May 24, 2015

Streamlining The Process


In pursuit of efficiency I've converted from natural to artificial - lighting that is, for layout photography. For the longest time I've been shooting my pages outside on overcast days but last month I caved, bought a couple of soft boxes and set them up in the spare bedroom. It took about an hour and a half to get my tripod positioned, layout location marked and test shots taken. After that I'm all set to capture images of my scrapbook pages consistently.  
 

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No more having to bracket for the correct exposure, fiddling with white balance, compensating for lighting fall-off when shooting out in the open. It's as simple as popping my camera onto the tripod, placing my layout on the floor marking, close the curtains, switch on the lights in the softbox and press the shutter release. The camera setting is always at 1/30 shutter speed and 6000K for colour temperature. I love being able to shoot whenever I wish, even at night and that controlling the light has simplified my workflow so much.    


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Are there any trade-offs?  Well if you compare the full page image above (shot with softboxes indoor) to the close-up (shot with natural light outdoors) there is a subtle difference in the quality of the light. The first has even illumination, is tack sharp and more vibrant colours while the second has a softness that makes it more subtle. I know I haven't been shooting close-ups for months, perhaps with the time saved from streamlining my workflow I'll take more close-ups for the blog.



Citrus Twist May Kit : Crate Paper (Journey Ephemera, Confetti Hooray Thickers), Websters Pages (Adrienne Looman Beautiful Chic Watermarked, These Are THe Days Gold Paper Cliip), October Afternoon Saturday Morning Crepes, Simple Stories I Am Photo Stickers, Acrylic Cloud Shape, ecru embroidery floss

Photo Credit : freeios.com

May 19, 2015

3 To Inspire

Citrus Twist has been running a recipe challenge for a while now. Every Saturday you will find a new challenge posted on their blog under the title "3 To Inspire". Your take on this challenge can be a layout or a project life spread and remember that you'll want to include all 3 prompts on your project. I got the chance to host the first challenge of May and here's my challenge layout featuring these three prompts :   
  1. Use numbers
  2. Use arrows
  3. Use the colour gold

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I take my inspiration from the "3" in the challenge title creating a page with: three horizontal pattern paper bands above my photo, three dominant colours and even the numbers 1-2-3. Based on a simple colour blocking technique, it came together quickly once I printed out the bands and journaling on white cardstock. Initially it is going to be a 6"x8" page but I keep adding gold coloured embellishments to the top. So I ended up matting the design on a 8.5"x11" piece of cardstock with a gold-striped tab off to the side to complete the visual triangle.

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If you are looking for some creative push to scrapbook then head on over to the Citrus Twist blog and check out the current and past challenges.


Citrus Twist May Kit : Dear Lizzy Serendipity Sugar Sugar, Amy Tangerine Rise & Shine Emery, October Afternoon Saturday Morning Crepes, WRMK Hello Darling Merrymaking, Crate Paper (Confetti Hooray Thickers, Journey Ephemera,Webster's Pages These Are The Days Paper Clip, Simple Stories I Am Photo Sticker, Citrus Twist Flair Buttons, gold leaf sequin, white cardstock. Others : kraft tag

May 14, 2015

Chasing Gold Polka Dots


You think you're one thing. You're pretty sure of it so you don't spend much time thinking about it. In fact you are so sure you practically forget about it. Then one day POW it hits you: something's change, you've become something else in all that time you weren't paying attention. I started out as a cardmaker and have always referred to myself as a cardmaker who took up scrapbooking. But should I continue to call myself a cardmaker when I've only made a sum total of one card in the last four months? Faced with this unsettling revelation I decide the first project I'll make with the May Citrus Twist Kit will be a card. It's a test to see if I can manage to come up with a decent card design, and just as importantly, if I still enjoy making cards.        
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And the answers are: yes and yes. I'm helped by the presence of a cardmaker friendly cut-apart sheet and lots of small embellishments in this month's Sprinkles kit. They make it a pleasure to craft on a smaller canvas. The only hitch is figuring out which portion of the kraft paper works best for the background. Since there's an irregular polka dot distribution I had to go through several cuts before hitting on one which fits the flow of the design. So the long and short of it is I'm still a cardmaker. Now let's hope it's not another four months before I make another card. 



Citrus Twist May Kit : Crate Paper Confetti Ceremony, October Afternoon Saturday Mornings Crepes, Dear Lizzy Serendipity Sugar Sugar, Pebbles Happy Day Thinking of You, Citrus Twist Wood Stars, Acrylic Flowers White, Gold Leaf Sequins, cardstock

May 09, 2015

A Chevron Border


This layout is inspired by French designer Laetitia Poissy, by her signature style of creating a horizontal band across the page filled with embellishments and a photo. The top banner border is my favourite element. It's an easy way to use a busy chevron pattern and applying a focused band allows me to eliminate most of the red, which is too strong for this layout, leaving only little hints at the top to define the edge of the page. I deliberated quite a while over whether to add more to this layout. Should I splatter some ink droplets over it? Should I stamp here and there for touches of whimsy? Will adding journaling will be an enhancement?  In the end I left it as it is : touches of soft colour around a strong focal point - a photo of my lovely cousin. 

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So how did I do killing the April Citrus Twist Add-On Kit? In pushing out eight layouts of various sizes I managed to use up 80% of the supplies leaving behind two half sheets of pattern paper, a handful of ephemera pieces, most of the alphas and rub-on sheet. I could probably get another layout or a couple of cards done with what's left but I've run out of time, my May kit is here and I'm excited to get started on it. It's with a sense of satisfaction that I say good bye to the April Kit and break it up into my stash pile.


Citrus Twist April Kits : Crate Paper Confetti (Life of The Party, Gala, Die-Cut Cardstock Ephemera, Embellished Pocket), Crate Paper Kiss Kiss Valentine, Shimelle True Stories Darjeeling, Heidi Swapp Wanderlust Wood Veneer Words, sequins

May 04, 2015

Memories Trend May Sketch


A new month and I have a new Memories Trend sketch and layout to share.  This one combines two of my favourite products : pattern paper and ephemera (both from Crate Paper's Confetti collection). I start by creating a horizontally sectioned background - placing 'busy' patterns at the top and bottom and using a quieter print in the middle where I want the focus to be on the photo and embellishments.

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In selecting which ephemera to use I'm spoilt for choice because the Confetti Die-Cut pack is filling to bursting with fifty pieces of cardstock shapes. Although Confetti is a  birthday collection there are lots of  pieces like the tickets, tags, pockets which are not themed and very easy to use on any project. I put seven of them on my layout, picking pink-coloured pieces to tie in with the background and white-coloured pieces to create a buffer zone of white space so the photo doesn't get lost in the clutter. 

MT May Sketch


It's also National Scrapbook Week and inspired by online crops and challenges I've been scrapping up a storm. Will share all the layouts I've created with you over next few weeks.

Memories Trend Supplies : Crate Paper Confetti (Gala, Life of The Party, Die Cut Cardstock Ephemera), Amy Tangerine Rise and Shine Ella. Others : Crate Paper Kiss Kiss Valentine, Dear Lizzy Serendipity Lucky Stars, Heidi Swapp Wanderlust Wood Veneer Words, Glassine Bags