Thursday, July 4, 2013

From Oh Dear... To OK!

In my last post we took a look at some of those "oh dear..." crafting moments. You know the ones? You are happily crafting away and then.... OH DEAR! The project takes a turn for the worse.

Well, I had one of those moments recently. Actually, truth be told, I have those moments more often than not. Thankfully, I usually struggle through them to the other side. So, let's take a look at that!

This really did start out innocently enough. Armed with inspiration from Camp Scrap over at BPC, I set about putting a page together of an 8 1/2 by 11 album that I made for my Grandfather, along with the thank you note that he sent me once he received it.

I started out by printing images of the layouts in that album at a small size (about 2x3) and grabbing some watercolor paper:
I then went to work on a grid of sorts with my watercolor crayons:
All gridded up, I grabbed my wet brush for some blending...
The wet brush wasn't blending enough, so I grabbed a baby wipe and that didn't do the trick either. A spray bottle seemed like the next best option....

And then.... "Oh dear!"
Not that there is really that much wrong with this drippy square action. But it is not at all what I had in mind...
In a quick attempt to save the situation, I wiped everything off as best I could...
Did a bit more doodling and decided to forge ahead...
Here is the thank you card, along with a glassine envelope to house it in:
And then I started playing with the images:
But, I just didn't like any of that at all!
This is the moment that happens quite frequently...
And, I have learned to just take a step back (literally) and stare at the project.

While staring, I am asking myself why I don't like it.
The key to this little self-talk diagnosis is specificity:

Is the color off?
Are there too many colors?
Are the photos still working?
Do I have too many photos?
Are the photos too large? Too small?
Am I creating interest with layers?
Is my original inspiration still shining through?
Do I like enough of my idea to forge ahead?

With all of that in mind, I was able to determine the following for this particular page:

The watercolor paper is not a BRIGHT white. See there below? That is my watercolor paper in comparison with a sheet of white cardstock. I like the cardstock much better! The crisp white border of the photos works much more nicely on that crisp, clean white. Really - in comparison, the watercolor paper looks muddy, doesn't it?

I like the colors I have going, but it feels "clunky." In my mind, when I was originally inspired to create this page, I envisioned something much more delicate.

That made me realize that perhaps these watercolor crayons weren't the best approach. Maybe the thin lines of a pencil would be better? Or, maybe the squares of this grid should be more sporadic?

Also, simply math tells me that if I want my background to show any, I won't be able to include every image that I have printed.

OK! Armed with my knew found knowledge and direction, let's forge ahead!
The watercolor paper goes in the trash. Now, some sketchy squares on the cardstock:
And before I get to carried away with applying color, a little blending with a baby wipe:
Now for the pencils:
Maybe some softness from a Gelato would be a nice touch?
Ah yes! This is more what I had in mind!
For a little contrast, some darker pencil lines...
And now, I am back on track! I am feeling more confident and setting about with the layering fun!
Here, I have picked my favorite images to layer on:
And the remainder get pasted inside the thank you note:
Oh, goody! I have made it to the finish line....
Title done, bits of stickers and such added...
Just a tidge more pencil work:
And hooray! A completed page!
Full of all the details I initially imagined!
Oh, how I love working through the "Oh dear" and ending up with the "OK!"

It's such a good feeling.
And, knowing that I can just ask myself those above questions and hopefully figure out an improved direction....

Well, it's pretty much fool proof.

It makes me 100% confident to dive into the crafty unknown. Because, chances are, it will indeed be OK!


  1. Such a great effect. Love how it turned out in the end. Is this a recap page for the album? Such a neat idea.

    1. Thanks! It's a recap for me :) I made the album and gave it to him. He sent me a note, so I included the note along with images of the layouts for me to keep :)

  2. Haha your last two posts have made me laugh! i like how you've been honest about your process as my layouts often go through this - hmmm where is this going stage.

  3. Oh yes been there done that LOL. Always a food feeling when it comes out better, or still loving it. Looks awesome! Love all of the texture and big fan of small photos. So love!

  4. Turned out great! Great way to work yourself out of the problem. I love all of the smaller photos and how the squares in the background formed a solid foundation. :)

  5. as always gorgeous, but I did have my doubts when you first started but again you pulled off a wondeful layout!!!

  6. Awesome end result, Ashli!! Love the square effect you created in the background, the multi photos, and the fun texture from the twine!

  7. Very interesting to see your creative process, and the end result is just perfect.

  8. Your process just makes me happy =) I LOVE your finished page!!

    Blessings ~~ dawn

  9. I really enjoyed this weeks' postings on "oh dear"! I have caught myself in this position so many times. lol I think this page is awesome especially including the card from Papaw! :)

  10. What a great page. Lots of neat elements!

  11. You didn't just end up with "OK". You ended up with "wow"! :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...