Several weeks ago we talked about Stretching your Digi-Stash with Masks. One portion of that tutorial was devoted to using clipping masks in creative ways.  Norma, a member of my Creative Team, demonstrated one unique method of using a mask.  She stretched and flipped a mask, then positioned it on the left side of her background paper, using just part of the mask as a border design.  She next clipped a photograph to her newly created border-mask, and used the original mask in the body of her layout, creating this stunning page. (Kit used: Rocky Mountain Dreams).


A few days after this tutorial was posted, a blog reader contacted me with a few questions regarding Norma’s layout.  She loved the layout so much, she wanted to practice this technique with one of her own photographs.  I asked her to share her finished layout with me once she was finished, so I could see what she accomplished.   The reader did send me her layout (which was beautiful), but also said in her email:  “But of course I won’t post this layout in any galleries because it wasn’t my original idea.”  I encouraged her to share, and to simply note in her credit the source of her inspiration (or scraplift).

So is it “stealing an idea” when we see an outstanding layout and want to use it as a source of inspiration? No. It’s not.  We are simply “embracing influence instead of running away from it.”  (Steal like an Artist.)

“What a good artist understands is that nothing comes from nowhere.  All creative work builds on what came before.”  (Steal like an Artist)

Let’s look at Pocket Scrapping, which has become so popular over the past years.  What is Pocket Scrapbooking?

 From Sahlin Studio: “Pocket scrapbooking is the process of using clear plastic page protectors divided up in a variety of size pockets designed to slip-in photographs, journaling, or memorabilia.”

But look at this from The World newspaper, June 25, 1903. 


Pocket Scrapbooking. One hundred and twelve years ago.

I am not saying that those who popularized pocket scrapping today, “scraplifted” the idea from the year 1903.  I am sure it was an original thought today, just like it was back then.

My point is that if you see a layout and would like to scraplift it, feel the freedom to do so.   Unless you are specifically intent on duplicating a layout (or a product!) exactly, you can’t help but infuse your own personality and sense of style into your design, making it truly unique.

I came across the 1903 newsprint ad pictured above when I was working on “It’s a Snap,” a collaboration between myself (SnickerdoodleDesigns), Diane (ADBDeseigns), and Jill (Jilbert’s Bits of Bytes).  Jill created some great pocket templates, and Diane and I focused on the traditional kit.  If you haven’t tried pocket scrapping, why not give it a try?



And just to help you remember…. scraplifting is okay!… here is the newspaper article and print ad showing you that there truly is nothing “new” under the sun!

Click to download.