Monday, June 29, 2015

Sort Those Scraps - Happy Feet

Still on the subject of choosing and layering papers, still using my stash, but this time all the papers used (except for the white cardstock background sheet) are all scraps--all previously cut pieces and odd little leftovers. 

On the photo itself... Jackson was only one, sitting on the couch, watching a cartoon show, and I happened to see these little feet crossed at the ankle.  Something little that made me smile.  And I am finding that these photos are actually having more meaning for me and touch me more than the posed, everyone facing the camera, smile big type photos. 

It seems only fitting that something so little and inconsequential should be showcased using lots of little inconsequential pieces of paper then.  And what results?  It all adds up to something I love.  And so it goes, all those little fleeting moments adding up to something meaning much more.  Kind of cool.  And I think kind of like all the moments and days piling up, adding up to a life. 

ok, enough of the life analogies and philosophizing...this is what you get when I haven't had enough coffee!  Ha! 

Back to scrapping talk.  It was easy to find most of the papers since they were pretty much all together in one page planner; leftovers from a lot of the sports pages in eldest grandson's graduation albums.  As those pages were created, the scraps and pieces got placed into one page planner so I could continue to pull from it.  After his albums were completed, I just left that page planner together and put it into my tote when I packed to leave.  So when this photo pooped up again, it was easy to see it needed blues and neutrals to showcase it.  All I had to do was snatch up that page planner with all the little bits, strips, and pieces already sorted into just the colors needed!  

The white cardstock got a bit of inking in blues and tans, using a scrap of mesh as a stencil.  And I also added several wood veneer hearts (just cuz I liked the different shapes of the hearts and the look of the natural wood with the blues and browns in the photo and papers). 

The title is made up of two different alpha stickers, one is an old, old, OLD Little Yellow Bicycle set that I have used almost entirely.  The other, lower case alpha is from an old Webster's Pages alpha set.   Not a lot of journaling on the page...  Jackson's first Nikes, as mandated by his older brother Jacob.  Not really sure if all my blather about odd little moments adding up to something bigger will get journaled onto the backside of the page or not.  (I mean how crazy do I want future generations to think I am? LOL All right, I am so gonna go put these thoughts down on the back! hahaha)

off to create more odd little moments now,

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Salvage the Page - Ketchup and Mustard

These little faces mean the world to me.  (Even the somewhat more mature face of their older brother at age 19, is still a "little" face to me and indeed still means the world to me.)  These little faces also speak volumes....right now they are screaming summer.  Ketchup and mustard costumes in place, my little grandies are ready to run a race against the Milwaukee Brewer sausages. 

I find myself often questioning where this complete and utter joy that children are so easily and quickly able to manifest goes as we become adults.  We are so mired down in the everyday details of one thing or another that must be done, the time limits and requirements imposed on us by work, government, and even family members. 

Working with paper and photos, paint and ink, releases me from that feeling of being mired down.  Add in the bonus of working with photos of these happy little faces and there is the double win of creating something that they will have in years to come. 

Now onto page details... 

Since I am working within my stash (still) I pulled whatever red and yellow print papers together I had in my tote and started with the photos, layering rectangles and slivers of papers till there were bits of reds and yellows peeking out all the way around.   The background seemed a bit stark white at this point, so I added a bit of yellow using a stencil and ink. 

Next was to create a border using small rectangles of the red and yellow prints adhering them at all four sides. 

Now the page seemed to be too busy for my taste.  What to do, what to do?  Now I am feeling a bit mired down with the details and the time already spent on the page.  so.  Now trying to salvage the work I had already down (and not waste the paper).  Thinking to self, if there is too much going on... remove something.  OK, let's try  trimming down the layers under the photos.  Better.  Then trimmed down the edges of the page itself, making the border narrower and adhered the whole thing on another white (back side of another paper I was not likely to use) sheet.  Winner, winner, chicken dinner!  (Why do people say that!?) 

I may not be running a race against folks dressed up as various types of sausages.  But working with ink, paper, and photos shouldn't make me feel mired down, or restricted.  And by focusing on what was possible, I got where I wanted to be. 

Hmmmm, not exactly the wild joy of the very young, but I'm working on it. 


Monday, June 22, 2015

Choosing and Mixing Patterned Papers - A Texas Breakfast

I thought I was going to talk about paper layers (again... yawn).  OK, so that sounded b.o.r.i.n.g.  Seven different papers layered up creating the background...tore some, cut some, layered 'em up.  But why those papers?  H-m-m-m-m.  Now there's a much better topic. 

It all started with a page I saw a you tube video on (and I wish I remembered whose video it was, but I don't---if I can go back and find it I will edit this post and include a link).  Layout is not the same as hers, colors are not the same, style is not even the same... but I really wanted to have torn paper layers across the top of the page like hers.  So that's where I started. 

Now which papers?  Well since my subject matter was my Texas shaped waffle, I pulled several homespun type patterns.  Ones that might have appeared in a country kitchen or old time roadside diner (at least in my imagination).  Those are the teeny floral pattern and the blue circle repeat pattern. 

Then I thought there needed to be some sort of break between the two patterns and added the little strip of ruler or tape measure looking print.  Better, but not enough of a barrier between the two kitchen-y prints. 

Next came the diagonal aqua-green stripe (always love a diagonal stripe).  And I almost thought I was done, but that black print with the arrows on it was still calling me.  I had tried using it as a larger torn piece and it was too much dark, but tucked in so only a sliver of it showed was just right!  It picks up the dark background on my photo (and I didn't know it yet, but it also picks up the dark charcoal color of the leaves on one of the photo layers--bonus!).  Tucked in a piece of a doily and one half of a little blue doily sticker (the other halves show up on the photo layers). 

Layered the photo on top of two clusters of ephemera (quite a while back I stapled stacks of Maggie Holmes ephemera pieces together --cuz you sure do get a lot of pieces in those packs!).  I did have to pull up the "3" and the blue bow and re-staple so they would fit right, but no big deal to do that. 


Then the alpha sets... the blue is from Basic Grey (old, old, old) and the brown is a Thickers set that I thought was perfect for a western feel.  Felt good to finally use some of those brown Thickers...only been hoarding that for (gulp) a year or so!  I just cannot let go of my Thickers.  (Is there a Thickers self-help group anyone?) 

And now I am probably heading back to Michaels, because this particular store has several Thickers sets I've not seen ,well not in person anyway---probably scoped them out online. (Great, now I am stalking Thickers.) 

oh, thit, I have a Thicker thtuck to my thoe.... 


Friday, June 19, 2015

All About the Layers - Say What!

Haven't been here the last several drama...  car repairs... drawings for permit applications (yep, if anyone reading this knows what we've been up to at all...six weeks later and we are still piddling about --- this is where the family drama came into play).  A.n.y.w.a.y.   I stole little bits and snips of time to try and get a little scrapping done...trying to soothe my nerves by playing with paper. 

Splashed some watercolor on the left side of the white cardstock and the snatched up lots of pieces, scraps cut aparts---all with the greens, yellows, and blues that are in our Jackson man's sleeper and the watercolor splishes and splashes.  Then cut and tucked the various pieces (20 pieces in all here)until I was happy with the layering "stack."  Then plunked my photo on top of the whole pile. 

Once the photo was in place, it was easier to see where the "stack"  needed a another layer.  That was where some stickers came into play.  Added the two banner type stickers, the "today" and a couple of flowers (not too many---it is still a boy page after all!).  The cool thing is that making a pile of layering papers and stapling it together means I can adjust it on the page right up until the last moment.  (For those of us who suffer from indecision-itus!!) 

Once the layers and photo were assembled and in place on the page, it was time to add the title, enamel dots, journaling and a few coordinating pieces at the top of the page.  Alpha stickers from my ages old Echo Park About a Boy sheet... Gosh, been using this one collection for years it seems!  I guess I shouldn't complain.  Afterall, I've more than gotten my money's worth out of it!!!  But I think I may be hitting the proverbial wall....  am definitely feeling the need to look at some new stuff.  This buying freeze has lasted six months!!!! 

Even though using multiple layers of  papers under my photos isn't a new thing.  I had never piled up a big ol' stack and then stuck the photo on.  And this did work pretty slick! 

So,  glad to be back in blog-land.  So glad to have stolen some time to scrap!  And especially glad to find another technique for making up layers. 


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

An Era Lost - A Travel Page That Almost Wasn't

Yep, almost chucked the whole thing right into the trash.

It was taking up the photo layers for the third time to try another background sheet, that I about made a big old crinkled up paper ball for kitty to play with.  The layered photos came up, but the title had to be redone each time...that was the kicker. 

Really...three tries and I come up with plain white?  Well truthfully all the background papers started out white, one with a watercolor background... truly nasty...I used a gold color wash and when completed it appeared that a toddler in potty training had left  little golden puddles.    So, no.  


Luckily the embellishment cluster had not been permanently glued into place cuz that's what someone wants to do is rework embellishments three times over! 

Then I tried a white background with a penned outline around the photo layers.  Oh, so not a good choice.  After flinging the thing down on top of  a few scraps lying about, the red piece peeking out looked kind of nice.   Oh so quickly I got another white piece,  trimmed it down and layered it onto a red patterned paper.... Not what I originally had in mind, but oh so much better than the previous futile attempts. 

And finally, a truly plain white background won out.  No watercolor, no pen work, not even any paint splatters. 

The page itself is about the deserted motels along the old Route 66.  Very nostalgic and very sad to see them in disrepair.  This is where America vacationed in the "good old days".  Families taking to the highways and pulling into the motels at the end of the day,  kids in the backseat clamoring for a motel with a pool.  Travel by plane was not so common then...the everyday family took to the road, not the air.

How is it that you can move right along some days just happily making pages and then one day something as simple as choosing a background stops you cold?

Seriously, how? 



Monday, June 8, 2015

The Easy Page - A Four Square Design (not reinventing the wheel)

This has to be the easiest of layouts to assemble.  It's a simple four-square design; it can be layered heavily or not so much, depending on your personal taste.  I used it here on this page, partially because I had used it on another page about wearing Boppa's hat. 

See the original Wearing Boppa's Hat page here:

There are subtle differences between the two pages, but I mostly wanted the same playful feeling.  It will probably go into my own albums (rather than into the kids') with some extra journaling on the page back about the boys so far apart in age, but both taken with wearing Boppa's hat (at the same age).  And there is another page nuance---the same, but different, just like the boys. 

I like the four-square design for this sort of page because you don't have to line everything up perfectly, the layers can be slightly askew (adding to the playfulness of the page I think) and while there are embellishments, they are minimal and tucked into (or onto) the squares.  

Papers are mostly from Echo Park (About a Boy and A Boy's Life collections).  Embellishments are from Simple Stories, Heidi Swapp, and Crate.  And the title is made up of lettering from the A Boy's Life sticker sheet and the red corrugate alphas are a Thickers set I picked up from Tuesday Morning quite a while ago. 

Reinventing the wheel...not always necessary! 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Another Watercolor Background - Cat In The Box

W-h-a-t?   Two posts in one day, huh?   Yeah, I just finished this page up and at first wasn't so sure about the colors.  I am never sure about the colors of the painted papers.  Too light, not enough variance or contrast, too bright, too many colors, not enough color...!#@#(@

Always so unsure about these pages, especially during the process (cuz once you put the color down, it's not like papers, you can't peel 'em back up!).  Every so often though, when it's all done and put together, I am way happy.  This is one of those pages.  I couldn't be happier with the softness of the peach, gold and gray.  The darker brown was added as an afterthought really.  I just thought it needed some contrast and then was terrified I'd mucked it all up.  But once everything was in place, ahhhh, it looks how I'd imagined it. 

Still working with my limited cache of supplies, I chose a grid pattern paper and added layers of  watercolors instead of papers.  I did not bring rubber stamps along and only a few little Cat's Eye ink pads, so I used a small piece of fabric mesh and inked through it for the grid background that appears here and there.

The choice of colors came about because of my Gypsy kitty's fur.  It is what I've heard referred to as tortoise shell colored.  The paper behind the watercolor grid pattern is actually printed with vintage typewriters all over it.  Just don't see myself using that sort of pattern, but the colors worked as a border and you really do not see the typewriters when using it as a backer piece, so there you go. 

After that it was just a matter of layering up the papers under the photo and adding a title and a couple of embellishments.  Alphas are a dark metallic tan (Thickers).  The Hello speech bubble is from a partial pack (Amy Tangerine), but it had some sequins glued in the corner where the little peach heart is now.  The heart came off a camera sticker from the same pack and then I stuck it on the corner of the speech bubble after the sequins were scratched off. The banners were hand cut, stapled together and got a little shaped button glued on for fun. 

So another lesson (or two or three) learned.  When limited on paper choices, look to layering color instead of paper.  When in doubt, at least give yourself the option of finishing the page and then decide whether you like it or not. 

Oh, and one more thing... if you ever need to find your cat, open a box. 


Eat Cake - More Fussy Cutting!

From a bright and bold watercolor background back to simple white... (can you say fickle?) 

In keeping with the modest amount of supplies at hand, I again flipped over a patterned paper from one of the pads I brought along so as to make use of the white backside. 

Layered the photos on several loosely cut pieces of patterned paper (all from the Maggie Holmes Birthday Party pad from Crate Paper) and also several irregularly cut pieces of plain old white tissue paper (to add a bit more volume and softness around the edges).  Tucked in part of a doily at the bottom of the photo layers, as well as a starburst (fussy cut from a sheet of the Party paper).  More fussy cutting provided the "Eat Cake" banner, the "5" ticket stub, the Happy Birthday strips, and the zig zag edged pink and red striped piece.  Gotta love your scissors and keep them close at hand!!! (nobody better mess with momma's scissors around here)   

The balloons and the party hat are chipboard stickers from Maggie Holmes (picked up 40% off at Michaels some time back).  Although the balloons were originally "bent" going in the other direction and did not fit where and how I wanted them to, so a little disassembly came into play.  Re-tied the strings and bent them slightly in the other direction for the appropriate "bend" to fit my photo placement. 

Punched a bunch of pink and beige confetti and a few little hearts to mingle in amongst the confetti bits.  And, my own little-big new thing is to be able to use a sewing machine and add stitching on my layouts.  (Since I am staying at Dad's whilst the house is going up, my mom had two different sewing machines, so I am making use of one of them... yea!). 

Our Bella turned five.  Cannot believe how fast she is growing up.  She picked out her cake.. rainbows.   Thought for sure she would pick something with the Disney Frozen theme. But no, she went with a rainbow.  Always her own person, this one.  Happy Birthday Bella! 

Make use of what you got is my ongoing mantra.  If it doesn't work one way, turn it over, take it apart, cut it out. 

 now off to splotch some more watercolors about (fickle? yep!)