Friday, 29 September 2017

Mega Adventure card sep 2017

I'm still enjoying the Cardz4guys challenges but it really forces my brain to THINK and often outside the box to get something original.

This one was no exception. Architectural. Houses are pretty boring subject for a card for a kid. You want a card that is exciting and ninja cool. But I don't have any ninjas. So this is what I came up with. I would have preferred some more exciting animals than seagulls and a seal (let's face it - James Bond never dueled with a seal), but it was tricky with what I have in my stash! The 'house' I ended up with I felt was a cross between a palace and a tower and feels a little like some mansion in Magnum PI or some exotic destination like the Bahamas?

I faked the sense of height for the building by placing the palm trees either side - and just their tops.  I kept the colour palette sitting in the greens and blues and sandy colours. By placing the building up close and personal, the little beach isle in the middle and the mountains in the back, this gives a sense of depth.

Another digi boys card bites the dust.

Card - Mega Adventure - digi - Sep 2017 - Cardz4guys

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Creating a Palette for a Scrapbooking Challenge

I just thought I'd share what I do to create a palette for a scrapbooking challenge or for art in general. Of course, this is only required where the challenge doesn't have a palette supplied that you have to use. If the challenge has an inspirational photo or collection of items, you can use this method on them. If it only has a black and white sketch, then you can use your photo or photos to create the palette.

It doesn't matter if I was creating an IRL page or a digi one - creating the palette is the same. You can do it with your eye, or use paint swatches (I used to use my Bazzill paper swatches). This ensures you end up with a page that is inspired by the colours in the challenge example or your photos. Of course, some challenges don't require you to use the colours in the challenge, but I always like to because it makes it more challenging!

This is the Artastic September 2017 inspiration. You can see that
I've used the Eyedropper Tool to select the colours from the inspiration
photo to create my palette on the right. I can edit these until I am happy with them
If I was using paint swatches them I would put them over the photo, find
the right one, and then cut it out and stick it and the other colours I
choose together so I can match my scrapbooking supplies to them.

Step 1 - Look at the inspiration photo 
This sounds simple right? But most of us look at a photo and see the things in it; the beach, the sea, the umbrella, the cliffs, the people. Not the colours. Nor the balance of colours. To create a palette you need to focus on the colours and the balance of colours. And you need to reduce the colours to a workable palette that is still recognisable to your inspirational (inspiro) photo.

For the example above look at the whole painting. Not just the centre.

Step 2 - Look at the colours
Again, this sounds simple but most of us focus on the dark or the light only and forget the rest of the colours in the picture.

For the example above look at all the warm colours in the painting. There are actually no pure whites, and no blacks - just dark purples and very light green or sand colours. This gives an afternoon feel to the picture.  The foreground is made up of pink, orange, yellows and mauves, whereas the background is dark purples, greens and distant mauve hills. There is a touch of pale green in the umbrella.

Step 3 - Look at the balance of colours
Is there more blue than green? Is there only a tiny bit of orange? Which colours make up the majority of the photo? Are they dark or light colours? Which colours will make my photos pop the most? If I stand back from the photo, what colours do I actually see? What shades are these colours?

For the example above I gave a serious look at how much of each colour is present (and sometimes where it is). For example, the turquoise blue water and the blue sky take up about 50% of the painting. The only colours combined make up the other 50%. So I would pick blue and use it in 50% of my layout. The very darks are mainly in the background.

Step 4 - Select your palette
I use a digital application for this. Most graphics software these days have the Eye Drop tool. You basically bring up your photo, click on the tool, and click on the colour in the picture, and that colour shows up in the Paint Bucket for you to fill in somewhere (I use squares) to create the first colour in your palette. I usually try to keep my palette down to 5-7 colours only. This includes black, grey, or white if they are present or if I feel they will help balance the layout. I don't always include black, grey or white either - like the example above - I was most inspired by this painting BECAUSE it didn't have any white in it (or very very little) so why would I add white to my palette?

Before finalising my palette using this method I will look back to my original photo. Does this palette capture the colours that I really loved in the photo? Have I got the essence of it? Which colour could I switch out for a different colour?

For the example above I picked the turquoise blue from the ocean, the pink-red from the beach, the pink from the beach, the yellow from the beach, the pale yellow from the beach and the dark purple from the background. 

Step 5 - Print your palette
I have my squares of colour now, so I either copy and paste them into a document and print them, or copy and paste them into a digi layout.

Step 6 - Using your palette for your layout/artwork
Now I can use my palette to herd my elements and papers together to create my page whether it be IRL or a digi layout.

This is my page using the palette I created - See the
balance of colours? The colours from my palette?

Step 7 - tricks
Yes - there are always another way of doing things. There are some tricks, even when creating palettes. We have full control over our photos these days - you can scan them or print them any way you like. Tricks include :
* changing your photo to high contrast so there is more white (or black) in it.
* changing your photo to black and white (this can also assist with mood. If you're looking for moody of course)
* reducing your colour palette to one colour with black, white and/or grey (particularly if your photo has alot of colours in it)

This page is enhanced (I think) by using a black and white photo
because there is so much black and white in the background.
It also helps make the ice blue standing out

The bright colours and white background are enhanced
by using very high contrast photos which change
the singlet the baby is wearing into a light
source. Leaving the photos as was would have
made it too dark.
Layouts created with a colour palette are more
cohesive and easier on the eyes than a rainbow
of colours splashed across the page (unless you wanted
a rainbow that is)

lots and lots and lots and lots Sept 2017


Archiscraps Sept 2017 challenge was challenging. I've got lots of 'collections' and interests that would fit as well as love alot of scrap products like patterned papers, flowers and buttons. What to hone in on? What to do the page on?

And there was the inspiration to think of. All those little houses and almost a christmas page palette of warm reds and greens and creams.

I kept thinking of the theme.. lots of something. And then I remembered my stamp collections, and in particular my (previous?) obession with Queen Head stamps. I don't even know if its a legit thematic collection theme but from when I was little and Dad would get postcards and letters from his relatives in England I was fascinated by this little stamps, which, unlike our Australian coinage, the 'Queens Head' never got any older on the stamps.The colours. The variations. And over the years, the Queen Heads stamps changed with the change in postage across to stickers and first and second class and a myriad of other things. Some stamps were larger, but I really liked the small ones best.

I think this is where I first got a taste of design colours other than the common kiddy red, blue, green and yellow that I was accustomed to. I soak hundreds of used Queen Heads stamps over the years. And all my other thematic collections and picking up unusual or errors in stamps came from this collection.

Queen Heads? digi scrapbooking layout Archiscraps Sept 2017

Archiscraps inspiration plus 'lots of something'

I will come back later and put my page ingredients in.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Feeling Good and Sad together is ok

I found the CSI #238 challenge particularly challenging this time. Especially as when I read the Sept prompts and saw "7. the last thing I felt guilty about" which was so recent and topical for me, then I couldn't think of anything else for the page.

So I added black to the palette to give that balance of light and dark and then pushed together anything that 'felt right' from there. I'm hoping the page still has a sense of once upon a time... about it even though its not fairytale or book related.

The text reads : "The last time I felt guilty was just last Friday when I found out that a friend from work had finally died from cancer after a very long illness. I felt guilty for being happy that week - happy that I had won something that I had worked really hard for and was proud of. I questioned myself for being happy when someone I knew and had history with died that week and now I felt both sad and happy side by side. I got some grief counselling and then I discovered you can be both happy and sad at the same time for different reasons and that’s ok."

CSI challenge 238 'Guilty' digi layout Sep 2017

Testimony: September Prompt : no 7, Scheme - yes, plus black, Evidence:  polka dots, animal print, text print/book pages, animals, flowers/trees/leaves, enamel dot

Ingredients : Far Far Hlls Freebies kit Scary And Dark 007 (background paper with writing), K Hartley Wildflowers - red letters (changed to orange), PGP Anemone - flower 2, Aliya Because of You Element 20a (white flower), [Lara’s Digital World Bye Bye Summer Elements 1 - petals, Flower 2 (blue)], ADS Dancing Leaves Patterned Leaf 13, Far Far Hills Freebies Kit Nocturne Element 9 (thread circles), The Dusty Attic DA0547 wrought iron trim set piece 1, Melike Designs Horses Silhouettes Clipart horses no 3 and no 8, Angie Young ‘Get Crafty’ collage sheet 36 (butterfly enamel dot), Palette 75 giveaway - jewel1, Feli Designs Inner Peace Polka bow, Melike Designs Islands Trees Clipart Pack no 10 (silhouette tree),  freebie bad pink ems (changed to blue).

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Proud - Sept 2017

The Artastic challenge for September 2017 was really inspiring to me. All those warm colours - and no white! I really wanted to do a page for this one.

My August had been a series of serious fitness training, in some cases I did 9 sessions a week to try and get 20 session in 27 days (though I was secretly going for 27 sessions in 27 days). It alot of organisation and effort, but I did make this goal, and won my fitness group's challenge. When I was presented with the prize, I just felt so emotional and proud. I'd never really won anything which involved sports or fitness before. It was a totally new and wonderous feeling. So that's what my page is about.

Proud Sep 2017 - Artastic comp

Ingredients:  PrelestnayaP Designs Because of You kit Textured Papers no 9, A2z scraplets doodlet 02 chipboard swirl, Rachaels Designs Buttercups 2 and 5, Far Far Hills freebies kit For You no 0015 (daffodil), Far Far Hills Freebies Kit Nocturne element 1 (red-pink flower head), Feli Designs Inner Peace fabric flower (purple flower), Armina  Designs Splatters Brush 1e, GELD Scraped Brushes no 4, K Cronin Barrow Christmas Wish Joyful - star trail, etc

Artastic inspiration

Monday, 4 September 2017

Krafty challenge

I was invited to be Guest Designer at Kraft+1 which I've really enjoyed getting back into after switching to digi.

Check out their September Challenge :

I loved the challenge but couldn't seem to incorporate the yellow with my bee pictures so I used pink and orange instead. I tried to 'fake' kraft coloured card inbehind the photos and put the honeycomb patterned paper over the kraft background.

I have great memories of kraft card because when I started IRL scrapbooking kraft was 'in' and the best thing since sliced bread. So I have lots of practise of creating Kraft pages. The challenge also reminded me of 'my honey story' so that's what I used as my journalling focus.

I spent some time taking these photos of this bee on my succulent flowers and am glad I can use them in this layout.

My Honey Story digi - Guest Designer - Kraft+1 Sept 2017


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