Friday, March 27, 2015

Fun With Sketches

When I started scrapping a little over a year ago now I used sketches exclusively. The thought of not using a sketch scared me to death! I mean this 12x12 paper was completely blank and where to start was a mystery. Maybe you've been in that place before, maybe you are there now. But I always find using a sketch now like coming home. It's like being all grown up and visiting, the home I grew up in  with big girl eyes and remembering all the things I loved about being there. And then I use the sketch and put it away and glad I can go to my big girl home called full reign creativity. I love using sketches now still but find I change them so much most of the time. I love being able to do whatever I want on a page, but because of sketches I understand why things look good where they do. 
Paper Issues had a crop this past weekend, and when I seen they had a sketch challenge I knew for sure that was one challenge I needed to do. It is a simple sketch but leaves a lot open for the crafter to add and make it their own. I usually change up sketch just so I can make it me, but this time I really wanted to stick with the sketch. I did however use a patterned paper on the background. Since I started using a lot of media on my pages I have found myself using more and more white and kraft colors as backgrounds. I find that really helps open the layout up and keeps it from looking to busy, since I still have to add lots of layers! I mean I still want to use all those yummy patterns. 
I dug in my older papers and found a old Crate Paper collection and used that to start. But to keep it current I used newer lines for my layering papers. The sketch calls for 4 3x4 papers along the top third of the paper. I choose to cut my papers in different sizes, some 3x4 and some thinner but longer. I even used some gold star vellum from Studio Calico under a 3x4 journaling card from Clique kits. 
Since the background was a teal color  choose pink to compliment it. Also I was scrapping a photo of my middle daughter and she loves her some pink. I thought pink would play on her playfulness and cute smile. Also I kept the patterns simple on the layering paper, like pink watercolored paper on Pink Fresh Studios  paper, or simple patterns on white paper like on We Are Memory Keepers Love Notes paper. 
For embellishments I added gold since I had gold on the vellum and made sure I used lots of pink too. On the journaling card since there was some bright teal, I used one teal sequin in the clusters to mirror that as well. I find that mirroring colors in my papers with embellishments helps make my layouts look like they belong together. The colors don't have to match perfect but or patterns don't have to be the same but if the are similar they look like they should go together. 
I added a craft paper from the Amy Tangerine Stitched collection and drew in stitch lines, since I don't own a sewing machine to make it look more homemade. For the title I used October Afternoon letter stickers in white. Nice and simple and then one word had pink sparkle foam letter thickers from a older Dear Lizzy line. Just the right touch of spunk. 
I ended everything with some splatters of black color shine, pink shimmer homemade mist and then some thinned out white paint. 
By keeping this layout simple, for me at least, it is so much easier to focus on my daughter and her story, which is written in hot pink on the journaling card. 
I really had fun using this sketch. But like always after using a sketch I am happy to go back to creating something equally great without a sketch. I hope this week you guys try to use a technique that reminds you of when you first started scrapping. That you love but don't try enough. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I have been super busy this weekend having a ton of fun. I attended my first online crop!! It was so fun chatting and crafting with lots of ladies I see hanging around the crafty group. Paper Issues the online store hosted on online crop and had tons of challenges in which you can enter projects and have a chance to win goodies. Who doesn't love a good challenge. I wish I could have been more productive of course, but the kiddos needed food, and laundry needed folding too. But this weekend I worked on four layouts! It's a nice feeling getting a recent amount of scrapping done in a short amount of time. The crop is still accepting work for their challenges until March 29th too, which is awesome, because the challenges I didn't get to this weekend I now can finish up this week. Feel free t head over to their blog, and see how to attend the crop, late of course and check out the challenges.
I thought I'd share a few of my layouts I worked on this weekend. The first challenge I started on the UmWow Challenge which required the use of a stencil. How I do love me a good stencil too. I thought this was a great layout challenge to start with. I decided to start off with plain white cardstock. Lately I have been in a spring mood, wanting flowers to bloom and the colors we think of with spring are calling to me to use on my layouts!! I grabbed some paint, because lets be honest, I really don't feel a layout is complete unless i add some kind of paint to it. Using blue and teal i just painted some spots of the layout. Leaving lots of white still open too. while drying I picked a photo. Sometimes I start off with a photo, sometimes I almost finish the layout before even picking the photo. It really depends on my mood. I had a photo from the other day of a bubble on some grass, it seemed perfect for the blues and teal colors, and called out spring to me.
I wanted to keep the layout simple and not to heavy, so I looked through my little stack of stencils and picked out two, a swirl one by The Crafters Workshop and a big 12x12 stencil from The Crafters Workshop that had chicken wire and other type of prints. I used thinned out pink paint with some homemade pink glimmer spray to tone down the color  and stenciled away in spots over the paint and on some white cardstock. I thought the page needed some more white so I grabbed white paint and stenciled watered down white paint with the chicken wire stencil. Keeping it light I only used it in three places mainly over the areas of paint.
I almost always need to use layers of paper on my layouts, it just doesn't feel right without layers. I picked a few papers that matched the colors I had on the layout and were spring like. I choose Pinkfresh Studios paper, Crate Paper from Notes and Things, and a 3x4 card I had painted with similar colored paint dots a while ago. I outlined the papers to help them feel uniform and together even though they weren't from the same collection.
 With the layers done, I felt it was time to embellish. I really wanted to keep it simple and fun. This is a layout about my kids having fun blowing bubbles. I made two clusters, one at the bottom left hand side of the layered photo and up on the top left hand side of the layout. Since my paint was kinda in a diagonal starting at that left corner it just seemed the perfect spot for a cluster. I used bits from Amy Tan's Stitched collection as well as bits from the embellishment pack from Up in the Clouds by Pink Fresh Studios. The colors were perfect and just really yelled fun! I also cut a triangle out of that Crate Paper paper I used in the layers to tie the top cluster together and finished that cluster with some enamel dots and a gold heart from the Dear Lizzy Serendipity collection.

The bottom cluster I looked for embellishments that matched the top like circles and similar colors, The Dear Lizzy Serendipity collection had tons of round donuts, since I don't eat much donuts and haven't planned on scrapping a donut layout, using these circles here were perfect. By hiding most of the donut it just looked more like a circle instead of a donut. There was also a round embellishment in the Stitch collected with gold on it, The craft color matched the triangle at the top and the gold tied in with all the gold from the Pink Fresh Studios embellishments. Adding some fun word stickers from Dear Lizzy and Simple stories just finished the cluster up nicely and added a fun touch.

I wanted to add a touch more of pink to the layout, and didn't have many pink enamel dots so I picked out my pink paint again and thine it down with gesso so it would drop nicely from a paint brush and added pink splats over the layout. I also wanted one more element that brought out the bubble in my and the rhinestones from PinkFresh Studios were perfect.

I love how this layout turned out, so fun and bright but balanced because of the white background. I definitely need to break out my stencils more and add them to my layouts as a nice little layer under my photos!

Throughout this week I plan on sharing with you some of the other layouts and cards I made for this crop. I had so much fun getting to know everyone and seeing all their work!! I hope you take a minute to check out what everyone is working on in the crop and maybe you will join us and link up something you made for the crop as well!!