Saturday, January 26, 2013

Swirlydoos Ultimate Design Challenge - Week 2

Hi everyone.  

This is my second project for the Swirlydoos Ultimate Design Challenge, which means that I made the first round cut!  I'm so excited - because the competition and talent is FIERCE.  This challenge is definitely a mojo stretching, creativity inspiring, pull out all the stops, pedal to the metal kind of competitive series.    

Our video inspiration tutorial was hosted by Rae this week. Rae is into layers - the more the better. Not surprisingly, our assignment then was to create a layered project. Rae didn't SPECIFY how many, so it turned into a really fun competition between participants of "just how many layers can you GET on that page of yours anyway?"

First item of business, I needed to pick a photo to work with.  

My sister and I went to Italy in October, and we made a point to take a "sister picture" at every major stop. This one is at the tower in Piza. The photo - my sister was my matron of honor and I was hers. We did this same photo at both of our weddings - 25 and 30 years ago. I thought about doing a then and now thing, but this photo is really for my Italy vacation album, so I'll save that idea for another time.

I actually already scrapped this photo once for my mom's mini album. But I wanted to do a layout of it for my own album, so I've been looking for the right set of circumstances to line up. This week, they did.

I'm going to play this project in a couple of additional challenges at  The first is the Book Of Me Challenge which Char hosts.  The assignment this month was to scrap a milestone.  If a trip to Italy for a country girl from Oklahoma isn't a milestone, I'm not sure what is. It was also the first time my sister and I had shared a room since we were kids. It was so fun to find out that we could be friends as well as sisters. I had such a GREAT time. I mean, yeah it was Italy, but I went with my SISTER. How cool is THAT?

And I'm also going to submit it to Kimberly's Stamping On Your Layout Challenge because I did. Honest. I stamped some script writing on these papers in a couple of places - but I don't think that it shows up too well in the photo. Look really hard at the right edge of the brown polka dot paper and MAYBE you can see some of it. There's more, but the dark ink just doesn't show up well on the dark paper. You can see it in the real life version, but its subtle.


TECHNIQUE DETAILS - for inquiring minds...

Day One was all about the papers. First item of business was that BoBunny Weekend Market collection. That was a total no brainer.  As far as I'm concerned, BoBunny knocked it out of the park with this paper line. It's one of my all time favorites - right up there with Kay & Co's Blue Awning.

I stopped counting paper layers at 11 because that's my lucky number, but I think that there actually ARE eleven layers of paper on the basic bones of this project. The mist work on the doily is Lindy's Buccaneer Bay Blue Moon Shadow Mist. (Moon Shadows are my FAVORITE Lindy's product.) 

Then I let the project marinate overnight.  It needed a serious time out.  It was arguing with me about flowers.  I wanted to use some fabric burlap and organza ones.  My layout wanted to live with cluny lace and wind up roses.  It was being seriously bossy about it too, and I just couldn't deal, so I left it all by itself overnight to think about the consequences of its choices.    

Day Two - I figured since the project was about layers, and since my project and I were STILL arguing about flowers, I decided the embellishments could stand a little layering too.

First is the little Italy stamp in the memo pin.  I had two of those stamps, so I cut one out with my stamp scissors, put it onto some chipboard, then put that on top of the other stamp, so it's a layered embellishment. The doily clock is another one. The doily is a diecut by StampinUp, cut from a BoBunny Double Dot paper.  Then I used an OLD Heidi Swap clear clock from my stash (Roman Numerals, of course), some metal clock hands (from Michaels sale aisle), and finished with a vintage brad (also StampinUp from my stash). And the little journaling block is also layered. It was a clear sticker which I stuck onto the BoBunny Double Dot, then layered a Tim Holtz tile fragment on top of it.

I did the Dusty Attic flourishes (which are ALSO my favorite) with some modeling paste, brown smooch spritz (Log Cabin) darkened with Walnut Stain reinker, and then some Lindy's mica powder in Tibetan Poppy Teal on top when it was dry.

Day Three - down to the wire. I sat down to have a serious discussion with my project about the floral embellishments.  I tried my very hardest to convince it to play nice with those burlap and organza flowers. I had visions of burlap in my head and I just couldn't understand why my layout didn't share that vision.  But its response went something like, "are you KIDDING? SERIOUSLY?" I whined a little and tried to explain that the cluny lace flowers it wanted me to create were going to be too much work - that they involved needle and thread and figuring out center pieces... My layout didn't care. It said, "this photo - it matters to you. A lot. It really deserves the best you have in your arsenal. Now shut up and get after it."

I've learned never to argue with your project. You can't win. Better to let it be the driver and you just ride shotgun and help it steer.  Cluny lace and wind up roses it is.

The wind up roses are done with Tim Holtz's tattered pinecone die. The big flower is an old Prima, color changed courtesy of the Buccaneer Bay Blue mist. The smaller ones are hand done with cluny lace, colored up with Stormy Sky ink, and then finished with some of the Lindy's Teal mica. I layered those with a couple of metal brad flower enhancements (I'm not sure if that's the right word - they're metal flowers that are designed to have brads stuck into them), then stuck some small stamens in them to make them behave like real flowers. I had to enlarge the hole in the metal with my crop-a-dile for the stamens to fit through. The tiny roses came from the dollar aisle at Michaels. They started their lives white, but once I pull out the Moon Shadow, NOTHING is safe anymore.

Only thing left was the green ferns from a floral stem and some floral stem winds - really small gauge stuff - and it was done.

So, yes, it took days, but you know - sometimes the end result is worth the time investment. This was one of those times. I'm so happy that my layout was so hardheaded about those flowers - because in the end, it really did know what it was talking about.  I could not be more proud of how this project turned out. 

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