The sketch for the base paper of this layout was actually a scraplift. It has been so long ago, I regret I was unable to take down the name of the designer so I can give her due credit. Now, if you think I am this good at making the sloping background, let me tell you one thing - I cheated. I used a flexible ruler to lightly pencil in the outline for the base paper and later hand-cut them.
Top trick: The secret to making a smooth-looking cut is to use long bladed scissors and keeping your cutting hand steady as you move the paper around. It is also important not to cut to the edge of the scissors and instead move forward when you get to more than half the blade length. That way, you can have more control of your cutting tool. Another word of advise, avoid using pigment inkpads to outline the edge of your paper like what I did here. As usual, I learned the hard way because I found out it takes ages for the pigment ink to dry up. Therefore, I ended up with smudges on the adjoining cs. It is a good thing I discovered that pigment ink smudges are sometimes reversible by using an ordinary eraser. Whew!
The secondary picture for this layout was actually a bad shot. It is a good thing I was able to zoom in really tight and cropped out the dark portions of the digital picture, therefore, preserving the wonderful expression of my daughter. The big scallop you see here is actually inspired by one of the beautiful LOs of Mia Caniza. Of course, my LOs cannot compare to her ingenious creations but I just could not resist being motivated by this talented lady.