TSE – LYB “Christmas Magic” (Newsletter 18th Dec)

Yep – I’m cheating – the following is pretty much what I had for my newsletter feature for this paper range. Since I am trying to catch up – rather than write something totally new, I am using what I had written – so if you get the TSE newsletter you can safely ignore this post.

Oh my – Little Yellow Bicycle’s Christmas Magic” collection gives you a feeling akin to that of a small child, who has been told they can choose anything from the Candy Store. What to pick first? How many of the nice things can you get? Can I manage just one more? I have to say – I am impressed with the sheer variety of the embellishments that are part of this range.

With this in mind – I set myself the task this month of focusing on the embellishments more than the papers – lovely as many of them are. I also wanted to stretch myself as a scrapper and try some new approaches – do something different, out of my comfort zone. Although I am not sure I managed to play with as much as I should have (some embellishments became fast favourites) – I did manage to scrap “outside the square” for me.

Firm favourites in this collection would have to be the “Clear Cuts Fame and Titles”, with close runner-ups in the “Glitter Stickers” and “Decorative Photo Mats”.

“Dear Santa” is based on the one paper I HAD to play with – the die cut “Edge Fleur”. I’ve recently started to play with embossing and I was fixated on the idea of embossing just the die cut edge of the paper. Once I got started though, I found that there is little you cannot emboss (it is very addictive). After the die cut edge, I embossed the title and then wondered what else I could do. Whallah – one “Template and Card Set” – magic!! I used the ornament templates to cut some shapes out of the cardstock – these I then embossed – using a Kaiser clear stamp from their “Merry Christmas” stamp set. A few Kaiser red gems and some ribbon later and you have the perfect hand-made embellishment.

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I’ve used one of the gorgeous photo mats as a journaling spot and to provide a ‘backdrop’ for the ornaments I made. I’ve edged this with gold gel pen to match it with the gold embossing. One of the lovely clear cuts frames provides the perfect frame for Madame and her scowl. I’ve backed this with “Varnished Paper Snowflakes” – the contrasting colour of which, helps to make a feature out of the frame. Some glitter rub-ons and Kaiser gems to finish and you end up with a layout that is complex and rich in colour and texture – yet relatively simple and uncluttered.

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Here is the final layout.

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For “The Most Precious Gift” I really went out on a scrapping limb. Plain and simple is not my style at all – I have the greatest difficulty in leaving well enough alone, but looking at the paper designs in this range, I have the impression that many of them were designed with “colour blocking” in mind. This technique is very popular in the US and Little Yellow Bicycle is, of course, a US company.

The basic concept to colour blocking is simple. You divide your layout into sections – blocks – that in combination form pleasing geometric shapes. Each block represents anything you want it to – in the most basic form it simply represents a specific colour (hence the name of the method) – but a block could also represent a photo, section of patterned paper or journalling, an embellishment or title. It is a fast and easy approach to creating layouts – the depth of embellishing you do is up to you – in many cases it is left as very simply embellished.

I’ve only used the one paper – “Festive Floral” – what you see is both sides. The plain red section is a perfect spot for featuring the title. I’ve used the glitter stickers and Kaiser gems to make the title (which is one of the “Fabric Tag’s”) ‘fill’ the block. Oh – just a tip – DON’T use ink to edge the fabric tags, the fabric is very porous and the ink (as you can see) will run.

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I used one of the photo mats as a template to make a white photo mat for my photo. It needed to be white to make the photo (and clear cuts frame) stand out against the patterned paper. I used another of the clear cuts frames (have I told you yet how much I LOVE these?) and then added some matching glitter stickers.

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The journaling spot is an old Prima journaling stamp, using one of the cards from the Template/Card set. I used a green chalk ink that matches as closely as possible the dark green in the glitter stickers, which I Kindyglitzed to further match its appearance to the glitter stickers.

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Then I couldn’t help myself – I added some inked/’glitzed edges to the cardstock, some Kaiser gems to the scalloped border and cut up one of the glitter stickers so I could place it along the join in the papers. The cute little sticker on the bottom is from the “Sticker Tablet” – and is really cool. In the tablet they look like paper stickers, but they are actually a thin, coloured film and are very easy to apply.

Then I firmly put the whole layout to one side and pronounced it “finished” so I could not ‘play’ with it anymore. The simplicity of it is growing on me. Given that it was a ‘less than half hour’ layout – the appeal of colour blocking is very obvious.

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Conceptually, the hardest layout was “Snow Buddies”. I’d seen some work using hand-made transparencies as the dominant embellishment on a layout and wanted to try that – but it really is a case of “less is more” and you all know how good I am at that. (not)

The transparencies were the easy part – I inked an old Prima journaling stamp with white ink and stamped directly onto the transparency sheet. When dry, I gave the ink a thick coat of Kindyglitz. The snowflakes and words are from the glitter stickers and rub-ons sets.

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If you want to try this for yourself – just a word of warning – the ink needs to be thick and this means it takes forever to dry. Several hours in my case – doubled for the Kindyglitz layer.

I spent most of the time on this layout pushing those 2 transparencies and my photo (with yet another of those clear cuts frames – told you they are gorgeous) around an empty black cardstock. I finally hit on the idea of using the snowflake template as a stamp. Not only did it fill up some of that empty back space, it also gave me a chance to use up some old snowflake buttons that have lived in my stash since the Ice Age.

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Aside from the transparencies – the thing I am most proud of doing is the journaling spot. I used one of the decorative mats as a template to make a smaller card. The patterned paper I cut (“St Nicholas’s Sleigh”) to make the card was actually one of the light green ones (there being no light red) – so I had to ink over it with red chalk ink to get the right colour for the layout. As a bonus, the original paper has faint journaling lines on it – so I had the perfect journaling spot. I stamped it in the same way as the transparencies and added a little ribbon and bling to make it pretty.

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And the final layout:

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So there you have it – 3 very different layouts. I think I am going back to my fussy, cluttered, complicated style – since these took me just as long to complete AND gave me a mojo headache to go with it.

I’m not a card person at all – and it is probably the only scrappy thing I do where I DO like it simple. I have to admit though, that this range is a card-makers delight. The paper patterns lend themselves to being used on cards and the various embellishments are perfectly suited to cards. There is even a set of rub-ons designed specifically for making cards.

I usually confine my card-making to layout scraps, but I’ve been meaning to try the tree card out for a while now and I had to cut into a whole sheet of “Snowfall” patterned paper to do this. The other two cards though, are made from scraps from the layouts and from the tree card.

Often scraps seem to lend themselves to making a card – the flower card took less than 5 minutes to make – from design to completion – because I let the size and pattern of the piece of paper dictate the form of the card.

On the cards I’ve used the “Ribbons” pack, “Fabric Brads” “Dimensional Stickers” and “Cardmaking Rub-ons”, along with other previously mentioned embellishments.

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So check out the store for your own little stash of “Christmas Magic” – you know you need some – and the forum, for an explanation on how I created the tree ornaments using the card templates.

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