Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Happy, a mixed media scrapbook page by Sue Plumb

Hello stencil lover!
It's Sue Plumb here with you today to share my latest project for the StencilGirl Creative Team. Today's project was created for our current theme of "Passages". This theme had my mind going in several different directions; but in the end I decided to interpret the theme quite literally, and create a scrapbook layout that documented a special passage in my life. 

Here's a look at my layout, simply entitled "Happy"...

This layout not only refers to an actual passage (a corridor at the hospital) but it also marks an important passage of time for myself and my boys. I am thankful that on the day this photo was taken that I took the time to write down my feelings. (I will share my journaling with you later in this post.)

With my subject decided and photo printed, it was time to get started on my page. I began with a sheet of heavyweight white cardstock and Distress Oxides in the shades of Picked Raspberry and Seedless Preserves. I applied the first ink to my non-stick craft mat, added a spritz of water, and then swirled the water through using my fingertip before laying the cardstock over the top to absorb it. I then repeated the process with the second ink and the end result was a vibrant, watercolour style background.

Once my initial layer of colour was down, it was time to pull out my stencils and start building some layers on my page. The first stencil I chose was the 4x4" stencil included in the StencilGirl Club Rex Ray-esque collection. This collection of stencils was designed by Valerie Sjodin, and the small stencil I selected from the set features a block style pattern that is almost brick-like in appearance. I used teal Archival Ink and a small sponge to apply the pattern in three places surrounding the focal area of my layout.

Now it was time to add some texture to the page. But which stencil to use was the question? Drawing on the theme of my layout, and how the passage of time had seen my boys come "full circle" to this moment, I chose a stencil with a lovely, loose circular pattern called Circles in the Sand, designed by Roxanne Evans Stout. I then used a palette knife to apply some lilac coloured texture paste through the stencil over the top of the inks. The free flowing pattern of this stencil contrasted nicely to the structure of the first one I had used. 

Although happy with how my background was looking at this point, I really felt that it needed some contrasting highlights to provide more depth. I used one of my very favourite stencils - Organized Chaos by Cat Kerr, which I combined with gorgeous gold glaze from Vicki Boutin.  

Now satisfied with my background, I turned my attention to the focal area of my page and to creating some papery layers. I started with a heart print paper bag to act as the anchor, and it was also where I was going to store the journaling that I had written onto a couple of pieces of patterned paper.

Next, I added some pieces of patterned paper from the Cocoa Vanilla Studio 'Bohemian Dream' collection, which features pretty pink / purple / blue tones and gorgeous floral elements. I also added a couple of paper doilies and some frayed gauze, before adding my photo on top. 

I used a variety of pieces from the same collection to embellish my layout including die cuts, stickers, and a chipboard title. I also fussy cut a few pieces from a floral paper and tucked them in around the photo mat.

If you would like to hear the story behind this layout, here is what my journaling read:

A big day for us today! Back to where it all began for the boys 4 year old (and final!) development assessment as RBWH. Walking the hallway lined with photos, through that glass door and into those never forgotten sounds and smells of the NICU still made me tear up and catch my breath. I had to look away from all the tiny, fragile patients in their "boxes", and the tired, bleak faces of their anxious mothers, because it breaks my heart to know what they are going through.

It is good to know our participation in this program over the past 4 years has provided valuable data to researchers to help care for very premature and extremely low birth weight babies born in future.
Before we left I took a moment to pause in this spot with my boys. At the end of the hall behind us are rooms full of memories - the place I first saw my them, touched their skin, held them and fed them. Moments that felt like I waited forever for each one; and wasn't sure would even happen when I was first admitted. (And were it not for the expert care my boys received here, would certainly not have.)

On the day they were born I was wheeled in as the mum of premmie twins, including the smallest baby in the hospital.Today I walked out holding their hands and knowing how lucky I am.

Thanks for stopping by so I could share this with you. Until next time, happy creating!

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