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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Where Did She Go? Step-by-step by Alison Callcott

“Where did she go?” By Alison Callcott


If you are anything like me, when creating a LO you place everything down on your cardstock, sort of working from the bottom layer up, and fiddling with things as you go. Then to stick it all down you have to remove everything off the cardstock and (if you’re really like me LOL!) use the photo you’ve taken of your LO as a guide for sticking everything back down and (if you are me, which is a scary thought) trying to also follow a complicated grid of pencil markings which products and paper are supposed to line up with but never end up doing. Oh and then of course you have to remember at some point to carefully inspect the LO for any pencil markings that need to be removed. Sound frustrating? You bet it is! Sound time consuming? You’ve got it!! So for this LO I decided to try something different. I decided to work from my photo down to the cardstock. In other words, I adhered each layer to the next as I went, until finally I reached the cardstock. The embellishing bit came later. Yes it was terrifying, and yes I was anxious because in the end I really didn’t know what my LO was going to look like, whereas scrapping the way I ordinarily do, I have all the fine details down on paper (well actually in my camera to copy from!). In this instance, I’m going to give you-step by-step directions for my LO (yes with photos!) but I really do encourage you to give this style of scrapping a go. Is it for me? I don’t know. Is it for you? I don’t know. Was it a challenge? Yes. And let’s face it, who doesn’t like a good challenge?

Materials list …
* 12x12” cardstock and off-cut
* four sheets of double-sided co-ordinating patterned paper
* a journaling spot
* alphas for your title
* various embellishments (try to get a good mixture of textures, including ribbon)
* a die-cutter and dies or punches, including a good-sized circle punch and leaf punch
* Distress Inks
* an envelope (huh?) – 11.5x16cm (sorry I can’t remember what card size that is)
* 4x6” portrait photo
* double-sided tape
* sponge daubers (or similar)

Jumping in the deep end …

Okay, so pick up your photo and stare at it, for a very long time, trying to envisage sort of how you kind of hope, perhaps your LO maybe might turn out, if you’re lucky. Once you’ve got it (if you get it!), file this image away in your memory (yeah right!) and get to it!

The story behind my photo of my gorgeous Magoo is kind of daggy and not one I wanted to share with ‘just anyone’ looking through my albums (because of its daggy-ness LOL). So I needed to create a hidden journaling spot, and one in which I could place ephemera. Also the colours in my deliberately washed out photo were a little bland and I wanted to give it some warmth. So out came the envelope and the Distress Inks.

Measure the back of your envelope with the flap open and cut a piece of cardstock (from the off-cut) to size. Measure and mark the centre of the length of your piece of cardstock and using the circle punch, punch a half circle in the centre. Adhere the piece of cardstock to the back of the envelope ensuring that you do so with the envelope flap remaining open. The semi circle should face in towards the flap. Once done you have effectively hidden the back of the envelope (on which we will journal) and created a spot to put further journaling or ephemera inside the envelope.





This next step is very important. We are going to use the envelope as the mat for our photo. Further, we are going to use the envelope flap to adhere the envelope to our LO. Accordingly, whichever direction you want your hidden journaling to open out will determine how you position your photo on the envelope. The flap serves as your ‘hinge’. Once you have worked out which direction your envelope will open out, adhere your photo, centrally, on the envelope. (If your photo was slightly smaller than 6” you could place your photo higher up on the envelope to create a small journaling space beneath the photo where perhaps you could place a date or a name of where the picture was taken.)

Now that your photo is attached to the envelope, it’s time to start working on enhancing your photo and mat. Using the lighter of the two Distress Inks and a sponge dauber, firmly tap the dauber on the inkpad, and in a circular motion lightly apply the ink to the edges of the mat and photo. It is always best to start lightly and then increase the intensity of the colour as you build the layers of ink. I took the ink quite some way into the photo to create a soft, subtle frame around my subject. Once you are satisfied with the first layer of ink, its time to apply the darker of the two Distress Inks. Again using a sponge dauber, firmly tap the dauber on the inkpad, and in a circular motion lightly apply the ink to the edges of your photo and mat. In this instance I did not want a great deal of the darker ink on the photo and so pretty much confined it to the mat, giving the mat added definition.





Continuing with our photo mat made from the envelope, we need a piece of patterned paper to anchor the flap to, and another piece of patterned paper to cover the envelope flap. Both of these will then be adhered to a larger piece of patterned paper.

To anchor the envelope flap I cut a piece of patterned paper to 4¾x6¾”, heavily sanded the edges, and then adhered the outside of the envelope flap to the patterned paper on an angle.





To cover the envelope flap I cut a piece of patterned paper to 8½x6 ¼”, inked the edges, and then stuck that on top of the envelope flap ensuring that I left just enough space for the envelope to continue to open and close easily.


Now that we have successfully disguised the envelope we can continue with the layering, again, working from the photo down to our cardstock base. From the two remaining pieces of patterned paper, cut one piece measuring 8x9” from one, and from the other, two pieces measuring 6x2½” and 2¾x8½”. The larger piece is our next layer to which the ‘photo and envelope layer’ is adhered. The two smaller pieces I have thoroughly and lightly inked with a third Distress Ink and sponge dauber to bring their tone more in line with the colours of my LO. These are then adhered (from underneath) to the top left and bottom right corners of the 8x9” patterned paper.



Important: By now you will have seen why we are using double-sided tape. Working from one layer to the next it is not always possible to immediately predict where the adhesive will need to go. What is important to remember though is that as you adhere each layer to the next, that you do not expose unwanted (at that time) double-sided tape as you will otherwise most likely end up with patterned paper stuck in places you really don’t want it to, in addition to picking up other bits and pieces (and if you’re scrapping at my place, most likely dust) from your working area. See photos above.

The final step in our layering process is to attach the entire constructed piece to your background cardstock and to start adding your embellishments. It was around about this time I remembered that I had a journaling spot I wanted to include amongst my layers of patterned paper. After generously inking the entire surface of the card with a Distress Ink and sponge dauber to tone it down I carefully used a Lil’ Chizzler to lift the patterned paper (where it had been adhered with double-sided tape) and slid my journaling card into place.



The photo above shows that I created a staggered ‘base’ for my embellishments from chipboard and felt accents. Because of the nature (literally LOL!) of the photo I wanted my embellishments to be dimensional and tactile. So although we created the bulk of our LO working from the photo down to the cardstock, the embellishments we were going to build from the base up. A few pointers when working with the type of embellishments shown:

* Unless you don’t mind having char marks on your LO, clean the edges of your laser cut chipboard. I find using cotton buds and a large stippling brush the most practical and efficient. The cotton bud I use on the edges and basically anywhere it will fit. The stippling brush is for those difficult to reach places. All I do is lay the chipboard on a piece of scrap paper and firmly ‘brush’ the chipboard in a circular motion. This is fabulous for getting into tiny spaces and difficult to reach spaces.

* Use Distress Inks to change the colour of your felt embellishments if they don’t match the colour tone of your LO. In this instance the cream Prima felt stem was too stark, so I toned it down by lightly applying Distress Ink with a sponge dauber.

* When attaching anything intricate and self-adhesive, do so section by section. If you remove the backing all in one go and if you’re a klutz like me, you’ll most likely end up with the embellishment sticking to itself and eventually ending up in the bin.




The next embellishment I wanted to use was a Prima Flutter Vines however I only had one in my stash, the Pacific Blue one. Fabulous if I was creating a tropical LO or something else bright and funky, but it so did not suit the colours I was using. Yet it was the perfect embellishment. It was three dimensional, was basically a stick with leaves (perfect!) and because it was flexible I could position one of the curly bits to overlap a corner of my photo to act as a natural ‘photo anchor’ to prevent my hidden journaling from falling open. But what about that gorgeous, but so not right, colour? Distress Inks were the answer. Using the Distress Inks with aqua brushes and a Ranger Non-Stick Craft Sheet, I completely altered the colours of the Prima Flutter Vine. I worked with two Distress Inks. The paler of the two I used to tone down the bright lime green leaves. The darker of the two I used to change the colours of the butterflies and the flower buds. Doing so was simple. By firmly pressing your inkpad onto the Craft Sheet, you transfer the ink. This ink can then easily be ‘picked up’ by the aqua brushes.


Because Distress Inks are water based, the aqua brushes help to blend the inks on the surface to which they are being applied. I found this particularly useful when trying to get deep into the flower buds. By gently squeezing the aqua brush (pre loaded with ink ‘picked up’ from the Craft Sheet) at the top centre of the flower buds, a small amount of water would be dispersed, taking with it the ink on the brush tip.

Once my Prima Flutter Vine was dried I attached it to the LO using staples and then continued with the last three steps to complete the LO.

* I applied double-sided tape to the back of some very textural ribbon and adhered it around the base of my embellishments. As I adhered it I randomly scrunched and pleated it to give it a three dimensional effect. (I wanted sections to ‘stick out’ from the embellishments cluster.)

* I die-cut various leaf shapes from the reverse side of the patterned papers I had used. To give them added dimension I folded them in different areas so I could mould them into shape. These were randomly stuck down on top of the textural ribbon with double-sided tape. This served two purposes – the exposed double-sided tape from the textural ribbon was covered and the sections that had been exposed became attached to the double-sided tape on the back of the leaves, ensuring the leaves were securely attached.

* I added my title.

Voila! My LO was complete. I was thrilled with the result. I was a basket case (LOL) by the end having worked from the top down, but it had been relatively quick (well more so than usual) and kind of fun. I will definitely be giving this method of scrapping a go in the future and would love to see your LOs in the gallery if you decide to give this a go yourself.
Alz :)



Materials List
* 12x12 Kraft cardstock and off-cut
* Cosmo Cricket Earth Love patterned paper – Recycle, Reuse
* K&Co Carolyn Gavin Greenhouse patterned paper – Mat Pad and 8.5x8.5” Designer Paper Pad
* Kaiser cards – Wheat (envelope only)
* Webster’s Pages Day of the Week journaling card - Nature
* Sizzix die – Leaves #2
* Scrapware KDD Trees (small)
* Prima Felt Stems – brown, cream
* Prima Flutter Vines – Pacific Blue
* Woven, hole ribbon – green
* Tim Holtz Distress Inks – Walnut Stain, Peeled Paint and Scattered Straw
* American Crafts Thickers – Daydream (foam, brown)
* Making Memories staples
* Zig Writer – Evergreen
* 1¾” circle punch

3 comments:

Melinda Spinks said...

Alison, firstly I love the layout, it came together beautifully, and such a wonderful rural feel about it. Secondly, I laughed all the way through your introduction. You and I must be complete opposites because I scrap from the photo down always! I have tried and tried to lay everything down on the cardstock first and build it up but it just never works. LOL! Thanks for the giggle!

Sarah Rickard said...

Alz - gorgeous layout!

Susan said...

Alz, this is incredible - love the 3d effect you created and adore the hidden envelope idea! I too scrap from the bottom up, so must try this top down approach. I like the sound of it! I giggled through your commentary too and you were so clear about how you took each step - thank you!!