Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Return of the Sensei

(Scroll down to the bold "Page Walkthrough" heading if you don't want to read me getting mushy about scrapbooking here.)

I've been posting so much about my knitting that I haven't been showing any of my paper crafting stuff lately. I find myself crafting my scrapbook pages, still thinking about how I could show people how to do what I'm doing, but I'm sadly without an avenue to do so. I really miss teaching! And paper crafting was always one of my favorite things to teach. I think paper crafting is a magnificent "gateway drug" into further exploration of the creative spirit. Paper crafting is one of those things you can do with very few tools, almost no experience, and only a little motivation. You can create something awesome, and it fuels your desire to create more. Pretty soon you, yes, you... the one in the back who thinks you can't do anything... I'm talking to YOU. Pretty soon you find yourself actually experiencing the freedom of creative expression, and it can lead you on to bigger and more complex things.

I love scrapbooking. I have two boys, and I scrapbook a lot about them. But I love it in general and feel that it is so important. It's important to get your stories recorded. I have a 10 year old and I'm already so appreciative of the baby pages I made for him. Your mind forgets so much, and it's a real treasure to have a record of your life for you to look through. Both of my boys, 4 and 10, really enjoy flipping through the albums. Thad loves reading about himself as a baby and Elliott just loves seeing pictures of himself. When he's old enough to read, I know he'll more fully enjoy what he's seeing in the pages I make for him.

I miss teaching! I want so much to share this craft, and really, just a love of creative expression in general with everyone I come in contact with. So, here is my first post as the return of the Paper Sensei. I'm going to walk you through some of my creative process as I was going through it on this particular scrapbook page.

Page Walkthrough

What is always first for me is printing out my photos. I have a system that is working SO well for me now that I almost can't describe how joyous I feel every time I work in it. I have catchup scrapping to do, just like every other scrapper, but earlier this year I realized that I was making my catchup gap bigger and bigger by letting all of my current events go unscrapped while waiting to catch up on previous pages. I vowed that I wouldn't let that gap get any bigger. I'm current through 2011 right now and still catching up in 2009, so hopefully by the end of this year I will be 100% current on my scrapbooking. Isn't it unbelievable!? I'll talk about how I'm doing that later, but right now I'll get to the page itself.

So I got the photos, one 4x6" and three 3x4". I usually try to follow some of the guidelines for good pages... Like, if you have people facing a certain direction in a photo, have them facing into the page insted of away from it. So you see the lovely Beckah Shae (my favorite singer ever) facing into my page, and the photo of my best friend and me where I'm kind of facing into the page, so I put myself on the outside there. The others sort of fell into place. I like grids and boxes of photos, but I like for everything to still feel a bit organic... Like, not perfectly symmetrical. At least usually... I always find reasons break my own rules, which is why I call them guidelines instead. But for this one, I stuck to it.

I wanted to accent my main photo. I love doing inking and stamping right on my photographs. I used to be afraid to do this, but I've been doing it SO much lately that it's becoming kind of my new signature... Kind of like attaching buttons with brads was for a while in my pages there.

Basically, grab any dye ink (you can use pigment, but it takes a long time to dry and you run a higher risk of messing up your photo) and a little sponger tool, which creates a softer edge. Get the sponger thing in the ink and just go around the photo. You can do it with the inkpad itself instead of the sponger, but it's not all dreamy like it is with the little sponge tool. I imagine you could just use a piece of sponge. Why not?

I kind of went crazy and stamped a lot then. I like layering a lot of different stamps and creating a fun look. For softer stamping (for instance, the text bits), I stamp on paper first and then on the photo, which is called whisper stamping, I believe. It just gives a fun, faded look. All of these stamps are Stampin Up!, from the Vintage Vogue and French Foliage stamp sets. (Can't find French Foliage online to link to it for some reason... Sorry! I only used the text stamp and the blotch stamp from that set. The rest is in the Vintage Vogue.)

I put everything back and really liked the stamped photo better, then decided to ink the edges on all of the other photos, too. I started playing with embellishment placement. I love layering accents, so I layered some fun butterfly shapes on top of each other.

From there, I started moving too fast to take pictures. ^_~ This is the finished page, with a tiny bit of journaling (off to the right). I took the challenge from The Busy Scrapper, which is a very cute and good book full of tips and fun ideas, even though if I had to choose which book to buy, I'd pick Elizabeth Kartchner's 52 More Scrapbooking Challenges. But the first book mentioned that to save time, you could do shorter journaling, and I've been taking that advice to heart on my pages. I've been trying to keep it short and sweet. We'll see how long it lasts.

I wanted to point out all of my design triangles, too. I don't know if you can find them all. There's a general scrapbooking guideline, too, about using design triangles on your page to give good balance and also to draw your eye into and around the page. I used three in this page: the two butterflies and birds are one triangle, the three pearl frames are another triangle, and the three white lines of text are the last triangle. You can see here that you don't have to make them all separate... In fact, all of my triangles are overlapping each other. But it creates a general balance to the embellishments (at least I think so) and it can help you in the future if you're wondering why your embellishments don't look right. Try arranging them in a triangle shape and see if that helps.

Here are a couple of final detail shots of the page:

Again, I LOVE layering my embellishments. These are some older butterflies from my stash layered over a lovely oval pearl frame sticker from Martha Stewart crafts that I bought yesterday because I simply could NOT resist it. I thought I'd never be able to use them and here I am using them the very next day. ^_^ I realized that I didn't have to use the frames to frame something specific... I mean, they're framing my butterflies, but really they're adding another dimension to this already fun layered embellishment. I really love the look.

Also, at my main title point, I put half of one of my favorite frames. I realized that I could cut it in half to create a lovely arch up there, and I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out.

I love feeling free to do stuff like this... Use my stickers in unconventional ways... Cut them in half... That kind of stuff. It makes me feel really clever. Hopefully you got at least one idea from all of this. Now I'm off to eat a melty McFlurry that my sweet husband brought home for me quite a while ago. Blog post done! Time for icecream! Yum!

No comments:

Post a Comment