Yesterday, in the mail, arrived an envelope from our local school district. Inside was Ethan's Kindergarten Supply List, orientation information, and the school year calendar. Sorting through the papers, I found it hard to not think of how quickly time has just flown by. My lil' guy is riding inside a big yellow bus in less that five weeks and going to the big kids school. He's terrified and excited at the same time. Truthfully, I'm anxious for him. It's a HUGE step and signifies a lot about how far we've come as mother, and son. I'd hoped for Eric to be with us, watching Ethan take his first step beyond the yellow doors, with backpack in tow and wearing his "first day" school gear. Instead, it'll be me, grandpa and grandma waving, parading around, and joyfully celebrating the moment. And what a moment it will be, too. Five weeks and counting...
I have a couple of design obligations in the works. I'm guesting for Gossamer Blue next month, and contributing to Jen Jockish's "Pop off the Page" class at Studio Calico. Wanted to get in a little extra fun before the start of the school year. :) These last couple of days, I've been crafting like crazy!! It still takes me three days to finish a layout. NOT normal! Laugh. I hope to have the above layout completed this evening. Won't tell ya what it's for, but you'll find out soon enough! :))
I've a small technique to show you from this latest project. It's not spectacularily new, or grand. I've not reivented the wheel by any means. Still, it opens the creative process to differing avenues. It's easily taken any direction, too.
Last week, during one of our random trips to home depot, I spotted a "file brush" made from metal brissels and a wooden handle. It's price tag - $5.99. Instantly, I thought it the ideal tool for distressing paper, so I took it home.
A test trial of distressing ensued. My first attempt at using the brush failed. I used the brush face down. It hadn't done much damage. My second attemp, turned out slightly better. I held the brush at an angle. Some of the paper's surface was removed. Finally, the third attempt brought huge success! Once again, I held it at an angle, though this time, I increased the pressure while moving the brush back and forth. Walla! The paper's surface finally started to take on a greater number of distress marks. Looks like I found myself a new distress tool - Metal File Cleaner!!
I have to apologize, I didn't photograph the file cleaner, but I'd used the file to distress my layout's background before starting the paint application process I'm about to explain. And that's where the fun begins - time to paint! :))
One solid area of paint is often fine, but it wasn't the look I was striving for here. The layout called for something more subtle, crosshatching. To create the effect, I chose an abandoned "Blick's" customer loyalty card and a couple of different colored acrylic paints; White & Hot Pink.
First, apply spots of paint onto a disposable plate, white & pink, next to each other. Intermix the colors sparingly. With a small sampling of the two paints colors on the card's bottom edge, scrape the paint along the surface of the patterned paper. Do so in multiple directions throughout. Follow up the painted sections with strong, defined lines of the bolder color. Don't smear them. Just tap the card down onto the paper and pull back up. Apply more paint to the card as needed. Eventually, crosshatches will form. Watch closely as to the location of your lines. Don't go overboard. In the end, the result is a distinctive, playful background for you to build on.
I applied a small sprinkling of gold, pink and navy blue mist after the paint had dried. I'll have a picture of that for you in the very near future..after the project reaches it's destination :)) The layout is super cute!!
After this messy process was finished, I pulled out my camera and took a couple of photos of my work area..I haven't shared the space here in awhile. Thought you might be curious. Be warned, it's far from clean!
Product Piles. I live beneath them. They dominate my desk, always. I switch them out as needed. Everything is sorted by product type; word stickers, label stickers, rub-ons, die-cut labels, 3-D embellishments, flowers, epoxy stickers, etc. Surrounding me are drawers filled to the brink with categorized supplies, mostly smaller items like chipboard pieces, flower die-cuts, transparency pieces, etc. All are color coordinated, as well. Makes crafting so much easier!!
My washi tape collection is 'nil. That's ok with me 'cause I don't use it a ton. It's always out, at my disposal :)
Layering/collage is more manageable when one has options. An assortment of die-cut journaling spots are the best little puzzle pieces for forming a large network of embellishments. They're often the base for everything else. And very rarely do I use them as a whole. I cut snippets from them depending on their use and where they fit within the grand scheme of things. They look lovely together, don't they?
I have a secret to share with you that's going to make you're scrapbook life a LOT easier!! I figured this out just recently after AC kept sending me stacks of mixed cardstock. If you have the extra space, leave out a sizable selection of cardstock papers on your desk for constant use. In doing so, you avoid having to revisit your cardstock collection, which is more than likely, on the other side of your scrapbook room! If I'm looking for a specific colored cardstock, I scan the pile of cardstock papers"on the desk" and usually, the color is right there! I love it! And guess what?! No having to put back paper..not cardstock anyway. Add to it randomly, or when the pile of paper thins out. Don't forget neutrals!
And that brings us to the end! My weekend starts tomorrow as I'm taking off to spend some time with Ethan. We've plans to visit a water park or two, and maybe dip into ice cream cone from our favorite ice cream shop, Izzy's :)) Take care! Have a great rest of the week, friends!