how to use color to inspire a layout.


I hope you’ve had a chance to click on the ‘i love color’ tab on my home page. It takes you to a blog that I update weekly with color combinations to inspire your creativity. Last Friday, I encouraged you to find your own color combination in a piece of ribbon you have in your stash.
Click HERE to read my post.


Here’s the very simple layout I created on Friday night.


I started by randomly pulling a piece of ribbon from my multi-colored ribbon jar and then pulled cardstock in royal blue, yellow-green and pink. I then went to my drawers where I keep 5×7 enlargements that I have printed. I have a separate drawer for people, places and things. I was looking for a photo that felt like these colors. Read that again! I was looking for a photo that FELT like these colors. Ahhh — that’s the key, right there.

Individual colors elicit almost universal emotions in a wide variety of people (ie. orange feels bold, original and happy) In my opinion, colors in combination are wide open for personal interpretation. Blue, green and pink — NOT colors in my photo, but colors that feel like my northwest home. Please note that I didn’t really “feel” this until I was flipping through photos in my places drawer. I came upon this photo and thought, yeah … I like that. It feels right.

This is one of the reasons I’m such an advocate for  printing (at least a small percentage of our vast collection of) photos. I sincerely believe you can ‘feel’ a photo better when it’s printed–weird as that might sound.


Once you have a photo and a color combination, study your inspiration for clues regarding proportion. My ribbon is mostly blue, a little less green and a small but central stripe of pink. I mimicked these proportions of color on my page and then grabbed my green and pink embellishment bins for a final touch in the word, button and felt flower. I inked the edges of the chipboard cut-out for some added depth.

The photo itself isn’t eye-catching — in other words, it means more to me than it looks like it should. What I wanted to emphasize with this layout isn’t so much the welcome sign that sits outside our airport, but the feeling of being “home again” after being away. The pink in this color combination pops and helps create emphasis for those simple words. If I had chosen to “scrapbook” the photo, the colors would be earthly/muted hues found in the stones and sky. What I scrapbooked on this page is a feeling — a very happy, relieved and grateful feeling that I experience when I have arrived safely home again.

I hope you’ll give yourself permission to understand what you really want to scrapbook and then trust yourself to find colors that will communicate that.


It was until last night driving home from the mall that my journaling came to me. I grabbed my iPhone and recorded some thoughts that I typed up this morning.

In 1999, our family moved to the “Inland Northwest.” Shortly after making this move, I began working and traveling in the scrapbooking industry. At first I traveled only to Utah for meetings and to the Midwest to film segments for a PBS show. Now ten years later I look back on experiences that have taken me all across the United States and to far away places that I never dreamed I would see. I’ve been to Africa, Australia, New Zealand, England and even Japan. Each time I travel to a new destination, I come home more able to see and appreciate the beautiful place in which we live.

Several years ago as I returned home and as I drove out of our airport in Spokane, I noticed this Welcome to the Inland Northwest sign. My heart swelled with gratitude and I had that undeniable feeling that I was home. It took me another several years to pull over on the side of the road and take this picture.

I definitely have a spirit of adventure; I love to go and experience new places. But, I’ve gone away enough and experienced enough that I now anticipate and treasure the amazing feeling of coming home again.

The creative process for each page is unique, but I’ve had several questions about translating color inspiration to an actual page — I hope this example helps?

Be sure to visit the i love color page Friday, for a new color combination. As with all three of my blogs, you can add to any blog reader. You can also scroll down and enter your email address to have these posts sent directly to you via email.



  1. carol in seattle :) says:

    This page/post is EXACTLY the reason why I scrapbook! Thanks for the reminder!

  2. LisaHowells says:

    Ahh. I am tingling in a knowing, happy, content way. Thank You for your colour teachings.

  3. Love the I Love Color section of your site. Love your journaling about coming home. I was born and raised and still live in the same area and it is home. But I do LOVE to travel.
    This is a part of a song from an Albertan singer Paul Brandt and it describes my feelings:
    “Doesn’t matter where I go
    This place will always be my home
    Yeah I’ve been Alberta Bound for all my life
    And I’ll be Alberta Bound until I die”
    Okeey dokey off to make a page with the lyrics from the whole song.

  4. Me too! I get so excited for a new challenge each week, with both I Love Color, and the Sprinkles sections. Just love them!

    BTW… Has anyone seen the movie Blind Side yet? Saw it last night with my husband, and it is probably the best movie I have ever seen. It’s definitely a movie I want my teenage son to see. Sometimes it’s so easy to sit in this safe little world that we live in, and be blind to the other side, (the ugly side) of our country that we don’t want to see. The main thing is helping these kids, be somebody, like the family in the movie did. Just one boy. One child at a time.

    Amy :)

  5. I am finally getting the color “feeling” when I scrap and have been loving it. Thanks for this post and the reminder that I don’t have to “scrapbook” everything and that I can feel it instead.

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