Monday, July 15, 2019

Twinkle Twinkle by Suzanne Franin

Hey Everyone

This project for Embellish With Flair was a fun little project 
Using one of the flairs from the Galaxy, Moon & Stars set 

I used Little Birdie Embossing Texture Paste Aquatini through the stencil then once I heated it so puffed I went over the whole thing with black gesso
After that I used Finnabair's Art Alchemy Sparks Raven Black paint over the background

 Then brushed some Finnabair's Art Alchemy Sparks Unicorns Hair paint over the embossed area and painted the stars with it as well
 I used Finnabair's Art Alchemy Dragons Eye paint over the metal moon 
I used a Tim Holtz sticker onto to add an extra touch
 Inside you can see the clear plastic stars which are from Memory Maze 
I added some clear gems I had in my stash and to pick up on the blue in the flair I added some Art Ingredients Glass Glitter in Platinum
Here you can see all the bits that make it like a shaker box but it's going to get hung up so it all sparkles

From the Store

Thank you for visiting and I hope you come back soon x

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

A Bit Steampunk

Hi all

I had fun trying my hand at steampunk this time using these very cute cog flairs

The papers from Stamperia were a perfect match for these flairs.
The chipboard are pieces I had from partly used packets. They are inked with pine cone ink then finished with a combination of distress crackle and sprays.
I have added accents by using black gesso and an arrow stencil. The final touch was just a little bit of copper leaf.

The photo is of my hubby when we visited the Chu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam last year, he was braver than me and went down into them.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Finding Inspiration Part 5 by Alex

Hello Lovely Flair Enthusiasts!

Alex here with the next installment of my Lost Mojo (or Finding Inspiration) series!  If you missed the first three installments, you can find them here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

As we continue our journey through the last few examples of getting inspiration from other artists' work,  we have just two more ways to look at.  Well, there are probably a lot more than that, but we have to stop at some point, right? πŸ˜‚

Today we’re looking at a SKETCH.  A sketch is a (very) much simplified page design with symbols as a guide rather than a completed scrapbook layout to scraplift.  Sort of like the blueprints of a house rather than photographs of a fully furnished and decorated home!

Sketches come in varying levels of detail and there is something for every crafter.  You just need to figure out the level of detail you're after.

Search the same places for “scrapbook sketch” as we looked at in Part 2 of this series and see what comes up.  You can be more specific by adding number of photos etc into the search bar.

Today I’m going a little bit outside of my comfort zone and using a slightly different kind of sketch (for me), but it still has places to put lots of details and layers if so desired.

With this sketch, (like any sketch) you can follow faithfully or change it around. 

The sketch I’m using comes from Cocoa Vanilla Studios and it was used as a challenge for (inter)National Scrapbook Day.  Since I didn’t get around to using it by the challenge deadline I’ll use it today.

Their Face Book page has an album with all the sketch entries on to and I love seeing everyone’s different takes on the sketch.

I’m not sure how it came about, but I decided I was going to do a gaming layout, and I have a seemingly bottomless pile of those photos to scrapbook!  πŸ™ˆ  It was simply what was talking to me at the time! 🀷

I also started looking through paper that might work with the story and ended up in my Cocoa Vanilla section.  Subconscious decision being their sketch perhaps?  🀷  They do incredible boy collections and "Boys Rule" is probably my favourite very closely followed by "You Rock".  I mostly used these lines along with a few bits of the "Imagine That" boy line by Echo Park, a few Bella Blvd papers with gaming motifs and a few other random bits.

What does immediately strike me with the sketch is that there isn’t a designated spot for journaling and since this is critical for me, I need to figure this out before getting carried away with embellishing.

At this point you can decide how literally to take the sketch - to use exactly as many layers as the sketch or more or less?  To use the same number of embellishments (and maybe even the exact same motifs) or more or less?  I went with my typical multiple layers, multiple embellies and instead of girly motifs like butterflies and flowers, you can see how I was able to make this sketch work as a very boyish layout.

I’m going to be a little predictable and keep the photo on the designated photo spot (it looks best here since he is facing a little towards the left), so I can have fun with as many little embellishment boxes as possible!  You could also substitute some of the smaller squares for extra photos if you wanted to. 

You could change the position of the boxes, mirror image the sketch, turn it upside down or change it to suit a different size page (eg 9x12 or 8.5 x 11).

The photo is this single, oddball, not-very-great-photo, but I never shy away from using these sorts of photos if they tell a story.  Using a sketch like this one I think slightly distracts from the imperfections of the photo, but I need to take care not to get it lost completely!  I printed the photo in both black and white and in colour.  Initially I preferred the b/w, but i definitely wanted to include red (which was in "You Rock", but not "Boys Rule" and a darker woodgrain since his bed takes up a fair amount of the image and it's a lovely warm brown timber sleigh bed.  "Boys Rule" had a great woodgrain paper which I used as a frame.  In the end I went with the coloured version.

I constructed all the little squares and the larger photo square separately before sticking them to the page (with the exception of a few finishing touches).  They're a great size for housing flair!  Metal flair badges have a great boyish vibe and give me the dimension and texture I crave on a layout.  More texture was added with machine stitching (yes, you can totally stitch right through the thickest chipboard frames and acetate and layers of paper...together even!).  You can also staple right through wood veneer elements! πŸ‘

I do struggle to use the various sized frames that come in embellishment packs or on their own.  I was determined to use as many as I could on this layout since the sketch really lent itself to them.  I pulled out frames in all kinds of finishes from acetate to chipboard to vellum.  I also seem to struggle with acetate embellishments especially those photo overlays by Crate Paper from at least five years ago.  I was determined to work some of those into my layers!

After trimming and adhering the white paper with the faux messy paint around the edge,  I decided I wanted to add some paste through a star stencil.  This necessitated masking off the woodgrain border (since the paste ended up being a bit of an afterthought).  I mixed white and pearlescent embossing pastes together as the pearl ones sometimes dry kinda silvery, but oddly my "franken-paste" dried kinda yellowish!  🀷 I also went to town with ink droplets in co-coordinating colours.  Most would end up covered and toned down.

I opted for embossing paste over modelling paste or texture paste since its the softest and knowing I was going to sew through it, it needed to have a bit of "give".  There was also the added benefit of popping up all my elements a little off the paper. πŸ‘

The down side is that if you're going to adhere anything to mixed media paste, you need a REALLY strong adhesive.  There are a few options, but my personal favourite is Glue Dots.  There are all sorts of Glue Dots for all kinds of purposes.  Permanent squares or dots (in the blue dispenser) are ideal to stick the finished squares to the background and also for adding embellishments on top of them like the flair, chipboard and wood veneer stars etc

Once I had the bones of my layout figured out, I put the sketch aside since there wasn't anything else I needed from it.  You may wish to do this sooner in your process if it diistracts or confuses you, or keep it in front of you right to the end.  There isn't a correct approach!

Three of the badges came from the "Gamer" set and I searched high and low for "Words 4" in my stash only to discover I don't have it yet (I think it's on its' way to me as we speak!) so I used one from "I Wanna Rock" to have 2 white and 2 black.



After sticking the layered embellishment clusters and photo cluster to the background,  I came in with the bulky embellishments and then smaller stickers, words stickers and finally a few enamel dots.  The embellishment clusters were so much fun to put together, but they did take a little while to do.

Overall, I'd say I stuck to the sketch reasonably faithfully while still keeping the elements in my pages that make them mine.  I tend to stick to sketches fairly closely when I do use them.  To me it's the whole point of using them, but as I outlined above, there are plenty of other approaches.  Sometimes the way my photo is composed means I mirror image the sketch or rotate it in some other direction to suit the composition better.  

Here's the finished layout!

One Sided Conversation

Do let me know if you have any questions in the comments or want to talk about how you like using sketches!

Embellish With Flair products used:

Love, and Embellish with Flair,

Alex xx

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Remembering Creativation

This January I was lucky enough to attend Creativation in Phoenix, USA. I got to meet and do classes with some of my favourite designers as well as see new products being released this year.
This photo was taken at the Tim Holtz stand, who I also got to meet. But the 2 ladies in the photo are friends from home who i had a great time travelling with.
I picked the flairs for this one as we took so many photos while away and did lots of instagramming.

The papers are from Cocoa Vanilla - Happiness

Monday, June 24, 2019

Gift Box by Suzanne Franin

Hey Everyone Suzanne here

This project for Embellish With Flair I had this box that I thought I would make into a nice gift box for a bracelet or watch, I have a few birthdays coming up so I'm sure it will come in handy

I then used Colour Blast Boho Mandala Stencil with 3D Matte Gel
 I painted the box with black gesso first to make sure any other layers would adhere to the box and then painted it with a different colour gold which I didn't like

 So then I painted it with one of Finnabair's Opal Magic Art Alchemy Paints - Yellow Pink which as you can see parts show up pink and yellow on the box 

 But on the paper clay embellishments that were painted with the black gesso only, they came out mainly pink
I love how these paints work

 This set of Flairs are one of my favourites they are just so pretty and can be used on almost anything and I thought it was perfect for a gift of any sort really - I could keep it for Mothers Day even

 I glued the paper clay bow to the twine so it can be taken off without having to ruin the box
 And as always there has to be a flower x

Embellish With Flair Products I used

Thank you for visiting and I hope you come back soon x

Monday, June 17, 2019

Finding Inspiration Part 4 by Alex

Hello Lovely Flair Enthusiasts!

Alex here with the next installment of my Lost Mojo (or Finding Inspiration) series!  If you missed the first three installments, you can find them here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Today we continue to look for inspiration in work by others.  The natural progression from scraplifting would probably be a sketch, but there is something a little in between.  I'm talking about CLASSES.  Classes offered by other crafters.  These can be either face-to-face or online.

I love online classes myself as they can be worked through at your own pace and access is usually life long.  I regularly sign up for classes by other crafters.  BUT WHY?? I hear you ask! You TEACH classes, so why TAKE classes?? πŸ€”

Well everyone's style is different.  I believe that you never stop learning and if you don't try something new, you'll never know whether it's "your thing" or not.  Even the most well known crafters or artists can misplace their mojo for a time, and taking a class can reignite it (not to mention supporting fellow artists).

Today's layout takes inspiration from Lesson One from a class I recently signed up for called "A Touch of Whimsy" by my dear friend Sara.  Before you ask, no I didn't sign up JUST because she's my friend!  Her style is VERY different to mine and I love what she makes, but it's definitely out of my comfort zone.

πŸ’‘Tip: Getting out of your comfort zone could be just what you need to get that mojo back!

I figured I'd better practice what I preach and since the last layout was a scraplift of Shimelle's (and I've taken many of her classes) which is very much within my comfort zone, I should probably show you something different!

One thing Shimelle does say about scraplifting or trying something quite different is that you still want to make it look like YOU made it when someone flips through the pages of your album. 

As a general rule.  if you've never taken an online class before, it's totally OK (and usually encouraged) to share what you make online and across the socials.  What's NOT OK is to share the actual videos, PDFs and images of the artist's layouts.  This is why I can't show you Sara's actual layout.  You may know her as Sara Scraps across the socials, but she put this little SNEAKY PEEK on her Insta so you kinda get an idea what it's about.

What do you think of when you hear the word "whimsy"?  Go ahead and tell me your thoughts in the comments.

My thoughts are:
Organic shapes rather than geometric
Curves vs sharp angles
Clouds and floaty stuff

Sara's first lesson in the class focuses on hand stitching or alternatives if you don't like to stitch.  As soon as I saw this I knew EXACTLY which photos and story I wanted to use.  I had set them aside for a layout I DID plan to hand stitch!!  What I hadn't planned on was having to SKETCH my stitching lines! 😬

Plan A was to ask my SmallCraftyDude to help, but he refused point blank upon learning I required hearts.  πŸ™„

Plan B was to use a cut file.  Paige Evans has many cut files with the holes already there for stitching, or use the pen holder in the Silhouette to get it to sketch the design in pencil and I poke the holes myself,  That's almost like not cheating, right?  πŸ˜‰

Plan Q, R or perhaps S was to put on my Big Girl pants and get on with it.  Sara gave me such encouragement (and I realized I wouldn't be setting the best example by cheating), so a whole white eraser later I decided to start poking holes before I changed my mind. πŸ’ͺ

So, what I had in my head was inspired by this layout by Flora Farkas using one of Paige's cut files.  Except I wanted more whimsy...and I promised I'd draw it myself.  You'll see how I take inspiration from Flora's layout without exactly scraplifting it, but it does incorporate at what we looked at in the previous post about scraplifting with this one.  While I'm not exactly scraplifting the layout Sara made in Lesson 1, it's a sort of mix of hers and Flora's and turning out to be unique in its own right. 

I needed both pink and purple so it would draw attention to the colour of the dresses my nieces are wearing in the photos.  The colour is pretty washed out being taken indoors with less than ideal lighting so I wanted to draw attention to it.  The story behind these photos is about their outfits as we watched the royal wedding last year at a high tea my sister organised.

Naturally there are flairs for every possible occasion in the Embellish With Flair shop and this set called Royal Crowns even had the perfect name! 😍😍😍

The background needed to be subtle.  A white tone-on-tone was definitely on the list, but I've always swooned over this subtle yet gorgeous ombre Paper 8 from Paige Evans' "Take Me Away" collection 😍

It’s at this point where I normally start layering photo mats like crazy.  I wasn’t sure what to do here.  I didn’t want the photo block to look too heavy, but I did need to add my own touches to make it my own.  I don’t usually stack multiple photo mats ups evenly.  It looks really formal and just not “right” for most of my stories.  And another thing - I’m not sure I could stack anything evenly if I tried! πŸ˜‚πŸ€·

πŸ’‘Tip: You don't have to copy a sketch, scraplift or class lesson down to the last detail.  You want to find the balance between trying something new and still being true to your style.

Since I was trying to keep the photo block reasonably small (not to cover too much of the painstakingly stitched background raiding my box of scraps (when a certain cat isn’t holding them hostage) is a perfect opportunity to pot a small dent in them!

Then I went through my die cuts and stickers and pulled out what I felt qualified as “whimsical”. I found a couple of frames from Paige Evans’ collections.  I struggle to use frames, but this time I was determined.  I backed them with patterned paper as I would a cut file and they formed a kind of bridge between the paper mats and the embellishments clusters.  

I love how most of the embellishments are small and paper based (die cuts or fussy cutting or stickers.  It makes them less heavy and more "whimsical".  I only used a single piece of chipboard and tried to keep the non paper elements delicate.

I was trying to be a little restrained there as well since part of the class lesson was to scatter little floaty bits along the stitched areas. I stitched down two butterflies with a cross stitch and attached the tiny metallic butterflies

The butterflies help make a connection between the metal flair and the more whimsical floaty elements and help them look more "at home".

Placement of embellishments was kind of decided for me since there were many areas of the stitched chains of hearts I was unhappy with. 

I put the journal in the space underneath in grey to make it less intrusive.  It’s more legible IRL I promise!  I picked an older set of Thickers by Dear Lizzy (going back to her Polka Dot Party collection) in white (trying to be soft and subtle yet girly at the same time).  Hands up if you have the song from Princess Diaries 2 in your head when you read the title? πŸ™‹πŸ˜‚

Since I was unable to decide between pearls or diamantes,  I used both!  Plenty of royal jewels mix the two so on they went!  I was in two minds as to whether to add any gold mist.  I know I’ve been doing a lot of it lately, but there is a bit of gold in the die cuts and stickers so I went with it.

Here's my final outcome and I'm not entirely displeased with it!  πŸ˜‚πŸ‘

It was a labour of love.  Most importantly,  I achieved my aim by started off with something which looked very different to what I'd normally make, yet I was able to mould it into something that looked like it was my work and included all the things I loved...and all from taking one class!

I do encourage you to try this approach whether it be Sara's class, a different online class or a face-to-face class if you are fortunate enough to be close enough to someone who offers them!

Crowning Glory


 Embellish With Flair products used: Royal Crowns

That's it for today!  Hope to see you again soon with another installment in the series (I promise we're almost done!)

Love and Embellish With Flair,

xx Alex