When I first got to know digital scrapbooking I was very surprised by the phenomenon templates. I though they were awesome to start with, because I wasn't so sure about the placement of all those elements, photo's, texts, everything. I must say, it kind of overwhelmed me that there were layouts made with more than 5 elements!
One of the reasons for that was that I had to deal with a very slow computer. Computers were not built for so many layers and such colorful and busy layers back then.
Then there came a time that I finally felt I had enough skills to not using templates anymore. I made the pages constantly. I just started as a scrapbook designer and I made a lot of quick pages and an extended part of the collections that were already fully packed.
But... it wasn't until now, with the Diary Files I'm doing, that it came to me that if I made the backgrounds and the elements for the daily templates different from the already existing products, it wasn't just the add up of the collection product. No, I think this is a way to mobilize you in a new direction: making your papers and backgrounds into you own customized personal pages. You can easily see how I did it, because the originals are all in there.
I invite you to do the same. Use two, 3, maybe even 4 or 5 papers and blend them together with some elements. Experiment on the blendings by using color burn, multiply, col