January 31, 2015

A Valentine Card


When I make portrait format cards I have a tendency to use horizontal divisions. In an attempt to do something different I studied one of my favourite cardmaker : Joy Taylor from down-under Australia.  She often goes for two, long, off-to-the-side strips that act as the base of a visual triangle then embellish creatively within that triangle. Here's my interpretation of that design idea.  
 
 
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Here I want the focus to be on the strip of grey floral paper. The way I go about accomplishing that is to use advancing and retreating principles from colour theory. Since the grey of the floral is a mid-tone I highlight it with a bright yellow border that's advancing and keep both the background and foreground relatively pink  (which just a smidge more retreating than mid-tone). It's fun to rummage through my stash to find papers from Amy Tangerin's Plus One collection and ephemera from Heidi Swapp's Dreamy collection that perfectly fit the trick.  




Supplies : Amy Tangerine Plus One 6x6 Paper, Heidi Swapp Dreamy Ephemera, cardstock. Font : Loki Cola

January 25, 2015

Now I'm Ahead


Last week I was behind on my Christmas scrapbooking. Well this week I'm ahead, ready with a Valentine-inspired layout even though it's not yet February. Something that's not hard to do since I received lots of love themed stickers and pink coloured papers as part of this month's Citrus Twist kits.

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My pages all carry a strongly defined structure. Mostly that structure is achieved through pattern paper blocking and strategic placement of photo, title and journaling (especially when typography is used in an interesting way). When I embellish those designs I'm mainly adding pretty little pieces to dress up page. Occasionally - in 2014 I counted a total of five such pages -  I build structure through embellishments. Today's page is a hybrid where pattern paper sits mainly in the background telling just part of the story. It's only when the embellishments are in place that the final design comes together.
 

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Here I use a pink(!) wood grain and a flower strewn paper in the background. Then I run a series of picture frames, complete with vellum inserts to mimic the look of glass panels,  across the middle of the page. One of these frames the photo of a couple silhouetted against a rose-coloured sky. The title "LOVEFEST" and a journaling quote is placed centred on the floral background. At this point a romantic mood has been established but the composition still hasn't taken shape. Time for embellishments to pull their weight.


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Working from the top, I use and arrow sticker to point attention to the frame housing the photo. To add emphasis to the photo I place my embellishments in a cluster of three, forming a visual triangle which persuades the viewer's eye to linger a while before moving on. And when it moves on I use downward pointing arrows like the gold diamond to direct them to the title which is dressed up with more gold details such as the heart.   


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I envisioned this layout to resemble a side view of a bus with the title placed where you typically see advertising logo and the couple in the photo being framed by one of the row of windows of the bus. It's turned out exactly as I wanted it to and right now it's my favourite Valentine page.


Citrus Twist January Kits : Crate Paper Open Book (Sweet Story, Clippings, Fabric Brad), Crate Paper Kiss Kiss Accent Stickers, Gossamer Blue (Gramercy Road Rose Gold Foil Alphabet, On My Desk Daydreamer & Die-Cuts), WRMK Love Notes Cork Stickers, Citrus Twist Stamps, embroidery thread, vellum


Photo Credit : Pexels

January 20, 2015

A Little Bit Behind


How do they do it? Scrapbookers who undertake December Daily projects. It seems so daunting to me to commit to documenting one's festive traditions and celebrations during what is for many the busiest time of the year. In between decorating the home, shopping for presents, planning and attending parties where does one find time to complete a mini-album by the end of the year? I'm not even going to try, being content instead with making my Christmas pages after the new year. Hence this mid-January layout about baking holiday treats based loosely on a Citrus Twist Sunday Sketch.  


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Style-wise I've tried to incorporate a dose of ethereal softness that's popular with some European designers. I think the first time I saw this look was on Rahel Menig's work where the photo is framed by delicate layers of white tissue, lightly crumpled add subtle texture.  Another signature of hers is machine stitching with thread ends left to float in wispy trails across the page. This style has become pretty trendy now and I see elements of it in pages by designers like Nina Ostermann and Lucia Barabas.
 
 
Jan SKetch

 
To create the white-on-white framing around my photo I use muslin fabric from the January Citrus Twist kit together with some gauze, vellum, tissue and string from my kitchen. Mixed in with this are some label stickers and die-cut frames, just to provide some separation from the mostly white background. I love how easy it is (and how in-expansive it is since I'm raiding my kitchen supplies) to create a sense of diffused depth behind the photo where the edges of layers are rendered indistinct and undefined.  
 

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In keeping with the challenge I set myself at the start of the year, I used the Gossamer Blue alphabets from the kit for my title. However I'm not quite ready to take the plunge with rose gold foil so I spray painted them a matt black. If you notice some sequins mixed in with the paint splatters in around the title that's because I originally did use silver sequins. However they were a terror to photograph, repeatedly blowing-out and creating hot spots in my full page shots. In the end I removed them and ended up with the cleaner overall design.  


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It's fun to try something new especially when it turns out well in the end. What I appreciate most about this style of scrapbooking is that the couple of embellishments you do add to your page really stands out, even when they are the same colour as the rest of your page like this globe and fabric brad. But most of all I love the dash of off-the-cuff informality it adds to my structured style of scrapbooking.

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Citrus Twist January Kits : Crate Paper (Open Book Years, Open Book Fabric Brad, Kiss Kiss Accent Stickers), Gossamer Blue (On My Desk Die-Cuts, Gramercy Road Rose Gold Foil Alphabet), Pink Paislee Bella Rouge Gorgeous, white embroidery floss, ercu fabric strips

January 15, 2015

Hippy Chic


I'm not too adventurous when it comes use of colour in scrapbooking. Most of the time I choose supplies that are in the same colour family as my photo. It's a safe, conventional approach which means there's a tendency for my layouts to have a matchy-matchy look. Today I decide to do an unexpected pairing of pastels with a sepia-coloured photo of a girl with a heart tattoo on her back. Granted it's only little touches of pinks and yellows mixed in with lots of black, white and grey but I'm happy to get out of my comfort zone and with the result - an overall hippy chic vibe.  

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I've also been experimenting with the small box of mixed media supplies I bought. It's fun watching process videos and trying to replicate the effects using my stencils, modelling paste, embossing powders and mists. So far I've gotten my craft table a little messy, my fingers inky with paint and a few interesting layouts. Still need play around some more to figure out how to make this mixed media approach work with my own style.
 
 

Citrus Twist January Kits : Pink Paislee Bella Rouge (Beautiful, Shine, Gorgeous), WRMK Love Notes Cork Stickers, Crate Paper (Open Book Fabric Brad, Kiss Kiss Accent Sticker), Gossamer Blue On My Desk Die-Cut. Others : Amy Tangerine Cut & Paste One Two Tree
 


January 10, 2015

Behind-The-Scene Supplies

As CHA 2015 goes into full swing with manufacturers revealing all their new collections local scrapbook stores have gone into full blown sale mode, hoping to tempt Singaporean scrapbookers into clearing out the stores' old inventory and to make room for the new. Attracted by the low prices - certain products' prices becoming almost on par with the USA - I going shopping armed with a carefully thought out shopping list.


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Printed in  bold at the top of the list is this : "don't buy any Papers, Embellishments or Project Life cards". A quick look around my craft room reveals I have lots of these products accumulated during prior shopping sprees and supplied by previous design teams. I'm expecting to collect even more of these in 2015 with the generous kits Citrus Twist sends me. Every month I add a good amount to my stash even after creating three or four layouts with my kits.
 

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So no more buying papers, embellishments and journal cards. Instead what I've put in my shopping cart are tools and mixed media supplies. First on my agenda is to get some basic stamping products and when I say basic I mean basic - like Ranger's archival black ink. So far I've been using a dollar ink pad from the stationery store with OK results, but when I switched and stamped the "story documented" caption on this layout with my latest buy I get a much cleaner and clearer result.
 

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After four years it's time for me to invest a little into the behind-the-scene stuff of scrapbooking : a heat gun, some stamping and embossing inks, a couple of stencils, a few punches etc. It's fine to do without, it's even OK to make do with whatever's on hand but using products designed specifically for this hobby will make certain tasks easier, go faster and hopefully result in producing pages that look more interesting and varied.


Citrus Twist January Kits : Gossamer Blue On My Desk (Daydreamer, Screensaver,  Die Cuts), Gossamer Blue Gramercy Road Rose Gold Foil Alphabet, Crate Paper (Open Book Fabric Brads, Kiss Kiss Accent Stickers), Echo Park Creative Agenda Journaling Cards, Amy Tangerine Stitched Heartfelt, Citrus Twist Stamp, Star & Bee Arrow Chipboards, ecru fabric stripe, white cardstock