Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Captured Moments - Chris Sexton

The ARTastic Challenge for October was to use a vintage photo and/or do a vintage layout. I absolutely love doing vintage and had an adorable hand-tinted, vintage studio portrait of my mum,aged 2 and her older sister, aged 5 (now aged 90 and 93 respectively) that I've wanted to scrap for ages. I took inspiration from the 1903 artwork of R. Godfrey Rivers of a couple "taking tea" under a beautiful jacaranda tree, and included jacaranda blue in my layout.

The papers I used were from a 7 gypsies variety pack called "Savannah" and co-ordinated really well with the colours in my photo and the vintage theme.
I used Ranger Distress Ink in Antique Linen and Faded Jeans, plus Momento Dye Ink in Rhubarb Stalk to colour and age the book page, the old doily, the wooden frame and the butterflies. I also added Ranger Crackle Accents to the frame for an aged look.

I love using flowers on my layouts and have a huge collection so I had fun going through it to find just the right ones, although I had to spray the small roses with Glimmer Mist Moonlight to get the colour I wanted.
I embossed the chipboard title with about 3 different coloured embossing powders before I was happy with the result.
I'm really pleased with the finished layout and my mum thought it was fantastic. Hope you like it too.
Thanks,ARTastic for the ongoing inspiration. I love viewing the Design Team's efforts as well as the Challenge entries to see how wide and varied the interpretations are. You all continue to motivate me to stretch myself and use new techniques. Thanks also to those who leave comments.
Cheers, Chris.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Gone Fishing by Chris Sexton

The challenge for September at PIXELS and PAPER was an "anything goes" project based on a photo of a fisherman. Considering we celebrate Fathers' Day in September and I had recently taken a photo of my almost eight year old great- niece Lilly and her dad fishing together, I figured it was the perfect photo to use. Lilly was incredibly excited about catching her first fish (even though it was too small to keep) and has decided fishing is a great past-time (although I think its more about spending time with her daddy than anything else.)

I used a gorgeous background paper from "fabscraps" called Lighthouse 1, scraped some white gesso through a stencil, spritzed with some "Glimmer Mist", then stamped over the top with a Kaisercraft stamp called Hessian. To add some texture, I used some torn corrugated card coloured with blue and brown acrylic paint and brightened up with a touch of "Kindy Glitz". I also added the torn off sections of the corrugated card to the top right and bottom left corners of the layout to act as a frame.

I used some brown mesh to represent the rocks at the river's edge and some gauze to represent a discarded fisherman's net. To finish I added a couple of charms, a wooden anchor, shells and some string and raffia. The trickiest bit was placing the journalling tag because of the various layers and the angle of it. I wrote on the back of it so that the tag just looks like an embellishment. I used mounting tape under the main photo to lift it off the page and make the lighthouse appear to recede into the distance.
I'm quite happy with the way it all turned out. Thanks PIXELS and PAPER for the inspiration and 10 points to the Design Team, who all had fantastic and very different interpretations of the challenge photo. Thanks for looking. I really appreciate the comments you make.
Cheers, Chris.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sisters - Chris Sexton

The ARTastic Challenge for August was to use fabric. The inspiration came from a piece of fabric art by Kristen Doran. The flowers printed on the fabric in this piece reminded me of the floral fabric on a cushion my sister made for me.
My sister, Barb, loves to sew and has made clothes for her children and grandchildren, patchwork quilts, home furnishings and lots of embroidered pieces. She recently made me an amazing cushion which was pieced together using fabrics that co-ordinated perfectly with my study's colour scheme and has hand-stitched flowers, hearts and a special message which reflects how we feel about each other. I absolutely love it and will treasure it always.

On my layout I used a piece of fabric as my background, which I ironed Vliesofix to the back of, to make it easier to handle. I stitched some fabric lace as a border, then attached the fabric, then glued a second row of crotched lace around the edge. I then placed a paper doily (double layer) onto the fabric and stitched a length of fussy-cut paper lace across the page. There are a couple of layers of tulle beneath this but it is very difficult to see.

Originally, I intended to cut the hearts from Vliesofix backed fabric but couldn't find any that went with my colour scheme so I used scraps of pattern paper that I already had which co-ordinated perfectly. I inked the edges of the hearts, then stitched them to my background. The larger hearts have a tulle covering to add a bit of softness.

After that I added some gorgeous embroidered floral lace, some fussy-cut flowers (again from left-over paper scraps), a chipboard heart already finished in gold (which I used as a frame for my journalling) and my photos.

I think the fabric background, the tulle and the lace give a softness to the look of my layout and reflects the use of fabric in the cushion. Thanks ARTastic for the inspiration. Also, many thanks to Julie at TIME TO CREATE for generously giving her valuable time to help me out yet again.
Cheers, Chris.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Aussie Beach Babe - Chris Sexton

ARTastic provided an amazing poster depicting the Australian beachside lifestyle of the 1930's as its inspiration for July, with the criteria of using striped pattern paper. As an added challenge, ARTastic combined with CSI, providing the extra criteria of using polka dots, scallops, distressed edges, the colours of the poster and journalling on stripes.
I found a wonderful photo of my mum at the beach, looking stunning, taken in the late 1940's, so I decided to create a beach layout. I wanted it to be stylised like the images in the poster so I drew simple shapes to depict the sun, clouds and waves. I used an unadorned bright blue background to reflect the clean lines of the poster.
I used striped pattern paper to create a beach towel, I punched a scalloped edge along each end, and used the holes to tie stranded embroidery thread to create a fringe. The stripes on the towel provided me with the perfect spot to do my journalling.Scallops were also used on the sun and clouds and I used yellow polka dot paper to depict the sand on the beach, which I inked, then distressed round the edge for added texture. I also distressed the edge of the clouds.
I added some blue mesh to depict the sea and some chipboard shells, which I painted with Liquid Pearls.
As a finishing touch I used two tones of yellow embroidery thread to hand-stitch a border round the page, then inked the edges.
I love how bright and colourful the layout is, and how all the elements reflect our Aussie lifestyle. I really enjoyed the challenge.
Cheers, Chris.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Precious Moments - Chris Sexton

Hi, everyone. I've been following the Pixels and Paper Challenge site for a while and I finally decided to enter a layout. I loved May's inspiration photo of ladies in white dancing in a field round a maypole. It reminded me of my wedding day, as we had our photos taken in a local park among the trees and flowers. Our photographer snapped away as we fooled around and one of my favourite photos is of my husband and I dancing together, laughing our heads off and having so much fun. The light was fading and the photo quality isn't great but I love the feelings it stirs in me. We were so in love and beyond happy that day.

 I have created a monochrome layout as I wanted to keep the colours simple and stick with a green and white theme to reflect the location of the photo shoot. The lace border portrays the lace edging on my dress, and the white embossed cardstock reminds me of my dress fabric, which had a small sprig embossed into it.
  This park had a special wooden entrance and a timber fence, so I chose chipboard pieces , which I finished with white Glossy Accents, to represent this.

I found some gorgeous pattern paper by Basic Grey that I've had a number of years, which made a perfect background. All I had to do was stamp some foliage in a darker green behind the fence.

I finished off with some green ribbon vine, pearl flourishes, flower sprigs and rosebuds, plus a LOVE tile embellishment.

I'm really happy with the result. I hope you like it too.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Cherish - Chris Sexton

I loved the ARTastic inspiration artwork for May, AMARYS by Robert Hagan. It made me wish I had a photo along those lines but not having had children of my own made that difficult. The mother and child photos of my sister and my nieces I'd already done layouts for and unfortunately I have no photos of myself with my mother when I was a child. This situation resulted in me frantically searching through numerous boxes and lo and behold, I came across a photo of my husband and his mum taken on the day of his christening. I'm sure he's wearing an outfit made by his mother as she was a prolific knitter. She looks so proud of him and he looks quite pleased with himself.

I wanted to emulate the scalloped edge of the baby bonnet so I added several rows of paper lace down the side of the photo. Some of these were punched and some were fussy cut from pattern paper.  Inked edges and a few pearls finished them off.

The paper I used for the background had gorgeous roses round the border so I used  rosebuds and sweet little daisies in the top  corner of the layout. I rolled the corner and backed the flower arrangement with some paper lace and cardstock.

Because the inspiration piece had flowers in it I added lots more rosebuds and daisies to a chipboard flourish on the left side of the photo. The underlying leaves were die-cuts from a kit which I toned down with Tim's Distress Stain - Picket Fence. The crocheted doily is a nod to my husband's mum and the pearls reflect her pearl necklace.
I loved doing this layout and am grateful for the push to find an appropriate photo. Thanks for the inspiration.
Cheers. Chris.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Laughter is.... Chris Sexton

ARTastic's April challenge called for the depiction of silliness, crazy antics or just having fun. My layout includes a photo of myself and two friends dressed as clowns.
We were part of a team of 23, called "Clowns for a Cure" that participated in our recently held, local "Relay for Life". We were all there not only to raise money for cancer research, but to support each other, as seven of us had survived cancer and another seven had been carers for family members who had been through cancer.

My friend Lyn (on the left) and I (centre) have both survived cancer and been in remission for over ten years. We feel pretty lucky and are of the opinion that life is too short to be serious all the time, and fun and laughter are the best medicine. We had a great time and carried on like school kids with lots of silly nonsense on the day.

I used the colour scheme from ARTastic's inspiration piece of yellow and orange for my background, which I misted with Glimmermist, and stamped with a Kaisercraft stamp called "Arty" in black to include the squares of the chessboard. It was then simply a matter of layering pieces of pattern paper, more misting and stamping, adding a journalling pocket, some ribbon, a few embellishments and a title and I was done.
    I used bright colours, sparkly alphas and KindyGlitz to jazz up the layout, to reflect the rainbow colours of our wigs and to make the whole thing feel fun and a bit crazy. I hope you think I've succeeded.

Thanks for the opportunity to be involved in the challenge. I look forward to seeing next month's inspiration piece.