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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Riga in my Traveler’s Notebook

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I sometimes struggle with wanting to make my layouts in my travelers notebook as rich and textured as my regular layouts but don’t want to damage the already “exposed” pages by making them lumpy and bumpy which can indent or even rip the paper over time.  Stencils and masks on a background is a great way to create the illusion of layering and depth while keeping it flat.

 

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The layered floral dies from Altenew are another way to include lots of variety and pops of color from my patterned papers in a small space! The one I used is called Fantasy Floral 3D 

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I think die sets are pricey and therefore an “investment” I try not to make impulsively. This die set is one that I know I will be able to use over and over and every flower can be completely unique!

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I hope there was a tip or two in this post that you find useful especially if you are feeling your way forward in the Travelers notebook genre like I am !

-xGia

Clique Kits Cut Files

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For this layout I used a Clique Kits cut file called “Keyhole Floral” available in the shop for under a dollar.

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There are so many options now to find inexpensive cut files for instant download and the Clique Kits shop has an ever growing collection of them. Free cut files is one of the perks that comes with a subscription, but there are many freebies also. Don’t forget to use my code GIA10 to save 10% anytime in the entire Clique Kits shop.

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I made this layout of me and my man on a lunch date because I wanted to document that feeling of just knowing someone is your rock and it is the best feeling in the world to have a strong, solid, secure shoulder to lean on. That piece of ephemera that says, “Real is rare” took the words right out of my mouth. As a title it is  subtle in form but the significance is profound.

-xGia

 

Pink & Rose Gold: Friends

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I love that the Riga kit has such a pretty soft color palette with pink and coral and really soft blue-green shades. I decided to use some rose gold paint to alter a formerly black foam word from an older kit (Pebbles: Girl Squad Thickers) and I loved the way it came out! I watered down the same paint for some rose gold splatters on my background. The photo doesn’t really show off how much sparkle and glisten is really there but if you try some of the rose gold embellishments or media options in the Clique Kits shop you will find out for yourself!

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How cute are those little yarn tassels? You get 2 of them in the Main kit and they are also available as an add on if you want more! Thanks so much for stopping by today!ACS_0184

-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

 

 

Clique Kits October Pep Rally featuring Sapphire

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Hi there friends of Clique Kits! Welcome to the October Pep Rally. I am looking at this lineup and saying to myself, “Cheeeooooo this is going to be an awesome blog hop!” I am excited that November is coming also, with the lovely November kit Swan Lake.  Sometime before or after you hop, don’t forget to head over to the Clique Kits website for a full view of the just revealed November kit in all its glory.  And now, back to October and our celebration of all the fun we had with Sapphire featuring Pinkfresh Studios Indigo Hills.

Clique Kits
You are here—>Gia Lau
Nicole Martel <—Go here next
*Magali Le Luc
*Melissa Elsner
*Enza Gudor
*Nathalie DeSousa
*Caroli Schulz
Maryam Perez
Dani Brown
Sara Mishler 
Kim Allen

Today I have two projects to share. The first is a layout that captured a moment in time of my teenage daughter and son, who have always been best friends, walking down the street together. Sometimes we don’t even realize how sweet one moment can be, and often it is not the perfect front view portrait that speaks to our emotions as much as something so candid and real.

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As I look back over my years of scrapbooking albums, I am so glad that I learned at some point to forget about all the old “rules” of scrapbooking, like having to do two page spreads, having to use multiple photos, having to work in chronological order, and never ever getting “caught up.” To make scrapbooking meaningful for me, it has to be simple, it has to fit in to my busy schedule, and it has to capture impressions of my life, not so much document the play by play of my daily routine. Of course, the “right” way to scrapbook, is whatever way works for you!

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Broken down bit by bit, this page is comprised of very simple paper layers from the kit, fussy cut flowers, white laser cut paper pieces cut from the Amy Tangerine specialty paper in the kit, and some additional pieces of white die cut paper cut using my Kesi Art dies. The leaves dies are sold out, but some others are still available here. I also used the Do Crafts gold mirrored chevron arrows from the shop which look so beautiful in real life!  My journaling is a sentiment from this stamp, by Altenew. It is an extra large set with many fun sayings I use often.

Another way I love to use my kit supplies, is to create mini albums. I sometimes think I need to stop making them, because they are more difficult to store in an archival way in the tropical climate I live in. So if you have any tips or suggestions for managing storage issues with mini albums, I would love to hear from you. Every time I think I should stick to archival quality album pages, I find myself relapsing. It truly is an addiction- because I can get my creative fix to scrapbook, in a short amount of time, while completing a project in one sitting! Now that is a satisfying experience- here is how I got another “fix” from the October kit.

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I started with lightly frosted acrylic hearts as front and back covers and made my own binding from blue jute twine. The real copper painted skeleton leaves in the kit were the perfect finishing touch. In addition to the papers in the kit, I used some plain watercolor paper as some of the pages in order to add some mixed media to the book for interest and texture. The stencil and some of the paints I used came in the Clique Agenda Traveler Notebook Wander Kit, which has unfortunately sold out. It was truly one of my favorite limited edition kits ever. The good news is, another limited edition travelers notebook kit is available for pre-order. You can pick up the Gratitude Travelers Notebook kit with some fantastic exclusive products in it right here. Take advantage of the pre-order pricing because once these kits start shipping it will go up to full price. Make sure you get in on the copper texture medium in the shop if you can, and this beautiful and versatile Kesi Art die. I promise you won’t regret it.

Thank you for coming by today and I hope you will leave a comment here and on all of the blogs along the way to be entered to win the October kit! You could be participating in this event next month as a subscriber earning free product credit to use to personalize your monthly kit box with extras from the shop. Fun + economical = Awesome.

Now head over to Nicole’s blog for more inspiring projects!

-xoGia

Clique Kits July Pep Rally

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It’s July 20th and that means Pep Rally Day! Welcome! I am so excited to see what everyone made with the July Clique Kit Raskog this month. I believe this kit has nearly Sold Out in the Clique Kits shop ( hurry there may be one or two left!) but you should check out all of the a la carte items available coordinating with this and other kits! We just received notice that some of the brand new Summer 2016 Releases are on their way to Clique Kits- which means stay tuned for even more hype on social media and another big clearance sale (because we have to make room for all the new stuff in the CK warehouse!)

July 2016 Line-Up
Clique Kits
You Are Here—>Gia Lau
Erica Thompson <—Go Here Next
*Justyna Kowron
*Elisabetta Margini
*Aliza Deutsch
*Candace Perkins 
Janet Perafan-Babar
Sandy Gonzalez
Kim Allen
*Leeann Pearce
*Kim Oedekoven
Maryam Perez 
Caroli Schulz
Donna Espiritu
Sara Mishler
Leigh Ann Odynski 

The Softer Side of Raskog and Combining Old and New Kits

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Here is my project for today’s blog share. I really loved the exclusive card that says, “She decided to live the life she always imagined” in the Raskog Kit. Most of my other layouts using this kit (which I am working on killing) were super bold and graphic! I decided to change it up with this one and show the softer side of Raskog! (You can check out my bold and graphic layouts here and here.)

I have probably mentioned before that whenever I start a layout, I plan my color palette first and foremost. For this layout, I wanted to use the pastel colors that are in the kit- aqua blue, pastel yellow, and just a touch of pink. Having some variety of the intensity of these colors adds interest and more depth in layering them. Grey is one of my favorite neutrals these days, and I love it even more so combined with pastel aqua or yellow.

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I started my layout design by planning a tag banner across the top of my page using tags leftover from a previous Clique Kit called Alegria (Fancy Pants Designs Happy Place tags) combined with some of the rubber flags in the Raskog kit.

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To help me to soften my background in a subtle way, I used this Tutti Frutti Dazzlerz shimmering dimensional paste which was a shop item and add on from previous kits. Anything by Shimmerz brand seems to fly off the shelves, but there may be some colors left in the shop here. This media is like a pigmented gel but with a consistency of fluffy icing that made me kind of want to eat a spoonful of it. (Luckily, I resisted that urge.) The pale blush color softened and added some shimmer to the pretty grey and white checkered paper.

I embellished the banner a little more with some adorable stickers from the Magical Sticker Sheet. I have a thing for unicorns.:-)

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Last but not least, I went to the Clique Monthly Downloads page in search of a die cut design to add to my page. I loved this one from the June Kit La Dolce Vita. Subscribers get access to this page and get unlimited free downloads of the kit digitals to use over and over. Even non subscribers can find great digitals for purchase in the digital shop. Usually once the kit ages, the coordinating die cut files are loaded to this shop for anyone to purchase!

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Here is another closeup and finally the finished layout again!

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I hope you like this layout and enjoyed reading a bit about my process. One of these days I will overcome my shyness to make process videos for the Clique. But in the meantime I am stuck writing it all out. :)-

Now let’s go see what amazing scrapbooker Erica has to show us. Now she DOES make videos, and you should all make sure you subscribe to the CK You Tube channel as well as the amazing channels of many of our current Varsity DT members. Enjoy!

-xoGia