One of the biggest challenges when scrapbooking family history in the UK is to obtain digital collections which are appropriate to English heritage and countryside. The majority of kits and elements which represent England seem to be designed for American tourists. They are full of attractions like Big Ben and Tower Bridge, Union Jacks, and clichéd references to England such as phone boxes, crowns, buses and taxis. Many are in harsh or bright shades of red and blue utterly unsuited to English heritage. Vintage ephemera (postcards, adverts, handwriting backgrounds etc), tends to be American too.
There are further problems when it comes to scrapbooking remembrance in England, particularly WW1 or WW2 ancestors, (and it must be the same for other non-US countries too). You can read my post about remembrance scrapbooking here.
It would be lovely to have some more collections centred on English festivals and celebrations, native wildflowers, native trees, typical farm produce, typical dishes, common garden flowers, and coastal features. Please do add your own ideas in the comments.
Having spent many hours trawling through scrapbooking resources looking for better resources, I have compiled a list of suggestions below. All of these are suitable for portraying England and its countryside.
If you’re looking for an impression of the English countryside in late spring, I’d suggest the beautiful Narcisse Des Près Collection by LDragDesigns. The yellow, green and soft taupe theme is utterly charming, and has a lovely heritage feel.
The Lemony Goodness Collection by Aimee Harrison can extend your collection of yellow and taupe. It offers a lovely soft yellow, taupe and ice blue scheme with some pretty natural elements appropriate for heritage layouts.
For a co-soft and artsy look, try the ArtPlay Palettes from Anna Aspnes Designs on OScraps. Although Anna is not English (as far as I know) her designs do work very well to reflect a variety of English landscapes. The packs are small but versatile. There are so many ArtPlay packs it’s hard to pick out the best for English users, but I suggest Evenfall, Moorlands, Coastline (see below), Heartland, Heart Beach, Explore, Summer Breeze, Jardinier (see below), and Lush.
For a full on English summer you can’t get much better than the Strawberry Lemonade Collection by Snickerdoodle Designs. It’s a beautiful yellow, red and green collection, full of strawberries, ice cream, summer flowers and foliage, reminiscent of English country fetes.
Another bright summer collection with an English farm shop feel is the Pear Butter & Strawberry Jam Bundle by ADB Designs.
For a softer ‘buttercream’ version of summer, you could look at the Summer Delicacy Bundle by PrelestnayaP.
Late summer in the West Country is all about apples and cider. I think Sweet As Apple Pie by LDragDesigns has a lovely English feel.
Let’s stay with summer and enjoy the Let’s Go Glamping kit by Scraps N Pieces. This is perfect for scrapbooking about holidays. There are lots of different types of bunting here, and what a cute washing line!
The English Garden Kit by Scraps n Pieces includes lots of elements which are reminiscent of Orla Kiely. The colour scheme is peachy pink and pale turquoise. This kit has a pleasing feel, which would be good for more contemporary layouts.
For a more autumnal English woodland feel, I’d like to suggest the Under the Canopy Bundle by PrelestnayaP. This is a pretty mustard yellow, green and caramel theme which would go well with heritage photographs.
You could extend this with the September Garden Bundle which is a collection by the same designer, PrelestnayaP, in a co-ordinating colour scheme.
If you’re looking for both Christmas or winter elements and traditional English heritage elements, you can often kill two birds with one stone by buying a seasonal red and blue pack. A good example is the Feeling Frosty collection by Cutie Pie Scraps. On the face of it this is a modern Christmas themed collection, but when you poke about inside there are some lovely heritage style backgrounds and elements, many of which are in red white and blue shades.
Please note that I am not associated with any of the suppliers or designers on this page.