September 30, 2014

Harvest Season Colours

The days may not be so bright and balmy - yet the quiet and melancholy that linger around them is fraught with glory. Over everything connected with autumn there lingers some golden spell - some unseen influence that penetrates the soul with it's mysterious power (Northern Advocate)

While in Japan, enthralled by the magic of the harvest season I put together a colour board for this layout. In the main the palette comprises muted 1970s retro hues complementing the cross-processed character of the picture - an advert for a coveted set of jewel tone rings from Agete. Bulky, eye-catching embellishments seem superfluous if I want the focus to be on the jewellery so I place two clusters of layered text stickers to create a flow from the sleeve down to the rings.   


The design is a lift of Martha Bonneau's Lovely layout. I am so pleased to discover her effortless way of transforming a non-standard sized column into a 12"x12" page. Now that I think of it I've probably seen it done various times in scrapbook galleries but somehow it didn't sink in till I come across Martha's blog. It's of course a play on margins, in this case exaggerating them and I'm happy to do so as it showcases my favourite background paper : Crate Paper's Big Sky - oddly named don't you think as it basically shows a white brick wall.    

Supplies : Crate Paper (Open Road Big Sky, Close Knit Memories, Fourteen Accent Sticker, Maggie Holmes Accent Sticker, Emma's Shop Accent Sticker), Carta Bella (Hello Again Element Sticker, Wildflower Element Sticker), Echo Park Be Mine Element Sticker, Studio Calico Home Front Die-Cut Sticker, Heidi Swapp Mixed Company Buzz Words Glitter Sticker, Prima Tea Thyme Collection Plume Leaves, pearl stick pin

September 26, 2014

Almost Quilt-Like

Browsing scrapbooking galleries, it strikes me there's increasing crossover from other types of crafts into scrapbooking and popularity of the sewing trend continues unabated. Running the page elements through the sewing machine not only ensures they stay put when adhesive prove suspect, it also introduces an interesting design element. Other  scrappers take things further and hand-stitch unique titles, background and patterns on their pages. Then there is Lexi Bridges' Thrift layout using paper scraps, wonky sewing and pattern play to channel the art of quilting, it's an eclectic concoction to go with her thrift store topic and totally brilliant.  


It jumped out at me because of how fantastically easy it is to replicate the look. Unable to resist lifting her design, I grab a fistful of pattern strips from my paper stash folder and manage to complete this layout within the hour which is quite a record for me. The trick is not to indulge in my normal over-analytical approach, to jump right in and start gluing strips down.   This exercise has taught me that (sometimes) it's good to let go, to embrace imperfection and just have fun while scrapping, after all this is a hobby and shouldn't be taken too seriously. Being random and casual and quirky can have it's own kind of charm, so I'm going to attempt more get-it-done-within-sixty-minutes projects in the future.
Thanks Lexi for this wonderfully clever idea.
Supplies : Basic Grey (PB&J Sunny Day, Clippings Flannel Suit, Carte Postal Michigan Avenue),  Dear Lizzy (Polka Dot Party Luminous Light, Lucky Charm Falling Stars, 5th & Frolic Sweet Street), Amy Tangerine (Cut & Paste Word Up, Rose Avenue),  Echo Park (Everyday Eclectic Kraft Wood, Note to Self Borders, For The Record 2 Documented Borders), Pebbles Lakeside Road Signs, Kaisercraft Tiny Woods Pine, Crate Paper (Close Knit Ephemera, Styleboard Stylist Charcoal Grey Thickers), MME Market Street Enamel Dots, Wycinanka Foliage Chipboard, Scenic Route Label Sticker, washi tape, baker's twine, sequins, cardstock 

September 19, 2014

A Void At The Center

Right now I'm having a huge crush on Belgian designer Els Brige. She has such an impeccable sense for placement of little embellishing touches and the way she works with shapes is so clever. In particular she has a series of landscape format cards and table-top calendar pages that superbly demonstrates the many interesting variations one can achieve with pattern paper strips and a few choice embellishments.


I adore those but choose to lift this card because I'm intrigued by her use of trapped white space to create a void right in the center of an embellishment cluster. It's a straight lift. I've not given it a twist or done anything remotely clever to it, instead I follow the precise placement of those little enamel dots and stars that she does so implacably.  So I have to give a shout out to Els as the genius of the design is all hers.

Thank you Els for inspiring me with your awesome card and layout designs!

Supplies : American Crafts DIY Shop 6x6 Paper, Wycinanka Hexagon Chipboard, Studio Calico (South of Market Turnip The Beet, Yearbook Tardy, State Fair Guess Your Weight), Echo Park For Your Record Element Sticker, Crate Paper Little Boy Blue Brad, Chic Tags Birthday Cake Mini Tag, Teresa Collins Ty's Star, Jenni Bowlin Rhinestone Stars, MME Kraft FunDay Rhinestones

September 12, 2014

Too Enthusiastic With The Acrylics

It's lovely to be home, able when fancy strikes to cocoon myself in the craft room and scrap away as much as I want. While I was away I filled a design journal with all sorts of ideas and techniques to try. Now that tools and supplies are at hand I've been scrapping up a storm, evident by the index of completed projects listed here. Unfortunately I can't share any of the inside pages of my journal (woops I've misspelled the title on the cover); because in my enthusiasm with acrylics and impatience with allowing for paint to dry, many of the folios are stuck together and can't be prised apart. Lesson learnt : next time I'm away on assignment I'll put the hotel's mini-hairdryer to good use.


I've also been experimenting with how I photograph my pages. Instead of shooting in the open under overcast skies, I've set up my layouts and camera under the shade of the front porch and shooting with bright, indirect sunlight. It's given my photos more contrast and better colour fidelity which I love. However this shoot has taken me much longer than expected because my cat Bun Bun spent the entire time rubbing his head on my legs and, disconcertingly, on the tripod's legs as well. He's not normally given to public displays of affection so I really felt I had to let him carry on.  

Supplies : Lemon Owl Attic Door (Up the Tree, Save the Date, Stars, Old Wardrobe), Webster's Pages (Recorded Mini Bag, Our Travels Out & About). Amy Tangerine Yes Please Perfect, Carta Bella Wildflower Journal Card, Echo Park Capture Life Journaling Card, Heidi Swapp Mixed Company Ephemera, Pink Paislee Color Wash Stickers, Crate Paper Brad, Maya Road Tiny Wood Ruler, wood chip stars

September 05, 2014

Clarity of Structure

One down and one to go : honestly I feel relieved that my first work assignment is completed and signed off by the client. It's good to put my formal training and experience back into practice, delivering some important insights and recommendations to the company in Japan, but I also have to say I found it trying to immerse myself into the rhythm of 9-to-5 work again. There were certain moments in the afternoon when I'm sorely tempted to take a two hour tea-break and relaxingly flip through some fashion magazines. Hopefully like riding a bike, with practice I'll rediscover my knack of sustaining a concentrated pace of work throughout the day in time for my next project. 


Anyway during a couple of long bullet train rides I did go scrapbook inspiration hunting on blogs and galleries. In particular former Garden Girl Wilna Furstenberg's design style intrigued me. She injects massive amounts of fun and excitement into layouts based on classic templates through her use of colour, mixed media techniques and exuberant embellishment clustering. Here I lifted one of her 2Peas layouts, stripping out the watercolour ombre background and going with simple neutral patterns to celebrate the underlying beauty of her page's structure. I love it's eye-catching clarity and the subtle tension created through having areas of compression (around the photos) and release (the soothing flow of lines of journaling).   
Thanks for being such an inspiration Wilna!

Supplies : Dear Lizzy (Daydreamer Love Notes, Polka Dot Party Warm Welcome & Pretty Party Hat), Crate Paper (The Pier Slide Frame, Styleboard Die-Cut Frames), Studio Calico Classic Die-Cut Polaroid Frames, Calico Wycinanka Small Hexagons Chipboard, Heidi Swapp Mixed Compay Buzz Words Glitter Stickers, Queen & Co Twinkle Bloom