Sunday, 16 June 2019

Good Times | Scrap the Girls June Challenge

Hi everyone! 
Today I am sharing my take on this month's challenge at Scrap the Girls, which has affectionately been named the "Nanas" challenge. It is all about mismatched patterns and colours that somehow create their own style.
Here is the inspiration picture...

I stared long and hard at this picture before deciding what I was going to chose as my inspiration starting point. Eventually, I decided to begin with a strong geometric print, which I found in the Paige Taylor Evans 'Whimsical' collection.

I also started with a white cardstock base and a photo of my daughter and her friends ready to head off to school camp (which I had printed in black and white so that I wasn't restricted by colour).

Because this challenge was all about mismatched patterns, I decided to use a strong vertical design to clash with the horizontal nature of the photo and subjects. I used strips of the geometric print paper which I contrasted using the small cross print and the solid yellow. (The yellow was a special nod to the clogs in the inspiration picture.)

I chose another pattern (a small star print) to mat my photo with; and I also added a small strip of the same paper that I punched with a heart edge punch along the left side of my design. To give my photo some separation from the busy background I popped some scrap cardboard underneath before sticking it down.

At this point I turned back to the inspiration picture and decided that the additional of some flowers would help break up the solid, graphic nature of my design. I chose a large floral design paper (again, from the Paige Evans 'Whimsical' collection) and fussy cut some of the flowers. I tucked them under the diagonally opposed corners of my photo to give the page some flow and draw the viewers eye through it.

To add a little text to my page, I added a few phrase stickers from the coordinating 'Whimsical' sticker sheet and a sweet little butterfly from the ephemera pack for some dimension.

At this point my layout looked a little too clean for my liking, so I pulled out my Faber-Castell watercolor pencils to add some extra detail. I used the pencils to add some scribbled colour around and under the edges of the fussy cut flowers along the right side of the page, then used a water brush to blend the colour out a little.

I finished off my layout with a few tiny ink splatters.

Thanks so much for stopping by today so I could share this with you. I hope you can play along with our challenge at Scrap the Girls this month. We have D-lish Scraps sponsoring for our Aussie winner, and as always Scrap Accent for our international entries. For all the challenge details, or to see what else the design team created for this one, head to the Scrap the Girls blog HERE
Until next time - happy scrapping! X

Monday, 10 June 2019

What the Buck? | Viva Las VegaStamps

Hi everyone!
Today I am here to share a design team project I created recently for Viva Las VegaStamps. This 8.5x11" mixed media scrapbook layout features some photos of my daughter riding a mechanical bull that I paired with a super cool bucking horse stamp.

To create my layout, I started by making a watercolour style background using Distress Oxides (I used a mix of Tumbled Glass and Mermaid Lagoon).
I then added some stamping to my page using the Cross Marks Background and Bullet Hole stamps and black StazOn ink. I also added some small pieces of torn chevron print washi tape.

Next, I added some book paper and blue tissue paper to form a mat for my photos, before adding them on top. Alongside my photos I added a handmade felt and hessian chevron from Charms Creations.

For the feature embellishment on my page I chose the fabulous Cowboy on Bucking Horse stamp; which I stamped onto cardstock, coloured using alcohol markers and then cut out. I also added some foam tape behind it to help pop it up from the background.

I then stamped the You Only Live Once quote several times across my page; added some wood veneer stars; my journalling; and finally my title, using a mix of Cocoa Vanilla Studio alphas and American Crafts Thickers.

That's all from me today, thanks for stopping by so I could share this with you. I hope I have inspired you to get inky too! X

VLVS stamps used: 

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Embrace Your Flaws | StencilGirl®

Hi everyone!
I was thrilled to recently share my first official project created for the StencilGirl® Creative Team over on the StencilGirl® blog . I was tasked with the theme of "an abstract or summer artwork". Both of these sounded fun to me, so I was torn between the two. My answer? Combine aspects of both themes into a single project!

I began my artwork by gathering a variety of papers to create a collaged background - book paper, music paper and tissue paper; and tore them into pieces. Working on an A4 sized piece of 270 gsm cardstock, I adhered them randomly around the page using matte gel medium. The collage provides an interesting background to work over, adding extra depth and texture to the piece.

Now it was time for colour! When I think of summer I picture the tropics. Lush greenery, brightly coloured flowers, and the sun shining down. I decided to translate this imagery into my piece by using bright acrylic paints. I chose warm tones to start - pinks, orange and yellow - and applied the paint using a silicone spatula in an entirely random fashion. 

With my abstract colour layer complete, it was time to think about the composition of my piece. I wanted to introduce some of the imagery that came to my mind when I thought of summer. I started with the Dream of Palms Mask to begin building my foreground layers. I applied green acrylic paint using a sponge in the diagonally opposing corners. 

To build further on the foreground, I applied a darker shade of green paint with my spatula around some of the edges of the page.

After the paint had dried, it was time to switch to ink to further build my layers. I selected the Floral Mandala Lace stencil, as it had a section I thought would add some interesting detail to my piece. 

Using only a selected area of a stencil, rather than the image as whole, is something I often do when creating artwork like this. It also influences my choice when purchasing stencils; as I find smaller details within larger designs that I know will give me more value from my stencils.

I used a sponge to apply teal ink through the section of my stencil; layering it over the green paint to mimic the foliage of my summer-inspired lush greenery.

I then repeated the same process, this time masking off a single image from the Blades stencil to represent a flower; which I stencilled several times on my piece. 

Now it was time for a focal image for my artwork. I had a printed paper napkin that featured beautiful coloured parrots on it that I thought would be ideal for my tropical inspired piece. (I have some of these available for sale in my mixed napkin bundle on my Facebook page - just click on the "shop" button to find them.) I carefully cut around the larger parrot and a few of the leaves before separating them from the backing layer.

To ensure that the image was not lost against the background, I lightly sponged some white acrylic paint onto the page where the parrot's head would be. I also sponged some randomly over several areas in the centre of my page, just to strip back a little of the colour.

The parrot and leaves were then adhered to the page using matte gel medium.
To add further depth and variation to the foreground, I used a small paintbrush to add some teal paint amongst the foliage.

At this point the page was all quite flat and needed some dimension to help lift it. I chose the Heartfelt stencil, as it had some leaf shapes I wanted to use to finish off the foliage. 

I masked off the first leaf I wanted to use and applied Colour Blast 'Envy' Colour Paste through the stencil using a palette knife. I repeated the same leaf several times on each of the foliage areas before drying it off with a heat gun.

I then repeated the process with the other leaf design and 'Apple of My Eye' Colour Paste, layering it over the other paste before again drying it off with a heat gun.

From the same stencil, I was also drawn to the cluster of abstract style flowers and decided to use this shape to add further textured detail and some contrast in colour using Colour Blast Lovely Lilac Colour Paste. I repeated the same flowers on three separate areas of my piece. 

After the lilac paste had dried I could see the piece needed some shadowing to help bring the focal image to the front. I used a water soluble pencil to draw around the outline of the parrot, then blended it out with water. 

I also added some stamped detail using my fave Doodle Dots stamp from Viva Las VegaStamps to the background using black ink, which helped to tie in the black from the shadow outline.

At this point I wanted to add some extra stencilled detail to help lighten the piece and tie it all together. I used the Organized Chaos stencil and white acrylic paint to sponge some random spots over the top. 

To finish off, I felt it needed some text, so I added the large embrace your flaws quote and the two smaller phrase stickers from Flutterby Designs. I also added some hand drawn scribbles with black pencil.

I am so happy with the result of this piece - all the bright colours and layers just make my heart sing! 

Despite my love for this piece, I decided that keeping it for myself wasn't the best use of it. Anita from Flutterby Designs will be running a charity art auction at her annual "Create by the Lake" retreat next month to raise funds for 'United in Compassion'. This Australian organisation advocate on behalf of cancer patients for better access to medicinal cannabis as an alternative therapy to alleviate their suffering. 

Here is my finished framed piece, which has been passed onto Anita to be auctioned and will hopefully raise some funds for this very worthy cause. (If you are attending the retreat, you will have a chance to bid on it - please help my piece go to a good home!) 

The Flutterby Designs "Create by the Lake" retreat is being held from the 18th - 21st of July at Lake Keepit Sport & Rec Centre in Gunnedah, New South Wales. If you have never been before, do yourself a favour and go! It's a super fun weekend with lots of like-minded people. (And at the time of writing this, there are only 3 spots remaining!) Click on the event page HERE for all the info.

If you love the stencils I used in this piece, they are available to purchase direct from the StencilGirl® website or you can contact your favourite crafty retailer to enquire. 

Thanks for stopping by so I could share this with you. Until next time, happy creating! X

Friday, 31 May 2019

Together featuring Uniquely Creative watercolour paints

Hi everyone!
(I know, back again so soon!) Today I wanted to pop in and share a layout I created "just because". After finishing up with the Colour Blast design team recently, I have found myself with a little extra creative time and more freedom to use different products, so I decided to dig into my stash and pull out one of my neglected supplies - my watercolour paint set from Uniquely Creative.

I was lucky enough to receive this sweet little set of paints when I did guest designer spot for Uniquely Creative and since that time they have remained largely untouched. I hate having under-used supplies hanging around so I decide to take them out and put them to use. 
I started by swatching them onto some watercolour paper, which I then adhered inside the lid of the tin for easy reference.

With that out of the way, it was time to put them through their paces on a larger scale so I grabbed a piece of cardstock and sat down to play. I had no plan, so I just painted an abstract background. Once it was dry I added some stamping over the top using a cool stamp from Carabelle Studio.

I then added some small pieces of torn washi tape before adding my photo strip. (How did I forget about these photos of Fiona Paltridge and I from a couple of years ago? What a crazy pair we make when we get together - which unfortunately is not often enough!)

I kept the remainder of my supplies very simple to embellish my page - a pack of die cut ephemera purchased from Aldi (yes, Aldi and only $2!) and some messy white cotton thread. 

I finished off my page with a few black splatters and a simple line of journalling using a Sharpie. I guess you could call this one a "budget" page - it took only limited supplies AND time - winning! 

Here's my finished layout...

I was really happy how these paints performed and will definitely be using them more often now! I checked the Uniquely Creative website and although this exact set of colours is no longer available, there is a 2019 palette available HERE (and very reasonably priced too - I might be needing that one next I think!)
Until next time, happy scrapping! X

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Limitless | Cocoa Vanilla Studio

Hi everyone!
I hope this finds you well! Today I am popping in to share a recent mixed media layout I created for Cocoa Vanilla Studio using the super cool 'Boys Rule' collection along with Dina Wakley acrylic paints.

I started by creating the background for my page; adding a variety of acrylic paints using both a brush and brayer to an 11x11" piece of white cardstock.
To add some extra depth I then added some small pieces of tissue paper; torn washi tape (from Chiyogami Designs); ink splatters and stamping using my Cross Marks Background stamp from Viva Las VegaStamps.

With the background in place, it was time to work on the feature elements of my page. I layered together a variety of patterned paper pieces (including Straight & Narrow; Expressionist; and Boy Stuff), and mixing in some paint sample cards from my stash. (I love using sample cards as they are so easy to coordinate, and are readily available for free from the local hardware store.)

Once I had the papery layers in place I then added my photo on top, using some scrap cardboard underneath to help pop it up from the page. Along each side of the photo I added the reach for the stars and you are awesome stickers from the Accessory Sticker sheet, mounting it up with a little foam tape. At the top of the page I added the word limitless from the Miscellany pack for my title.

Next, I folded down the top right corner of my cardstock and secured it with staples before I mounted it onto a sheet of the Expressionist paper so that I had a border showing all the way around the page. 
To finish off I added a few stars from the Chipboard Pieces pack.

Thanks so much for stopping by today so I could share this with you. I hope I have inspired you to pull out some of your stash and create something too. Until next time, happy scrapping! X

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Clowning Around | Viva Las VegaStamps

Hi everyone!
Today I am popping in to share a fun mixed media scrapbook layout that I created for Viva Las VegaStamps to document a couple of silly SnapChat selfies of my sister and I. (We just love clowning around! hehe)

To create this page I started with an A4 sized sheet of cardstock; then I mixed some Dina Wakley acrylic paints (I used a combination of 'Night' and 'Lapis') to get the right shade I wanted for my background. I applied it roughly using a spatula and set it aside to dry.

Whilst it was drying, I chose some stamps for my background. I wanted to continue the confetti theme from the photos and have the patterns cascading down the page, which I also planned to stamp using acrylic paint. 

I started with the Grunge Circles, which I stamped using 'Ruby' paint repeatedly down the page. I then used the Sky of Stars Background stamp with 'Cheddar' paint and followed the same line down the page.
I then switched to midnight blue ink and stamped the Smiley Face and Somebody Stop Me.

To go with the theme of my page, I stamped out a few images from plate #1383 designed by Mary Vogel Lozinak - Unicycle Lady; Man in Short Pants; and Director. I coloured each of the images using markers and then fussy cut around them. I also stamped the All Circuses quote. 

I added some frayed gauze to my page before adding my photos on top with the quote stuck along the bottom edge.

I then stuck the little characters across my page using foam tape to give them a bit of dimension. 

To finish off I added some scattered sequins for a bit of sparkle and I was done!

That's all from me today, thanks for stopping by. I hope I have inspired you to get inky too! X

VLVS stamps used:

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Be You! | Colour Blast

Hi everyone!
Popping in today to share my final design team project for Colour Blast. Yes, after two and a half years on the CB design team, the time had come for me to step down. After a lot of time and effort devoted to this team over the past couple of years, this now gives me some breathing room and the freedom to look for some new creative opportunities and avenues.

So today I am sharing the last layout that I created for CB using the 'Limited Edition' collection. The theme of this collection is all about being yourself so I thought I would document a couple of cheeky selfies (which pretty much sum me up. hehe)

Here's a look at the supplies I started with...

I began with the One of a Kind patterned paper from the 'Limited Edition' collection as my page background. The first step was to add some White Heavy Gesso to the area I decided was going to be the focal point of my page. I did this using a small brayer.

Whilst the gesso was drying, I gathered some pieces of the 'Stand Out' patterned paper and layered them together to form a mat for my photos. 

I then went back to my background sheet and added some stamping around the edge of the focal area using the Peony Dreams stamp set from the 'Spread Your Wings' collection and 'Faded Jeans' Distress Oxide.

Next, I wanted to add some subtle texture to the page. I used the 'That Way' stencil from the 'Going My Way' release with 'Apple of My Eye' Colour Paste; applying small amounts randomly around the page using a palette knife.

At this point I felt my layout needed some black to tie in with the black in my photos and also to provide a some contrast. I used 'Soot' Colour Artist Ink, and simply used the dropper from the bottle to drip some directly onto the page. I then set my page aside for a little while to dry. 

Once it was dry, I added the layered mat I had created earlier; bending up the edges of each of the pieces to give the stack more dimension, before sticking my photos on top.

I then took the Floral Cluster cut file from Cut to You and tucked them in under the edges of my photos. I also created a circular frame using coloured wire, which I stapled on top of my photos. 

With all of the main structure in place, it was simply a matter of adding some finishing touches. I added some messy black cotton thread, which I tucked in amongst my layers.

I fussy cut three small bees from the Glorious Tags paper and added those to the page.

 I finished off my layout by adding three phrases cut from the Exception Word Sheet paper, placing two above my photos and one below.

That's all from me today, thanks for stopping by. Until next time, happy scrapping! X