not giving up and they are still working towards their goal. I have stopped making journal cards for right now, but I am still showing up and I am still working towards my overall goal of making a profitable business and I am not giving up. Not yet, anyway!

Larkindesign Mixed Media Scrapbook Layout

But the challenge with this side of building a brand, and also dealing with mood disorders, are the lies that trauma and abuse and suffering tells us. Through this entire journey I have had a chorus of negative voices that have told me I don’t deserve to be successful, I am not possibly good enough or talented enough for this, I must be crazy to think I could ever make this work, and on and on. Have you seen Girl Boss on Netflix? Sophia Amoruso goes through this to some extent, and at one of the crucial points in the series she tears up everything in her apartment and ends up screaming at herself in the mirror, and the mirror screams back at her, all the negative things she has internalized about herself. It’s such a crucial moment in the movie because she faces those awful voices head on, goes to get her surgery (practices self care) and then comes back more determined than ever.

I promise I did not tear up our house last week, and I didn’t tear up all my hard work, but in some ways deciding to pivot my business right now is an act of self care and a part of this winding road I am traveling on. It was messy and tearful, just as Sophia’s messy turn-about was messy and fraught with the realities of being human and having serious challenges with self esteem. And after a few days of self care, loving private messages from e-friends, and the support of my family in real life, I am back with new hopes and dreams (and it is highly possible I will create more product at a later date, just not right now).

Larkindesign Mixed Media Scrapbook Layout

In this process, however, I am learning volumes about myself and my own presence of mind, my own strengths, my own weaknesses, and while building a brand is happening, building ME is also happening. It is frightening, at some stages, and elating, at other stages. I have always heard when you go through re-pivoting your brand, and you are unsure of what to do, to go back to what you love. Go back to the basics. What I love and what my basics are has always been pocket pages, my pocket page classes, focusing on creating layouts, and most importantly, inspiring other creatives. I have long been trying to figure out how to bring my passion for creativity together with my journey of healing, and then this series was born and it has clicked.

And while I am working and healing and processing and struggling and succeeding, I can still create and must still create, and I find the art of creating so incredibly cathartic. That process is also important to share with you, because I know that even if you aren’t trying to build a brand, chances are you arrived here as a fellow creative. Maybe you too are a survivor – I think all humans are survivors in one way or another, and it is messy but beautiful, and we get to reflect these amazing things in our creative work. So here is the take away for today. As I was building my title for this layout, I was going to just write “learning how to love myself,” and I realized there was most definitely more to this.

Larkindesign Mixed Media Scrapbook Layout

I had been approaching my journey to healing as a single destination – that one day I would be healed, that one day I would be able to love myself fully and wholly, with scars and all. I am proud to say that I have learned a little more about loving myself through this part of my journey, and I have learned that loving myself is the journey to healing. That may sound so basic to some, but for me it clicked. And I also realized that there isn’t a specific destination, that this is a lifelong journey. I am so thankful you are with me on this journey, messy and beautiful. If you’d like to see my process for creating this layout, you may view it here.

Are there negative voices in your creative life too? How do they manifest themselves for you? I would love to hear from you. Join me next time as we continue this creative journey. Thank you for being here and being part of this community!

~Theresa

50 First Layouts | Love You Always ft Pinkfresh Studio Let Your Heart Decide

Hello lovelies, today I am sharing this fun scrapbook layout using Pinkfresh Studio Let Your Heart Decide collection plus a Silhouette cut file from Paige Evans!

Have a look at this fun layout!

Larkindesign 50 First Layouts | Love You Always ft Pinkfresh Studio Let Your Heart Decide

My photo, and therefore the story of this layout is about Nick and the time back in February that we went to the vintage arcade in Winston Salem. I chose a selfie we took on that day together as the starting point for this layout.

Larkindesign 50 First Layouts | Love You Always ft Pinkfresh Studio Let Your Heart Decide

I absolutely love this cut file from the Silhouette store designed by Paige Taylor Evans. I cut strips of paper to adhere behind the pattern of the cut file. As I laid out the strips I tried to switch up the colors to add variety and texture to this background, and I adore how it turned out! Once the background was complete then I was free to add my photos and embellish.

Larkindesign 50 First Layouts | Love You Always ft Pinkfresh Studio Let Your Heart Decide

I loved all the textures and colors in the Let Your Heart Decide collection and made a point to include my favorites here! I did use the blue frame to make the photo pop off the background, and then I layered leaves and hearts and my journaling around the photo.

Larkindesign 50 First Layouts | Love You Always ft Pinkfresh Studio Let Your Heart Decide

I have kept my journaling really simple for this layout. The who, what, where, and when are here at the bottom of the photo, and I added my why near the top of the photo. I kept this so simple for this layout and that is ok!

Larkindesign 50 First Layouts | Love You Always ft Pinkfresh Studio Let Your Heart Decide

My title is placed vertically on the layout, which feels somewhat unexpected but I really love it. It does an excellent job to balance the photo on the layout and I loved using those alphabets!

Thanks for joining me today! See you soon!

~Theresa

50 First Layouts | Hey Good Looking ft. Dear Lizzy Stay Colorful!!!

Hi everyone, today I am continuing my series called 50 First Layouts, where I share a product collection and then create layouts based on those products! I am still working with Dear Lizzy Stay Colorful, and today’s layout is called Hey Good Looking! Check out my process here.

 

My photo I am working with is of Emberlynn, who is now 13 and she loves the camera! We went to downtown Winston in February to visit a vintage game arcade called Reboot, and I took this photo while she was hanging out in the seating area. 

Larkindesign 50 First Layouts | Hey Good Looking ft. Dear Lizzy Stay Colorful!!!Larkindesign 50 First Layouts | Hey Good Looking ft. Dear Lizzy Stay Colorful!!!

Can you tell I am loving this collection? The colors and the icons are awesome! This layout began with the happy little yellow bicycle (did you know Little Yellow Bicycle used to be a scrapbooking brand?!!) and a beautiful photo of Emberlynn.

Larkindesign 50 First Layouts | Hey Good Looking ft. Dear Lizzy Stay Colorful!!!Larkindesign 50 First Layouts | Hey Good Looking ft. Dear Lizzy Stay Colorful!!!

I also chose a Silhouette Cut File from Paige Evans and I have backed these florals with other patterned papers from the collection. You can download this cut file here.

Larkindesign 50 First Layouts | Hey Good Looking ft. Dear Lizzy Stay Colorful!!!Larkindesign 50 First Layouts | Hey Good Looking ft. Dear Lizzy Stay Colorful!!!

I cut two of the floral cut files and adhered one to the top of the page, and the second one to the bottom of the page. My photo is then adhered slightly to the right of those files. Now my embellishments can fill in around the photo.

Larkindesign 50 First Layouts | Hey Good Looking ft. Dear Lizzy Stay Colorful!!!Larkindesign 50 First Layouts | Hey Good Looking ft. Dear Lizzy Stay Colorful!!!

I have also used the Dream On stamp set from Pinkfresh Studio, which I just absolutely adore! The hand drawn rectangles house stamped sentiments and I used the patterned circle to add more interest to my background paper. 

Larkindesign 50 First Layouts | Hey Good Looking ft. Dear Lizzy Stay Colorful!!!Larkindesign 50 First Layouts | Hey Good Looking ft. Dear Lizzy Stay Colorful!!!

I also added a bit of stitching to the layout around the floral elements. I can’t really do much hand stitching because it makes my hands hurt, but I do love to add texture with the machine! I just went randomly around the floral cut files and I also underlined the stamped words at the bottom of the page.

Larkindesign 50 First Layouts | Hey Good Looking ft. Dear Lizzy Stay Colorful!!!Larkindesign 50 First Layouts | Hey Good Looking ft. Dear Lizzy Stay Colorful!!!

Such a fun and easy layout to create! Thank you for joining me today!

~Theresa

 

 

 

50 First Layouts | Dear Lizzy Stay Colorful Unboxing

Hi everyone, today I am so excited to begin a brand new series with you all about current collections and how to use your collections as a jumping off point for layouts! In this video I am unboxing Dear Lizzy Stay Colorful and sharing 5 prompts for layouts that you can use to create your layouts as well!

Here is a short recap of 5 ways you can develop ideas for your scrapbook layouts from your product collections:

1.Pull your favorites. I say this all the time: Use your favorite products!!!!! Go ahead and pull them out while it is fresh and while you are in love with them! And make a layout. Make two. Have fun with those products that made your eyes sparkle and made you press the buy button.

2. Look for common products, common shapes, or common shapes. Anything that goes together in the collection can be a great starting place and I just love a pretty layout with a cluster of products, don’t you? Hey remember this layout?

50 First Layouts | Dear Lizzy Stay Colorful Unboxing

That layout was created because I wanted to use all those beautiful chipboard hearts on a layout, and they look stunning all together on the page.

3. Think about what the collection reminds you of? When I receive a collection in the mail, I love to pull everything out of the packaging and just play with the different elements on my worktop. I like to layer things together, try different products beside each other, just play. This is so much fun, no commitment, no pressure. And this is a great time to think about what the collection brings to your mind. Are there memories or places or people or things that it reminds you of? Those are instant starting points.

4. What is a theme that jumps out at you? Typically collections have a theme and it is usually pretty easily recognizable. Sometimes they add little unexpected elements to the collection, and I have another fun little trick. Sometimes I like to use a collection for precisely the opposite thing it was designed for! Ha! A great example I have of this is this layout I created using the Sahlin Studio Run collection. I didn’t have any “run” type photos, but I did have a great photo of our son graduating from middle school.

50 First Layouts | Dear Lizzy Stay Colorful Unboxing

This gives your collections much more mileage than you might think!

5. Keep a running list of the projects you are working on + the products as they arrive at your door. This is my best trick for making sure I actually use my products. I keep these two running lists and when products arrive, I automatically consult my project list and plug the product in. In fact, if I am able to I like to try to use each collection in each project. That makes my inner warrior scrapbooker so happy!

 

Ok, friends, that is all for today. Stay tuned, as this is a new series and I will be sharing my process videos for this collection in the next few weeks! And then we will select another collection and do it all over again! Let me know what collections have caught your eye this season!

~Theresa

 

 

Mixed Media Scrapbook Layout | My Happy Heart ft. Vicki Boutin All The Good Things!!!!

Hi everyone! I am sooooo excited to share this gorgeous mixed media scrapbook layout with you today! I picked up Vicki Boutin’s All The Good Things collection plus her paints, glitter, and mixed media paper and pulled it all together in this layout. I absolutely love the results and I hope you do too! You can watch my full process video here.

I was so excited to receive my package with All The Good Things and couldn’t wait to try all the new paints and products I had bought! I was really anxious to try the mixed media paper, which has been designed especially to accept paint and other mixed media and not buckle or warp. It worked beautifully for this layout!

Larkindesign Mixed Media Scrapbook Layout | My Happy Heart ft. Vicki Boutin All The Good Things!!!!Larkindesign Mixed Media Scrapbook Layout | My Happy Heart ft. Vicki Boutin All The Good Things!!!!

My first step in creating this layout was to go ahead and gesso the whole page, even though I don’t think you have to do that to the Vicki Boutin papers. I like to do that just to get warmed up and feel like I am not working on a blank page (yes, weird, I know!). Once I had the gesso down, I used modeling paste to build my background. Notice the floral elements I added to the page, starting at the upper left hand corner and traveling across to the bottom right.

Larkindesign Mixed Media Scrapbook Layout | My Happy Heart ft. Vicki Boutin All The Good Things!!!!Larkindesign Mixed Media Scrapbook Layout | My Happy Heart ft. Vicki Boutin All The Good Things!!!!

Once I had the floral elements down, it was time to add paint. My favorite part of the creative process is laying down wet paint and then turning the paper to allow the paint to flow. Watching the paint flow into all the crevices and tiny places created by the modeling paste is so cathartic to me! For this layout I allowed the purple to flow to the edges and then worked it around the page for the border. The purple and orange paints also flow across to the individual elements on the page so they are all tied together. I added a bit of teal to each flower, and I also splattered a little to add more depth and dimension to the background.

Larkindesign Mixed Media Scrapbook Layout | My Happy Heart ft. Vicki Boutin All The Good Things!!!!Larkindesign Mixed Media Scrapbook Layout | My Happy Heart ft. Vicki Boutin All The Good Things!!!!

Once all the paint was down, I added a little glitter mixed with glaze onto the page. I used the text stencil from Vicki, not necessarily to have a noticeable text, but just to have a way to put the glitter down in small places near the embellishment clusters. For me, the painted floral elements become home bases for my embellishment clusters, and the gold glitter adds more texture.

Larkindesign Mixed Media Scrapbook Layout | My Happy Heart ft. Vicki Boutin All The Good Things!!!!Larkindesign Mixed Media Scrapbook Layout | My Happy Heart ft. Vicki Boutin All The Good Things!!!!

Another awesome part of creating this layout was adding the die cut embellishments. The All The Good Things collection ties in beautifully with the paint colors, so I chose elements with purple, orange, and green, plus I added a little pink and yellow. I absolutely LOVE using color, all the colors (!!!) in my layouts! 

Larkindesign Mixed Media Scrapbook Layout | My Happy Heart ft. Vicki Boutin All The Good Things!!!!Larkindesign Mixed Media Scrapbook Layout | My Happy Heart ft. Vicki Boutin All The Good Things!!!!

The last thing my layout needed was a bit of journaling and a title. The glitter foam words describe my expression in the photo, and the emotion I wanted this layout to convey perfectly! I also stamped my date using a roller stamp, and wrote my journaling with the help of a few stamped lines.

What an awesome layout to create and I hope you enjoyed watching the process! Have you tried the new Vicki Boutin products? I’d love to see! Thanks for following along today, see you soon!

~Theresa