Sneak Peak & Gallery Spotlight - 9/13/2013

By Marisa Lerin Fri, 09/13/2013 - 13:27

Wonderful layouts again this week! Here are a few that caught my eye.


Young Love by Shellby
Super fun geometric background. Love the glitter accents.


Forever by Kaleena
Simple and beautiful. A great statement page.


Birds I Love by Meutia
I love the clipped note cards used as a frame and the continuation of the photo in the photo mask.

Next week I have a new BRIGHT bundle for a you, a fun mini kit and a new brush kit. Also, in bigger news we've hit the 100 subscriber mark and will be introducing a NEW DESIGNER on MONDAY! And we'll have another special announcement...our month long subscriber event isn't over, it's just getting started!


Layout Fix #1: Part 1, Title & Contrast

By Marisa Lerin Thu, 09/12/2013 - 11:27

I've been thinking about layout design lately, and how to go about teaching it. It's a complicated subject since there isn't really a "right" answer, and also I don't know what I'm talking about. I have no design training and work almost entirely off of instinct, which is obviously not helpful to anyone. So I've done a little reading, and I thought perhaps a quick way to try and figure out what I'm doing when I work on a layout would be to try and "fix" someone else's.

I say "fix" since just because I've moved things in a certain way doesn't make it right. With this exercise I'm trying to isolate different design principles that you can use in creating and fixing your own layouts. However, it's totally possible that you may prefer the original layout, or some step along the way. Please feel free to share your thoughts below in the comments.

So here's my first attempt. And thanks to Catherine for being the guinea pig in this project! (See instructions at the end to submit your own layout.)

Here's the original. Overall, it's a nice layout. I like how the colors complement the photos and make it feel fun. The thing that jumps out at me right away (or actually, doesn't jump out) is the title. It's small and blending into the background, making the layout feel unfinished.


So here's the same layout, just with an adjustment to the tile.


You'll notice that I chose a black alpha to use for the title. The second issue I noticed was a lack of contrast throughout the layout. Because the papers match the photos so well, and are all quite close on the color wheel (and BRIGHT!), everything gets mixed up together. So the next change I made was to add a little contrast to the page. The title already added a nice break from the bright, and now I just mixed in one contrasting paper.


Now to finish up, I've just moved around a couple of the papers, since adding in the black paper changed what papers were touching (I didn't like the purple stripes next to the black stripes). I've also readjusted the elements, switching the ones on top and bottom. The "hole" at the top was bigger, so I thought it needed the larger element. Now that the title is bigger, it doesn't need such a large element next to it. I also changed the crop on the photo to the left, so that it filled up more of the frame.


Before and after. What do you think? Does it actually look better now? Or did you prefer the original? Any other changes you'd have made?

I think with just a few tweaks, the layout has a more finished look. I'm pretty happy with this as a final product. I did make another version, that has been altered quite a bit from the original. I'll be sharing those changes with you next week.

If you have a layout you'd like me to "fix" please email it to You'll likely need to zip the file and use a file sharing service (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc) to share such a large file. I will reply to your email to let you know I've received it. If you haven't heard from me after a day or two, try sending it again.


New: Pretty Things Bundle

By Marisa Lerin Mon, 09/09/2013 - 11:00

I have a new super pretty bundle for you this week! Glitter and roses and little shiny bits, just what I dream of when I go to sleep!

Pretty Things Bundle

And if you're looking for something more seasonal, don't miss Brooke's new Crisp Fall Air Bundle.

Crisp Fall Air Bundle

And if that's still not enough for you, don't forget about our month long half price subscription event! Once we get to 100 subscribers, we're going to add a new designer, and trust me, she's amazing! We have 70 subscribers so far, so just a few more and you can meet her! She's got some great downloads ready and waiting for you.


Sneak Peak & Gallery Spotlight - 9/6/2013

By Marisa Lerin Fri, 09/06/2013 - 08:52

Wonderful layouts again this week! Here are a few that caught my eye.


Tucked Inside a Good Book by Cintia
I love the bold neon on the black, and some great clustering!


Double Rainbow by Lisa
I love this simple layout. It looks very clean and modern.


Autumn Fun by Heidi
Love the vertical movement of this layout. The page really seems alive.

I have something very pretty for you next week.

August 2013: The Layout Version

By Marisa Lerin Wed, 09/04/2013 - 13:30

So on top of things this month, we're not even a week into September and I've got my August layout finished! The kit I used for this layout will be coming next week!

August 2013

List Reads:

1. Relaxing time at the Coast.
2. Move into the new house!
3. Jordan built 2 new computers.
4. Back in the kitchen doing some baking.
5. Learning to garden.
6. Picking blueberries and blackberries.
7. Making new friends.
8. I ran 1.5 miles at one go!
9. Big hair cut.
10. Unpacking and settling in.

July 2013 June Layout May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 Feb 2013 Jan 2013