Saturday, August 3, 2013

Time to Get a "Real Job"

Cityscapes are one of the newest trends in scrapbooking. One of my first assignments for the Get It Scrapped Creative Team was to make a layout using the cityscape trend in an interesting way (something other than a photo of a city skyline). Check out this article, Scrapbooking Ideas for Using the Trendy Cityscape Motif, showing my take on the assignment along with other Creative Team members' interpretations. It's fun to see how different designers with different styles interpret the assignment so differently.
For my assignment I knew that I wanted to do a layout about my oldest son, Aaron, entering the "real world" workforce on a full-time basis for the first time. I'm so proud of his accomplishments and wanted to brag on him just a bit :) So many college graduates have difficulty finding a full-time job in their field, either because the market is bad or because they still really don't know what they want to do. So I think it's pretty awesome that he was able to get a couple of good job offers and was able to choose one that he feels suits him well in a company that has done well at weathering the ups and downs of the economy. Aaron will be working as a structural engineer - that is, designing buildings and other structures - and he will be working in the Twin Cities (MN), so I felt that a cityscape background was very appropriate. I know that there are several patterned papers that show cityscapes, but I decided to make my own background paper. My background would show the impression of a city without being very specific to any one city. I've used this technique in the past with other shapes and knew it would work well here. So here is what I did:
As you can see, I did experiment a bit first on plain cardstock and I loved how it turned out, but I decided I wanted to use a subtle print as my base. I have some grid papers from Studio Calico that I just love (I love graph paper and shapes in general); I chose one that had straight and diagonal lines that reminded me of the connectors that Aaron was designing during his internship. The pattern is dark enough to add interest, but also subtle enough to work with my stenciling. I left off the triangles at the top - it was supposed to be another bridge but I felt it looked more like pyramids.

 Once I completed my layout I added windows on some of the buildings. I felt that it needed something because it seemed to me that the cityscape was a little lost (I wish that I'd made the buildings just a bit taller) and the windows were just the thing. I only put them on some of the buildings, partly because I was lazy! but more because I wanted to keep the attention centered on the photos and journaling, and really only a few were needed to create the impression of the cityscape. Here is my final layout:

Just a note: When I did the experimenting I used a Colorbox cat's eye shaped chalk ink pad (since that's what I had handy). Although I kind of liked the subtle streaks that it produced, it was harder to hang onto so a couple of times it was pulled out of my fingers - that's what created the dark splotches - and before too long the pad pulled apart from the base. So for my final layout I used Distress Inks (I blended Black Soot and Iced Spruce) on an ink blending tool (from Ranger) and that was much easier to handle. I really think it could be done with pretty much any ink pad as long as you're sure to start on the template. Different pads would probably produce different amounts of streaking (which could be cool) but for the smoothest result I think the ink blending tool works best.

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