Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Make An Ephemera Collage - Week #46

In December, we're feeling festive but don't have this year's Christmas pictures to scrap yet with all the fabulous new Christmas supplies we've gotten. Scrapbooking "Christmas past" is a great way to share some scrappy Christmas spirit while we count down the days till Santa comes!

I found these wonderful pictures of my daughter from 2008 that had somehow never been scrapped, and decided to pair them with the Dear Santa collection from the brand new company Photo Play Paper (where I am social media manager).

To make this layout quick and easy, I grabbed my copy of Scrap Free Scrapbooking by Layout-A-Week's own Jennifer Priest. The book contains cutting patterns that create multiple color blocked layouts from just a few sheets of paper, but the individual layouts can also be used stand alone. I found the perfect layout for these photos in the book's first cutting pattern set.
Scrap Free Scrapbooking cover
As I assembled the patterned paper pieces that I cut following the pattern, I inked the edges of all of the pieces except for the background. This nice gray Antique Pewter by Colorbox gave the edges a nicer definition and separated the patterns from each other a bit. Below, you can see the difference between the effect of an inked edge and a plain edge.
The next step was to build a group of embellishments in an area of white space on the left side of the photos. Since the photos were from Christmas Eve, this number 24 from one of the "Dear Santa" patterned papers was the perfect starting point.

Since I didn't have a circle die or punch the correct size, I reached for my Westcott brand microtip scissors to cut it by hand. With the small blades and the microtip, I had enough control of the scissors that you really can't tell that I cut it by hand!
From the 24 circle as a starting point, I built outward using a holiday ephemera pack by Tim Holtz to create a collage look that I was happy with in the white space next to the photos along the edge of the gray patterned block.

Minor detail...I got into it and got to a point that I was happy with it and realized that absolutely nothing on the layout was glued down yet! This meant I would have to move the ephemera to glue down the patterned paper and photos! But my iPhone came to the rescue. I snapped a quick photo of the layout built how I wanted. I then started moving things to glue them, using the photo as a reference to get them back where I wanted them.
The key to a collage like this is that while the elements look random, they really are not. The circular items are place to keep the entire thing from looking too boxy. The long red strips visually connect the collage to the two photos and provide horizontal movement to what is otherwise a vertical element. The color themes of green, red and brown repeat, along with the holly on multiple elements.

The last two items that went on to the collage are the ones at the very top of the page - the stickers that say "2008" and "Twas the night before Christmas". These elements date the layout without it having to have a formal journaling block.

While I am usually pretty adamant about including journaling blocks on my layouts, I deliberately chose to let these photos stand alone without a story attached this time. The thoughts that accompany these photos, for me, besides the context of time and place, have to do with my daughter's autism and her health issues. Sometimes, as the parent of a child with challenges, you don't want those challenges invading every memory. I decided to save those thoughts for another day/layout, and just for this layout appreciate these beautiful pictures of my daughter for what they are.
The title block was created using another piece of ephemera to ground it. The words "holiday party" serve as a subtle sub-title and as a divider between the two words. The stickers are from the "Dear Santa" collection kit, while the word "Santa" is cut on my Cricut from a piece of paper in the collection pack. Like all my other intricate die cuts, it went through my Xyron machine to be adhered easily and perfectly.
The final result, when it's all pulled together, is a quick and easy layout that I created in one sitting with only a collection pack, an ephemera pack, and a few tools. But thanks to the patterns and the collage, it looks way more complex than it really is.

This little cutie is definitely on Santa's "nice" list!

  • Scrap Free Scrapbooking eBook
  • Photo Play Paper "Dear Santa" collection pack
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology "Festive" ephemera pack
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology "Occasions" Small Talk stickers
  • Cricut Explore machine 
  • Teresa Collins "Santa" cut file from "December 25th" Cricut cartridge
  • Colorbox Pigment Ink in Antique Pewter
  • Xyron 505 machine
  • Westcott 5" Pink Titanium Non-stick Scissors with Microtip

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