Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Catching Up with My Yearlong Album

Currently, I am working on my yearlong album. Last week, I wrote about how I need to start working on that album again because I haven't done anything on it in a while. There's quite a To-Do list and I'm working my way through it and sharing it all here.

I don't mind being "behind" with this album. As a scrapbooker, I'm behind all the time because I can only create a scrapbook page or mini album after something has happened. So, I don't worry about being caught up but I do like to finish what I start and that brings me back to my yearlong album. It's started and well underway but not where I would like it to be.

On Monday, I shared a mixed media layout that I made for the February and today I'm sharing the pocket pages I made that go with the layout. I tend to take a lot of photos each month and a lot of them end up in this album. Also, I like to  add embellishments and ephemera to the photos so some months have more pages than others. For example, in February I filled both sides of 3 pocket page protectors (8.5x11") to make 6 pages. That's a lot for one month but sister and her kids visited that month so there were a lot pics to fit in.

Here's a look at February's pocket pages starting with the first page. It's the page that is opposite the layout for this month.

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Here's the first 2 page spread.

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A close up of the left side...

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A close up of the right side.

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Here's the second 2-page spread.

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A close up of the left side...

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and a close up of the right side.

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And here is the last page.

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The large transparency hearts are from The Freckled Fawn's January embellishment kit. The puffy hearts, metal "love" clips and circle stickers are from their February embellishment kit. I am a sucker for these kits. They have the loveliest embellishments that are the perfect size for pocket page scrapping.

So, there you have it. That's February 2016 done! I'm going to keep working away at this album for the next couple of weeks. I love looking back at all the photos while I'm scrapping. It's fun to remember how much fun we have had this year. It helps make the work worthwhile.

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, 22 August 2016

Mixed Media Monday: Featuring the Tim Holtz Splatter Brush

Welcome to Mixed Media Monday! Each week, I share a mixed media layout and include the instructions. The instructions contain the steps to make the project and contain any tips and tricks I have picked up along the way. If you ever have any questions about techniques or products that I used to make this layout, leave a note in the comments and I will get back to you. I know that mixed media can be intimidating but I think of it as a creative adventure. Yes, it requires practice and patience but the rewards are worth it - I promise! 

This week, I am catching up on my 2016 Keeping Track Of Life album or KTOL for short. I took a look at my album last week and realized I have so much work to do. Keeping Track of Life is an in-person class taught by my friend, Krista at my local store, The Paperie. The class is similar to Project Life except it's a month-at-a-glace approach to scrapbooking with a layout added for fun instead of a week-by-week approach.

In February, I missed class due to a snowstorm. Although Krista's instructions are included in the class, I decided to take the opportunity to add a mixed media layout to my album. Here it is!

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I made this background using the Tim Holtz Splatter Brush. I used it in a class I taught a few months ago and fell in love with it. It makes the most amazing splatters and is so easy to clean but I'm excited to show you how it makes the most amazing marks in wet medium.

So, let's get started with the supply list and the instructions for this week's layout.

Here are the supplies I used to make this week's layout.

Heavy Gesso - Art Basics (Prima)
Watercolor Paper  (Canson)
Modeling Paste - Art Basics (Prima)
Stencil: Blazonry TCW280 - Balzer Designs (The Crafter's Workshop)
Palette Knife
Splatter Brush - Tim Holtz Distress (Ranger)
Heavy Body Paint - Dina Wakley Media (Ranger)
Embellishment Kit - February (Freckled Fawn)
Felt Leaves  (Freckled Fawn)


1. Apply a thin coat of gesso to the watercolor paper. This is always the first step of my process if I'm using acrylic paint or spray ink. A coat of gesso makes watercolor paper non-porous and that means that paint doesn't soak into the paper so I can remove mistakes with a wet baby wipe - sometimes.  A thin coat doesn't take long to dry so I usually set mine aside but you can also dry with a heat gun.

2. Apply a thin coat of modeling paste through a stencil. I love dimension so I use modeling paste in a lot of my layouts. Modeling paste holds marks really well which is perfect for the next step.

3. Drag the Splatter Brush through the modeling paste. The Splatter Brush isn't only for splatters...

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If you lightly drag it through modeling paste, it makes the most amazing marks.

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Leave your stencil in place to act as a mask.

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When you're finished and have covered the whole background. Remove stencil and set the background aside to dry.

Important tip: Clean stencil and Splatter Brush immediately using baby wipes. When modeling paste dries, it is almost impossible to remove from stencils without a lot of hard work. I always clean up immediately after using modeling paste.

Here's what the background looked like after everything was dry and ready for the next step.

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4. Replace stencil on dry background.   Line up the stencil with the original pattern you made in modeling paste. I used a little washi tape to hold it in place so my hands were free for the next step.

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5. Apply paint with Splatter Brush. I used a few spritzes from my water bottle to water down the heavy body paint to a milk-like consistency. Then I swiped the brush through paint and splattered the paint on my background with the stencil in place.

Here's a great video tutorial Tim Holtz made that shows you how to make splatters using the Splatter Brush. He features the brush at the 4-minute mark.

Tip: The more water you add the bigger the splatters. 

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The stencil acts as a mask and you get something that looks like this. If you look closely, you can see that the ridges creating by the Splatter Brush catch the paint and keep it from dripping.

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Add as many colours of paint as you like to create a multi-color backgound. I used all the colors of Dina Wakley paint that I had in my stash. Some of the colors bled under the stencil because the paint was very watery but I like the effect.

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6. Embellish.  I used the February Freckled Fawn embellishment kit for this layout. The colors of the puffy hearts, acrylic letters and painted wood buttons went perfectly with my bright, colorful background and silly photos.

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This technique is so fun and easy, I hope you consider giving it a try. The Tim Holtz Splatter Brush is definitely a tool that I am so happy to have because it it helps me use all my stencils and inks and paints in a new way. I love it when that happens.

Please feel free to leave a note in the comments and say "hi". It's always lovely to meet the people who stop by my blog. And if you have any questions about products or techniques used, please leave a note and I'll get back to you. I am happy to help.

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, 19 August 2016

Art Journal Joy: 27 Days of Watercolor Flowers - Week 2

I had another great week of painting watercolor flowers. Honestly, I'm a little surprised to admit it but this practice has become a part of my day. It's something that I always make sure I've done each day. I rarely have a plan when I start. I pick up my brushes and practice making flowers until I make something that I like and then I practice it over and over again.

Here are the pieces I made this week.

I was trying to figure out how to paint poppies. I am inspired by real flowers but I'm not trying to paint photo realistic flowers. My goal is to paint flowers that I think look pretty. Sometimes, it takes many tries to come up with something I like.  I forgot to add the black centres and debated adding them later but I decided to leave them like this for now.

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These flowers are poinsettia inspired. I was thinking that I could hand paint my own Christmas cards this year. Well, not all of them but maybe a few.

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This is also the week that I discovered floral wreaths. I'm obsessed and not just because I love wreaths. It's a great opportunity for me to practice how to make a flower over and over again.

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I love the bright colors of this one. It also feels balanced which is not always easy for me to do with these wreaths. I also experimented with overlapping blooms. It makes it look more realistic but I'm always afraid that I'll end up ruining it. I also had trouble with the leaves but that's why I'm practicing.

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And finally, this pretty soft wreath makes me so happy. I like how I was able to get really soft, watery colors for the blooms. I debated adding leaves and decided not to. I love how tone on tone looks and I didn't want to add anything else to this one.

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To create the shape of the wreathes, I trace very lightly around a jar of gesso with a Pilot FriXion pen. When I'm finished, I heat it with my heat gun and the marks disappear. You can see some of the pen marks I left in the piece above to show you. To get rid of them, I just have to heat the piece again.

If you would like to see more of these watercolor pieces, please follow me on Instragram. I'm @cathiereed. I'm sharing my progress each week on my blog and you can see how I get started and what Week 1 looked like. I hope you'll follow along.

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Restarting a Yearlong Project

Since I finished sharing all the photos from my France album last week, I decided to return to my month-at-a-glance album. I haven't done much with it for a long time and after flipping through it this week, I realized that it needs some attention and work.

The album is part of the KTOL project that I work on each year. KTOL is short for "Keeping Track of Life" and it's a class that my friend, Krista, teaches at my local scrapbook store (The Paperie).  Each month we create a layout and pocket page spread with our monthly stack of photos. It's a lot of fun and I enjoy scrapping with my friends for a couple of hours each month.

I haven't been working on my album in between classes so I bunch of half done pages and missing layouts. Specifically, I have to work on a layout for each month - that's all 7 layouts we've made so far in class. Some layouts are just missing photos but I missed a couple of classes so those layouts are not even started. The situation is the same for the pocket pages. I have February's pockets pages finished but all the other months are not done. That's 6 months of pocket pages and 7 layouts - if we're still counting.

Here are some of my almost done pocket pages for January.

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It feels a bit overwhelming but I know it is doable because I have been here before. Each year, I fall behind with this project. I am not a chronological scrapbooker so this doesn't worry me but I know that if I fall too behind it will be too overwhelming to finish. All the work is worth it though because I love this album when it's done.

So, now what? For me, the key to finishing this project is to make a list of what I need to do to get "caught up" and to work on that list each week. Having a to-do list will keep me focused when I sit down to work. As I work my way through my to-do list,  I will share my progress as I go.

Wish me luck!

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, 15 August 2016

Mixed Media Monday: Be You.

Welcome to Mixed Media Monday! Each week, I share a mixed media layout and include the instructions. The instructions contain the steps to make the project and contain any tips and tricks I have picked up along the way. If you ever have any questions about techniques or products that I used to make this layout, leave a note in the comments and I will get back to you. I know that mixed media can be intimidating but I think of it as a creative adventure. Yes, it requires practice and patience but the rewards are worth it - I promise!  

This week, my oldest son turned 9. I was inspired by his birthday to make a page for him. He's growing so fast and there are some things I want him to always remember.  My color choice was inspired by Prima's PPP challenge for August. There is no such thing as too much blue in my world so I knew I had to participate.

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Here are the supplies I used to make this layout.

3D Matte Gel (Prima)
Heavy Gesso (Prima)
Texture Powder (Prima)
Pattern Paper - Salvage District, Bella Rouge, Royal Menangerie, Archivist and Epiphany Collections (Prima)
Grungy Grid Stencil - Finnabair (Prima)
Prima Color Bloom 2 - Fairy Pond, Dragonfly Blue and Spring Dandelion (Prima)
Background Stamp - Book (Prima Item #960964)
Archival Ink - Orange Blossom and Manganese Blue (Ranger)
Versamark Ink (Tsukineko, Inc.)
Embossing Enamel - Shabby Blue (Stampendous)
Thickers (American Crafts)
White Gold Thread (Guterman)
Watercolor Paper (Canson) 
Dragonfly Wood Veneer (Prima)
Palette Knife
Old Paint Brush


1. Mix 3D Matte Gel with Texture Powder. Scoop some 3D Matte Gel and some Texture Powder on your craft mat and mix together with a palette knife. The more Texture Powder you use the grittier and more textural your paste will be. I shared how I make my paste in last week's Mixed Media Monday post.

2. Spread on watercolor paper through stencil with palette knife. I placed my stencil randomly on my background and spread a thin coat of the paste through my stencil. Then I set it aside to dry. You can use a heat gun to dry it but if you overheat or "cook" the 3D Matte Gel it will puff up and you will lose the effect of the Texture Powder.

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3. Spread a thin coat of gesso with an old brush. I always add a coat of gesso to my background. I like how the inks work and colors stay true when I use gesso.

4. Spray ink on background. I bought some of the new Prima Color Bloom sprays this week. They arrived with just the pigment and a mixing ball in the bottle. When I got home, I added water and started spraying right away. I couldn't tell the difference from the original sprays that are shipped as liquid ink. They are gorgeous but only available for a limited time. Although I hope they decide to keep Fairy Pond (below).

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5. Stamp with background stamp. I like to stamp on my multi-colored backgrounds in the Archival Inks that match my background. It adds an interesting tone-on-tone effect.

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6. Create sunburst pattern. This week, I cut up my background to create a background pattern. I cut a strip from the 12x12 sheet. I flipped the paper over to the plain side and sketched out a sunburst pattern with a pencil. Then I numbered each section so I could put it back together in order on my background - a plain sheet of watercolor paper.

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7. Embellish. To embellish this week, I added ink splatters and sequins, wound twine around the pattern paper and embossed wood veneer dragonflies.

To create the dragonflies, I pressed each one into my Versamark ink and then sprinkled on Embossing Enamel. The Versamark causes the Embossing Enamel to stick to the shape so it doesn't blow away  before I can emboss it with a heat gun. I heated the embossing enamel until it melted and set aside to cool. I love how it gives such a unique effect to the dragonflies.

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I also added a flip up to my layout.

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This week's layout is special to me. I wanted to remind my son about how important it is to be silly and adventurous and to always be true to himself. So, I made my journaling the title of my page. I thought that if I wrote it in journaling he might not read it. This way, he can never miss it. I like to think of it as leaving a note for him in my scrapbook.

As always, you can leave a note in the comments if you have any questions about supplies or techniques used to make today's layout.

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, 12 August 2016

Art Journal Joy: 27 Days of Watercolor Flowers - Week 1

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Today, I am sharing all the art that I made this week as part of my Practice Over Perfection exercise. Last week, I wrote about my plan to spend the rest of August painting watercolor flowers and sharing my progress. This week, I created 7 6x8" pieces and 3 4x6" pieces. The 4x6" pieces are rough drafts that I used to practice on before working on the larger 6x8" pieces. I have also doodled and practiced all over 12 4x6" cards.

Here are this week's cards in order I made them.

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I have been using Prima's watercolor palette's for everything - the Tropicals and the Classics - and a variety of round brushes. I like to use what I have when I'm learning something new but I will probably add new supplies once I'm comfortable with what I already own.

I originally planned to spend a minimum of 10 minutes day painting. I haven't kept track of how much time I have spent painting but I know I have gone way beyond my 10 minute minimum. Partly because I don't want to stop once I get started and partly because it takes me a while to figure out what to do and how to do it.

As I complete each flower, I am sharing them daily on Instagram.  This is an important part of the process for me. Sharing pieces that I don't like is hard sometimes but it encourages me to keep practicing so that someday the pieces are easier to share.

I am eager to continue this project and will come back next week to share the next batch.

Thanks for stopping by today!