Well, I guess I haven't been paying much attention to things on the Scrapbooking thread. Just read your article about sketches.
I'm not a big fan of sketches. At least I don't follow any of the sketches found in magazines or books (I've never looked online). I don't even draw out my own sketches. I suppose I do it informally in my head. I get an idea of the base color and the complimentary colors of cardstock, then I grab a few pieces of patterned papers and figure out a format. I like to do 2-page spreads so that when I open the scrapbook at any point, the two facing pages have the same theme & colors & design.
I've seen sketches in the Creating Keepsakes magazine and to me they seem so complicated and "busy." I like simpler layouts that show off my pictures! I do use embellishments: die cuts, chipboard, stickers, ribbon, brads, eyelets, etc. so the pages aren't just paper on paper. I like to make my own background papers sometimes with rubber stamps (the vintage look).
I wonder what other people do??