Layout: SnowMEN and a background attack

I think I can count on one hand the number of layouts I’ve redone.  But when something is in front of your face every day and it doesn't make your heart sing … it's time for a revamp.

Extreme Makeover

I have had this layout hanging on my wall unit ever since I made it, because I love the picture so much.  But as years have gone by, I continued to realize how much I disliked the original layout.  It was all pastel and not the least bit masculine.  It was one of those premade layout kits and it didn't feel one bit like my style or suitable to the picture.  So yes, I redid it.  Here goes!

before, ugh!

I wanted the more masculine colors first.  I chose the Aurora line from Prima to accomplish this.  The mix of browns, blues and greens is seasonless, but just right for a snowy day picture as well.

For the base of the page, I used Aurora 'Majestic Garden'.  I like the subtle pattern over the color infused background.  It is the kind of background I would make myself.  We'll touch on that later…  I'm not one to waste anything, so I cut a large circle out of the back of this piece of paper before putting anything on it.  I don't always do this.  But this paper is so pretty – I had plans for it.  LOL!

Cut it out! You thought I was kidding?

Then I cut the harlequin patterned paper, following the pattern around the edges.  The cut edges I inked with Colobox Chalk Ink in Chestnut Roan (dark brown).  Adhere this to the base, in the center of the page.

I cut a 14" length of striped ribbon and adhered it to the right side and around tucked the ends around the back of the layout.

Use the Aurora alphabet epoxy stickers to spell 'SNOWMEN' vertically along the cut edge of the paper.

Cut a piece of 1 1/2" x 7" striped paper from the Aurora 'Earthen Lights' pattern.  Ink cut edges.  Place against right edge, and just above the peaks of the harlequin cutouts, so they show underneath.

Mount 5×7 picture to 5 1/2" x 7 1/2" piece of Aurora 'Heavenly' on the more solid/ grunge patterned side.  Ink edges with softer Dark Grey chalk ink color and adhere to layout.  I placed this vertically centered against the SNOWMEN lettering, which leaves a larger border at the top.

Now, back to that reserved big scrap from the layout base.  I wanted to put a large heart on this layout without it being all 'girly', so I chose to play on the snowy scene by combining the dotted pattern (snow falling) with the Say It In Crystals swirls (ice).  I stamped two of the large swirls from Prima's Build-a-Swirl stamp set in Dark Grey Chalk Ink, facing each other like a heart.  I trimmed around this loosely to resemble a heart.  I adhered it to the layout, just above the striped title space, and slightly overlapping the picture.  Finally I layered the coordinating clear cyrstal swirls on top.

I stamped the words from the Build-a-Swirl stamp set (yep, there are words too!) and trimmed each close and inked the edges to make, 'take my hand and roam with me'.  These I put against the left side of the page.

The name/date piece and words 'love doesn't melt' are printed in the Adler font on vellum and torn around the edges.  No ink on these, I like the snowy white of torn vellum.

Finally, a few epoxy sticker shapes to echo the harlequins and patterns along the bottom, leading to the title and a ribbon tab at the top name/date piece.

Background Attack

Ok, back to that glorious background paper from Prima.  It is the kind of paper that makes you want to create.  Very inspiring to me!  So here goes my attempt at creating a custom coordinating paper.

Here is our inspiration:


It reminded me of a technique called wax paper resist, but call me crazy because I had absolutely no desire to pull out the iron and the ironing board.  So I found a short cut: white cardstock with an orange peel texture.  This I began to distress with Ranger's Distress Inks by Tim Holtz(tm).

Let's start this background attack.  White cardstock is the starting point.  Pull out the following inkpads or similar colors:

  • Weathered Wood
  • Shabby Shutters
  • Broken China
  • Walnut Stain


The first three inks are applied individually, first via DTP (direct to paper) with the inkpad brushed directly over the surface to grab that texture, and then using a foam applicator from the craft sheet to spread it around and create soft floating colors.  The first picture shows Weathered Wood:


Now Shabby Shutters (green):


Now Broken China, more aggressively getting it into the valleys of the orange peel texture to eliminate some of the remaining white.


Cool, the random inking is done.  Now let's break out the stamps!  I used a single symetrical corner flourish from Prima's Build A Swirl stamp set with Walnut Stain Distress Ink.  Start in a corner.


I made each corner flourish into a square - but no rulers allowed at this point.  A bit of randomness never hurt anybody.


And btw, that is a purple stamping pad that I purchased from Inque Boutique.  Hopefully the product will be available under the new ownership.  If not, a nice cushy mousepad will do, albeit not as big as this puppy.  Continue stamping and making patterns…


That's so pretty!  Here is a closeup.  But we're not done yet.  Add some Distress Ink with Walut Stain and blending foam around the edges.


And then, I apologize, but it's time to get out the ruler.  Measure around the edges of the paper and put a pen mark (I used a dark brown, which believe me, you cannot see later!) at EVERY THREE INCHES.  Just around the edge.

I placed a craft sheet diagonally across the paper, from corner to corner and placed some ink from Walnut Stain directly onto the craft sheet.  Pull the ink from the craft sheet onto your paper.  Less is more.  Keep the craft sheet in place firmly so you will keep the design in line.  Do this for both sets of diagonal corners.



Now do the same thing with the adjoining 3" marks to make parallel lines in both directions. 

Note: You will like the results more if you pull the ink first from one side of the line, finishing it off, and then turn your paper around and pull from the other side too.  That way the blurring comes from both sides.  Clear as mud?


Glorious, but not done yet.  Now get out the Glimmer Mist (I used Honey Dew Mist) and spritz it lightly all over, using a quick wrist twisting action as you spray so that you get even coverage.  Use your heat tool to speed up drying time.  It isn't necessary for the Glimmer Mist, but Distress Inks are reactive with water, and I want them to blur only slightly and in random places.  Other areas will keep their crispness this way.  Remember, it's always about depth and dimension with ink.


And VOILA!  Isn't it amazing what a little ink and technique can do to white cardstock?


Of course now I'm going to be up all night figuring out what to make with this beauty.  Oh wait – I already have an idea…

But it's going to have to wait because I'm supposed to 'judge' the Tinkertoy sculptures currently occupying the family room. 🙂

P.S. I am going to be jumping in on the video bandwagon soon.  I think it will be a much easier way to show these technique posts.  Bear with me.  Two more birthday parties to go, and I have a couple of cakes that will be occupying my time over the next day or so.  But I'll share those too.

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