Friday, 31 July 2015

Leaving Los Angeles: A Clean & Simple Layout

Clean and simple is not my typical scrapbooking style. On the contrary! "More is more" describes my usual style better. That said, I feel very drawn to more minimalistic approaches at times, and want to learn to make that style work for me as well.

For this layout, I wanted to use a longish text from a novel, and I wanted to have it handwritten in the background, not necessarily fully visible for reading but as a pattern. Before that, I gessoed the background paper to tone down a strong pattern, and made another layer of patterns taking the gesso off with baby wipes through a stencil. That's the hippyish sunbeam pattern you can see here and there.

The handwritten text is my main decoration this time. I added just a little watercolour and clear Stickles, and very few embellishments. I'm quite happy with how it turned out!

I was inspired by the July challenge at Scrap Around the World, and their gorgeous colourful mood board you can see here! I was particularly inspired by the journey theme, the sunset, the pink and all the other bright colours.

I was also inspired by the colour challenge palette at Tando Creative and the monthly sketch from C'est Magnifique kits.

I'll have to say bye for now to put my little one to bed, but I'm thinking I'll be back tomorrow to add my inspiration text into this post, and a few words about it, in case someone'd like to read it!

Anyway, it's from one of the Weetzie Bat books by Francesca Lia Block. Before travelling to Los Angeles this spring I looked up stories that are set in that city, and the Weetzie Bat series came up in many recommendations. I'm not through with all the books yet, but in my opinion they do seem to capture the spirit and essence of L.A. really well!

Do you like to read books where the story takes place in your travel destination - or where you live?

Edit: Trouble with mobile uploading - the post went up without pictures first but that's fixed now!

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Blue Overalls: Layout for Scrap Africa DT

Hello! It's time for the mid-July Mood Board Challenge at Scrap Africa!

Here's the sympathetic grungy mood board by Denise Van Deventer. I was inspired by the mood board in my choice of photos, first of all. And also by the wood, worn paint, and the hollyhocks!

I'm learning to use a crackle medium that I bought some time ago. It's fun, but I think I hurried up a bit and it didn't dry properly between the layers, so the effect was more like generally messy paint. I'm happy with how it looks on this page, anyway!

I'm also entering my layout in the Stuck! Sketches Challenge, where they had this cool multi photo sketch that I decided to use the other way round. Their July 1st sketch is up for participation until the end of the month.

My third inspiration is the Color, Stories, Inspiration (CSI) Challenge #170 For Evidence, meaning embellishments, I chose Solid Brads, Flair, Stars, Metal and Hang Something. And for Testimony, which means how we do our journaling, I did Suspend Something.

The suspended or hanging element is my journaling card & envie set hanging from the metal button. The journaling card is made of a very old playing card with a beautiful pattern in the back.

I like to reuse things in my designs and some other finds in my treasure box got in use here, too: the chip with the number 5, which is my son's age in this picture. And the Oriental looking piece I glued onto the envelope after decorating it with a white embossing powder.

Stars that I cut from old jeans and another blue fabric...

And finally, the hollyhocks! I had this lonely piece of a wind chime that I stamped a hollyhock on, using Stone Gray Staz-On ink and a cool hollyhock silhoutte stamp from a new rubber plate I just got last week from Viva Las VegaStamps! So here's some more hanging stuff and metallic elements.

This is the first time I gave a try stamping on a metal surface and it wasn't very easy - it felt very slippery and it was hard not to let the stamp move. I think it looks slightly messy, though this is the better side of my two attempts. But I want to keep learning more of this technique! I'd like to try doing art jewellery at some point, dominoes and such. All tips are welcome, if you did some of those things sometimes!

I'm also entering my layout in the Craft Stamper Challenge (Anything Goes). Check it out, there are many cool ways to use stamps in cards and other projects!

It's only Thursday morning but as I'm about to leave for our summer cottage, I'll wish you a great weekend already - whether you are out enjoying summer days or spending a rainy/wintery day in the warmth of your house! Hopefully including some crafting time!

Friday, 10 July 2015

First Time Joining Illustration Friday!

Hi again!

In my previous post I was showing backgrounds made with some of my favourite techniques, Gelli printing and stenciling. One of them turned out just perfect for what I had in mind: I'm joining the Illustration Friday challenge for the first time. You probably couldn't guess at the theme, which is...


The themes at Illustration are often quite abstract, understandably, since this challenge is targeted for professional illustrators or folks who are aiming at that. I've thought of joining a few times before but the challenges are always on for just a week, so my other ideas have been too time-consuming!

I'm happy to have tried something out of my comfort zone now and I'll keep an eye at their coming themes definitely! Illustration is such a fascinating profession in my eyes. I guess it's the stories I'm drawn to, and being able to make the picture support and broaden the scape of the story.

My large pair of sewing scissors is hand drawn on a book page, the antique looking pair is a free printable courtesy of the Graphics Fairy and the smallest black pair is a Unity stamp, done with black embossing powder. The red hearts are made with a Dina Wakley for TCW stencil called Grunge Hearts.

I'm also entering this for A Sprinkle of Imagination challenge, with a "Create Whatever You Like" theme.

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Summer of Color, week 4: Red and Metallic with Gelli Plate and Stencils

Hi! The fun Summer of Color challenge series is already in its week five, but I'm running late with my posts, so here comes the palette number four: Red, Red and a Metallic colour! I like the fact that in Summer of Color, you can add your weekly links also later on - you just won't be joining the prize draw after the deadline, which is always the Sunday of the challenge week.

For the red and metallic theme, I decided on free experimenting with my Gelli plate and stencils. I got my Gelli plate recently and have only had a chance to try it a couple of times. I can't wait to do more soon!

In this piece with the hearts, the collage background is a Gelli print. The one in the first photo, on the other hand, began with all the leftover paints that I just spread around and stenciled here and there. So in that one, the background is not made with Gelli, but I cut collage elements from the printed papers instead.

These are the shades of red and the metallic colour that I chose.

I didn't make my own mixes this time, but used three different brands of paint as they were.

I can already tell that I love the Gelli plate! I was expecting I would, too, because I've loved all kinds of printing so far. I have a lot to learn with the Gelli plate, though, so I really look forward to playing with it more - and moreover, it's perfect summer crafting, don't you think?

One of the things that could work better is different sorts of paints, for example. The ones I tried now did not feel an ideal consistency, so next time I'll mix them with a bit of water before I start. I sprayed water on the plate but the paint could still have been more easy to spread. Especially my metallic paint was quite thick, so I did the last prints using only the leftover reds on my palette.

The following three are simple monoprints with Gelli, nothing added!

While in this one, the punchinella pattern is stenciled onto the print afterwards.

I really enjoyed the creative session just experimenting, not planning any particular end result! These will serve as backgrounds and for cutting collage elements. One of the backgrounds I can't show you here, because I already made it into something else! You can see what I made with it in my next post, soon to follow!

And be sure to pop in at the Summer of Color to see the palette for week 5!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Hello Sweetheart: Layout for Scrap Africa DT

Hello, and happy July! Summer is at its best in the northern hemisphere, while some of my colleagues in the Scrap Africa DT are in the middle of winter. In any case, I hope each of you everywhere is enjoying some crafty time, and I wish you warmly welcome to take a look at Scrap Africa if you have not done so yet! It's a friendly and inspiring challenge site whose team I am really proud to be a part of since last month.

This month we have a sketch challenge.

Here's the lovely Scrap Africa July sketch by Denise van Deventer! I rotated the sketch and started splashing some acrylic paint and mists on the left side.

The yellow pattern/texture is done with Gelatos and a stencil.

The textured Hello part of the title is modeling paste that I stenciled through one of my new Heidi Swapp Mini Frames stencils. To make the letters pop out a bit more, I shadowed them with pink Versamark ink and a Pitt Artist brush pen in light warm grey tone. I also tried using microbeads for the first time. They are of the Pop! brand from American Crafts and the colours are Black and Leaf.

I made a journaling tag to write some more than I could fit in the brush scripted circle. I love the pop of pink that I stamped with Staz-on in the tag and the circle doodles made with a pink Paperpen! The color scheme is not exactly in my comfort zone, but I think the bright pink and silvery & dark greys were a good choice to brighten up the photos! The retro yellow is quite dominating in these photos otherwise - in my mother-in-law's kitchen and even in the skin tones of my baby and me, as these photos were taken in the diminishing evening light without a flash.

I'm also entering this layout in the Challenge YOUrself! blog, where the theme this month is Anything Goes! (As long as you are in the photo yourself.) I really like this photo of me, with such a relaxed smile, so I hope my layout qualifies, even though my face does not show completely! You still have a few days to play along, as this challenge closes July 4th.

And the Scrap Africa challenge, that's always on until the new mid-month challenge, so you have two weeks to participate! I'd love to see you all there!