The papers were from Upsy Daisy Designs and I thought they had a very beachy feel to them, so I pulled out some beach pictures and created this...
...but it was inspired by another beach-themed layout my friend (and fellow DT member) Sharon created several months ago, focusing on titles. I loved the way she made the title into a focal point and carried it across both pages to lead the eye of the viewer. I tucked the idea away and waited until I found the right pictures and the right title.
The first portion of the title is made with the corrugated alpha from Jillibean Soup...
... which I painted an eye-popping shade of green to match the papers from UpsyDaisy. I did not have that shade of green in my collection of paints, so I created a custom color, by mixing my paints. After the paint dried I distressed the surface of the letters a little with sandpaper. The smaller letters are die cut from a few different Sizzix fonts (Wingo Zingo, Playground and Monde de Blonde, I believe) in a dark brown cardstock.
The letters in "Friends" are from a Heidi Swapp Foam Letter set...actually the same set Sharon used on her layout...but you wouldn't know it if you looked at them side by side, because I altered mine a little...okay, a lot!
The original letters were a bright, shiny Turquiose plaid, which I liked, but didn't work for this layout. So I sanded them down a bit to remove most of the color and inked them generously with a brown ink pad. Then I took some of Tim Holtz crackle paint and dry brushed the thinnest coat on them. After the paint dried there was more inking and sanding, until I got exactly the time-worn, distressed look I was after.
I decided since the verbage in the title was repetitive, I would echo that in the actual title design, so the last part of the title looks the same as the first:
Design-wise bottom line: Start with a pagemap for inspiration but let your own sense of style lead you. Play with your titles, alter your fonts, use your techniques to get a unique and custom title for your very unique layouts.
Real bottom line: Spend time with and enjoy your friends...and then scrapbook to keep the memories. I loved this trip - we took a couple of days during Spring Break with a family who are very dear friends of ours. We just hung out and explored - hiking to a beach, playing on a playground made from recycled tires (really cool), checking out a sculpture garden - and created great memories. It really was...time well spent.