August 18, 2014

Working The Spiral

Back from a nice, relaxing time on the beaches of Thailand and have this Citrus Twist August Kit layout to share. I place the two high-contrast, black and white photos of my cousin and his newborn baby boy against a background of glittery gold-star vellum which is anchored at the top by strips of pattern paper.


Arrangement of the main cluster is inspired by the golden spiral which is one of the very first thing I had to understand when I tried to find out how some graphic designers divided their layouts. Here's my interpretation of that classic rule : starting at the top right, spiralling down through the photos (with bits of ephemera tucked underneath for emphasis) and ending up in a tight whirl centered on the number 5 in the title.

It's fun to experiment and try a loose, messier style. I'm intrigued to see if it'll work just as well for cards. In the meantime work is taking priority:  for a couple of months I'm on temporary project assignment and travelling around Asia. So not much crafty time until probably October which might be a good thing as I check out blogs, galleries, magazines to see what the scrapbooking world has been up to and stock up on inspiration for the end of the year. 

Citrus Twist Aug Kits : American Crafts Shimelle (Resnick, Fitzgerald Gold Glitter Thickers), Pebbles Jen Hadfield Number Washi, Studio Calico Brighton Pier Gold Stars Vellum, Crate Paper Notes and Things Ephemera Pack, cardstock. Others : Echo Park This & That Alpha Sticker, Pebbles Jen Hadfield 6x6 Paper

August 01, 2014

The Soap Bubble Tutorial

Anyone who has been following me for a while will know I'm not much into creating with mediums. That's because firstly I don't think I'm any good at being artsy and secondly I worry about messing things up. Well may be that's about to change because I've just found a virtually fool-proof method of creating water-colour backgrounds and being a frugal crafter, I love that it doesn't require expansive tools or supplies. Everything needed can easily be found in your kitchen. So I present to you the soap bubble background technique :


You will need :
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp. of dish washing liquid
  • 3 tbsp. of food colouring
  • drinking straw
  • white cardstock


Mix all the ingredients together - don't worry if the colour seems too dark, it'll lighten up three or four shades after application. Insert the straw and blow in short bursts until layers of bubbles cover the surface. Large bubbles make widely spaced, octagonal-type imprints which are lighter in colour while lots of small bubbles create denser, more intensely coloured patterns.


Now lay the white cardstock across the layers of bubbles. This will cause the bubbles to pop, leaving prints on the paper. One advantage of this technique is that your cardstock doesn't have to be primed with gesso and will not warp because only a minimal amount of liquid from the bubbles is absorbed. If you like you can substitute food-colouring with reinkers, acrylic paint or spray mists, just play around with the proportion of water needed.


And here's a card created featuring my soap bubble background using the Echo Park cut-apart sheet from the July Citrus Twist kit. It'll be a couple of weeks before I share another project on the blog as I'm going on vacation. Off to pack now.

Citrus Twist July Kits : Echo Park Capture Life Journaling Cards, Crate Paper The Open Road Big Sky, Teresa Collins Something Wonderful Enamel Dots, Citrus Twist Stamps, white cardstock

July 26, 2014

A Patched Up Job

Having gone colourful with my last layout, I'm inspired feature that pinkish-purple colour again. This shade, which Pantone calls radiant orchid is the 2014 colour of the year and it's been popping up on several scrapbook collections recently. Here I took elements of it from a Webster's Pages Sweet Routine cut-apart sheet and arranged them in a triangle with the apex pointing toward the picture.

All Smiles Alt
The central elements came together quickly and the final thing for me to do was to decide on the background which will also act as a frame around these elements. Going through the papers in this month's Citrus Twist kits, the standout candidate was this tightly scripted black-and-white paper. It contrasts with all those white-on-white elements and it allows them to stand out all the more.


There is only one problem : this script pattern is the b-side, on the reverse is a cut-apart sheet full of wonderful designs by Allison Kreft. In particular there are a couple of photo-realistic 4"x6" cards which I desperately want to include on a greeting card. So should I set this paper aside and settle for a different, less ideal, background?  No. I'm determined to stick with this paper and to make it work.  


I cut out a couple of my favourite journal cards, setting them aside for another project. Then I cut out rectangles from the middle of the paper (where the loss cannot be seen underneath the other elements of the layout) and use them to patch any missing spots around the edges. I'll admit it's a bit much but then I wanted to show kit customers it is possible to recreate all my July projects without having to buy extras of the pattern papers.

Citrus Twist July Kits : Webster's Pages Sweet Routine Around the House, Crate Paper The Open Road (Big Sky, Highway Thickers), Teresa Collins Something Wonderful (Geometric, Enamel Dots and Shapes), Echo Park Capture Life Journaling Cards, Pink Paislee Switchboard Dial Up, October Afternoon Public Library Tidbits, MME Market Street Ashbury Heights Shine, Studio Calico South of Market Herringbone Vellum, Citrus Twist Stamp. Previous Kits : Simple Stories Clear Photo Sticker, Studio Calico Lemon Lush Colored Vellum

July 21, 2014

Stop Everything & Dance

Yesterday we had a discussion at Citrus Twist kits. It seems anything with a too-neutral colour palette isn't popular with subscribers and sometimes complaints are received about those kits. I know Trina does her best to create variety with the kits and, looking back over my past two months of work, I feel slightly guilty for not having made a single layout that features a vibrant colour. Well let me rectify that with this page using the June kits.


I've been wanting to do something with this  Studio Calico Lemon Lush paper for a while but never found the right subject until I remembered one pair of delightful pink brogues : a birthday present for my father. It's dandified appearance makes for a perfect pairing with the fushia colour of the paper. So I'm showcasing it on this clean and graphic, advert-style layout.


In this close-up you can see a shadow beneath the title which is the result of a happy mistake. I originally intended to go with the printed word STEP, but when the layout was done the simple black title looked too small and too boring. Layering kraft striped Thickers on top added much needed visual weight and provided a nice pop of extra colour. Neither on it's own would have worked but combined they gave this page that something special and pulled everything together.

Citrus Twist June Kits : Studio Calico (South of Market Turnip the Beat & Printed Kraft Thickers, Essentials Blue Star Chipboard, Lemon Lush Impulsive), Crate Paper Open Road Road Map & Chipboard, Webster's Pages Sweet Routine Front Porch

July 16, 2014

Overcoming The Size Limitation

What a month it's been! It's only football but I feel as if I've been put through an emotional wringer : exhilaration at feats of physical brilliance, disbelief when the unexpected underdogs triumph, joyous celebration as your team makes the winning goal and ,inevitably, disappointment as dreams of going the distance are crushed. So my focus hasn't really been on scrapbooking and  I'm not exactly brimming with creative ideas. I decide to take it easy on myself and create a layout closely following a sketch from Russian challenge blog Paperdvizhnik.


To soften the angular blocks and the long diagonal line of the sketch, I add some fussy-cut organic shapes from a Fancy Pants floral pattern paper, tucking them along the slanting edge. Shaping the flower petals and the leaves to create slight ripples and layering them also allows me to add a hint of dimension to this otherwise flat page. Having added these botanical elements led me to include an illustrated, bird-on-a-branch button which I can't make work with anything else in this month's kits, but seem to fit nicely here.

While not feeling particularly inspired on the creative front, I did successfully try out a few new techniques this month. Here I experimented with text transfer using a blender pen. My Puskin font title was printed, then photocopied using the mirror image function and finally transferred onto the page using a Chartpak blender marker. Although the blender ink lightened some of blue of the background, it wasn't a problem with the blue-sky paper and I love how clearly the words transferred.

Eyewear Detail2

When I started scrapbooking, being too cheap to buy alphas at S$15 a pop I resorted to printing out my titles and journaling. However this meant I designed mainly 8.5"x11" pages as anything wider didn't fit my printer. The funny thing is now that I regularly receive Thickers as part of my Citrus Twist kits, I almost never use them; having become captivated by the variety of font styles and sizes I can achieve by printing. So I'm thrilled by the ability to transfer printed text because now I can added custom titles to 12"x12" layouts too.     

Citrus Twist July Kits : Webster's Pages (Our Travels Journey Begins, Sweet Routine Around the House), Studio Calico South of Market Herringbone Vellum, Fancy Pants Burlap and Bouquets Fresh Bouquet, Teresa Collins Something Wonderful Enamel Dots and Shapes, Citrus Twist Stamps, MME Market Street (Nob Hill Sparkle, Ashbury Heights Label Stickers), Dear Lizzy Daydreamer Cats Cradle, Crate Paper Open Road (Layered Borders, Highway Thickers), October Afternoon Public Library Tidbits, wood veneer. Previous Kit : Heidi Swapp Mixed Company Ephemera