I have known about Page Maps since I started scrapbooking but it wasnt't until recently that I started fully utilizing them. It was an amalgamation of many things, including the fact that the sketches now tell you the size of the photos needed. No more guesswork! No more taking out my magnifying glass and ruler, trying to convert the small sketch into 12x12 scale. There was also the realization on my part that if I wanted to make a dent on my scrapbooking backlog, I will have to make more multi-photo layouts. And I do not want to waste my time trying to determine photo size, placement, etc., when I can have the experts do that for me. I'd rather be playing with my paper and tools than just moving things around endlessly, hoping that things will fall into place...eventually.
One might ask, why would I need to buy Becky Fleck's Page Maps book, when I can go to www.pagemaps.com for her sketches or just wait for her regular column at Memory Makers? Why indeed?
Well, for starters, the book includes 60 never-before seen sketches. It is also unlikely these sketches will be used in the website or in the magazine. So the only chance you have of seeing these sketches is if you get the book. Second, you don't have to waste ink printing out the sketches and accompanying sample layouts, they're all here for you in a durable ring-bound book that you can lay flat on your table as you scrap. No more worrying that your book binding might fall apart. Or putting your cell phone on a page so you won't lose your place. And third, you get more inspiration from the many amazing layouts, and tips and techniques included in the book.
Becky Fleck explains her, and her guest artists' approach to the sketches, which you cannot find in the website. She gives tips on how to make the sketch your own. Also scattered throughout the book are step-by-step instructions on how some techniques were used in the layouts. The layouts also want me to bring out my scrapbooking tools and start scrapping, right here, right now.
One thing I look for when I buy scrapbooking books - do the layouts call to me to scraplift them in part or in full? (Might just be a technique, an accent, etc.) I know that some scrapbooking purists don't think highly of scraplifting or basing their layouts on sketches. Maybe, they just do not understand it's value. In fact, when my DH bought the book for me, he texted me to make sure it was the book I wanted. Bakit daw puro diagram ang laman ng libro. Well, I said, those diagrams make my scrapbooking life easier. And contrary to purist belief, they jumpstart my creativity instead of stifling them. Following a sketch doesn't mean being boxed in.
For instance, there are 60 sketches in the book. But there are 140 layouts by amazing artists. 60 sketches = 140 layouts. And no layout exactly or even remotely alike. The math doesn't seem right, does it? Well, it only proves the versality of sketches. A single sketch can be interpreted many ways, depending on how you use it. You can flip it, rotate it, keep it as is, change the elements as you see fit. You can convert a 12x12 into an 8 1/2 by 11, or even a spread into just one page. The sketch may have been provided for you but you, the scrapbooker still has to decide on which photos, papers, embellishments, etc., to use. You still have to make sure everything goes well together, and that is where the fun lies.
If you are not still convinced, the book also includes a set of travel-sized cards that you can easily bring to scrapping sessions. You do not have to bring the book, unless you want to show off to your friends that you have the latest Becky Fleck.
Scrapbook Page Maps: Sketches for Creative Layouts
Author: Becky Fleck, 2008
Publisher: Memory Makers Books