Saturday, January 24, 2009

Embellishments -- the fun little details!

I have fun doing this layout for my friend of her beautiful granddaughter. I thought this was the sweetest picture! I was trying out some techniques that I had read about on some other great blogs, my thanks to Gabrielle at "Such a Pretty Mess" for these ideas. I wanted to share my experiences with this creative adventure.

One of the things I tried with this layout was to add sparkle to the flowers. I know there are a number of products you can use to do this, but I had "Diamond Stickles" in my supplies on hand so I added this to the ends of the petal of my mid sized flower. After stacking three blooms together, the Stickles gave the bloom a nice shine.

I also experimented with adding a butterfly to my layout that was taken from a photograph. I had looked into purchasing inkjet transparencies as that is what has worked so well for others. However, at my local Office Depot they only sold these in boxes of 45, and that made the cost a bit pricey. Browsing the store I did find some vellum that was for inkjet printers. I like to use vellum for a number of things so I thought a package of this wouldn't go to waste even it I didn't get the effect I wanted. I looked through my photos and clip art but didn't have just what I was looking for so I did a search on the internet and was amazed at the wealth of butterfly photos and clip art that is available for free. I opened a text document and just started saving pictures I thought would be useful. When I had a page full I decided to give the printing a try. My HP printer was a little fussy with the vellum paper. I had to change the settings so that the printer would not try to "automatically" determine the paper size and manually set it to plain paper before it would feed the vellum without jamming. Once the setting were modified, I loaded just one sheet of vellum and it printed fine. I then carefully cut out the butterfly I wanted for my layout and decided to add it to the center of a flower.

I added Stickles to the petals of this flower and used some glue dots to adhere the flower petals and the butterfly. The vellum is light weight, so not as sturdy as a transparency, but the effect was still pleasing. If you want butterflies on a budget, this is an option.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Punched Paper Elements can add Impact

I created this layout to participate in a sketch challenge on the My Creative Scrapbook website. I wanted to add something different to the layout and decided to create the circle frame in this layout with punched paper swirls. I liked the effect when the layout was completed, the time consuming part was getting all of these small pieces of paper to line up in a perfect circle. I want to share her how I managed to achieve the circle without drawing any guidelines on my background paper.

I used a paper punch by "Punch Bunch", it is rather small but a pleasing shape.
I punched 10 or so shapes and laid them on a curve. I then estimated how many additional punched shapes I would need to complete a large circle. I went ahead and punched all the shapes I thought I would use. Since I was working from a sketch I tried to keep in mind that I should not stray too far from the original idea. When I decided on the exact size of the circle I went to my stash of "left over" paper items and checked to see if I had cut out a circle in the past that went unused in a project. Sure enough, I found a circle that was just the size I needed.

I placed the paper circle on my background paper and held it in place with just ordinary "Post it Notes." They are the yellow papers in the picture left. Since these sticky notes are made to lift off any paper, they can easily be removed witout harming the backgroud paper. I then started placing my paper shapes around the paper circle making sure that the curved edge of the paper swirl just touched the paper ring. Once I have all the paper swirls placed on the circle, I carefully glued each swirl down individually. It took some time to do this, but I felt the end result was worth the effort.

Here is a little better picture of how the shapes were placed against the circle.

I think this technique could be used successfully for many different paper punch shapes. I have already been thinking about some other shapes I might try.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Stamped Embellishments

One of the key embellishments on my "You & Me" layout was the stamped image of the heart. It was stamped on plain white paper and cut out. The heart supported the theme and was a beautiful addition to the page. I love using stamps to create embellishments because there is versatility here, since any stamped image can look very different depending on the color you make it. The red image here was perfect for the predominately black and white page.

With my "Princess Gracie" layout I also added stamped embellishments that I had cut out. Here, however, I stamped the images on patterned paper with black ink. So the paper dictated the look of the embellishment, rather than the color of the ink. Both methods yield great results.


Using Corner shapes in New Ways

I have been asked a few times how I created the border on the left side of this layout. It was really very easy. The border is simply a series of corner dies that I have placed side by side, alternately flipping the shapes so they fit together. The die shape here is just one die from a set of Sizzix dies called Architectural Accents. I have used this same set of dies to create other shapes as well. Just think outside of the box, a corner doesn't have to be a corner!


Adding Stamped Images to a Layout

I sometimes use stamping to add interest to a layout. It may be that a background needs some added texture to its look or an element needs more attention. In my 'Gentle Winter Wonders' layout I felt the center of interest needed more support and my background paper was a very light color. Adding the plum stamped images reinforced the color scheme and gave the viewer a path to the pictures of the birds. The ink here is VersaMagic Eggplant.

On this layout the flowers are also stamped images. The flower was stamped with white ColorBox ink, then embossed with white detail embossing powder. The flowers were then cut out and I used watercolor paint to color the petals. To paint the flowers I wet the entire flower shape, then dropped in the two different colors letting the water naturally blend the two colors together. The flower stamp is from a StampinUp set called "Embrace Life."

With this next layout the stamping in the corners added interest to the page and helped balance the layout since the cut out flowers were such dominant shapes. I added doodling around the cut out flower shapes to further enhance the page. The stamp ink is ColorBox pigment Gold ink. ColorBox is one of my favorite stamp inks to use as it has consistently produced clear images, works well with "clear" stamps and does not dry too quickly.

In this layout I also created a more defined frame for the picture by adding a border stamp right above and to the right of the picture. I used dark brown pigment ink pad from Stampabilities.


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