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

October 04, 2014

Just Throw Stuff Down

Surfing for scrappy inspiration is an addictive thing. Galleries are good but I haven't neglected magazines, in particular foreign language e-zines like {entreArtistes} - what a cool name - which is where I found French designer Celine Navarro whose signature design style is (in her own words) : fearless, colourful, funky and crazy.


Keen on cultivating a more irrepressible and carefree approach to scrapbooking, I try to emulate her style by lifting her These 2 Girls layout. It's a wonderful design which features an oversized photo and a big title while fitting in not a small number of embellishments onto an 8.5"x11" sized page. Believe me when I say I threw caution to the wind and literally squash lots of bits and bobs around the two edges to fill the space. The end result is, I think, even more zany and wacky than Celine's - and I totally love that.

Thank you Celine for being such an awesome talent and inspiring me to try injecting a sense of the atypical into my scrapbooking.

Supplies : Crate Paper (Open Road Road Map, Maggie Holmes Tags Die-Cut Sheet, Maggie Holmes Dreamy, Close Knit Ephemera Pack, Close Knit Hugs & Kisses, On Trend Standout, The Pier Cardstock Cuts, Flea Market Tags & Borders, Sleigh Ride Tag Cuts), Heidi Swapp Dreamy Ephemera Pack, American Crafts Holiday Pere Noel

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