I'm an organizational junkie as you may notice...
I start with photos. I start by organizing the photos. I make folders of layouts I want to do. I label each folder with the topic or story - like "Vernazza hike" or "passport quote". Then, I search through my photos and put the appropriate one in the folder. Sometimes, I work the reverse and go through my folders and figure out topics or stories to go with them and make a folder for it.
When I ready to really scrap, I open a folder and figure out how I want to place the photos. Very often I will just go through my large file of templates and find a template that works for the number of photos/orientation that I have for that topic. It doesn't have to be exact and that's part of the beauty of being able to re-use templates! I work the template (or my own design) until I've got the photos placed the way I want them placed.
The, I move on to papers, finding something that works with the photo colors and/or the mood of the topic. I start with white paper and end up leaving it that way 70% of the time. It just works for me.
Then, I add journaling. Placement, amount and style all depend on the topic and layout mood.
Then, I create a balanced layout with embellishment. Embellishments are last for me probably because of my graphic style. It's usually a touch here and there. And here is where I fiddle and fiddle with things. Often I think its too plain but I'm never pleased when I pour on the embellishments. Eventually, I agree to finish it.
Whatever style works for you, take a hold of it. It's all good!
Mom of Jackie (18) Jenny (15) and my English Cocker Spaniel 3-year-old Radiance Grand Prix RL1 AKC TD ASCA TD, i.e. Cody
My English Cocker Spaniels in my heart forever:
Auld Sod Red Magic Merlin CGC CD OA OAJ OAC NJC (Merlin)
Elan's Surprise Surprise CGC NA NAJ (Arthur)