Initially I was overwhelmed by the very busy patterned papers - and that's from someone who loves patterned paper! I figured if I found them daunting then there would be others out there that felt the same, so I wanted to give you an insight into how I overcame that 'eek' feeling and got down to using the papers as opposed to just drooling over their gorgeousness!
I broke myself in gently, so to speak, by using the least busy of the selection and then building up the interest by adding the Cosmic Shimmer spray inks (Mallow Blush and Bronze Blush) over a Prima mask. Then I added balance to the right hand side by cutting up one of the notepapers and tucking them under the photo. I absolutely love using this type of die cut; I think they make a great base for layering titles and embellishments as well as giving a beautiful space for journaling.
The Tim Holtz ornate label frame is the perfect spot for holding my sub title and I've added a range of embellishments around the page to help move the eye across each section.
Next up I thought I would jump in feet first and use a whole range of the patterned papers together. Using a blocked design, or strips as I have here, is an easy way to get a multitude of patterns onto one page -using the tone on tone or more subtle patterns next to the bolder patterns, and making sure that there is a good contrast between each stripe, helps each pattern to stand out in it's own right rather than them all merging together in a confusing pattern jungle. Because there are SO many patterned papers on the background, the embellishing was kept much more low key and the story showcased on the paler journaling block
Finally, I went all out with this absolutely gorgeous, but incredibly busy, patterned paper. A clustered design works well when using a busy background as it provides a strong focal point. The stronger colours and less busy patterns of the paper strips under the photos are a perfect way to 'ground' the cluster and matting the photos gives a little bit of vital white space between them and the background.
I used various dies and punches for my butterflies - using the same patterned paper for all three as well as the paper strip running across the bottom helps to unify the key elements. And I love the new Sugar Blooms flowers Prima have released. They are beautiful yet small enough to add interest to other embellishments without overwhelming them.
I really do love patterned paper backgrounds - if you have shied away from them in the past, I hope that my examples and tips encourage you to spread your wings a little.