Friday, January 7, 2011
I Love Paper!
As I have been crafting away at my Valentines, I have been left comments to please share my creative process for making them. I am very touched by this request as I also love to learn from anyone willing to share.
My "style" is very simple. Cut and paste. That's it! The challenge I just adore with such a simple style is finding all the ways possible to express these two steps. I hope you will enjoy this peek inside one very busy place to be.
A comment often left, "I just don't like the look of my downloaded Valentines". I don't either, but I don't pay the quality of the image any mind at all. You'll see! Here I have downloaded an image 3.5 x 5 on regular copy paper. You can see the image fills my heart shaped template. A larger image means the focus of the Valentine will be on the Character.
The same image downloaded wallet sized is perfect for a Valentine that tells a Story. There is plenty of room on the template to accomplish this.
I cut away every trace of white background from my image even if it means cutting into the image itself. I will cut along a drawn line to get to hard to reach white areas. On my Story Valentine I have cut out a snippet from a vintage greeting card that is not in the best of conditions. I often buy damaged cards knowing the artwork inside will be just the treasure I am looking for. Already the eye is not sure which is "real" and which is downloaded.
My Story Valentine calls to mind roller skating in childhood in the Neighborhood with the Hills. A perfectly perfect 1960's subdivision with wide streets, manicured lawns, shutters and window boxes flying by through the view from my own long pigtails. Lt. Blue for the sky, green for the grass, a darker blue for the clouds rolling by. My only concern to pattern is the size. Small image, small pattern.
My Character Valentine is about the way it feels to roller skate. A nearly white print on top of a darker print gives the feeling of lift. A light heart is how it felt to me to skate.
A question asked of me that always makes me giggle is "Why does the front of my heart not match the back of my heart?" This is because your template is hand drawn. The right side of your pattern is always slightly larger than the left. My first step in creating any tag is making what I call "The Sandwich". My template is drawn on card stock which I label "front" and "back". You have to flip your template over to create the backside of your Valentine. I use a glue stick to adhere the card stock to my printed paper.
Lessons learned from my Mother about shapes while making grade school Valentines still serve me well. I have used the "heart" shape to create my cloud, Valentines to hold, and even the grass. I traced the bottom half of the heart onto green paper and then cut it several times again as though it were puzzle pieces.
A blue "cloud" Valentine for my Character. Metal skates in my hilly neighborhood meant you HAD to make it to the bottom or risk rolling up a steep drive way and falling into a neighbors grassy yard to stop. In both Valentines you will see the characters are off center to create this feeling of movement. The paper pieces are now ready to be prepared to be adhered in place.
Thrifty scraps of card stock are glued on the backs of each image for sturdiness. I always buy my foam in squares so I can cut them into strips.
I have backed my heart shapes with white card stock cut with scalloped scissors and added a thin bead of silver glitter. My style of paper crafting is very "flat" and plain, but I do love just this hint of sparkle. I will repeat this in silver letters left from Christmas projects. Foam dots behind my grass, everything is ready to assemble.
"I've got the world by a cloud, and my heart is soaring!" This is what my Character Valentine is stating. Note I have repeated the angle of the skates with the placement of the heart shapes as well as "XO" to give the "downhill" feeling I am going for.
The same angle applies to "Skating in the Neighborhood", the story this Valentine tells. The downloaded image has taken on a charm all it's own. Was there ever a cuter skating companion!
A finishing touch to my Story Valentine is the addition of my "signature". Look for this as any random word. I do this in my paper work in honor of my father and the long walks we would take together just discussing favorite words. I absolutely adore words. "Snickerdoodle". Now that's a cute word! Because my image is small, paper print is small, I have kept my edging small as well. A lovely story to hold in the hand.
A very favorite supply used in so many projects is used to form a loop to hang the Valentine. Hot glued in place,
a last traced heart template glued in place. (Don't forget to flip the template!) A white flower to hide. Done!
A final burst of crepe edging to match the lightness of this Character Valentine. A backing heart scalloped only around the bottom. Done!
I share patterns and such all the time on my blog, but to be asked about my creative process is to wear my heart on my sleeve. I hope you have enjoyed a peek inside this Creative Breather. A very happy place to be.