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It’s Ashley here today, and I made a layout using the May kit, Record Label, plus a few bits and pieces from the Johnny B add-on and Buddy.
I actually started this layout at the end of April, when I was working on layouts for the May gallery. I got stuck and it sat for weeks! But today I had a great day all for scrapbooking, so I decided it was time to get it back out and finish it.
You can watch the layout and all my stucks/getting unstucks while I finish it:
I totally recommend finding, or making, a bit of time to finish up whatever unfinished project you have from a past kit. New kit time will be here in no time at all! And I know I get so busy each time that a new kit arrives that it is easy to leave those unfinished projects unfinished. But it is so nice to have another page finished and this funny little moment remembered.
Hi! Aliza asked if I was going to share how I did the photo on this layout. It’s a really easy technique in Photoshop that allows you to print out a photo on patterned paper and get an artsy look. I don’t have Elements, but since it’s just adjusting LEVELS and CURVES and most photo editing software allows you to do that, I imagine the steps are pretty similar.
1. Choose a photo that has little background noise. This one of my kids in Vancouver had a lot going on, but I wanted to use it, so I cropped out all the “noise.” This allows me to make them more the focus, something important in this technique.
2. Now you have to choose an appropriate patterned paper. Obviously you don’t want one that is too dark or too busy, your photo is going to be harder to decipher with this technique so you want to take away as much of the guess work as possible.
I think text, tone on tone, or very soft colors work best. You don’t want to have strong contrast, otherwise you end up with something unattractive coming out of your subject’s face. I’ll show you a few examples of what works and what doesn’t at the end.
3. This is what happens if you just print the picture, not playing with it at all. Not terribly artsy or interesting.
4. So, to remedy that, you’re first going to turn your photo black and white. If you print it you’ll get this. Notice that it’s not really easy to see my kids still. Time to play with CONTRAST!
5. With your black and white photo, you’ll go to CURVES and lighten the picture quite a bit.
6. If you print it out now, it’s much easier to see my kids, and you could stop here, but I still want to play more with the contrast for a more artsy and vintage feel.
7. I go to LEVELS and make the dark parts of the photo darker and the light parts lighter. Every photo is different so you’ll have to play with it until you like the results.
8. This is the result printed out, you’ll notice that you can see my kids better.
9. I love the contrast I’ve achieved, don’t love the yellow in the paper, so I try it on a few other pieces of patterned paper and this is what I get. This technique is not really about printing off pristine prints for posterity’s sake. It’s more about having fun and experimenting.
10. This shows the progression of the photos in Photoshop from color to high contrast, for you to use as a reference.
I hope you’ll try this fun technique out if you have a printer and a photo editing program. It’s fairly easy to achieve a fun and vintage look. You can use if for altered projects as well, like I did on this canvas:
And there you have an explanation of how I did my photo in the March gallery. I promise, it’s really easy.
Hi everyone! This is Ashley today, and I have a video to show you how I made the sky-inspired mixed media background for my layout, The ISS Was Here. I started with the grid patterned paper by Jillibean Soup included in the April kit, and cut stars out of it using the Cocoa Daisy star cut file that co-ordinates with the Cocoa Daisy exclusive star stamp from the February 2013 kit (I think I said it was from the March kit in my video, but I was wrong).
Here you can see the light blue drops from the water soluble artist crayon, the white heat embossed constellation map, and some of the gesso paper transfer. Above, you can see the clear and white embossed Cocoa Daisy star stamps layered over the gesso paper transfer.
This is Ashley today, and we’re going to talk about page design.
In the layout above (made with April’s awesome Cocoa Daisy kit!) I used the long-tailed bow as a focal line on the layout, and then balanced the remaining elements around it.
The photo, and the Pebbles journalling card are tied visually to the bow because they each share a hidden side under the bow tails. A set of green photo corners on the left and a set of two yellow photo corners on the right help unite the two 4×6 elements across the page.
To add some visual interest and a feel of “play” to the page, I placed the rest of the pieces in a non-symmetrical but balanced manner. The journalling block under the photo mimics the size and shape of the envelope placed just at the top of the Pebbles journalling card. The date banner placed over the ribbon tails balances the floral banner layered over the kraft envelope.
These five main components of the page — the bow, the two 4×6 pieces, and the journalling block and envelope — make up the primary page design. They are balanced in visual weight and distribution around the page. The smaller details — the girl icon sticker, the clothes pin, and even the title block — are just small finishing touches that help fill in the page and provide balance.
Try this split/mirrored page design yourself! Start with a strong dividing element like my bow (you could use a strip of paper or a border), and then begin placing balanced elements on either side. Try varying placement of one or more of the elements to give your page dynamic flow, or keep them perfectly lined up for a strong linear feel.
This is Ashley today, with a Dissecting Design post featuring a technique.
When I first opened the March kit, Sketchbook, I was struck by how fanciful, whimsical and painterly the whole thing felt. I love that feeling. And then I struggled finding the right photos, until I remembered a few pictures I had left of a visit we took to my great aunt’s house several years ago. She was an artist, and truly amazing, and the kit really reminded me of her remarkable home. She was one of my favourite people, ever, and her home was my favourite place on this earth.
I wanted to carry that painterly, whimsical feel with these photos of Summer Lily and Addie Blue picking blackberries in my aunt’s garden. I also wanted the layout to have a story book quality, so I decided to use the Crate Paper teal floral paper that felt like wallpaper from a fairy tale and pair it with some vellum for a dream like quality. Old story books and dreams and things that are painterly and good seem like a perfect match for gold embossing (another one of my favourite things), so I decided to emboss directly onto the vellum.
And, here are step by step photos of how I gold emboss on vellum.
1. Tape down a piece of ruled paper. Taping it will keep it in place and the lines will help keep your stamping straight.
2. Tape vellum over lined paper. Arrange photos over top where you would like them to go on the final layout. This will help you decide where to place your stamping and title.
3. Move vellum and photos out of the way. Stamp title on lined paper in coloured ink. This will help ensure it fits, you like the placement, and is going to make stamping in clear embossing ink much easier! I penciled in a line to mark where the bottom of the photos would go, to make sure I started stamping in the right place.
4. Once stamping is complete, fold the vellum back in place (it is still taped at the top from step 2). If you are happy with the stamping, now you can proceed to step 5 and start embossing.
5. I use VersaMark ink for embossing with. I couldn’t find my small, thick acrylic block, so I used the lid from a small square ink pad. I like to use something thick, because my finger tips tend to get a bit of VersaMark on them from removing the stamps, and then I get little smudgy finger prints on my paper when stamping.
Working quickly, stamp each letter with VersaMark on the vellum. Try to line it up with the stamped image on the lined paper beneath the vellum. I just stamp one letter at a time because I found it hard to fill up a large block with several letters and get them to look neat again.
6. Once all the title has been stamped in VersaMark, cover the stamped area with gold Zing embossing powder (I used the glitter finish variety for this page. Sparkly.)
7. Tap of excess embossing powder and return to jar. I did end up with a row of smudgy fingerprints above the top line of stamping, but I used a soft paint brush to carefully brush it away.
8. Heat and enjoy!
Here is the final layout!
Supplies: Crate Paper patterned paper (Sketchbook main kit); Elle’s Studio yellow paper (Sketchbook main kit); Jenni Bowlin Mercantile true vintage tickets (add-on 1, Renderings); “true story” index tab card (Sketchbook main kit); vellum (Line Drawing patterned paper add-on); Nate Basics alpha (Cocoa Daisy boutique); American Crafts gold glitter finish Zing embossing powder (Cocoa Daisy boutique).