Here's a sneak peak of today's scrapbooking project:
I had a ball during the weekend of this year's National Scrapbooking Day! I devoted the entire weekend to completing as many scrapbooking challenges as I could. When I could, I combibed challenges from The Big Picture Classes Creative Crop and Let's Scrap whenever I could (there are prizes involved after all).
Here, I combined one of my favorites from the creative crop (CHALLENGE #9: Use your own handwriting to journal.) with Andrea Green's CHALLENGE #4: Bringing Back the Oldies on Let's Scrap-
"My challenge to you is to take inspiration from one of your very first layouts, scrappy purchases, or trends. Then, using a Let’s Scrap sketch, update it!"
Well back in the early days of scrapbooking, stickers were all the rage. Remember that? We felt the need to fill the white space around our photos with silly stickers that seemed to just float on the pages with no rhyme or reason other than adding color and perhaps a bit of whimsy. (What were we thinking?) Today, stickers are still popular, but we use them in a different way. For me, stickers now need to add artistic merit and need to be anchored somehow...no more mindless "floating"!
I had some delightful little stickers of kites that my dear friend Gigi sent me for Easter that were perfect to embellish this playful layout devoted to my son Tyler. This photo was taken at a kite festival in Oak Bluffs, MA when Tyler was just a tyke. I used inspiration from a Let's Scrap sketch and added lots of hand journaling, and here's my submission to both challenges:
Isn't that just the cutest? The kite stickers are anchored by being "attached" to the image of the little boy on this adorable scrapbooking paper from Webster's Pages. Here the stickers add to the story and add charm to the photo.
Scrappers, what about you? Do you still love stickers? Do you use them these days?
Thanks for your visit! ~Enikö
How do you scrapbook 16 photos and cram them onto one layout? I usually prefer no more than a half a dozen photos on a double-page, but scrapbooking is really just a form of storytelling, so it's more about communication, than numbers, right?
My sweet darling grandson, Rigel, was visiting me without his parents for 48 hours on Martha's Vineyard recently, and I had a great photo account of his visit. So the weekly sketch posted at Let's Scrap on May 8th (though not normally my style), appeared be the perfect inspiration to scrapbook the fun Rigel and I jammed into that two-day period.
I decided on a white cardstock background to cut down on the business that multiple photos are sure to create. I added some snippets of patterned paper that had some fabulous wording that expressed my feelings about Rigel perfectly, and I cut out some journaling blocks in the same colors.
Here things are just laid down loosely...
So far so good, but it's just too much white for me. A recently watched video on Coffee, Chat and Kraaft by Heather Corbitt of Kraaft Shaak jumped into mind. She experimented with dropping Indian Ink onto paper to create splatters, and she printed circles with the bottom of a plastic cup to decorate her own paper. I've also been wanting to try my hand at making splatters with paint dabbers. Heather forgot to try out the technique before applying it to her good paper...with not-so-great results, so I was uncharacteristically careful and did some experimenting on scrap paper.
I wanted the colors to match the patterned papers that I had chosen for accents, so I tried several options. The best colors turned out to be Tim Holtz Distress Stains in Mustard Seed and Scattered Straw, and Liquitex Acrylic Ink in Cerulean Blue. The paint dabbers created amazing splats, as you can see in the Watermelon & the Green above, but I didn't have any in the right colors. I wanted to try the plastic cup technique, too, but I had to mix 2 acrylic paint colors to get the right shade of red.
So much fun decorating your own scrapbooking paper!
Both the fun and the anxiety of this technique lies in the randomness of the design and the probability of something going wrong. So I tied on my big-girl pants and forged ahead, though somewhat reluctantly. Here's the final product...(oh, actually, I sprayed a little red Smooch Spritz on it as well, but forgot to snap a photo.)
Gotta love it! I think it represents the fun-filled messiness of a five year-old and all his activities. (I swear Rigel had more frosting in his hair & on his sweatshirt than on the cupcakes!) Now for the assembly... I rounded corners, I matted, I glued, I journaled, I tied Baker's twine, I made a journal block holder with a string of rubber and brads, I embellished alphas for the title, and here's the colorful end result. Jam-packed? Perhaps. But a story well-told? Absolutely!
(Click on to enlarge...by the way, some of the photos appear to be on crooked...I swear they are on straight!))
Passing the love forward, Enikö
Here's a sneak peak of today's project:
In honor of Mothers Day, I am posting a layout that I created for Challenge #10 from The Big Picture National Scrapbooking Day Creative Crop, posted by Stephanie Howell, using a scrapbook sketch from Let's Scrap.
My scrapbook layout is essentially a love letter to my two amazing sons, Attila and Tyler. I believe these photos were taken approximately 35 years ago, the summer after my split with my first husband, and have always been dear to my heart since they capture our island life at the time so perfectly. I'm thrilled that I've finally found these photos a proper home. (The scrapbooking paper is from Webster's Pages.) Thanks for the challenge, Stephanie!
Create a page sharing why you are grateful for a relationship in your life.
Hey y'all! Stephanie Howell here, and I'm challenging you to go deeper in your journalling. I want you to create a layout telling someone why you are grateful for them. It can be silly, sweet, serious...it can be whatever you want it to be; just express your gratitude.
I generally always journal on my scrapbook pages, so that part of the challenge was an easy one for me, but what I appreciated about Stephanie's post was a reminder to voice our gratitude and appreciation for those we love. I took the opportunity to post this layout on both of my son's Facebook time-lines on Mothers Day to remind them of my love and grateful heart for having them in my life. Here it is...
My challenge to you, my dear readers...take a moment to show your gratitude for a relationship in your life. Whether it's baking brownies for your mailman, or writing a love letter to your husband of 35 years, or just calling someone you haven't spoken to for a while. I hope you share your thoughts/deeds/intentions with us.
Passing the love forward, Enikö
Here's a little "sneak peak" of today's project:
For scrapbooking enthusiasts, National Scrapbooking Day is like Christmas. Actually, one of my on-line scrapping buddies described it as the "Black Friday" of scrapbooking. LOL! That's actually pretty accurate. This year NSD fell on Saturday May 4th and the day was jam-packed with scrapbooking challenges from oodles of websites offering chances for fabulous prizes for participation. I signed up for The Big Picture Classes Creative Crop and was determined to complete all 10 challenges offered over the weekend.
Today, I am sharing the Creative Crop's CHALLENGE #6:
"Hey crafty friends, instead of falling back on your usual techniques and supplies, take a creative hike and try to mix up your next project. May Flaum here and I do love creative exploration. It is true that you can find go-to staples and ways of becoming a faster, more effective crafter that save you time (I did write a whole eBook about just that!), but I also think it is important to take time to continue learning, being open to trying new things, and taking a creative hike now and then. Today I challenge you to do just that. Try something new! If you have some heavy go-to techniques or products, challenge yourself to leave those in the drawer and experiment instead."
I had already been intrigued by a challenge on Let's Scrap by Design Team member Erica Mouton, who posted a tutorial on how to distress paper by applying water to torn edges along with this challenge:
"My Challenge to you is quite simple...use WATER on your [scrapbook] layout..."
Erica's water technique was one that I had been wanting to try, along with a photo sanding technique that I had seen in online layouts, but was afraid of. So this was my chance to "take a creative hike" from my usual techniques and challenge myself.
I had come across some old photos of a trip I took to the Bahamas over 20 years ago and decided that it would be fun to make a layout with them using Graphic 45's Tropical Travelogue papers, and decided to try both of the new techniques.
The first thing I did was lay out the papers & the photos...
Then I slid out the paper from under the photos that was going to provide the matting & applied water to the edges with a water brush.
I altered a bit from Erica's technique, since I didn't want to tear the edges of the paper. I decided to scrape the wet edges with my scissors instead.
This method thins the paper so that it is easier to roll with your fingers.
I also inked the edges once they were rolled with Chestnut Chalk Ink from Color Box to make it look more aged. I wanted the paper to look somewhat like a treasure map, since the Bahamas are known for a rich history of seafaring pirates, so I added a few appropriate tears.
It does look a bit like a weathered treasure map, doesn't it?
I didn't distress the body of the paper, only the edges, to keep it smooth for the application of the photos. Then I fussy-cut flowers from a pretty sheet of scrapbooking paper from the same collection and wet those edges as well.
The edges of the flowers curled up nicely. I was now ready for some layering.
I think I was so involved in the moment that I forgot to take photos of the sanding process, but this is what the photos look like after the edges are sanded with an emery board (keep in mind that these are old, non-digital photos):
Here's the double page layout with both sides together-
So I challenge you as well...try something new today! Do something you've been wanting to try, but just haven't. (It can be in another area of your life, it doesn't have to be in scrapbooking, as long as it's something you haven't tried before.)
What do you think? What new adventure awaits you today? I hope you will share your "take a hike from the usual" adventures with us in the comments!
Wishing you a happy adventure, Enikö
Hello my friends, fellow scrappers, and bloggers!
I promised to get back to you about my final decision concerning "Perfection" -the layout that I created to meet a scrapbooking challenge which had some tricky requirements.
If you remember, in order to qualify for the #160 Design Team Challenge draw at Let's Scrap, these elements had to be present on the layout:
My thanks to all those who put in their two cents & voted for their favorite embellishments. It was fun to read your comments & your opinions! So guess what? I took your advice to heart! The layout had to be entered by a certain deadline, so I went with the Fleur de Lis, but my adventure didn't end there. As I hunted through my stash of scrapbooking yummies, I found the perfect embellishment! So here is the final layout...a tribute to my girlfriend, Margot, taken in front of her recently completed mural in the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown, MA:
One Fleur de Lis just didn't seem like it was enough, and I was tempted to add three, (as Francine suggested) but two seemed to be just right.
So while I didn't win the scrapbook challenge draw, I did win a lot of kudos from all of you and my friends at Let's Scrap for this layout.
If you are a fan of scrapbook challenges, do hop over to Let's Scrap, where an entire month of challenges await in celebration of National Scrapbooking Day/Month.
I will be posting about my fun with National Scrapbooking Day challenges in future posts, so stay tuned!
(I hope you let me know how you feel about my final "Perfection" layout!)
Happy National Scrapbooking Day!
Do you like scrapbook challenges? Are they a form of inspiration or a source of aggravation? I always think that I want to participate in challenges...they always sound so intriguing, but sometimes I wonder...
As all artists, scrapbook designers are always looking for inspiration, and the internet is full of them. Pinterest and Sketch Maps are two of the more popular sites that offer scrapbook ideas and motivation. Another form of inspiration may be found in various scrapbook challenges. For example, the international scrapbooking community called Let's Scrap, not only offers weekly sketch challenges, with generous prizes dangled as motivation to participate, but also bi-weekly layout challenges dreamt up by talented Design Team members.
I was attracted to the current Design Team Challenge #160, posted by Tiffany Duvall (truly an "outside-of-the-box" designer!) because it combined a colored photo along with a black and white photo, and I happened to have the perfect photos to use. This stunning portrait by Edgartown photographer extraordinaire Eli Dagostino of my dear friend, artist Margot Datz, taken in front of an amazing mural she recently completed at the Old Whaling Church on Martha's Vineyard, was perfect for this challenge. This would be my "color" photo...
These are Challenge #160's requirements...to qualify for the prize drawing, your layout must include the following:
As much as I enjoy rising to challenges, they sometimes also frustrate me by requiring qualifying elements that just don't always "fit" into my artwork. I found a sketch that was perfect for my vision, though I only wanted to use the left side flipped on its side.
The layout was coming along exactly as planned. I had some great rubber stamps of columns and classic patterns that would add the architectural elements that I envisioned. I added a metal photo corner, stamped on a glorious chandelier in silver and added a 3-D title: Perfection. I was happy as a clam until I got to the challenge "requirements".
I was a bit stumped by the hand-written journaling requirement, because as much as I'm a fan, this page would be so architectural, that I would have leaned toward typed journaling, but oh well...I'll try to write very neatly. So now, I still have to add the flower and the buttons...none of which sound like the appropriate embellishment for such a sophisticated layout. (My scrapping buddy Evelyn even asked me, "So why did you pick this topic for the challenge?" -Good point)
I tried many different variations of buttons & flowers...here's where "the challenge of a scrapbook challenge" kicks in. How to keep the essence of this "story" intact while meeting the challenge requirements? First, I added these metal embellishments that would double as buttons & flowers, since they sport a flower relief on them. Great! I haven't compromised the integrity of the piece, but is there a better choice? What about using a Fleur de Lis for the flower and a small brad for the button? I like it. Classic, elegant...fits the piece. But what about adding just a touch of color? The resin buttons are gorgeous! The butterflies pick up the gown's color and the red rose accentuates Margot's lipstick. Hmmmm.... This certainly adds a touch of femininity to the layout. Does it make it more "Margot"? -Or does it distract the eye? Is it too much color? Let me try something else. This is pretty...the amber buttons add a touch of color and the beaded flower picks up a subtle hint of the gown. I like it, but is it adding too many types of embellishments? The metal photo corner was already glued down, and the title is of 3-D resin tiles. I do have another set of buttons that may be nice... Hmmm...I don't know...do I like the amber gems better? Should I just go back to the original metal buttons? I have to admit that I do miss the pop of color in the butterflies.
In my last post, To Re-do or Not to Re-do?" you all seemed to enjoy giving your opinion on which layout you liked better. May I impose upon you to give your opinion again? I am truly stumped this time, since I like several of the options equally, but which is best? So help me out, friends...what do you think? If we number the layouts left to right, and work our way down...
What's your favorite and why? Thanks for your input!
(If you're reading this in your email, please hop over to Enikö's Playhouse to play along and cast your vote!)
I'm not generally a believer in reworking art or scrapbook pages. When it's done, it's done. But the question does come up from time to time, and I do on occasion, break my own rule.
I loved this photo and this single-page scrapbook layout of my beautiful daughter-in-law, Jessica, capturing a sweet moment when she received the musical snow globe that I gave her for Christmas. (She loves music boxes and she loves snow globes, so it was the perfect gift and so worth immortalizing!)
I followed a sketch from Sketch Inspiration and planned to stick pretty much to the design, which I found quite nice, well-balanced, and perfect for my singular photo. Although, I did flip a few things, as you can see.
After submitting the layout in the weekly contest, I kept thinking that it needed something "more"...even though my fellow scrapbook artists commented on how much they loved its simplicity.
I tried to resist the urge to re-do, but I couldn't help myself...I just had to do it!
Perhaps it was because I needed to re-do the tag (wrong date); perhaps it was because Jessica loves to be "fancy" and the page screamed for more embellishments. Maybe I just didn't love the random bird in the upper right corner... Why ask why?
The fact is that I did re-work the layout...mostly with some gorgeous sparkly snowflake rub-ons.
I also "popped" the top photo by drawing a white line around it.
What do you think? Was it worth the re-do? Here are the two scrapbook pages side-by-side...
I would love to hear your opinion. And do you ever re-do?
From time to time, I have written about turning card sketches into scrapbooking layouts. Basically, design elements are the same for each, so from an artistic standpoint, the same rules apply. By using the basic principles of publishing and graphic design, your cards, as well as your scrapbook layouts, will be in balance and visually pleasing.
Here's a card sketch by Debby de Wilde from Let's Scrap that I used to create a scrapbook layout:
It is a good example of a sketch that illustrates the five elements of design that govern most everything in the field of publishing and graphic design...elements that apply well to Scrapbooking, as well. These elements are:
2. Mass: Each element on a page has its own physical mass. (Take care to give more mass (size) to components that you wish to emphasize and less to secondary items.)
3. Shapes: Shapes may be used in any number of ways on a layout, and because of their strong attraction to the eye, bold shapes are great to use for emphasis. A repetition of shapes can be used to move the eye along the layout.
4. Texture: Texture can add great interest to your pages and can be added by using 3-D elements, textured papers or patterned papers.
5. Color: While not essential to a good design, color has the power to evoke emotion and to make a powerful statement. The values of the colors you choose are as important as the colors themselves. Some designs work best when soft, lighter hues are used, and others require the strength of a darker or more vibrant hue.
Using this sketch, and these elements, I created a single-page scrapbook layout that captures a sweet moment. My darling Rigel is shown in his Sunday best, strolling through his Grandpa Jim's garden railroad, moments before attending his memorial service...such a touching scene. Notice that I flipped the sketch to accommodate the direction of the movement of the child. So let's examine how the 5 design elements were used here...
1. Lines: The basic lines of the sketch are intact, and echo the movement depicted in the photo.
2. Mass: The large photo, criss-crossed with the largest piece of patterned paper, provides emphasis and weight to the focal point, namely the strolling child.
3. Shapes: The strong rectangular layered shapes of the sketch are reproduced in patterned paper in the layout -again, placing emphasis to the photo, which is the top layer.
4.Texture: Texture was created by using interesting patterned papers, by inking the edges of the papers to add dimension, and by adding 3-D chipboard buttons and a chipboard floral embellishment.
5.Color: The colors of the papers were chosen carefully to reflect autumnal colors in the photo. They are strong enough to add interest, but soft enough to avoid competition with the photo.
In addition, the embellishments, the journaling and the title-work are placed strategically near the image of the child, to support the story, but are kept to a minimum, so as not to distract from the layout's focus.
I hope you've enjoyed this discussion about the elements of design, and that it helps clarify what creates balance in designs that are pleasing to the eye.
Happy Scrapping! -Enikö
If this topic interests you, you can see more here: Scrapbooking 101/ Balance in Design
One of our design team members at Let's Scrap (our dear Val from South Africa) challenged members to design their own scrapbooking paper using white paper, inks, mists & paints. I've been experimenting with the Artsy style of scrapbooking lately, so I was thrilled to step up to Va's challenge...which I now pass on to you.
So I began by using a cardboard circle as a mask for my misting. (Masks are used to prevent the inks from coloring the covered area when they are misted.) I used Tattered Angels Creme du Cocoa ...then Adirondack's Lettuce. I love misting! I love the imperfections...the splatters and the sputters. The only thing I don't love is the buckling of the paper from the application of the moisture in the inks. The buckling does go down once it dries...especially if it's weighed down a bit.
So the photo I chose for this layout is an amazing fall photo of my sweet Rigel, taken by Charity of CSIS Photography in Portland, Maine. I love the innocence of this shot...a beautiful little boy in the midst of the towering flora all around him. Rigel's natural-fabric sweater and the reeds around him enticed me to reach for some hemp fiber that I wrapped around the inked kraft paper-matted photo.
I find myself using hemp over the popular bakers twine lately...I just love the raw earthiness of it. Once tied, I laid it onto the sprayed paper and laid it against the incredible Donna Downey foam stamps that I have been anxious to use.
Yes...this is exactly what I had in mind...the scale is perfect! Now to actually stamp it...
I used Tim Holtz's Black Soot Distress Ink and loved the slightly uneven image. I have some acrylic stamps of flora that were the perfect scale, and I wanted to use a second-generation stamping technique that I learned from Heather Corbitt from Kraaft Shaak. On her Coffee, Chat and Kraaft YouTube show, she often stamps a second time without re-inking to get a cool shadow or ghostly affect. I thought it would work well here.
...And indeed it does. Not sure why, but I switched to StazOn Jet Black ink (I guess I'm just used to it)...loved the result of the second-generation stamping! Now to adhere the photo, add some clever doodling and a little journaling...
Here's the completed layout... (You can click on the image to see in more detail.)
I had so much fun with this! (...It helps that I have this cute kid as my muse!)
Passing the love...Enikö
So many of you enjoyed my 3-D Easter card tutorial that I thought I should share a few tips that I learned from making several of them. I made a total of 6 cards and I am working on one more that will be sent belatedly to my Tyler and Gigi in Texas.
I matched the details of each card to the person it was intended for, and as I got more and more into it, I learned a few tricks and developed some techniques that perfected the design. If you remember from my last post, when I made the card for Laura, I tied a sweet ribbon on the bottom (you can see it above -it's the blue one). I loved the look, so when I made the card for my sister-in-law, Saci, I decided to do the same. I just love that cheerful polka dot ribbon! Saci is an avid gardener, so it was natural that her card should get some really nice flowers, and she had mentioned that she loves Irises. I love the bunny I added to the middle layer, don't you? So as I decorated the front of the card, I added a few blades of "grass" and decided that I loved the look.
That prompted me to add even more grass to Ildi's card: I love the look of Rigel sitting in the grass...such an improvement over my original design! Ildi always loved little chicks when she was a tyke, so I embellished her card with this cute chickie. The bee is a nod to my bee-loving dad.
By now, I got really good at making "grass"! I didn't have access to the fringe scissors that I used with the two original cards, so I developed a method of fringing with fine tip scissors. After cutting the zig-zags out of the green paper, I fine-cut little slits close together to create the fringe. Then I went back and cut again, this time moving the grass back & forth willy-nilly to create irregular random patterns. I love the look!
By Jackie's card I became an expert grass-cutter! I crunched the grass down a bit to add dimension...see how cool it looks to "tuck-in" the flowers & the eggs? Jackie loves birds, so I fussy-cut some lovely birds on branches that really add a nice dimension to the card. The flowers I used here were a Christmas stocking gift from Tyler & Gigi...thought they were adorable with their little blinged-out centers!
Of course Jessica's card was also going to go to Rigel, so it had to be really special:
Rigel, the fledgling weatherman, had to get a sun! I loved the white Easter bunny, and the "chocolate" Easter bunny in the box is just too cute! Jessica loves dragonflies, so that was important to add. But look at the grass! Doesn't the layering of the different colors of green add to the 3-D magic? Just love the way this turned out! Look how the foreground has evolved from this -the original design:
So what else did I learn from the process? Here are some tips:
1. Try to match the brads to the color of your foreground paper...they seem to be better if they "disappear". (I tried fancy flower brads, but they distracted from the overall scene.)
2. Make the background interesting & dimensional by adding clouds, birds, butterflies & dragonflies.
3. Layer the grass with different colors of green on all 3 layers for added interest and dimension.
4. Place some embellishments that jut into the opening of the front frame -it adds to the 3-D magic.
So I've figured out why I love these cards so much. Remember the diorama sugar eggs that we used to get as kids? The ones with the little magical 3-D scenes inside? Back-in-the-day they were quite intricate and delicate, and I was mesmerized by them.
As you're creating these cards, just imagine the magical impact of those sugar eggs and it will lead you to create magic of your own! I know Easter is over, but you could make similar cards for May Day or Mothers Day (just omit the Easter embellies and add more flowers & garden tools)!
Happy Spring! -Enikö