Mixing It Up with Crate Paper and Gossamer Blue Collections

These two collections – Crate Paper’s Open Book from Maggie Holmes and the new Gossamer Blue Collection On My Desk and Gramercy Road leapt out at me when they appeared in Hey Little Magpie’s shop The colours from both mixed well so I decided to base this month’s projects on  a mixture from all three.
I very rarely use pink ( who am I kidding ) and I even more rarely use photographs of myself in layouts so I thought I‘d break with tradition on two counts and do a layout about me … in pink ! Funny how the most impromptu photos sometimes turn out to be your favourites. My son took this on his phone in the back of a cab – I’m a big fan of blurry photos , especially when they’re of me !
This first layout uses items from Crate Paper’s Open Book Collection . I’ve predominantly used my all-time favourite go-to products when time is tight … and when isn’t it  – die-cut ephemera and  the die cut vellum shapes. The beautiful colours and images lent themselves to such a layout  and I wanted to create the impression of a floral wreath.  All I’d have to do ( or so I thought ) would be to open a packet of the die cuts and vellum shapes and let them fall onto the paper. Anything that beautiful would look stunning however they fell onto the page. However, I then spent forever re-arranging them in an endless number of permutations until I thought ‘ This is ridiculous’ . I may still have been there now fiddling around with the exact placement of each and every piece. Instead I decided to analyse the decisions that go into the making of a layout and decided that there was a certain anatomy to it.
First I chose my base paper – this one is the oh so sweet sheet of ‘Moments Collected’ which has a lovely ombre look. Then I started with the straight edged shapes and roughly placed them in a wreath shape in the centre of the page .
I then laid my square photo on top .
And finally I filled in the gaps with the rounded pieces to give it a circular look – simple. Some of the shapes are raised on foam dots to give it depth. Sticking it all down was another matter and that’s where your camera comes in handy. Just take a snap each time you add a new layer and use it to remind yourself of where everything goes.
I love these die-cut packs – great value and endlessly versatile and I still have a ton left. Instead of taking me forever , I managed to complete this layout in less than 30 minutes .
As a complete change I decided to go for a more angular layout for my second project. The inspiration for this came from my son who was doing some perspective drawing for his DT homework ! I started playing around with a sketch based on raised blocks and arranged them into a stacked pile which I then sketched onto isometric paper . You can download them for free online from various sources – here’s the one I used. I then pieced it together as you would a quilt .
This is where it started to get a bit complicated ! I had to keep tabs on which piece went where, so I sketched a plan with numbered pieces and then assembled it by labelling the backs of each piece of patterned paper .
I used a selection of co-ordinating papers in greys and pinks from Crate Paper’s Open Book Collection , Gossamer Blue’s Gramercy Road and On My Desk collections with a smattering of Gossamer Blue’s enamel stars and one of their flair badges.
It was a nightmare to photo though. The closer I tried to shoot, the more distorted the perspective appeared due to the curve of the lens. Got there in the end !
And lastly – something simple and again quite graphic and angular . There are so many lovely gold and white papers around at the moment. I used a selection from  Studio Calico and Crate Paper’s Open Book  – a gorgeous newspaper with gold foil vellum , and the reverse side of a paper called Gold Foil Dots overlaid on top of each other to give the illusion of a book – don’t worry , I didn’t waste a whole piece of gorgeous paper hidden underneath each layer – I just cut an L shape from the top and right hand adjacent edges and slipped them underneath to look like pages.
My photo was only tiny and I didn’t want it to get completely lost on the page so I kept the focus on that with a couple of Crate Paper Maggie Holmes tags and a couple of the vellum die-cuts.
Apologies for the photo – the light was fading fast – I blame winter !

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