October 31, 2014

Soft And Artsy

When I was surfing the galleries, pages that jump out at me are ones with a very clear, very concise design message. As I look closer they also often happen to be ones that don't use a lot of scrapbooking supplies. What's a lot? Well let's say in comparison I think I use a lot of supplies, so these are pages that use less than I do. In particular certain pages also use much less traditional scrapbooking supplies. Instead their designers rely more on mediums like paint/ink/water-colours, on confetti, on haberdashery items and on paper replacements like vellum, tulle and gauze to make subtle, artsy creations.


With this less-is-more idea in mind, I design a layout to channel that "use hardly anything" ethos. Where I use patterned paper, I select those with a generic print like the chevron which has a wonky, painted vibe and the wood grain which resembles a piece of bleached bark. Where I want a shape, I go for simple outlines without patterns like the white butterfly, the gold star and the heart which could have been easily cut or punched out of cardstock. Last but not least I broke out my water-colour palette and use the most forgiving hue - yellow to create a soft background against which I float confetti sprinklings of tiny stars, hearts, ink droplets and paint spots. 
Looking at the supply list, I didn't end up using much less than usual. What's different is the type of supply items I did use - generic looking items that provide shape or colour where I needed it without drawing too much attention to themselves, resulting in a layout that's a step towards the soft, artsy look I admire.  

Supplies : Dear Lizzy (Daydreamer Red Rover, Polka Dot Party Savy Skirt, cardstock, 5th & Frolic Aspen Place, 5th & Frolic Accent & Phrase Sticker, Neapolitan Hazy Horizon), Amy Tangerine Ready Set Go Sticker, Pebbles Lakeside Road Signs, Citrus Twist (Stamps, Chipboard Hearts, Chipboard Cloud), Heidi Swapp Mixed Company Buzz Words Glitter Sticker, Crate Paper Notes & Things Ephemera Pack & Standout, Kaisercraft Resin Flowers Orchid

October 28, 2014

Keep Tabs

So the planner trend has arrived in the scrapbooking world. I'm seeing kits being offered for jazzing up one's filoxfax, products being manufactured for this niche and design teams being assembled to provide creative inspiration for prettying up one's personal organizer. My own life is too amorphous to require a datebook but I thought I'd acknowledge the new fad by creating these two cards using Webster's Pages' Ocean Melody cut-apart sheets.


The diary design idea I'm exploring is that of the tab. It's easily recognizable in the Journey card and becomes more stylised in the Beach Party card as I separate the main element into three blocks with a triangular corner cut in each. After completing these, I'm in the mood to create more on a smaller canvas which is the perfect segue into holiday cardmaking.

Citrus Twist Aug Kits : Webster's Pages Ocean Melody (Summer Fun, Sand & Sea), Echo Park Simple Life Happy Day, Studio Calico Brighton Pier Gold Stars Vellum, MME Market Street Ashbury Heights Enamel Dots, Crate Paper Notes & Things Noted, Pebbles Homemade Homemaker, Star & Bee Chipboard Arrows, cardstock

October 24, 2014

Monochromatic Layering

On page eight of my September design journal I wrote : Layer papers in the same colour family. When putting a whole bunch of papers together, it would seem obvious how much easier it is to achieve harmony if those papers are monochromatic because by taking colour out of the equation, one is free to focus on mixing the scale and types (organic or geometric) of patterns. As a self-confessed layering junkie, I'm blown away by the realisation that I've never practised this basic Design 101 principle. Only after looking at how other people are designing their layouts did it finally filter into my consciousness! 


To remedy this absurd oversight, I created a page about what Vogue is heralding as trendy in terms menswear for fall : retro patterns and colours. Taking my cue from the hounds-tooth patterned sweater, red (or as the fashion magazine calls it electric crimson) dominates my layout in hues ranging from pink to scarlet. To get the title to stand out against this sea of red I misted the die-cut words an advancing buttercup yellow. Cheekily I've also referenced the other sweater by including a green ticket folded to resemble a clothes label. And yes I'll readily admit the layering did come together much more easily when I stick to just one colour.  

Supplies : American Crarts (Cut & Paste Infatuation, Yes Please Share, Shimelle Earhart, Lucky Charm Collector, Lucky Charm Wishing Well, Polka Dot Party Fantastic Favors, 5th & Frolic 6x6 Paper ), Basic Grey (Highline Capture Snippets & Carte Postal 6x6 Paper), Crate Paper Styleboard Vellum Shapes, Echo Park For the Record Table Cloth, October Afternoon Daily Flash Girl Talk Whisper, Webster's Pages Ocean Melody Anchors Away, Jillibean Soup Smile Mini Placemat, Woodchip Hearts   

October 17, 2014

A Tad Too Angular

With my temporary work assignment completed life is back to normal. I'm home and happy that it'll be a while before I find myself waiting in airport lounges, waking up in hotel rooms and traveling to work by taxis every day. Crafting-wise it's been a good mini-break for me but now that I've seen what Trina has in store for us, I'm excited (after having missed the last two kits) to be receiving the November Citrus Twist kit and to start creating again.


To ease myself back into the creative groove, I start with a small project : a mini-book. After picking out a stack of red and blue pattern papers from my stash, I begin making a series of double-page designs adding bits of beige to provide the occasional neutral relief. None of the pages are restricted to a standard size. Instead what I have are miss-matched folios which are then glued together, with some pages open toward the left while others open toward the right, to form a mini-album. I love the idea of being able to see a bit of all the folios even with the album closed.


I'm pleased with the different pattern combinations I've brought together for this project, geometrics which are my first love still dominate but there are also several organic prints successfully mixed in there. Also the challenge I set myself to integrate 12"x12", 8"x8" and 6"x6" patterns hasn't been as difficult as I thought. As a guide I compared the scale of each pattern against the size of the double-pager and tailored the quantity used to fit.    


The only hiccup is my choice of fonts. I chose a chunky font with filled counters called Yume because I planned to hand-cut the title so that the blue denim paper shows through the negative space. However  I forgot and glued it down as-is, so that page ended up looking more stark and angular than anticipated. With hindsight I should have just gone with a more rounded font in a matching navy colour.  

Supplies : Studio Calico Lemon Lush (Loyalty, Sentimental, Vellum Labels), Studio Calico Heyday Cardstock Stickers, Crate Paper (Styleboard Sweet Collection & Inspiration, Maggie Holmes Accent Sticker), Basic Grey Highline Beautiful, Amy Tangerine Plus One Bits Die Cut Tags packaging, Basic Grey (Capture Snippets, Candy Dots), American Crafts (DIY Mistable Thickers Ali, DIY Shop 6x6 Paper), Authentique Celebrate Element Stickers, Echo Park Birthday Wishes Element Stickers, Cosmo Cricket Creative Girl 8x8 Paper, October Afternoon Daily Flash Snapshots Focus

October 10, 2014

Embracing White

During my two months long survey of what's hot and trendy in scrapbooking, there's no ignoring the significant role white plays on our pages. It's a neutral background against which other colours pop, it's a negative space that provides visual breathing room in a composition provided to emphasize other elements, and then when there's an abundance of whites and off-whites in a design it imparts an atmosphere of delicate, airy lightness. All these and more which seem a lot to expect from what is essentially something that's not there, very Zen indeed!


So in this, the last of my series of lifted layouts, I tried recreating Becky Novacek's Summer Lovin' layout with it's intriguingly controlled use of white : in the form of the title journal card, doily and die-cut foliage. I experimented with colour treatments before realising how white-on-white being so subtle forces the eye to look more closely at what is intentionally left absent. What I ended up with is more graphic, less feminine than Becky's example, courtesy of the lozenge-shaped border, the half circle of chipboard hearts and the directional-lighting in my layout photography casting subtle shadows behind those shapes. 
In the end how much white to use is very much a personal choice, coming down to what "feels" right. I went back-and-forth over whether this is too white for me and after setting it aside for a while and coming back to find I love it's clean, spare aesthetic, I'm declaring myself ready to embrace this non-colour and to share this layout on my blog. 

Supplies : Cosmo Cricket Creative Girl 8x8 Paper Pad, Jillibean Soup It Is What It Is Mini Placemats, Studio Calico Printshop 6x6 Paper Pad & Lemon Lush Vellum Label, Dear Lizzy Polka Dot Party Grand Garland, Crate Paper Close Knit Accent Sticker, Wycananka Hearts Circle Chipboard, cardstock