I would definitely have to say that my favorite thing to do before I start with a new project is to soak in the environment around me!! I love to go to my favorite stores and shops and look, look, look! I love to look at the new clothing, accessories, color combinations, textures, home furnishings and advertising. Many times I can take a detail from something I have seen and turn it into an embellishment or idea for a scrapbook page. Nothing better than shopping to get the ideas flowing!!
One of my favorite unconventional scrapbooking tools is floss threaders. I use them often to thread ribbons, fibers, yarns etc. through small holes instead in threading tiny needles. It's much easier especially if you're working at night when the lighting isn't so great. You can find floss threaders in the oral heygine isle at a variety of local stores. The ones I use are by Butler GUM. They look like a stick with a loop on the end and are made of thin blue flexible plastic. Just put one end of your ribbon. through the loop portion of the floss threader and stick the other end through a hole and pull it through...your ribbon will follow. If you loose a threader or it breaks...no biggie because tons of them come in a package.
I absolutely love color! My favorite thing is to just pull out my cardstock and play around - mixing and matching - coming up with new and fun color schemes! I love that I can create so many different feelings on my layouts just by the color choices I make. Don't be afraid to be bold with your color choices and to use non-standard color schemes. Also - you don't always have to use a lot of a color to make a strong impact. Sometimes just a small amount of each color set against a neutral backdrop will do the trick! But most of all, just play around and have fun. Remember that there are no rules. Start looking for color inspiration all around you and you will be amazed at what you can come up with.
My best scrapbooking tip…take a break from it every now and then!!! Personally, I get so caught up in deadlines and in creating that sometimes it gets stressful for me to make another page. I find myself just sitting there…staring at my desk. There is no magic snack (although M&M’s taste great!!) and I find that looking at scrapbook magazines or online sites just frustrates me. So, when I get to that point, I know I need to just get out of the house. I find that I can do my best work when I take moments for myself, just to relax. Once I’ve cleared my mind, I start seeing inspiration everywhere I look—a great photo that I might want to capture while I’m out on a walk, a cool font on a billboard while I’m driving to the store, awesome graphics on a tag at Target, etc. For me, I’ve learned that I’m at my best when I get plenty of time AWAY from scrapbooking. Plus…it also affords me more opportunities to take pictures, so I have more subject matter to scrapbook about in the future!!