Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Keeping Track of Life: Looking Back at September 2015 Pages

Lately, I have been sharing the pages that are a part of my yearlong album, Keeping Track of Life or KTOL. It's an album that I am making in a class that I take at my local store - The Paperie. The class is taught by my friend, Krista. In this class, we get together each month and make a layout and a set of pocket pages for a month's worth of photos. I've fallen behind (I usually do in this class) and I'm playing catch-up. While I wait for some supplies to arrive, I am sharing some pages from my 2015 Keeping Track of Life album.

Last week, I shared the August spread from my 2015 Keeping Track of Life album and wrote about how I love looking back at this album. It is a wonderful thing to see how our family life looked back then. Of course, I flipped through the whole album and the pages from my September spread caught my eye.

We spent some time in the Bahamas last September. It was a fabulous family vacation and one that my kids still talk about. Here's a look at the spread.

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September 28_2

And here's a look at the layouts we made in class. It is supposed to be a 2-page spread but I broke mine up and placed the two layouts back to back in a single page protector.


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There's nothing fancy about these pages because I made a 6x12" album about this trip.  I shared photos of this album in the two blog posts - Bahamas Album Part 1 and Bahamas Album Part 2. - earlier this year. It has all the details and stories and ephemera of a truly great family trip. But I wondered what else happened in September last year.

Turns out, quite a lot happened. We remodeled our upstairs bathroom, Gabe lost his first tooth and Ben started a new pre-school. You wouldn't know it though because none of that is in the album. I guess I was still excited about the trip when I made this spread and didn't even think about these other details but I missed finding those stories when I looked at the album. Luckily, I took lots of pictures and they are organized on my laptop so adding them to this album won't be a big deal. 

I don't know if you go back and look at your older albums but it's something that's I encourage you to do. Don't worry about changing things around or adding more layouts - just enjoy them. Making a scrapbook album is fun -absolutely - but looking back is fun, too. I promise.

Cathie

Monday, 26 September 2016

Mixed Media Monday: Uh-Oh

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 page is all about the photo. When I took the photo, I thought it was a cute shot of my kids riding the luggage cart on the way to our hotel room while we were on summer vacation. That's all I thought it was for years but when I went to scrap it I saw something that I hadn't noticed before - the expression on my kids' faces. That's the look of sibling rivalry. Something I'm very familiar with these days but somehow I missed it back then.  So, the story that I had planned to tell is not the story I am telling with this layout. It doesn't need a lot of journaling though. The title and the photo tell the story - two kids, one tablet...uh-oh.

September 26_1

This week's layout uses a lot of the same steps and products that I used to make last week's layout. This is one of the wonderful things about mixed media - using the same supplies doesn't mean your project is going to look the same. You can make it different everytime - if you want.


Supply List:

Heavy Gesso - Art Basics (Prima)
Watercolor Paper  (Canson)
Harlequin Stencil  (Prima)
Mixed Media Silicon Brush  (Prima)
Light Modeling Paste - Art Basics (Prima)
Soft Gloss Gel - Art Basics (Prima)
Color Bloom 2 Spray Inks - Dragonfly Blue and Fairy Pond and Brimstone Wings

Word Label Stickers - Posh Collection (Carpe Diem - Simple Stories)

Pattern Paper: Archivist, Bella Rouge and Finnabair Collections (Prima)
Thread: White Gold and Gold (Guterman)
Wood Pattern Sequins - discontinued (Studio Calico)

Instructions:

1. Gesso. Apply gesso to background using a silicon brush or palette knife. 

2. Apply modeling paste through stencil. I used my silicon brush to put Light Modeling Paste on my background through the Harlequin stencil. Set aside to dry.

3. Spray ink. I started spraying the lighter Fairy Pond spray ink first. Then I sprayed the Brimstone Wings (green). Then I added a little of the darker Dragonfly Blue to the blue sections of the background.  The dark green section was created when the blue and green inks blended together. I chose blue and green for this layout because they are my kids' favorite colors. Then set aside to dry or dry with a heat gun.

4.  Gesso Ghosting. Place your stencil back over the background and paint with gesso. I used an old paint brush to paint the gesso on the background. The spray ink was dry and I used the same stencil that I had used in Step 2. I only wanted gesso on the raised image so the stencil worked as a mask and helped me control where I painted the gesso. This creates a subtle tone on tone effect but I love it. I shared a full step-out of this technique in last week's Mixed Media Monday blog post.

Tip: Your ink must be completely dry before you start this step. It won't work if the ink is wet. 

Here's a closeup of the effect on this week's layout. It is a subtle effect that makes the background of a layout more interesting.

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5. Embellish. This week, I used some of the bits and pieces from my stash - wood veneer stars and geotag, doilies and ribbon.

September 26_3

This is one of my favourite ways to make my layout more interesting and it's also a great way to use things that are languishing in your stash. The ribbon has been sitting on my desk for years and I'm happy to finally use it.

September 26_6

Funny thing...whenever I think I've used all my wood veneer geotags, I find another little bunch hiding in my stash. Weird, right?

The phrase stickers are new - Carpe Diem  - Posh collection. I confess that I love phrase stickers and I can't resist picking them up every time I find them in a store.

September 26_4

September 26_5

It's all the little details that make a layout special. It's not just the techniques you use to make the page but also the little bits and pieces you use to embellish and the colors you choose. It's all a part of the process.

One last thing, I am teaching class this week at my local scrapbook store, The Paperie. Here's a look at one of the layouts we'll be making in class. If you're local and interested in making a creative mess, please email or call the store (709-726-5323).


September 26_7


Thanks for stopping by!

Cathie


Friday, 23 September 2016

Art Journal Joy:Mini Art Journal Challenge Week 3

This week was all about color in my mini art journal. I am still obsessed with abstract paintings.I can't get enough of playing with color and line and balance to create a piece that works. It's like a puzzle - trying to find a way to fit everything together so that the picture makes sense. It is addictive. Once I get started, I don't want to stop.

The only drawback is drying time. I use Dina Wakley Media Heavy Body Paints which are thicker. Think of paint the consistency of mayonnaise. I usually paint with my fingers and put the paint on quite thick.  I like having all that texture on my page but it does take a while to dry. Everything has to be nice and dry before I can add my pen marks. If not, my Signo White Gel Pen  reacts with the paint and the color changes from white and my black Fude Ball pen won't write on wet paint.

So, here's a look at the pages I made during week 3.

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September 23_3

This is one of my favourite pages from this week. It's colorful and detailed and flowery - my favorite things!

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September 23_5


September 23_6

I left this page more open with fewer pen marks on purpose. It feels like it needs more detail but I'm leaving it as it is. I like the strong vertical lines in this one.

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September 23_8

The next day, I filled in almost all the space.

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September 23_10

You can see here that Magenta and Blackberry Violet paints weren't quite dry and the Signo White Gel pen reacted with the paint. It turns the ink from white to pinky/purply.

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Then I opted for a monochromatic blue page. I don't love this page. It feels bland after all the previous colorful pages. That's ok. Not every page can be my favourite.

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September 23_13


September 23_14

This page is another page that I don't love. I decided to try adding triangles but it just don't work out. I used my fingers but I probably should have used a brush to paint the triangle shape. I was annoyed that the triangle didn't have a point at the top. I do like the combination of blues and greens though and I love the pen work on the circles.

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September 23_16This orange was a failed attempt at a color combination. The nice thing about using gesso and acrylic paint is that I can change my mind and remove paint or pen marks with a baby wipe. However, I couldn't get that orange out of the crease. I guess I left it there too long and it wouldn't come out when I changed my mind.


September 23_17

Another week of art journal pages and I couldn't be happier with the progress I'm making. Last week, I wrote about pushing through the creative resistance - the thing that makes it hard to keep going with a daily practice. This week is easier than last week but still takes work and commitment - even now. Looking back at my pages makes me happy. Yup, even the pages I don't love make me happy. I have learned so much and have enjoyed myself. Art journaling is not a chore for me. It's a joy. That makes all the work worthwhile.

I have one more week left in my mini art journal and then it's on to the next challenge. I have some ideas but I'm really not sure what I'll pick. If you want to see my daily progress, you can find me posting these pages and other creative endeavours on Instagram. My handle there is @cathiereed.
Thanks for stopping by!

Cathie

ps: You can see the first week of my art journal pages here.


Thursday, 22 September 2016

Keeping Track of Life: August 2015 Pages

Lately, I have been sharing the pages that are a part of my yearlong album, Keeping Track of Life or KTOL. It's an album that I am making in a class that I take at my local store - The Paperie. The class is taught by my friend, Krista. In this class, we get together each month and make a layout and a set of pocket pages for a month's worth of photos. I've fallen behind (I usually do in this class) and I'm playing catch-up.

The last couple of weeks, I have been working on my Keeping Track of Life album. It's a lot of work but it's worth it. If you're curious, here's what I've been working on.

January: Layout and Pocket Pages
February: Layout and Pocket Pages
May: Layout and Pocket Pages

This week, I found myself looking through my album from 2015. My youngest started Kindergarten this month and sometimes I wonder where the time has gone. My kids have grown so much in the last year. They aren't babies anymore and I wanted to look back. That's one of the best things about this album - looking back.

Here's a look at my pages from August 2015.

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September 21_8

September 21_9

September 21_10

I absolutely love looking at these pages. I love seeing how much the kids have grown and remembering how much fun we had last summer.  Last year, Gabe had baby teeth! This year he's got a big kid smile. Looking back reminds me how much I love this project and that inspires me to keep going. There is no such thing as too much inspiration - at least in my world.

Thanks for stopping by!

Cathie


Monday, 19 September 2016

Mixed Media Monday:He & She

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 decided to scrap a photo that has been sitting in my "to-do" pile for ages. It's a photo of my mom with her older brother. They were best friends as kids and they are still are today. It's the perfect story to scrapbook. Here's a look at this week's layout.

Sept 19_1

I decided to use the new Prima Color Bloom 2 Sprays instead of heritage colors like browns and greys. This color blue is my mom's favorite color and it worked so well with the photo. This isn't the original photo, by the way, it's a reprint. I have scanned some of my family's older photos so that they are not lost if anything happens to the original and so that I can scrapbook them without worrying about damaging the photo.

Supply List:

Heavy Gesso - Art Basics (Prima)
Watercolor Paper  (Canson)
Harlequin Stencil  (Prima)
Mixed Media Silicon Brush  (Prima)
Light Modeling Paste - Art Basics (Prima)
Soft Gloss Gel - Art Basics (Prima)
Color Bloom 2 Spray Inks - Dragonfly Blue and Fairy Pond
Water Soluble Oil Pastels (Prima)

Pattern Paper: Archivist and Finnabair Collections (Prima)
Thread: White Gold and Gold (Guterman)
Embossing Enamel - Chunky White (Frantage)
VersaMark Ink Pad - Tsukineko

Art Sugar : White - Art Ingredients (Prima)
Glass Beads: Licorice - Art Ingredients (Prima)
Wood Veneer Stars - discontinued (Studio Calico)
Doily
Old Paint Brush

Instructions:

1. Gesso. Apply gesso to background using a silicon brush or palette knife. 

2. Apply modeling paste through stencil. I used my silicon brush to put Light Modeling Paste on my background through the Harlequin stencil. Set aside to dry.

3. Spray ink. I started spraying the lighter Fairy Pond spray ink first. I like the colors to blend and the trick is to use a lot of ink. Spray until there are pools of ink on the page. Then I added a little of the darker Dragonfly Blue to the background. Then set aside to dry or dry with a heat gun.

Sept 19_2

4.  Gesso Ghosting - New Technique. Place your stencil back over the background and paint with gesso. I used an old paint brush to paint the gesso on the background. The spray ink was dry and I used the same stencil that I had used in Step 2. I only wanted gesso on the raised the image so the stencil worked as a mask and helped me control where I painted the gesso. This creates a subtle tone on tone effect but I love it.

Tip: Your ink must be completely dry before you start this step. It won't work if the ink is wet. 

ps: I'm sure I'm not the first one to every try "gesso ghosting". I'm calling it a new technique because it's new to me and it's the first time I'm sharing it here. 

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Sept 19_4

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Here's what it looks like when you're done.

Sept 19_6

5. Embellish. This week, I added some shading around the diamonds with the Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels. I colored directly on my background and blended it in with my fingers.  I also added some Chunky White Stampendous Embossing Enamel. I didn't want to add white ink because the Prima Color Bloom 2 sprays react whenever they get wet. If I used white ink, the Color Bloom sprays would have reacted with the ink and turned it blue. I pressed my VersaMark pad onto my background and sprinkled the embossing enamel on top. Then I used my heat gun to melt the embossing enamel.

Sept 19_7

I added the beads, wood veneer stars and white Art Sugar with some Soft Gloss Gel on a brush. It's so easy to control where things are going when you use a brush. I didn't want to overload the layout with embellishments so I stopped there.

I'm so happy with how this page turned out. I can hardly wait to show it to my mom. Maybe I'll get her to add some journaling to the back. Wouldn't that be great?

I hope you find some time to make something this week.

Thanks for stopping by.

Cathie

Friday, 16 September 2016

Art Journal Joy: Mini Art Journal Challenge Week 2

There's been a lot of acrylic paint this week. I prefer to use acrylic paint in this mini art journal because the paper is just too thin for watercolors. Otherwise, the books are holding up surprising well. I wasn't sure that these mini journals would be up to the full mixed media experience but so far the spine is intact and there isn't any seepage in between pages. I haven't used any masking tape to reinforce anything either. It's great.

If you're curious about last week's pages and the journals I'm using you can read all about it in last week's post

Here's a closer look at this week's pages.

Still inspired by flowers, I made this sunflower inspired page. I think it looks more like a gerbera daisy. Either way, I used a palette knife to get the shape of the flower and then used my fingers to blend in more color. 

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I love the texture on this one.

Sept 16_14

I had a lot of fun making the blue background for this page. Lots of mixing and blending with my fingers. I made the flower by cutting up joint tape. I have a few rolls in my stash that I'm hoarding. You can't get this stuff in Canada so I had my husband pickup some up the last time he was in the US on business. He's the best!

Sept 16_1

I cut and layered the petals to create the flower. I just kept going until I liked the size of my flower.

Sept 16_2

This background was another experiment in finger painting. It's so much fun but you go through a lot of wipes. I cut the flowers from manila shipping tags that I keep on my desk. I swipe any acrylic paint that's leftover from a project onto the tags. I'm not trying to make anything but they look pretty. I cut up the tags and made these flowers. This is one of my favorite pages so far.

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Sept 16_4

Sadly, this page met with disaster and stuck together.

Sept 16_5

I still have the photo I posted on Instagram so this is what it looked like before. I have been using Dorland's wax medium on all my pages with acrylic paint to keep them from sticking together and it works fine. This page was made with India Ink so either the wax doesn't on India Ink or I didn't put enough on the page.

Sept 16_6

And now for something completely different...

Sept 16_7

I love this page. It's my other favorite page this month. I could look at it for ages. I painted with my fingers and added marks and doodles. It came together so easily.

Sept 16_8

I tried another abstract piece the next day. I didn't have as much time so it doesn't have as many details. The color palette is more subdued and I think I would like it better if it were more colorful.

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Sept 16_12

Here's my last page. I painted an abstract background and then painted the pod/tree shapes in Liquitex Acrylic Ink - Carbon Black with a brush. Then I added a wash of white paint to the background to knock it all back. When all the paint was dry, I added some marks and doodles with the Carbon Black acrylic ink.

Sept 16_9

Sept 16_10

I am at the mid-way point for this challenge and it's getting harder to start pages. It feels like I'm running out of ideas and I don't have a lot time to sit down and come up with some more. Life is busy with all kinds of new responsibilities like school pick-ups and after-school activities and it's taking a lot of my time and attention. It's hard to be creative when I'm rushed for time.

It would be easy to stop this challenge or take a break or cheat and make a bunch of pages on the weekend when I have more time but I'm not going to do that. Something similar happened last month with my watercolor flower challenge. Halfway through I found it really hard but I kept going and it got easier and I created some of my favourite pages. I'm betting on the same thing happening this month so I'm going to keep going. Wish me luck!

If you want to see my daily progress, you can find me posting these pages and other creative endeavours on Instagram. My handle there is @cathiereed.

I hope you have some time this weekend to make something that makes you happy.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Cathie