Welcome to day 8 of Spring Cross-Training! Can you believe it? We're a little over the halfway mark, just six more days to go. Did you enjoy the challenge yesterday? Maybe it was too easy? Well, I'm back today with a real challenge, one that I have to admit, had me a little nervous. You see,today's challenge involves, are you ready for it? Techniques. Is that a scary word? It is to me since I don't really consider myself a technique-based scrapbooker. I don't like to get my hands dirty when I'm scrapbooking. Maybe it's because I'm afraid I might get any ink, paint or mist somewhere it's not supposed to be, and then what would I do?!
Well, let me tell you, challenges are good and this one pushed me a little (okay, a lot!) out of my comfort zone. I'm hoping it will do the same for you! Our challenge exercise for today is to
Create Your Own Custom Background
I might as well tell you that I have never created my own custom background for a scrapbook page before. I'm that wimpy. I decided to approach this challenge using the tools and techniques that I'm most comfortable with because sometimes you need to start with baby steps and work from there. So I chose to use a punch and a stamp for this challenge. I use punches on almost every page I make; I have a bit of an obsession with them right now. And while I am getting more comfortable with stamps I still rarely, if ever, stamp directly onto my pages. I almost always stamp the image onto another paper first and then cut out the image. My goal here was to break from that habit and stamp directly onto the background paper I had chosen. Here is the layout I made:
I used a punch all-over-the page from Martha Stewart Crafts to create the star-burst shapes and then I used a star-burst stamp from Studio Calico to reinforce that design. I taped pieces of patterned paper behind the background sheet so that a different but complimentary design would peek through the punched shapes. And can I tell you how pleased I was with the finished result? I'm so happy that I overcame my stamping fears.
My tips for overcoming any stamping anxiety that you might have are to first, practice on a sheet of scratch paper. Maybe this sounds obvious, but try applying different amounts of pressure to the stamped image. Practice applying varying amounts of ink to your stamp too. You can apply too much ink just as easily as you can apply too little. Keep experimenting until you are happy with the appearance of your image. Then when it's time for the real thing, take a deep breath and just, stamp. If it helps, you can think of me cheering you on from the sidelines!
For this next example I asked another Ella Friend to join me in our cross-training efforts here at Write.Click.Scrapbook. Jennifer Larson is one of my favorite scrapbookers and she happens to be really comfortable with a product that I know scares a lot of people, mist. Jennifer used a combination of mist, plus stitching to create her custom background:
Here is a detailed look at the stitching:
Jennifer says, "I sprayed close up with some mist, then stitched some "explosions," capping a few off with some stickles. In the middle of the "explosions," I added my son's sound effect--ptew!--in letter stickers, stitched over so they'd stay".
Jennifer recently wrote an amazing article for the Ella Publishing eZine, Scrapbook Ellaments titled Misting Magic. If you've been afraid to try your hand at this technique you'll want to read Jennifer's article. She shows that it is indeed possible to use mist and still retain your own personal style.
Finally, creating custom backgrounds isn't limited to paper layouts. Write.Click.Scrapbook. collective member Paula Gilarde contributed this digital page for our challenge exercise today:
Isn't this an amazing layout?! I love how Paula took something that might have been thrown away (deleted) and turned it into something beautiful.
Now then, what would a good workout be without a reward? You've worked hard to overcome your fears, step outside your comfort zone, get your hands a little dirty and create a one-of-a-kind background. Well done! Wipe the sweat from your brow, take a deep breath or two, and head on over to the Ella store and drop this eBook in your cart.
Use the code SPRCREATIVE for $1.00 off the Ella Publishing eBook UR2 Cre8ive by Stacy Julian. Code expires May 15, 2011.
Remember that everyone can participate in the daily challenges and giveaways which are featured on The Daily Trumpet through May 7th. You don't have to be registered in the class to be eligible for the prizes!
I want to hear from you! Do you ever create your own custom scrapbook backgrounds? Is there a technique you've always wanted to try but have been afraid to attempt? I'd love to hear what you think of today's challenge!
In closing, I want to thank you for joining me again today for Spring Cross-Training. I'll be back tomorrow for my last day of cross-training exercises. See you then!