Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Best Foot Forward: My Process, My Way

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..

Sian Fair: August at Gossamer Blue, a process
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.

14 comments:

Susanne said...

How fun to get to be alongside while you complete the page. I rather enjoyed it! Fab layout!

Ali said...

A great post and lovely layout I love the colours you have chosen x

Jennifer Shaw said...

Fun to read your process and a beautiful result. We need to grow old gracefully all the way!! LOL I think we also need to keep a good sense of humour too. I've been putting off ordering my prescription sunglasses for my old eyes which have some early signs of cataracts. I hate wearing sunglasses! :(

Maggie said...

I like the way you lead us into this. I prefer the opticians to the dentist any day. The biggest blow about both of them is that they cost money!

debs14 said...

How fascinating to sit with you through the process, what a lovely page. But give me the opticians over the dentist any time!

Lizzy Hill said...

I really enjoyed reading about your process. For me, I finish quickly, photograph and put away. never come back another day;)

Ruth said...

Clever how you've put all the elements together ... works a treat!

alexandra s.m. said...

Superb page and I've enjoyed reading about your creative process Sian!
Thank You!!

Mitra Pratt said...

oh so enjoyed this with my cup of coffee! Loving the journaling along the stiching!

Isbaha I. said...

Cute layout, love the whimsical feel in it.

Missus Wookie said...

Lovely page and I liked hearing about how it developed. My process is so different :)

Karen said...

Your process posts are some of my faves! I read a paragraph, go back to the layout and look again, repeat. . . No wonder I love your pages even though they are so different than mine. One day maybe your expertise with embellishment will begin to rub off on me.

Jo said...

A great process to read about, it moved so quickly I almost feel breathless though :)

Gail said...

It looks great! I love how you adapt your embellishments to your layouts/photos. Congrats on the grand result of your eye exam, thinking mine won't be so grand next month. :)

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