Finger Pointing – December 20th

Happy Holidays everyone!  I thought I’d start with that greeting today since this will be my last blog post for the year. Man, where did 2016 go?!  That whole ‘downhill slide’ from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Year, and bam! We’re in 2017 … well, almost. I love looking around the galleries during the holiday season; everything is just so festive.  I have a few holiday-themed pages in my picks today, but a few others, too.

Starting out today’s selections is Gingerbread Village from KateO. I love the clever mixing of brushes and dimensional elements, especially the holly stamps offset with the pine needle branches.  The paper stacking is great too, with just little pieces peeking out (and I’m a sucker for the spiral-bound notepad papers!). The use of literal white space here is well done and helps give the layout some breathing room.  While this is a holiday-related page, it doesn’t “scream” the traditional red and green colors you might associate with the season, and yet that’s exactly what Kate used.  Nicely done.

This next layout – well, layouts, plural – is a double-page from Melissa Marti, titled Welcome Winter. Now, if I gave you the title, alone, you might immediately think of something like snow, right? (okay, so that’s what I thought of)  Nope.  This is a wonderfully-composed celebration of family. I love that Melissa not only captured the entire family, as a group, but that each child also got their own, individual, spotlight photo, too. What also caught my eye here was the color palette. As we just saw with Kate’s layout, we might think of something along the lines of red and green being a more a-typical color scheme for this time of the year … but Melissa’s use of a kit that has green, blue, and then that neutral beige is striking to me — and see how everyone’s clothing seems to coordinate with the kit selection, too? Very clever. I think this layout would make a great family holiday card.

From a technical viewpoint, Fiona (Applechick) had my attention with not one, not two, but three extractions on her page, Bubbles.  Three! The careful layering of the extractions, coupled with the masking and brushes placed behind the images is really well done. I love the added touch of the whimsical bubbles on the page, too. The whole layout has a fun quality to it, which I think is perfect for the subject matter.

Another fun page, Bathtime Hijinx from aurian just cracked me up.  From the thumbnail in the gallery, I saw the journaling card: Find beauty in the chaos … and I just had to take a closer look. Oh boy, what a handful these two look like they might be!  From a design perspective, I really like how the photos create a circle around the page, which is mirrored by the paper shapes in the background. I wonder of Aurian feels like she’s going in circles with these two?! The color photos capture two toddlers at play – a beautiful moment and snapshot of time, and the black and white head shots hint at innocence with just a hint of cheeky thrown in there. A great choice to blend the two photo styles.

Dark background papers can be challenging and sometimes hard to pull off, but they can be an excellent choice as a foundation for brushwork — and that’s exactly what huguytom220 used here in her page, Have a Little Faith. The pinks and greens of the brushes sit really nicely on the charcoal grey of the background, and I love how everything is cascading from top to bottom on the page. The peek-a-boo photo spots are interesting in that they are circular, but with the layering and other cut-outs, they – too – appear to be cut-outs of slightly different shapes.

Rounding out today’s selection is a Project Life page, Week 49, by Anke. I so admire scrappers that commit to Project Life and see everything through to the very last week in the year – sometimes taking on the project year after year, too!  I was drawn to the softness of this page with Anke’s use of grey and white. Even the elements she added, like the buttons, flower, and snowflakes, are quietly understated. The stitched grid design allows for many photos (and Anke included eight on this page!), as well as several squares for journaling. It’s a simple design that has quite an impact and allows for a lot of storytelling … perfect for capturing those everyday moments.

Well, that’s it for today.  With less than a week away until Christmas, I hope you are able to find some “me” time during the season and also have the chance to stop, breathe, and enjoy the festivities with family and friends. I wish everyone the happiest of holidays, and a great new year!

Finger Pointing – November 26th

Evening everyone – well, it’s the start of the evening here on the east coast of the U.S.  After a busy day of house project, like painting the entire living room, and then straightening up the spare bedroom, I’m ready to just sit down, browse, and maybe even get my scrap on for a while.  It’s a good night for my turn here on the blog – so much inspiration out there with the galleries filling up with weekend layouts!

Starting out today’s picks is Wo69b from Hilu1956. This is the second page of a two-page layout (you can see the other page here), but I love that this one can easily stand alone. I love the balance this scrapper has achieved with the larger photo grounding the layout on the bottom, but still leaving plenty of room up top for more detailed pictures.  Also, great choice to use a mask on the large picture – the messy edge along the top helps break up the lines and also allows for a little white and separation on the page. And besides, how cute is that garden shed?  I want one!

Changing things up a bit, how about a hybrid project?  One of the things I love about the digital world is that as large as it might seem, sometimes there are opportunities to meet scrappers in person – and I’m pleased to say, I know this girl!! Kate’s hybrid projects are awesome and when I saw her Hybrid Christmas Tags, I just had to include them in today’s post.  What fun would it be to receive a gift with a handmade tag like this attached to it?  The machine stitching is great, and I love that everything is carefully placed on each tag so the stitching helps to keep everything secure. Fun colors, and a great mix of small elements, stickers and labels. Just fun all around!

tags

The galleries are filling up with holiday-themed pages, so I just had to include one or two here – and Vrielinkie’s Throwback Christmas Photo is the first of two Christmas pages for today. Looking at the thumbnail in the gallery, this page caught my attention with the vertical design elements – even the song words for Jingle Bells are vertical! The repetition of “3” here is clever, too, from “Ho Ho Ho” to the numbers 1, 2, and 3 representing the three children, and even to the three strips of red patterned paper under the photo. Great color combination, with hints of red and green for the traditional holiday colors, mixed with the vintage-y browns.

My second holiday page (well, I guess third, if you include the gift tags), is just adorable and that photo is too precious (and that’s a very patient dog to have not only a scarf, but a hat on, as well!). Miranda’s page, Homemade Christmas, has so many details to look at – all in tiny miniature – and yet the photo is still, quite obviously, front and center. A perfectly plain neutral background allows for everything to pop off the page, too.

Pulling off a guy page with flowers can be tricky to do, but Sweeet (Jenna) manages to do just that in her page Thankful for You. Jenna’s clustering is amazing, and the muted color palette and kit selection here make it perfect for a page about her guy. In addition to the wonderful soft tones, I love that she chose to repeat the journaling, over and over, down the left hand side of the page.  The narrow width of the journaling makes an impact, but it doesn’t overpower the rest of the layout.

My final pick for tonight is an awesome blend of photos with artsy elements.  In jcaruth910’s page, NYC Skyline, the blue sky in the photos really stood out in the gallery and that made me look at little closer. I love the doodled skyline which is placed over the other images and brushes. I’d love to see the layers here to figure out what’s what! The addition of the apple is a great nod to the “Big Apple”.

Well, dinner is calling, so I’d better get that finished so the boys don’t starve! Happy scrapping everyone, and don’t forget to leave some love in the galleries for these and other scrappers.  Until next time …