When you've been a scrapbooker since 2001, you start to run out of ideas of where to put the photos. I mean, you're only dealing with a 12" x 12" space and you can't reinvent the square. So, I turn to sketches. I love the art of matching papers and scrapbooking so much that I'd rather somebody else figure out the composition for me to allow more time for me to play with the products. When Scrapbooks Etc.'s sketch book, Scrapbooks Etc. Page Planner, hit the shelves; I didn't take the time to look at it because I was concerned it might not be linear enough for my taste. But, when a well-known linear scrapbooker advertised it on her blog, I ordered it right away. If you buy this book from the store, you can open it up and look inside to see if it's right for you, but for those of us who order online, I'll do my best to describe.
When you purchase it:
The book retails for $12.95 and has minimal ads in the heart of it, if any.
Let's talk about how it looks:
I'll be honest, when you buy the book, it comes with a very annoying flap on it. Some might not immediately detest it, but wait until it gets creases in it. I cut my flap off. The flap has no purpose other than showing you that the book is going to teach you the art of turning sketches into layouts.
The book is as thick as a magazine and has 144 pages in it.
The setup of the book is simple. A sketch is provided in which five designers produce a layout inspired by the original sketch. The first portion of the book is a little different in that it shows several examples of a single sketch and then provides a two-page spread of other ways to make it yours. It also includes a helpful how-to for beginning sketch users.
The back of the book contains a helpful section similar to those which come in the magazine's monthly publication. With two computer-created line sketches for each original sketch, including a page number to find the original, you can't go wrong with photocopying this handout and taking it with you to crops.
Some things to consider:
The book is as I expected. It is not as linear as my tastes would have preferred; however, I have found the book quite useful. If you're looking to come out of your box a bit and have sketches that go beyond the rule of thirds, this is for you. The sketches are quite detailed and even tell you where to put extra layers of paper and ribbon.
I bought this book hoping to have 133 sketches as stated on the cover and instead, it has five interpretations of 23 sketches. As a seasoned sketch lifter, I didn't need to know other ways to interpret sketches, I needed more sketches.
Overall, I have enjoyed the book. But, when I am done lifting, I will not be keeping this one on my shelf of go-to's.