Thursday, February 3, 2011

Basic Grey Origins Page Kit

I can't very well review the Basic Grey Nook and Pantry card kit without also reviewing the Origins page kit that I purchased in the same trip, can I? This kit was the same price as the card kit- $5- and included everything needed to make two 1-page and one 2-page layout including 12x12 background papers, cardstock die cuts, rub-ons, self-adhesive chipboard, and step-by-step assembly instructions. Like the card kit, I supplied my own adhesive and a black journaling pen.


One thing I noticed off the bat with the background papers is that some of the elements are pre-printed. I had a little frowny moment when I saw this because I have this odd love of sticking pieces of paper to other pieces paper (especially really big pieces), and this robbed me of an opportunity to do so. Seriously, my ATG gun and I are, like, BFFs.


I was also a bit worried that these pre-printed elements would make the pages look too flat, but as it turned out portions of the printing are overlaid with die-cut pieces, so it came out looking pleasingly dimensional.

First I'll show you the layouts that I made from my kit (I followed the instructions almost exactly), and then I'll give a quick rundown on my thoughts.

For the two-page layout I opted to use photos of the multitude of fresh flowers that I purchased on clearance at a local grocery store a few weeks ago. The greens and blacks in the Origins line really made the color pop.

beautiful blooms.jpg

This was the one layout where I deviated from the printed instructions. I just didn't have photos that fit both the spots on the page and the original "Always My Friend" title, so I opted to use some white Thickers and make my own title instead.





The details in this kit are beautifully layered, and the instructions make it nearly effortless to put together a pleasing embellishment cluster. This is one place in this kit where even an experienced scrapper can learn about designing with embellishments.


For the "Life Long Friends" page, I chose photos of my cats Stormy (who passed away last year) and Giblet when they were babies in 2002. Many of these photos were shot either with film or with a really low-resolution digital camera (these were my pre-DSLR days), and I'm glad they finally found a place in my scrapbooks!


I thought this chipboard butterfly was just exquisite.



As with the Nook and Pantry card kit, those tiny die-cut letters were a pain to adhere (this was before I bought a Martha Stewart ballpoint glue pen).


For the final layout titled "Bloom and Grow" I chose photos of my niece Natalie from when I first met her when she was about 7 days old in April of 2009 and also from when her family came to visit us in July of last year.




Some thoughts on this kit:
  • All of the chipboard elements stuck, and stuck well!! I didn't have the same issues here that I had with the Nook and Pantry card kit. Also, all of the die cuts came out of their pre-punched pages easily, so I wonder if the card kit had some production issues.
  • All of the pages are designed to hold 4x6 photos, which is great because many scrappers only print their photos at that size. You could also easily split a 4x6 section up into smaller photos (think a pair of 4x3s or four 3x2s). In some places, such as on the Bloom and Grow layout, you could combine two photos to make a larger 8x6.
  • Beyond playing with the number of photos in a slot, there's not a lot you can do to change these pages up without completely discarding the directions. They're just not set up to be flipped and rotated without completely changing the directions of titles and embellishment clusters.
  • The titles are both a help and a hindrance. In two cases (both of the single-page layouts), they helped guide my choice of photos and made the selection process easier. On the two-page layout I had to change the title completely to make it fit my subject.
This or a similar kit would make a great gift for a beginning scrapper or a non-scrapper (along with a pen and a tape runner, of course) who was curious as to what this hobby is all about.  Overall I enjoyed using this kit, though it's not something I would choose to scrap with often (unless, of course, I find more on sale :) ).