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.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Green Thumb in Training!

The challenge put up by ARTastic for March was to use texture. I loved the inspiration of "Bluebirds" but didn't have any "bird" photos, however I felt the photo I used had a "bird" connection so I went with it. The day this photo was taken my great-niece Lilly was learning how to garden with the help of her wonderful grandma. It was a lovely, sunny day and the birds were chirping and flying around. If you look really carefully in the top, left-hand corner of the photo,  you can even see a bird flying by.

To create some texture in the background  I crumpled a sheet of tissue paper and glued it to some white cardstock. I then spritzed it with yellow Glimmer Mist. I cut the yellow circle from self-embossed cardstock and put the orange circle through an embossing folder. For a bit more texture I inked a couple of paper doilies and layered them beneath the photo. I found the insert from a box of chocolates, inked it to emphasise the texture, and cut a banner from it.  I then added a strip of ric-rac and a strip of punched cardstock  below the photo.

I then added an assortment of flowers, some of which I layered for more texture. Some of the flowers have fluffy yellow centres, some have hard jewelled centres. I found a vine of gold leaves, which I cut into separate pieces and added to the bird's wing.Even though the striped paper has no surface texture, it gives the impression with the print of  the leaf skeleton.
Hope you like my efforts.
PS Thanks to everyone who left comments on my entry for February. I really appreciate your comments and your support.
Cheers, Chris.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Trick or Treat - Chris Sexton.

The ARTastic Challenge for February is to use paint and ink. This was a bit of a challenge for me as I don"t often do messy. I loved the inspiration piece but didn't  have a photo with a red, blue and black colour combo so I went with what I had.

The photo I chose is of my great-niece Lilly having her first Halloween experience. She loved dressing up and "trick or treating" with her mum in the street where she lives. Once I chose my background paper I then had lots of fun making a mess of it with the paint and ink-although I must admit it ended up being a fairly controlled mess.

I sponged white paint through a zig-zag stencil (which represents the sharp points of her fingernails) then used black ink with another stencil to create the suggestion of cracked paintwork (which you'd probably find in a witch's hovel). I then splattered black watercolour paint in random spots just for fun. I then stamped a faux stitched border in black ink.

Once the background was done I distressed the edges then tore some areas where I wanted the suggestion of spider webs which I created using gauze .I then used corrugated cardboard, which I added green paint and Kindy Glitz to, to place under my photo. All that was left to do after that was to add more gauze, a journalling pocket, a couple of tags and a scary looking spider, which I inked red and black then finished with Glossy Accents. I mounted my photos with red and mounted them on 3-D tape to help them pop off the page. Lastly, I inked some chipboard stars then glitzed them up. All done! Hope you like my efforts.
Cheers, Chris.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

December 25th

 The ARTastic Challenge for December was based on a Christmas themed wordle.I wanted to create a vintage feel to my layout because of the photo I'd chosen but I also loved the colours in the wordle, especially the blue. I found that adding the blue gave a great pop of colour and gave more life to my layout.

I selected a photo of my husband taken  when he was an innocent  five year old, standing in front of the family Christmas tree, proudly wearing the postman's outfit he got from Santa.

I chose words for my layout that would reflect what a young child's thoughts at Christmas time might focus on, that is, Santa, the tree, decorations such as tinsel and baubles, what he wished for and his gifts. I cut these words from  Christmas themed paper and created a banner with them. My word banner was then highlighted with a string of miniature Christmas lights.


The paper circle, which is meant to represent a Christmas wreath, had some sparkle added using 3-D stamping paint and coloured rhinestones. I stamped a border of fir tree branches to replicate the real tree in the photo and added a bit more sparkle round the edge with Kindy Glitz.

I hope you like my take on the challenge. I enjoyed creating the layout and found the wordle inspiring. My biggest problem came when I tried to enter it on the ARTastic website due to my ineptitude on the computer. After many frustrating hours I was finally rescued by Julie at "Time to Create". THANK YOU JULIE!!! My entry is definitely last minute but better late than never, I hope.
Cheers, Chris.