Hi folks! Hope everyone is okay. Do we think that Spring might actually be just round the corner? It’s been weird seeing daffodils popping up out of the snow in the garden this last week. But, the birds are now singing and my mug is full of coffee, so everything is good with the world again.
Today, I am just going to do a little show and tell segment. I have been asked by a few people how I start off a project. Sometimes I know exactly where I want a project to go; other times, I have not got a clue! Basically, when I started out this page, I had no idea where it was going. All I knew was that I wanted to use this elephant photo that I took a few years ago when I was in Kenya; but, other than that, I was a bit lost.
I started by looking at the photo and the colour combinations that were in it – the elephants in Tsavo are rather orangey/red in colour, apparently due to the iron rich soil in the area (yes, I googled that bit).
I went through my stash and tried out lots of colours and mediums (paints and inks, not psychics!), until I hit upon a combination that worked well for me. I wanted the photo to stand out, so opted not to bring any orange tones into the background, but rather add some splashes with metallic copper paint instead (the orange was too overpowering and the photo blended into the page too much).
Prepping and adding colour to the page
As with most of my projects, I start with a layer of white gesso to prime the page (I am using an 8×8 inch piece of watercolour cardstock), before adding a layer of “Linen” acrylic paint from the Docrafts Artiste range. Subtle difference from white, but it is a warmer tone of colour. To add a touch of golden shimmer to the page, I gave it a couple of spritzes with a Lindy’s Stamp Gang spray called “Opal Sea Salts”. I also added some splashes with watered-down metallic copper paint.
Using “Vintage Photo” Distress Oxide and a blending tool, I went around the edges blending some of the brown ink into the background, before adding some water splashes and then blotting off the excess water with a kitchen towel. I then darkened up the edges with “Coffee” Archival Ink.
For the cluster on the page, I thought about what I relate to travelling and for me luggage tags spring to mind, as well as the fact that people don’t send postcards any more (I miss that, it was so much more personal than an email or a text message). So, using a stamp by Stamper’s Anonymous, I stamped “Post Card” onto a small piece of cardstock, before attacking it with my Tim Holtz distressing tool and grunging up the edges with some Vintage Photo Distress Oxide (with water splashes) and then some added depth with the brown Archival ink.
The tag was made from a piece of kraft card, that I stamped all over with a text stamp and added some splats and an elephant stamp. I then repeated the distressing process exactly as I did for the post card, before adding an eyelet with my Crop-A-Dile and some twin.
I found a piece of patterned paper in my stash that had the look of old leather, which I tore the edges of before adding the “Coffee” Archival ink and a metal brad (from Prima).
For some different texture, I added a metal charm of a globe, to which I added some twine and then I found a metal Word Band by Tim Holtz which said “capture life’s moments”, which fitted in perfectly with the photograph.
I arranged all of the clusters until I was happy with their layout and stuck them all together with PVA glue, adding in a paperclip to give some more dimension, and placed them onto my page.
I knew that I wanted to add some stamped detail around this cluster, to create some texture in the background. So I took some stamps from my stash including the “Textures” stamp set from Crafter’s Companion, as well as some splats and coffee mug stains. I stamped all of these with “Coffee” Archival ink so it appeared that they were coming out from behind the cluster and also used another stamp from Stamper’s Anonymous which says “enjoy the journey”. Finally, I stuck down my cluster, making sure that the edges were not flat to the page, as I wanted them to create more dimension. I then added some splashes with watered-down gesso just to finish things off.
I hope that you liked this page and that it gives a bit of an insight into how I put my pages together. If you have liked this short show and tell, please do follow my page on here and if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to message me. If you are on social media, I can be found on Facebook by clicking here and also on Instagram by clicking here.
Have a lovely day, Gem x