Sunday, March 26, 2017

Black and White

If you visit here much at all, you know that I love mixing colors, patterns and textures.  It is my favorite thing about scrapbooking. But sometimesa challenge helps nudge (shove) me out of my box.  This week I came across two challenges that would take color (mostly) out of the mix. 

One of the March "Layout A Week" challenges at Studio Calico asked that you make black and white the focus of your project.  And one of the challenges at the Paper Issues Spring Crop called for a monochromatic layout.  So I went for it.....

I limited myself to black and white (and a little gold) for a layout.  And to be honest, I kind of love it.

I focused on mixing patterns and textures while trying to maintain a "light" feel.  The black plastic grid was from an ancient Studio Calico kit and had been hanging on my peg board forever.  When choosing papers I used two vellums (because they add lots of texture without adding much visual weight) and patterns that were predominantly white.  A chalkboard shipping tag added a different texture and a pop of black.  And the black and white photo really pulled it all together.

I'm not giving up all those pretty patterned papers but this was a fun exercise with a great end result.  And that nudge out of my box is the reason I love creative challenges.  It pushes me to try something different I never would have tried.

I hope you're finding your own scrappy time.  Try something new the next time you sit down to play.  You might just love what you make.

Sunday, March 5, 2017


Every once in a while a collection features a product that I fall in love with.  When American Crafts first introduced the Hazelwood collection (designed by 1Canoe2), the 12x12 sheet of wood veneer with the floral pattern caught my eye.  It was beautiful, but I just wasn't sure what I would do with it.
Naturally that didn't slow me down a bit - I got my hands on a piece at my first opportunity. My first thought was that I would use it as the base of a layout.  And honestly, I think that would be beautiful.  But in the end, I tried cutting it.  I used a box cutter in my craft room against a ruler to score it and then found it broke off quite nicely.  And that means I can use it as a unique layering element on my layouts - perfect to add dimension and texture.

But when I tried to use a piece on this layout, I found that the color didn't work well with the yellow patterned paper.  I was setting it aside when I thought about how Joanna Gaines is always treating wood and brick to maintain texture when refurbishing houses. (I am addicted to Fixer Upper lately and wish she would come fix up my house.) So I pulled out a tube of white acrylic paint and an old rag.  By squirting the paint directly on the piece of wood veneer I wanted to use and immediately wiping it off with a rag I created a whitewash look that made the veneer more neutral and a perfect layer for my project.

You still see the pretty floral pattern, but the effect is much softer.  After the paint was dry, I used a soft olive chalk ink on the edges to help add definition to my layers.  Here is the finished layout.

The wood adds all the dimension and texture I was looking for and still works well with the yellow tones in the patterned papers.  I knew all that time I spent watching HGTV would pay off.

I am planning lots of crafty time this afternoon.  I hope you find time to play today too.