I'm fascinated by the process that other people use to scrapbook. Everyone does things so differently! Here's my process:
1) I always start with the photos. I spread all my photos on a sheet of either white or cream cardstock, then start arranging and rearranging. I crop photos some down. Eventually, I settle on which photos I'll be using and where they will be on the layout.
2) Next, I choose my patterned paper. This is usually the step that takes me the longest. I agonize over what to pick. This time it was actually very fast, as I knew I wanted a green, orange, and blue palette, and these Fancy Pants papers had just arrived from Flamingo Scraps! Perfect!
3) My third step is deciding which color will be my background, which will be the photo matte, which will be an accent, etc. This often takes me a long time too. I almost always walk away from a layout at this stage and come back to it the next day or so with a fresh eye. Sometimes layouts stay at this stage for weeks or even months!
4) Next, I decide where my title and journaling will go. This is sometimes a problem, as I rarely leave enough space for both a title and the amount of journaling I want to do. Usually, I come up with a solution, but if I don't, then I'll look for a sketch. I try to find one that matches what I already have- in this case, a vertical block of photos and a horizontal band of color. Here's what I found:
Sketch from Scrapbooks Etc., October 2008.
It looks very similar to what I already had, though both reversed and flipped. Looking at the sketch, I realized I could crop my top photo and create a journaling block from the extra space.
5) Once I know where my journaling and title will go, I use random chipboard letters to check that I like the title placement. I don't put too much effort into finding the correct letters- as long as they have the same basic shape, it's good enough.
6) My next step is to adhere the photos, patterned paper and title to the background paper. I leave the journaling block loose. I place embellishments where I think I might want them.
7) The last thing I do is journaling. I don't usually pre-plan what I'm going to say, so I'm lucky that it usually works out and looks good!