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

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

Thursday, June 13, 2019

A bit more modern with Heather

Good morning
This time I wanted to try something out of my comfort zone, so I got some of my mixed media products out and made this tag
I started by using a stencil and texture paste to put the pattern onto the tag. Once dry I painted it all with black gesso. Once that was dry I used a combination of red, teal and gold sprays.
I then layered the images and added the flairs.
And for those that know me know that I love to put big tulle bows on my projects to finish them off.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Mini Art Journal by Suzanne Franin

Hey Everyone Suzanne here

This time for Embellish With Flair I created a Mini Art Journal great to just throw in your back with some pens or a small watercolour palette and water pens if your travelling and don't have a lot of space or time to do get much done during the day but want to wind down at night with something 

With the background, I used a mini Wire stencil from Memory Maze with some 3D gel medium 
I then used some Mushy Peas Dylusions Paint but that was a bit light, so I then used Bottle Green and Azure Impasto from Finnabair for a mix
 I added some Vanilla Custard Dylusions Paint for the paper clay scroll and then glued the butterfly flair on top of that 
I also glued some other paper clay pieces that were broken bits from other things I'd made for a pop of white then glued the bead strand on top of them 
I painted the paper clay keyhole with Jade Impasto by Finnabair and added a key
Then added some word stickers to the cover
And that's it, it's ready to go travelling with

Embellish With Flair Products I used

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

Friday, May 31, 2019

Finding Inspiration Part 3 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 installments, you can find them here:
Part 1
Part 2

So what are we going to discuss today? I honestly didn't expect this to become quite the epic it has, but I'm hoping you're enjoying it (or at least the lovely flair on my layouts πŸ˜‰)

This is the bit when I think it's worth talking a bit about finding inspiration from OTHER PEOPLE.  I guess you'd say it's like pulling out the big guns if you're really stuck, or perhaps you always do this and there's nothing wrong with that.  There is one golden rule as far as I'm concerned, though and that it to always acknowledge your source or inspiration

There are various ways you can be inspired by other crafters - using a sketch created by someone else, "scraplifting" a finished layout or perhaps taking a class offered by another crafter.  I regularly use all three methods.

Sometimes, my chronic illness doesn't allow me to do the entire process so through trial and error I found that when I need to buy some time or energy, taking this first step out of the equation for me is key to having a finished layout and story told.

Today we'll have a look at scraplifting.  What's "scraplifting" I hear you ask?  While I dislike the term (it implies stealing), it's effectively copying someone else's project.  We're taught that's a big NoNo at school, but that's why people share their work online.  When you find a layout by another scrapbooker that you'd like to reproduce, or get inspiration from, there are endless degrees to which you can do this.

The layout I'm scraplifting is by Shimelle Laine.  Her "style" is pretty close to mine so I often am inspired by her work.  The layout I'm "scraplifting" is a few years old and can be found HERE.  I really recommend you have a look at it first.

Now I could reproduce this layout exactly if I wanted to since I have all the exact same supplies in my stash (I know! 🀦).  I've never done this though!  Not that her layout isn't perfect as it is, but I personally don't want mine to be a cookie cutter replica.  Where's the creativity?  Talking about creativity may seem like a luxury when your mojo is MIA, but I promise, once you get going you will see that your page starts to develop a mind of its own even if it's a pretty close scraplift.

I'd call mine pretty close.  I guess for me it is since I know how far (or not) I end up when I do this.  There are loads of examples on my blog.  If you click on the word "scraplifting" at the bottom of a post on my blog when I use it (like this one), it will bring up more entries.

You might deviate a lot more (and I have a layout in progress where my scraplift took on a mind of it's own which I will post when I revisit this topic later) or a lot less.  Both are absolutely OK!

So where to start?  The easiest way to stay true to the original is to choose a photo which is roughly the same size and orientation.  In this case it appears to be 4x6 in landscape.  Mine is a touch smaller.  The next thing is to pick supplies, but I do find that when scraplifting, the layout does tend to evolve so it's never quite that simple.

My process for this exercise was to first decide on my background paper.  I did toy with navy, but if I was going to use the black and white "Cats" flair badges I'd have to include at least some black which can be a challenge with navy, though not impossible.  I ended up choosing a dark grey which bridged the gap between black and the colour of the grey cat.  I also wanted the focus to be more on the colours of the box. 

If you read Shimelle's blog post and journaling, you'll see that rainbow and colour overall play a key aspect in her story, whereas in mine, the story is about the box in the photo, so emphasizing those specific colours made sense, but I did want to include somewhat of an array of bright colour (especially red of the box (and to a lesser extent blue)). 

Since my photo had far fewer colours than Shimelle's, and that initial pop of rainbow is what makes the dark background so striking, I did want to include some multicoloured paper with black (OK so it could be a very very dark navy in the triangle pattern but reads as black) as well as incorporating all the other colours I planned to use. 

I also ended up having to use more layers because it just didn't look "right" with fewer. 

This is what I mean when I say the layout starts taking on a life of its own!  I had to go back and search for various colours and add them in a few times! 

As you can tell, I deliberately curled up loose corners for texture!

I was also thinking embellishment at the same time.  I did want to use that same "delighted" die cut since it's a word frequently used in Regency society and had all the colours I was going to use! 

I wanted to use stitching like Shimelle, although mine was more for decorative purposes (except in a couple of places) rather than holding down notorious chipboard!  I like leaving loose threads if it suits the layout and anything to do with cats suits since they like string and yarn.

I wanted to use some gold also as a nod to the Regency era, so gold mist and gold detail on some of the embellishments worked with the Thickers.  Also...if you're going to stitch, make sure said mist is totally dry or else you'll have to cover up the smudges with the chipboard and enamel stars!! 🀦🀦🀦

I positioned the badges around the photo and picked mostly white ones to stand out.  I did have to use the one with a touch of red to again go back to the original chicken box element of the story!  Also, my son calls him "little man" so that sticker on the top left was perfect in all aspects. 

I'm sure you can figure out the connection between cats and birds/feathers.  It's one of the few times I use bird paper since I have a phobia and aversion to the things and quite frankly the connection freaks me out further, but 🀷.  Shimelle jokes that I'm the only one allowed to disike the birds she has included in her last few collections! 😳😳😳

Most people wont have any idea that all these little decisions relate to the story and my memory of the event, but I love all these little connections and they really make the memory complete in my mind.

Speaking of story...that cat is named Fitzwilliam (after the heartthrob hero), and there is also a character in the novel called Colonel Fitzwilliam!  Not who he was named after, but a good pun in light of the story being about the box!

So can you see how while I have scraplifted a layout, I've also used elements from the Part 1 and Part 2 of this series as well to help make the layout my own and just let the initial inspiration take me where it was going to lead. 

Colonel Fitzwilliam

Well thanks for sticking with me and hope to bring you another way to find that lost mojo very soon!

Embellish With Flair products used: Cats set

Love, and Embellish With Flair!

--Alex xx

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Not Fair by Suzanne Franin

Hey Everyone Suzanne here

This project for Embellish With Flair was inspired by the photo

This little one was not happy her sister was going to Kinder and she wasn't 
Such a sad little face, it breaks my heart

I used the Watercolour Flowers Flair set I love how they worked so well with the papers embellishments and I chose from the Happiness Range from Cocoa Vanilla Studio

With the tassle and tab I attached to a card so that her mum can write the story on it so they will always have the memory of that sad face

Embelish With Flair products I used

Watercolour Flowers

Thank you for visiting I hope you come back soon x

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Finding Inspiration Part 2 by Alex

Hello Lovely Flair Enthusiasts!

Alex here with the next installment of my Lost Mojo (or Finding Inspiration) series!  If you missed part 1 you can find it here.

Today we're talking colour.  I absolutely love colour and don't shy away from throwing lots and lots of it on my layouts!  So how can we use colour to get us out of a creative rut?

Are you a crafter who needs to start with a basic staple like white cardstock each time or do you prefer colour and or pattern? 

You can still be inspired by colour even if you are, for example, a white-sheet-of-cardstock-as-a-base scrapbooker.  You just need to keep this in mind while you pick out your other supplies in your chosen colour scheme

There are plenty of colour palettes all over the internet like Pinterest (we’ll touch on Pinterest a bit later) where someone else has come up with a selection of colours (usually to go along with an inspirational image.

You may wish to take colours from your photo, but you don’t have to.  It may seem like a strange idea, but it can work really well especially when the colours in your photo don’t relate to the story as it happened in your head or reflect how the event really was.  (Today’s layout is one of these!).  For example, a photo taken on an overcast wedding day (especially of its of guests rather than the bride and groom) wouldn’t be true to the story if created with similar colours!

So where to begin if you want to use colour to get your mojo going again?  Are there any specific colours that relate to your story or memory?  Today’s layout is one of many layouts of my son’s year 6 graduation.  I use his school colours throughout his “school” album: purple, aqua/turquoise and black.  I also use a fair bit of grey since it's one of my favourite neutrals and the boys’ school uniform has a lot of grey.  This doesn’t mean each page in that album uses those colours and only those colours.  Usually it incorporates one or more colours mixed with others to make new combinations while still giving a sense of continuity.

Doing a Google search for color scheme or colour palette (followed by the name of at least one colour) can give you sites like Magnet Street or Design Seeds for example. With colour palettes created by other people,  I prefer to search Pinterest and make boards for various albums where I have recurring colours. 

There are also sites like Coolors where there are random colour schemes constantly generated,  you can enter a colour to filter the colour schemes in the database,  adjust shades and hues,  pick colour schemes based on a photo and so much more!

I find that searching Google or Pinterest for one colour at a time gives better result than entering the whole string, but definitely try both and in between options.

So…for today’s example I did just that, but not at the very start of my process.  Firstly I got an idea when I saw these Embellish With Flair purple star badges.  I use stars as a motif in the school album, but even more so in the graduation photos.  For some reason I thought of cut files with a star in place of a letter like this super star cut file by Paige Evans.  I don’t use cut files on all my layouts, but it fit beautifully in one of his graduation layouts.  Especially when the star is turned into a shaker!! 

I decided to look through some of Paige's collections as a starting point.
πŸ“Tip when you get stuck: if you’ve made one decision, stay with the same manufacturer or designer as a starting point.

I got really excited when I saw paper 11 from Turn the Page collection.  Then I saw paper 19 and decided I was found to fussy cut both papers.  The back of this paper co-ordinated beautifully and I toyed with using it as a background, but I wanted my cut file and stars to stand out and the stripes might compete too much with everything else, but I hadn’t ruled it out.

In any case, the fussy cut stars in the “wrong” colours could be turned around and used anyway!  I did want more than just the aquas, greyish blues and greens.  I hoped to add purple and possibly something else.

I searched Pinterest for the terms colour palette and colour scheme with each of the colours and saved anything that grabbed my attention.  I really wanted to see how purple would look with these colours in an actual example to confirm how it linked up in my head.  Lots of times I imagine something and it simply doesn’t translate to paper the way I thought.

Most of the search results that come up on Pinterest are from Design Seeds.  You can visit their website directly and what I love most is that there is an image along with the colours they chose, so you can use the image and add more options for yourself.

 What I love about Pinterest is that you can make a board (even a secret one if you don’t anyone else to see it) and save what grabs your attention.  Like this cat.

It more or less had the colours I was after.  Another one of Paige’s collections has a very pale purple, but I wanted something a bit bolder so I kept looking and found these other palettes.

I figured that between the three I was set.  I was a bit disappointed not to find a new colour, but when I thought about all the shades of the ones I had, I probably had enough.  The exact greens in some of the palettes are way off, but it gives the general idea.  A more muted green needs a more muted purple, but in the case of this…the lime green goes really well with the bright purple.

So back to my layout.  I use a nested star cut file of Paige’s and cut different sized starts on the silhouette out of mostly purples, but a few more greens and aquas to.  I tried to pick papers where I could use both sides.

I cut my title and printed my photos then took a punch or two to the scraps to get some tiny and medium stars.

Shaker Pocket and backing the cut file - done!

Stitching some of the stars together for texture and interest - done


Once everything was in position, I used a ruler to mark out the area for the starburst and stuck down the stars.

I used the flair badges to make the centres of the letters such as R and P since they didn’t have them and the stars on the flair badges co-ordinated with the shaker pocket star A.  It's a lot of flair in a concentrated area, but they definitely stand out!

As much as I love piling on the embellishment, this page didn’t need a whole lot.  I used a little bit (for me), but even so, the whole page is practically covered which is NOT what I had in mind!  The title isn't the best choice for the specifics of the story.  On the surface it's about that bear, but on a deeper level it's about our relationship and I always think of him as my buddy and my superstar so while other stories of the night might have been better suited to this title, it's certainly not totally out of place.

Mama's Super Star

Embellish With Flair Product used: 3 Tone Stars Purples

That's all from me for this installment.  I hope it made sense.  Colour is such a vast topic!  If you have any questions, comment below! 

Love and Embellish With Flair,

-Alex xx