Monochromatic Kaiser

This month has been mono month for the sketch challenge at 123. And it seems it was harder than I intended. 😦 Sorry about that. This layout was to have been uploaded as my tips/techniques layout mid-way through the month – but problems with my computer and camera (latter fixed, former still struggling with) nixed that. It did go up last weekend and helped some of the forum members – but I get the feeling that earlier would have been better.

Perhaps the first thing to say about monochromatic layouts, is that in my opinion they need to be planned from the very beginning. Start with your papers and then move to the photo and go back and forth making sure they match. I started with the Kaisercraft Café Culture papers – I loved them (still do) and thought they really needed to be used together to show them off. Plus I am a great sepia photo fan – and knew that a sepia photo would look fantastic with that range.

Be very careful about the photos you use in monochromatic layouts – if in colour, then you MUST match to the dominant colour in the photo – usually black and white or sepia photos are best to use – simply because you remove the whole issue about colour matching.

The hardest part about doing a mono layout is making sure your colours are the same ‘range’. What do I mean by this? Easy – think pink. How many shades/hues/versions of pink can you think of? There are soft pinks, bright pinks, red-pinks, purple-pinks, warm pinks, cool pinks, apricot-pinks etc. More than you can poke a stick at – and the horrible part of it is – not all of them will work together well. You have to stay in the same ‘family’ so to speak. No mixing cool with warm or red with orange pinks.

With the Café Culture papers it is obvious that they ‘belong’ to two different brown families. So some of the papers can be used together comfortably, but not all of them. For this layout I used the dark brown spotty side of the Macchiato paper and the lighter side of the Hazlenut. To these I added a light fawn cardstock and a very dark brown – keeping it a ‘chocolatey’ sort of colour, to match the dark brown on the spotted paper.

(Note: I am anal enough to have seriously considered changing the white spots to a cream – but in the absence of a ‘cream’ pen, gave up on that. Ask Kars – she will tell you I can be painful that way – she is still laughing at my re-using the ‘holes’ from inside the punched out holes of the new Bazzill scalloped-edge cardstock with holes in it.)

After choosing your papers, you need to make sure you have appropriate embellishments. Sometimes that means changing the colour of ones you have to make them match. I find dark, rich chocolate the hardest colour to get in flowers – particularly the paper ones. I really wanted a very dark brown for this layout – so I made my own.

The Green Tara flowers on the layout started out as white ones. I used some of that gorgeous Creme de Chocolat Glimmer Mist to colour them the right shade of dark brown – the soft shimmer is an added bonus. To apply the Glimmer Mist I used a cotton bud rather than spraying it. This allows me to not waste the Mist and to get the right coverage on the flower. My technique is simple – spray a pump or two of the Mist into its own lid and dip the cotton bud into that – then stroke over the flower. It soaks in really well and you can use the other end of the cotton bud to clean out the lid.

I also used the Kaisercraft chocolate pearls – obviously they are a perfect match for the papers (thanks Kaiser). You will often find that mono is easier if you stick to the same manufacturer for as much of the layout as you can.

One of the things I am very addicted to is collecting inks. I adore the Chalk inks made by Colorbox and snap them up wherever I can. It makes matching them to paper colours sooooo much easier. Dark brown was perfect and I used it to edge the patterned papers and to stamp the corner flourishes (a recent Heidi Swapp corner flourish)

I did also use a Fawn ink for the chippy heart. Then I kindyglitzed over the top to make it sparkle.

The punch flower is the old faithful – Retro Daisy – and it is actually the paper used in the layout. I simply went over the pattern with the Zebra Brown gel pen which I also used for the journaling.

When wanting to use a matching cardstock for journalling tags – punch/cut it out of your layout cardstock. Obviously use an area that will be covered by stuff (under the photo is usually a good spot) – but you won’t be wasting part of another sheet to get your tag then.

Once you have all your stuff matched together – you simply make the layout as you would any normal layout. The hard part is in the planning – the making is much easier (provided mojo cooperates). So that’s 2 layouts with this range and I still feel the urge to play with it more. Sigh – maybe next hols when I have some spare time.

So here is the finished layout. Madame again – this time a little reminder of one of her more endearing habits. Daddy is the keeper of her heart – Mummy is fine for kissing owies better, but Daddy has the ‘special place’. She can’t wait for him to come home each night and sometimes will go check the door to see if he is coming. If she knows he is walking up the path to the door she will race to the door to greet him “Daddy you home now?”


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