Making Something Beautiful out of a Messy Effort

A couple weeks ago, for an Inspiration Friday post on my store’s Instagram account, I created two different watery backgrounds. I made one using a set of watercolours that Altenew had sent to us, and the other with my beloved Distress Oxide inks. There was a clear winner! LOL! My watercolour technique needs a LOT of work!

Well, for today’s Make It Monday post, I am sharing a layout I made with both those backgrounds. First, let’s take a look at how those backgrounds came together.

I’m sure you can agree that the one made with the watercolour paints is … amateurish? It definitely wasn’t a background I could see myself using as-is, but I’m always loathe to throw anything away so put my thinking cap on. In the meantime, I’ve been getting daily summer themed cut files thanks to Paige Evans and her 24 Days of Summer Cut Files bundle. On Day 8 the cut file was a row of popsicles and I thought I could position them on my Silhouette so that they’d cut in that watercoloured area, and then I could use them in conjunction with the other background to tell a fun summer story.

Here’s what came of that combination.

Full confession: I had planned to show you a video of this layout coming together. I even thought I’d filmed that video … only to discover that nope, nothing filmed. Doh!

In my defense, it’s approximately a billion degrees where I live and we do not have air conditioning so I’ve had many days of no relief from said heat and I do believe my brain is slightly addled!

Moving on.

For this layout I played around with the placement of the popsicles, eventually deciding on a horizontal line from top left to bottom right. The ones that were going to be hidden by the photo block I took away and can use on other layouts. You could totally back these cut files with patterned paper, I didn’t as I wanted the watercolours to shine.

I used a 3×4″ photo of ice creams from a new hard scoop ice cream shop in our town. It’s very exciting to have an ice cream shop back (our old one closed many years ago) and this one serves both lactose and dairy free options which my lactose intolerant body loves! Definitely deserved both the photographic evidence AND a layout!

Since I wanted to keep as much of my inky background on show as I could, I used only 3 small pieces of paper to back my photo – one tag from a Paige Evan’s paper, one cut apart from a Simple stories paper, and one cut apart from an Echo Park paper. I added black ink (a very dry ink pad so the black barely shows) to all my edges to add separation from the background and to help the three different brands/collections feel cohesive. When I layered them I made sure to off-set all the edges to keep things feeling fun and casual. Lining up edges creates formality.

I used some ancient hot pink letter stickers from Jillibean Soup for my title, and used a variety of small embellishments to finish my layout. The puffy stickers are from PinkFresh studio, the ice cream stickers (because why not add more ice creams??) are from Echo Park, the word stickers are from Simple Stories, and the enamel hearts and dots are from Doodlebug.

Since I’d established a diagonal design with my die cut popsicles, I kept to that with embellishments. Starting at the top left with a sun sticker to relate back to the sun icon in my journaling card, and the blue pinwheel to bring in some more blue up to that corner.

Your embellishments should support your design and your story. If you find that one area of your layout is particularly heavy with one colour, then use your embellishments to bring that colour to another part of your layout for balance. I didn’t have any little icons left on my title letter sticker sheet to bring that hot pink to other parts of my layout. Instead I’ve used a dark pink phrase sticker. Given how long that phrase sticker is, I’ve achieved my goal of bringing the colour up to the top left corner.

Thank you for visiting today and seeing what I’m getting up to in my sauna/craft room LOL! The current heat wave is set to break tomorrow which we are all most grateful for. I may even be able to string together two coherent sentences by Wednesday!

If you’re inspired to make something inky after reading this post, please link it up in the comments below. And if you love the look of those popsicle cut files, Paige Evans has so many wonderful individual cut files as well as themed bundles that you really should check out.

Have a great week everyone and I’ll see you again soon!

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