Saturday, April 30, 2016

Elle's Studio

We finally got some nice weather - and I've been sitting on my deck in my free time instead of scrapping or writing here.  I feel super lazy but it was so nice to see some warm sunny days.  (We are back to cold rain today.)  But last night I had to pick my daughter up about 1 a.m. - so I decided to try for some creative time as a way to stay awake. 

I came across this week's sketch at Elle's Studio and was so inspired. 

I generally fall in love with the Elle's Studio collections - they are fresh and fun and tend to feature patterns and colors that are easy to mix.  But I have to admit that - even after they end up in my stash, I don't use them very often.  But when I saw this sketch I decided to pull out the pieces I had from the Elle's Studio Little Moments collection.  And they were perfect for this picture of my daughter from a "Tiny Miss Canal Winchester" Pageant many years ago.  I love that they are super girly but still bright and fun.

I stayed fairly close to the sketch but did make a few changes to better fit my style.  First I added that fun sheet of colored labels under the vertical strip of paper from the sketch.  And I offset some layers under my picture across both the center strip and the sheet of labels.  From there I played with the embellishments from the collection to create clusters that made sense for my photo.  And I added a few bits from my stash to finish it off. 

Both the sketch and the labels were super fun to play with.  And it kept me entertained until it was time to pick up my daughter (which meant she wasn't stranded at Steak and Shake while I dozed on the couch.)  I count it as a win-win.

Hope you're having a great weekend.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Old and New

I know I've said this before - I love getting kits where I get a mix of supplies that are coordinated - sometimes in ways I would never have thought of.  But as I work with a kit, sometimes it feels like all my layouts start to look alike - the same papers, embellishments, etc.  So after the first few layouts (or even before), I often start adding different papers or embellishments from my stash to a  layout.

The Studio Calico kits in March (Homespun) had a very distinctive look.  And while I liked the kits more and more  as I worked with them, I felt like I kept using the same papers or embellishments.  It felt like everything was starting to look the same.  So while I was waiting for my April kits to come ), I tried to do one more layout.  And I challenged myself to use the products differently and/or to mix in bits from my stash.

I started with a photo from when my daughter was much younger - these old photos have really inspired me lately.  I ended up with this layout.

I ended up using a lot of the kit papers that I had been drawn to on previous projects.  And my design was really simple - that meant I really needed to be thoughtful about the embellishments.  I added the rubber banner, vellum leaves, kraft sticker and hearts from my stash.  The seemed to work perfectly with the papers, were perfect for the photo, and provided most of the detail for my layout. 

And I used a couple things from the planner kit in unexpected ways.  I am totally addicted to the little washi strips that come in the planner kit and layered several of them over the title.  And I turned a checklist banner sticker on its side at the bottom of the page.  I used the small puffy dots from the puffy star stickers in the scrapbook kit to "fill" the holes on the checklist sticker and created a fun, unique embellishment.  After that a few ink splatters finished off the layout.

Now I have to admit that this layout took forever (all week) to put together because I kept trying to find the perfect bits in my stash.  And I like the things I used better than the things I pulled initially.  So while I stand by the idea of mixing in bits from my stash, I need to get way better about making a choice and moving forward. 

My April Studio Calico kits are coming today.  The top of my Ikea cart is all cleaned out and ready for them.  I super excited to have new goodies for the weekend.  It's supposed to be cold and dreary so I definitely plan to get some scrapping in over the next few days.  I hope you have a great weekend.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, April 4, 2016

3 To Inspire

I've talked about the "3 To Inspire" challenges at Citrus Twist kits before.  They post them on their blog every Saturday and they are some of my favorite challenges.  I check it out first thing on Saturday mornings and am almost always inspired by the combination of elements.  I usually use the prompts at some point even if it isn't in time for the challenge deadline.

Last Saturday's was a really good one.  You had to use:

  • 2 tags
  • kit packaging
  • banners 
If you don't subscribe to their kits, you should know that the kit packaging is exceptional.  Each kit comes in a brown paper bag and is tied with bakers twine.  I have a big pile of bakers twine from my kits I find myself going to frequently when a layout needs a little something extra.  Plus small bits are often in glassine or small brown bags inside the larger kit package.

So here is the layout I came up with - I've been really inspired by photos from the days when my kids were little and cute lately and loved this easter picture I came up with.

Most supplies are from March kits at Studio Calico (Homespun and addons)
I used twine in two colors for my kit packaging, 2 tags from the Maggie Homes Bloom collection, and a couple of banners I cut myself.  And I love this picture of my daughter and a friend.  We lost touch with this family when she switched to Catholic schools and the photo brought back lots of memories - which was a good reminder about the value of this craft.

I'm going to dig for some more old pictures to scrap - hope you're having a great weekend.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Getting (A Little) Messy

I've been really lazy about writing here lately and definitely want to get back on track.  A lot has been going on with my family lately, and this seems to be one of the first things that doesn't get done.  But I've been busy creating and doing some reorganization, so I have lots to share. Hopefully this will be the week I get back on track.

One of my creative goals this year is to experiment more with mixed media.  I have the supplies, but almost never use them.  I've spent some time thinking about why I don't use those supplies more and can come up with a long list of reasons.
  • I am too impatient to wait for things to dry
  • I don't think of myself as artistic and don't have the confidence to experiment
  • I love playing with papers and embellishments, and I am not sure how to incorporate mixed media into my style....
.... I could go on, but you get the idea.  So I am going to try and push out of my comfort zone by playing with a mixed media technique at least one or two times a month.  This month I tried a silkscreen (which I know is super easy) and ink splatters which I already use on almost all of  my projects.  The idea is to try something, not to get overwhelmed with the process.

I started with the current sketch from My Creative Sketches.

For my layout I stayed close to the sketch but dropped the large rectangle down into the bottom corner of the layout.  I also moved the strips of paper in front of that rectangle.

Papers and embellishments are from March Studio Calico kits - Homespun and addons

I also added a larger square of the bright green paper and covered most of it with white vellum to create additional dimension.  I wanted the pop of color but too much of that green was going to overwhelm the other papers.  I used a label and a project life card to extend the feeling of strips on the far side of the photo.  And that little woodgrain flag is a vintage studio calico color theory flag from my stash.

Because I don't plan well, I built my layout design and then went back to add the silkscreen leaf motif in the top corner.  The silkscreen was in the March scrapbook kit at Studio Calico and is just lovely.  After I stuck it to the top corner of the paper, I randomly added small bits of Color Theory acrylic paint in 4 colors - mint hint, limelight, blush crush and coral bay - until the design was well covered.   I pulled up the silkscreen and washed it right way. (This is an important safety tip if you want to use your silkscreen more than once.)  I was thrilled when I came back and looked at the way it turned out.  It picked up all the colors in the paper strips but was still soft and simple.  And it dried really quickly ........  I added a few gold spatters around the leaf and down at the bottom of the page and I was done.

At the end of the day, I called this experiment with mixed media a success - I pushed myself a little bit out of my box and ended up with a layout that still looked like I made it.  It's taken me a long time to develop my style and I don't want it to get lost in a rush to try all the new things.

I'd love to hear any suggestions you might have for other mixed media techniques I should try.  I have gelatos, watercolors, acrylic paints, gesso, lots of spray inks and who knows what else tucked away here.  It's time to use them more .....and of course I've never been afraid to buy a new supply.

In the meantime, thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

It's All About Embellishment Clusters

I'll admit it - I love embellishments.  I love buying them, sorting them, and using them.  Sometimes my husband says my layouts are more about the embellishments than the photos (and sometimes he might be right).  They just might be my favorite thing about scrapbooking.  After all, embellishments provide so many opportunities for mixing and matching, for creating a mood  or bringing back a feeling and just making a layout my own. 

So when I saw the April 1 sketch at Stuck?!, I was super excited.  It just cried out for embellishment clusters.

I started by pulling supplies from the March kits at Studio Calico (Homespun and the add ons).  One of the add-ons included the die cuts from the Maggie Holmes Bloom collection so I had lots to play with.  Then I dug through some old pictures and found a photo that inspired me and seemed to go with the papers and embellishments I'd set out.

And I'll be honest - I didn't start with the photo block or the focal point of the layout.  Instead I started with my favorite part of the sketch - the embellishment cluster at the bottom of the page.

 I added some extra die cuts, wood veneer, enamel dots and washi from my stash.  And I made some decisions.  I knew I didn't want everything to be perfectly square so I used a long narrow acetate diecut to anchor the cluster and arranged embellishments in a bit of a topsy-turvy way to try and keep a bit of a fun feel to the layout.

Then I got to work and used the patterned papers I pulled to create the photo block and the focal point of the layout.  The photo block included another large embellishment cluster - this one built mostly from floral pieces from that Maggie Holmes die cut pack.  I used foam squares under some of the pieces to add dimension.  I also layered some of  the die cuts under the paper layouts for added interest.

I did add a few wood veneer hearts and some enamel dots to link this cluster to the embellishments at the bottom of the page.  I also repeated the sparkly "XO" but layered it on top of my photo in some dead space.

I thought I was done at this point, but I let the layout sit for about 30 minutes and came back to give it a second look.  I decided I needed something to balance the floral cluster on the other side of the photo.  I went back to the Maggie Homes die-cuts and some paper scraps.  Another wood heart and some more enamel dots finished it off.

I used the "E" for my daughter's initial - I can't spell "LOVE" anymore but it worked perfectly here.  And I used a scrap of floral vellum under the tag with the heart cut-out.  I used foam dots under the die cut to make the most out of the airy feel of the vellum.

After that I was just about done.  I added the title (I'm seriously addicted to those black rubber alphas from the kit) and some gold ink splatters.  And I made sure some splatters fell on top of the die cuts to help bring everything together.    Here's what I ended up with.

I have to admit that I lvoe everything about this one.  All those flowers are a bit out of the norm for me but they were so much fun to play with!

Thanks for stopping by - hope you have a great Sunday.