Friday, September 5, 2014

The Story of Masters

I realise I haven't talked a whole lot about Masters here on my blog. I talked about it a lot as I was applying, I showed you lots of sneaks along the way, and lots of attempts at the criteria that I never ended up submitting. But I haven't discussed much about what it's been like actually being named as a Scrapbooking Memories Master for 2014, nor shown you any of the projects I've created along the way. So let me share a little bit about it now :-)

It is a topical discussion at the moment for a couple of reasons. For all 10 of us current Masters we're mourning the fact that our last assignment has been turned in and despite the fact that last project won't get published until December, it feels like it's essentially over for us already :-( But what that also means is that the new Masters have just been decided on and the phone calls have been made. There's 10 more excited people out there who have to bite their tongue and keep silent until it gets officially announced in another couple of months.

As Masters we are supplied with a package of one of the sponsors products every month. We're given an assignment which ranges from layouts to cards to journals to decorative items and we need to showcase as much of the product as possible. Here on this first layout I'm using a bunch of Flourish With a Bling stickers, and as this is a previous DT of mine I found it a nice and easy assignment ;-)

Sometimes, of course, the assignments don't come that easy. For example, I love October Afternoon as a manufacturer - as a whole I really enjoy using their products, and I was really excited that they were one of the sponsors. The prize we received from them was really generous and I'm so grateful to them.

But for our published project we were supplied with a selection of products from their Travel Girl collection and asked to make a double-page layout. The reason that was difficult for me is that I don't have a whole lot of travel photos. It's not one of the topics I scrap about to be honest, and this particular collection wasn't one I was mad crazy about.

So instead of scrapping some old travel photos from a previous trip that I've already scrapped before I decided to print off some stock photos from Google (copyright free of course!) and used them to tell a story of places I'd like to visit - obviously Japan was the destination I chose for this layout. Not a bad solution if I do say so myself, but I'm not sure that this will ever be an treasured layout to me.

Basic Grey were another sponsor, and they provided the Masters with all sorts of different new collections. Only 2 or 3 of us scrapped with the same collection, which made for a varied and interesting article in the magazine. I received the Kelly Purkey designed collection 'Mon Ami' which again is travel (and food) focused, and I wondered if I would again struggle.

But what I love most about these assignments is the challenge of taking some products that I might not ever choose for myself, or a theme that I've decided isn't 'mine' and then try and make it into something that represents me and stays true to my style as much as possible. I think I accomplished that with this Basic Grey layout, and I'm quite happy with how it turned out.

Part of the trick for me was to stick with some tried and true techniques and layout designs, and adapt them to the products I'm working with. As you might have noticed, this layout follows pretty much the same 'sketch' as the first layout. Photo on the left, matching sized embellishment cluster next to it, other bits and pieces leading out from all four directions. This is a design I've used many times before, but I just find that it works for me.

Lastly for today I'll share a layout I made with Manor House Collections. At the time they had just released their very first paper line, but they are best known for their flowers, and whilst all 10 Masters received the same papers, we each got different coloured combinations of flowers which meant our layouts still all looked quite different.

The papers are quite neutral so I concentrated on adding the colour in two clusters of flowers. I wanted to give the illusion the page was divided into two, so I kept all the pink flowers on top, and the turquoise ones on the bottom. It's an interesting effect I think, and once again the design is something I've used before so I think this page still looks like me, even if flowers aren't something I commonly use.

I did augment them a little bit with the addition of gesso and spray inks. That's another important aspect of the challenges I think, customising the products and making them your own so that it showcases the versatility of each one.

Well I've got lots more Masters projects to share as the time goes on. Part of the deal is we can't publish our projects for a defined amount of time after the project gets released in the magazine, so all of these ones I've shared today were published much earlier in the year. There's lots more exciting projects to come and I'd encourage you to check them out in the latest editions of Scrapbooking Memories which is now also available online if you're that way inclined ;-)



  1. Lovely projects Natalie. Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed reading this post.

  2. Totally agree with everything you said here. :)


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