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I used to make everything up myself until a couple years ago, then I started using sketches. I love them. I just look for sketches using the # of photos I want to scrap & go from there. It doesn't always look like the sketch but it gets me jump started.
I have lifted a handful of pages from layouts. Rarely though.
I do much better when I have layouts to go by. I tried to make it up as I went along, but then every page started looking the same. Usually when it comes time for crop weekends, the first thing I do is plan my layouts. I too love using other layouts. They don't usually look exactly like what I find though!
I find it hard to follow sketches and layouts. Sometimes if there is one I really like I will try to use it, but most of the time I just look at the pictures and paper I have and lay it out in my head. That has always been a quality that I've had though (one of my few talents LOL) I also laid out the pages for our school newspaper and yearbooks in high school. I guess I feel restricted going with someone else's layout, but every once in a while I'll find one that works with my photos and papers etc.
I tend to buy things with pictures and layouts in mind too, which is why it takes me FOREVER in the paper aisle LOL
Click the blinkies!
Thank You, Pattyandthemoos, for my beautiful siggy!