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:
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?? 🤔
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.
💡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. 🙄
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? 😉
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. 💪
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! 😂🤷
💡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? 🙋😂
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! 😂👍
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!
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,