DIY Watercolor Embellishments with The Ink Road Stamps

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Hi guys. Today I am sharing another traveler’s notebook spread using my Clique Kits Riga Traveler’s Notebook and Main kits and a little bit of my process using a new stamp set from The Ink Road to create some watercolored embellishments. I actually did this because I had mixed some watercolors to use on a scrapbooking layout which I shared here and had leftover paint, which of course must never go to waste.

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I started with a blank sheet of hot press watercolor paper. Some people ask what the difference is between cold press and hot press watercolor paper and it has to do with the process of how it is made, and the outcome in terms of the texture or “tooth” of the paper. Cold press watercolor paper is the most commonly used and has a bumpy texture. This paper tolerates lots of water as is needed for doing washes. Hot press, on the other hand, is a nice, plump, thick absorbent paper that is smooth and therefore is very practical for drawing or stamping in combination with watercolor paint, mists, inks, or other wet media.  133755_x

So there you have it-if you enjoy using mixed media on your layouts or in your journals, I highly recommend keeping some hot press watercolor paper in your stash. My favorite is Fluid: an economical brand that is not as expensive as a brand like Arches but for my purpose is high quality enough. It also comes in square as well as rectangular shaped pads! So you can buy 12 x 12 for layout backgrounds, and you can also buy 8×8 which you can turn into traveler’s notebook pages, and even 6×6 pads.

Another important pearl of wisdom for combining stamping with watercoloring is that you have to remember to use permanent, waterproof ink such as Ranger Archival ink. If you use regular water base dye ink your stamped design will certainly smear when you add any water media.

Once I added fun color to my stamped phrases and designs I fussy cut them with a small scissors. I also used a scrap of the painted black stripe paper that I had used in the previous layout, again waste not want not.

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Finally, I wanted to use a couple of houseplant embellishments from my Riga kits because they were gold foiled and added a little pizzaz to an otherwise very simple layout.

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Thanks for stopping by today I hope you will come back soon or better yet follow me.

-xGia

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to another Saturday Morning Art Kids post!

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In this episode I am sharing my experience of documenting in traveler’s notebooks with my 12 year old daughter Gigi.  Out of seven kids, I was bound to have one (maybe? possibly?) who enjoys scrapbooking like her Mom. She has watched me do many TN layouts before and then she helped me make this video of how I set up my latest TN’s.

 

 

I am using two TN’s at the moment. One contains inserts for painting and sketching and more mixed media. The Clique Kits shop carries some specialty TN inserts (watercolor and mixed media) as well as lots of cute exclusive inserts with bright white paper inside. I am grateful to my friend Lacey for sending me a handmade palette of peerless watercolor swatches. These are perfect for keeping in a travelers notebook! You can find TN covers and inserts in the Clique Kits shop “Basics” section and also in the new products right now. The other TN I set up is for my traditional memory keeping- which will hopefully remain “clean” to protect my photos.

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When Gigi asked me if she could “set up” one of my older TN’s for herself  of course how could I resist! We ended up spending a couple of hours together working on our projects.  This is Gigi’s TN

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Here is Gigi and our other guests- some Sloths…and here are Gigi’s layouts:

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These unicorn clips from Shimelle Glitter Girl collection (last year’s October Clique Kit) were right up her alley!

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I love this page with the photo taken in McDonalds because she color coordinated the washi tape and hearts with the Ronald McDonald colors. She also picked out the french fries embellishment- very apropros. Aww- she even made a page about me. So cute.

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While looking through my stash for supplies for Gigi to use for her TN I discovered that it was about time for me to thin out my stash of embellishments and ephemera, which I organize by color. When my stash gets too crowded I have a much harder time using it. So I took the opportunity to pull out lots of items for her to “shop” from for her own stash, and all of the leftovers will likely appear in my Etsy shop pretty soon!

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I think that if you are lucky enough to get any of the youngsters in your life whether kids or grandkids or pupils in Sunday school interested in scrapbooking I have a few tips to offer from this experience:

  1. Traveler’s Notebooks are a relatively inexpensive way to get them started. Most inserts run under $5. They can also easily be handmade using plain white copy paper and a patterned paper cover. There are many tutorials on You Tube and Pinterest for DIY inserts.
  2. Some simple “design” tricks they can easily learn as soon as they are old enough to know their colors are how to pick out colors in the photos to coordinate with the layout supplies and embellishments. You can also ask them to describe the memory in their own words, which can prompt ideas for them to choose a title or theme for the page.
  3. Tape runners and glue sticks are easy for little people to use and non-toxic as adhesives. For larger items like flair or wood veneers, glue dots in different sizes work well.
  4. Some supplies are so abundant that chances are you wouldn’t mind sharing. For me, washi tape is one supply I love to collect but have so much more than I will ever use.

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I just want to make the experience of scrapbooking with my daughter one that will be enjoyable and not stressful for both of us. After all, we have an obligation to leave our legacy by creating the next generation of scrapbookers!

-xGia

May Clique Kits: Breaking a New Kit

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Aloha Friday everyone! Today I am talking about my first layout using a brand new kit that arrived to brighten a very blah week. Why was this week blah? Well, nothing specific- just everyday “adulting” and 3 little letters: I R S. I don’t know anyone who feels excited to be alive on tax day, do you? Even those people getting money back have to face the reality of how much of their hard earned money was sucked up by Uncle Sam over the past year. Anyway, as one of my BFF’s Lacey said the other day, and this quote should really go down in history: “When one is feeling anxious, one should scrapbook I think.”  So true Lacey, so true!

Do you have a routine when a new kit first arrives to “break” the kit by creating your first project with it? I always have a hard time with this. Once I go through everything and sniff that new paper smell and drool over all the pretty stuff I have a hard time deciding what to do first. The arrival of the May Clique Kits Riga kit was no different.

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The Riga kit contains a beautiful selection of papers and they are actually from multiple collections each with its own concept. Even though the papers coordinate with each other the details behind the little phrases give away that they each have something a little different to offer. For example, the papers and embellishments from the Pinkfresh Studio Case of the Blah’s collection are all about being real and expressing the vulnerability we all know is there in being authentic and documenting even when we didn’t wake up and “be amazing.” So it was the concept of this collection that spoke to me the most and I decided to do my first layout focusing on how I was really feeling that day. I had a selfie which was the perfect photo for this layout.

My plan was to use a simple mask/stencil stripe pattern (Stampin’ Up) to create a bold black painted foreground to layer over the gorgeous gray wonky grid like patterned paper that I chose as a background.

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Whenever I get something new, I seem to always want to use it right away and this Wild Hibiscus stamp (Altenew) was on my desk. I stamped a bunch of flowers on some watercolor paper and then used my Kuretake paints to add some of the color palette in Riga so they would work with whatever other embellishments I decided to pull out of the kit. I adhered them in layers at different heights for depth and texture.

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The fabric die cuts included in the kit are really nice- I love having texture but not bulk!

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Now that I completed my first layout, I am feeling inspired to go ahead and kill this kit this month! And I hope that by documenting this selfie with these messages someday my girls will see this and remember they are enough and beautiful as they are, no apologies for imperfections and flaws, and no shame in an ordinary life well lived.

-xGia

 

 

Maggie Holmes Flourish Cards

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The April 2018 Clique Kits “Winter Park” kits featuring Maggie Holmes Flourish collection is so pretty and versatile for any project. I am not usually a card maker, but April is the month my mother and grandmother both celebrate their birthdays, so I was inspired to use scraps from my kits to whip up some fast cards.

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I was a little disappointed though that the photos do not do justice to the texture of the backgrounds which I embossed! The bird card is for my grandmother who turns 100 tomorrow! Wow! 100 years- is amazing. I hope I have her genes.

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This bunny is for my Mom, whose birthday is the 28th.

If you look closely you can see a doily pattern on one and a swiss dots pattern on the other very faintly. I used ephemera from my kit to embellish scraps of paper that I had die cut some leaves out of. I never like to waste paper, so I used both the leaves and the negative space left behind after cutting on my Big Shot, only I used them on a different set of cards-the one shown below as an example!

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This Spring card shows how I used the Maggie Holmes acetate specialty paper as a backing for the geometric planter. I also used those adorable vintage music paper butterfly confetti from the Clique Kits shop.

Here are the other products I used:

The Hero Arts Terrarium Die:

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Kesi-Art Metaliks Leafy:

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It figures that in 2018 after finally giving myself permission to NOT have to make handmade cards (even though I have enough supplies to make cards for the rest of my life) what do I do- I start whipping out some cards. Next I am going to give myself permission to NOT have to lose 10 pounds and see how that works for me.

-xGia

 

 

Take 5 Challenge for Traveler’s Notebook Layouts

Hi everybody! Today I am channeling my inner minimalist in my traveler’s notebook and wanted to share with you my take on a challenge I saw online somewhere-only instead of using it for full size layouts I am applying it to my recent traveler’s notebook spreads. You are probably familiar with some variation of the concept of selecting a handful of things from a list and limiting yourself to just those items in a layout. Yeah…that’s the one. Here are the 5 items I chose!

  1. Ephemera
  2. Washi Tape
  3. Stickers
  4. Stamp Sets
  5. Patterned paper pads

I did not “count” things that I consider to be staple supplies like something to write with, adhesive, and ink for the stamp sets, but otherwise I was fully compliant!

So first up I have a “divider” spread where I used washi tape to add a vellum page to serve as my marker for a new section ( and also because of its general prettiness.)

 

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I tend to be all over the spectrum from minimalist to maximalist in style depending on the day and the mood on my layouts but it never ceases to amaze me that when I do the simplest things to just get the memory documented I realize how much time is spent adding extra stuff to the essentials- a great photo, a caption or title, and a little bit of color to make it pop.

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This spread is shown pre- handwritten journaling- and did not end up quite this sparse but almost.

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And this last one only uses paper and one sticker, and yet I still love how it looks and how it conveys the memory perfectly. I mean, I will always know who, what, and when this memory happened. And that is the truly the essential part of scrapbooking.

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My overall assessment of this challenge and what I learned:

I love to strip back to the essentials sometimes because it gives me a chance to really focus on the overall design of the layout. You know those elements and principles of design we use all the time but sometimes we are not as intentional about?  Thinking about things like unity, rhythm, balance, proportion, variety, emphasis, and movement. Simple exercises like this help to practice, practice practice design.

I learned that sometimes I am so focused on how a page looks that I forget to record the crucial little details that will prompt the memory 10 or 20 years from now. (Trust me, I thought I would not need those things until I started looking back at layouts from 20 years ago and really wanted to kick myself!)

So what’s the down side? At this rate I will never go through even a tiny fraction of my stash by the end of the year. How will I possibly justify buying all the new pretty stuff that comes out? First world problems, I know.

-xGia

 

 

April Kits Combined= Lovely

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Hi there! I have another layout to share using the April Winter Park Clique Kits and this time I used both the main kit and actually mostly the Travelers Notebook kit together. I personally use them together more often than not. And its not because I couldn’t easily knock out five or six layouts with either one kit by itself. It is more because I love the way the products complement one another. For April, both kits featured the same collection which is often the case. But not true of every single month for variety- and sometimes due to product availability there are months where the TN kit features a completely different collection. Nonetheless I love using them together as they always work so well this way for  me.

This time I have beautiful Maui photo taken last summer and I searched the Silhouette Design store for a cut file with a Hawaiian motif. This hibiscus cluster outline was just right!

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This layout is also shared on the Clique Kits blog and I hope you will stop by there too as there is always fresh inspiration daily from the wonderful Clique Kits design team!

-Gia

Clique Kits Limited Edition: This is Us

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Today I am really excited to share the Clique Kits Limited Edition “This is Us” kit and collection designed by yours truly! This kit features a combination of bold black and white patterns juxtaposed with fun, eclectic, pastel colored designs. Of course there are some cute elements like the sweetest little sloth and a happy bunny and lots of pretty doodled hearts! The pastel color range includes the Clique Kits brand colors in various shades and tints plus bits of green, pink, and peach.  Why a sloth, you ask? I say…why not a sloth? Sloths are totally my spirit animal! Is there anything better than chilling all day in a tree branch? The bold black stripes and other B & W patterns are designed with Erica in mind though I know there are many, many fans of this pattern. But did they paint it on a wall in their kitchen, like Erica? (LOL- yes Erica recently had an accent wall in her kitchen painted in black and white stripes and I love it!) Like Clique Kits style, there are elements that are bold, colorful, cute, fun, eclectic, sweet, pretty, and trendy.

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This collection is available in the shop as a limited edition physical kit, a digital collection, and a physical paper pack. The kit includes a few surprises not shown in the photos here but we know you will love them as much as we do. The kits includes some exclusive flair and an add on flair set is also available!

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This sleek polka dot washi tape and adorable sloth felty are included in the physical kit along with an exclusive color cast designs acrylic piece!

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Here is a my very first layout using only the digital designs printed on my home printer. I added a couple of vellum ephemera from Cocoa Vanilla Studios Bohemian Dream collection which were in the past January Clique Kit called Rhapsody (unfortunately sold out) and a lavender colored acrylic piece from my stash that coordinated perfectly! I fussy cut the watercolor wreath  and splattered some black ink and some watered down Shimmerz Dazzlers I Lilac You paint available in the shop (Hint: This color is perfect with this kit!). I used some of the pastel patterned papers to back my photo as well as a tag that I monoprinted using a stencil, acrylic paint, and my Gelli Arts gelli plate.

I will save that process and tutorial for another day. For now, I hope you like this layout! And I hope you will head over to Clique Kits to pick up some of this collection. Use my coupon code GIA10 to save 10% on your purchase!

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-xGia