I wait til the house is quiet, everyone settled into late Saturday afternoon, and I creep up the stairs. I have a page in mind. There is a sheet of pale blue, soft, perfect for a background, lying on my desk. I pick it up, knowing I have a photo of blues and whites, with just enough black to set it off..
|Pale blue paper from Fancy Pants Designs. Labels from Gossamer BLue|
I have two prints of my photo. one 6x4, one half that, so I make a quick decision about proportions: big canvas? small? prominent photo? I go for my new favourite tarter point of 8.5x11, for each page I've made lately in this size I've been pleased with.
So I trim my paper and lay on it the smaller photo. This is a page about going to the opticians (or is it? isn't it really a page about age?) and for that I like the notion of having the picture in amongst other pieces, so you have to pick it out, decide what you are looking at and how it fits. Can you read the next line? Is it an "0"? maybe it's a "c"? Are the dots clearer on the red or the green?
I have black in my photo, so I pick out some black accents for my embellishments: black glasses from Fancy Pants Designs Puffy Shapes. There are words on that sheet of puffy stickers: it would be a challenge for me to use "Grandpa" on any page, there is a definite lack of Grandpas in this family. But if I snip at it it becomes "grand"
which is a word we use a lot round here for any test which goes well.
I think again about alphas, then. I want hand cut letters you can just about see; and to get the pattern of flowers the right size I cut them from journaling cards (Simple Stories Snap! pack, Gossamer Blue August Life Pages Main Add On) instead of from a larger patterned 12x12 sheet. I lift a black pen and add outlines. It looks wrong: too much black in the wrong place on the page, so I have to cut my letters again, just squeezing another set.
Now I'm hunting through the Life Pages kits I see labels I could use for extra journaling, a perfect little sticker that says "looking forward". I mount them on scrap card so I can play about with their position. I cut a speech bubble from another Life Pages card, pick up a fine nibbed pen so my writing looks as if I've thought about it, slowly, carefully, and I fill it with words.
I toy with all my elements, moving them round the page. I decide I want a border of darker flowers, so I must trim more of that pretty pale blue away, leaving a neater space. Time to commit. But it's not quite right. I need something to hold it all down and pull my eye right round. I have green threaded into the sewing machine. I slide my blue background under the foot and stitch freehand in repeating wavy lines round and round, driving my frustrations at my eyes into that paper. Then it's done.
The sticking down is the quick bit. If I go slowly I go backwards, changing my mind again, so I work quickly. And, then, before I call it finished, I set it aside and I walk away. It won't be finished until I have one more look. Tomorrow.
A page for Gossamer Blue, August.