I did a little happy dance when I opened my DT package this month and found I had the privilege of working with the extraordinary Mix and Mend Collection from Sassafras for October. This was my absolute favourite new release from CHA and couldn't wait to get my hands on it. But I've heard a lot of people who are apprehensive about it - not being sure what to do with these 'digital' papers. Because despite looking so dimensional, they are obviously quite flat in real life, and the minute you slap a photo on them this is accentuated.
So I wanted to share a few hints and tips with you from my experience working with the collection this month.
1. Put the texture and dimension back into the papers
You can use your scissors or craft knife to cut around some of the designs in the paper, and then 'lift' them up so they jump off the page again.
Or another trick is to layer back on the materials that are used in the design. For example, where there is a strip of lace - add your own lace on top. Where there is a punched border - add your own.
The lace I've used here is by Prima - you can leave it white or add some extra colour to it if you want to :-)
2. Use Layered Embellishments
To further enhance how textured and dimension the papers are, you need to
ensure you use textured and dimensional embellishments too.
The Sassafras In a Stitch Blossoms are perfect for this as you don't need to do anything extra to them, and they coordinate perfectly. In fact, they worked so well I splurged and totally used the whole packet on this one layout!
Alternatively, the Chipboard stickers can be easily layered - either on themselves or with other embellishments.
Here I've layered them on some Green Tara flowers, which all started off white before I added different colours to them. And bakers twine is from Jillibean Soup and is just gorgeous for adding further dimension.
3. Paint, Ink and Mist are your friends!!
In the papers themselves there are a lot of ink-splashes, stains, and paint strokes etc. So to carry this theme forward and to create unity you need to do the same to whatever you add to your layout.
You can see in the background of this one I have roughly painted on some cream acrylic paint, followed by some splatters of blue paint, and splashes of orange Glimmermist.
The background of this one started off as white cardstock, then I lightly sprayed some cream mist in places, followed by some stamping with bubble-wrap, then some glue-dots covered in glitter.
And don't forget to add the same treatment to your embellishments too. The Prima lace here started off white (until I spilt my Glimmermist all over it....... happy mistake!) And the Green Tara flower and yellow ribbon also got some splashes of colour.
4. Let Michelle guide you
This is perhaps really the only point you need to keep in mind.
Michelle Alynn Clement is the talented woman who designed Mix and Mend for Sassafras, and this collection very much reflects her personal style. So while you need look no further than the papers themselves for all the inspiration you require you could also stop by her blog for further eye-candy, and this blog post gives you an insight into how she created this line.
So what I mean by this is let the design elements inspire you.
For example, as in Part One and Part Three - there are lots of fabrics and papers and lace you need to be adding, as well as inks, paints and sprays.
But don't forget it also heavily features stitching... both hand stitching and by machine.
I did all my hand-stitching on these layouts with the bakers twine by Jillibean Soup that's in the store.
I got out some blue thread for my machine to stitch on nearly everything in sight.
And if you know me, you'll know that I quite often stitch on my journalling anyway so this was no big challenge for me me.
Ok, that's it for me. I hope I've been able to quell some fears about how difficult it is to work with this line because with just a little bit of extra effort it's easy to get some fantastic looking results. You can see my finished layouts (what I've done so far anyway... I'm still tempted to play some more!) in the new and improved gallery - including my take on the October sketch.
I hope I'll see some more Mix and Mend layouts in there real soon!