GINA: 12x12 Layout: You Gave Me Wings So I Can Fly

Last Saturday, Stew and I were out doing what I would like to call thrifting.  I know it's probably not a verb, but that's what I call it.  During our jaunts, I received a text from Shellie - nothing strange about that, she and I are in pretty much constant contact, but this text was different.  It included the statement that said something along the lines of, "I think i just created our first product," and she sent me a picture.  My exact response to her text cannot be reprinted here - I mean, there was a meme the other day that said something along the lines of "my swear jar could fund the space program", so you can imagine the word that popped into my head.  I was completely blown away, as I always am, by Shellie's talent and I am so happy and proud to be a part of what we are growing here on this website.  There's been much activity lately behind the scenes and a lot more to come and it all is very exciting, but I want to take a pause for a moment and just savor this.  What started as some off handed and half joking texts has morphed into what you see here today and though the past year has been a quiet one, the coming year, most certainly, will not be. 

With all of that being said, it is with great happiness that I share with you the layout that I created using the awesome cut file that Shellie created.

Before I start talking about this layout, let me tell you about the die cut.  With the exception of multiple user errors (make sure your silhouette blade is secured in its housing, that's all I'm going to say about that), this file cut beautifully - I used heavy cardstock settings with a blade depth of 8.  The first time I cut it, the blade depth was set at 3.  I only spent about 15 minutes separating all of the delicate parts before I just cut it again.  I always forget to change that.

The lovely thing about the files you will receive when you buy this item is that you get the file in every configuration you can imagine.  Want the whole file?  It's there.  Want just the balloons?  Yes, that's there, too - provided for you.  No manipulation for you to do.  Want just the title?  Also, there.  Want to print it, that's easy, just open the PDF.  Want to back it with patterned paper, as Shellie did in her example? You won't need to figure out the shape or size of those background papers.  The templates are included in the files you receive.  Believe me, it's all there and on the off chance you want the file in a configuration that we haven't thought of, please, shoot us an email and we will see what we can do about making that happen with our products in the future.  I don't know if you can tell, but I'm just a teensy tiny (okay, a lot) excited about this!  

So now that I've described just how awesome this product is, let me tell you about my project.

This layout is meaningful to me in so many ways.  This time of the year is super difficult for me.  Twelve years ago on April 14th, I lost my mom.  May 2nd is her birthday and then there's the holiday I have come to dread with all that I am: mother's day.  It's one reminder after another of that hole in my life, but as Shellie and I step into this next stage of our dream, it seemed appropriate that my mom be a part of it with us.  

The moment I saw the word "fly" on the cut file, I had an idea for the direction of this layout.  Getting from that idea to what you see in this final piece was not without a lot of tears, but also smiles, too.  Thoughts of my mom give me so much peace and even though she is not here physically, I feel her in every thing that I do and it may seem crazy, but I'm very aware of the signs that she sends to let me know that she's still with me.  I don't think it was a coincidence at all that as I started this layout, Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath my Wings" played on Pandora.  It was the song I dedicated to my mom time and time again, so it made perfect sense.

The photo I used was one I took during my mom's "photo shoot" for her online profile.  My mother hated to have her picture taken, a fact that bothers me to this day since I don't have that many photos of her.  As such, I've scrapped photos from this day more than once and will probably continue to do so.  Public Service Announcement time:  get in the photo, people!  I don't care why you hate being in photos, none of that will matter when the people who love you want to look back and remember - so, get rid of the insecurities or anything else that's holding you back and get yourself in front of the lens from time to time.  Let me assure you, it will be appreciated!  Okay, sorry, that's the end of my soap box about that....

For my layout, I used American Crafts cardstock in white for both my die cut and my background paper.  To give some color to the background and to give a sky appearance, I used a gradient palette of pan pastels and covered the white cardstock.  It was my first time using Pan Pastels.  What was I waiting for? Those things are lovely. 

Some other things I did on the layout:

I layered Prima and Crate Paper papers behind my photo.  I used a method that I picked up from a crafter I've been watching on YouTube lately and loving.  Her name is Cindy Brown.  I think that she is on the design team for just about every product line that I love, so I watch her quite frequently and one of the things that she does, or what it appears to me that she does, is that she picks her layering papers and then randomly cuts them into different sizes.  I did that here.  Additionally, I used a small magnetic craft mat and some magnets to hold my layers while I was deciding on their permanent placement.  It was the easiest way I have found to layer ever.

Once my layers were finished, I realized that everything was looking a bit boxy - so I pulled out some doilies and some Martha Stewart metal tags to give the layout some curves. 

To add some dimension, I used texture paste from Finnabair through a Prima stencil to the bottom, left hand side of the page.  I also used the paste just with a palette knife over the edges of the page to give a cloudy, sky appearance.

For embellishments, I used some gem clusters and glass flowers I've had in my stash as well as a large Prima flower.  I added a fabric bird from Kaisercraft, used the dots from my Thickers to move the eye around the page and adhered some meaningful word stickers. 

I decided my balloons needed some clouds so I pulled out some old alterable fabric die cuts from Studio Calico.  I added about seven in the three different sizes in the "sky" and then embellished some with glass and chunky glitter.  On the others, I added a thick coat of Shimmerz Dazzlers mixed with some mica powder.  I tried to swirl the paste on the clouds to give a fluffy appearance.

I added my title using two different fonts and the layout was complete. 

This one took awhile, but in the end, it is one of my most favorite to date. 

I hope you guys like it and I sincerely hope that you'll head on over to the store and pick up this cut file for yourself.  If you do, please share your project with us.  We'd love to see what you create.

If you'd like to check out the process of making this layout, you can find that link below.

Until next time, Happy National Scrapbooking Day!