Saturday, August 1, 2009

My First Attempt at Making a Masterboard

Subtitle: I wonder how to make a One Sheet Wonder?
If you've done this before, I am not going to say anything you don't already know! But if you've wondered about the process, I can tell you some 'ins' and 'outs'. It's really pretty easy, but I can let you in on a few things I discovered as a newbie. Here's my finished masterboard from yesterday's post.

I started by procrastinating. Then I wondered and pondered. Then I procrastinated some more by deciding I needed a completely clutter-free craft room in order to do this (you should have seen it sparkle). Then I sat in my sparkling clean and neat room and realized I needed some inspiration and some instructions. I looked through my patterned paper stash and found this Anna Griffin paper, which I love, and wanted to emulate the colors. Next, I needed some guidance. There are lots of sites that can take you through this process, and lots of people who do it very well. It should be said here that you can do a One Sheet Wonder without making your own paper - you just use an entire piece of pre-printed patterned paper to make a set of cards, journal, scrapbook page, whatever. Splitcoast Stampers has a whole gallery devoted to the OSW. As far as making your own paper (masterboard) for a OSW, I primarily relied on the guidance of Sharon Briss at Gingersnap Creations (GREAT site for lots of detailed tutorials and wonderful inspiration). She had two separate tutorials, one on making a masterboard (HERE), and one on masking (HERE, which we'll get to later), which I found very inspirational.

Time to jump in and choose stamps. I chose mainly botanical and insect images so that they would all relate. You don't want to pick too many, or it will become jumbled, and you don't want to pick totally unrelated stamps, or you'll look a little batty. :) So I chose a couple of florals, a couple of insects, and a small patch of text. (I was thinking of antique botanical journal.... are ya feelin' it?) So I tried a dry run, using only one color of ink on regular printer paper, and got this. I also sort of randomly cut it into sections, just see how that would go. (By the way, my previous post lists all the specific resources - all of the stamps are from Cornish Heritage Farms.)

A few tips gleaned thus far in the process: Before I added that sort of bold-looking butterfly, the pattern was very wispy and delicate-looking. I added that butterfly last, and it really pulled it all together. Another thing that became obvious once I cut up a few pieces, is that you really need to make sure lots of images go off the edge of the paper. Otherwise you get this sort of halo effect on one side of each piece of paper, with images running off the other three sides (you can sort of see how this is the case in the photo). I also realized I needed to go a little denser with my stamping - there was too much white space. (You may be able to see that I tried using a shadow stamp in places - in light blue ink - but decided against it. Too complicated for my first try, but I'm going to work on that idea.)

Next, I took my first stab at doing it in color. This one doesn't have the butterflies, and it has too many willows (it looks all spikey and prickly). But at least I got an idea of how the colors would look together, and realized I very much needed that butterfly in a prominent role. It also still looked rather white, so I thought, hmmmm, maybe I should try the whole thing on a piece of colored cardstock?

Uhhh.... nope. That's beyond me right now. Back to white (well actually ivory).

So, here's my first color run with the butterflies. The problem here (maybe you can see it if you click to make the picture bigger) is that all those spikey thingies were poking through my butterflies. Clearly, I had to mask these beauties so they wouldn't look skewered. This is where Sharon's masking technique came in. Out came the post-it notes.

At this point I decided I was ready to stamp on some real-deal ivory cardstock. Here's the paper with butterflies, all covered up with sticky notes. Now, as I was cutting out the fifth butterfly, I saw images of myself at the age of 80, still cutting, and it finally hit me. That forehead-slapping, "DUH" moment: These post-it sheets STICK TOGETHER. DO THEM ALL AT ONCE!!! So from then on, I stamped once, pulled off multiple post-it sheets together (I had no trouble cutting through 5) and tada, all of my masking needs are taken care of. Sheesh.

Here's my second layer (the pussy willows) over the butterflies.

I stamped the red floral image next, and some green bees. Then I stamped some pale blue dragonflies (in retrospect, I wish I had made them a darker blue - for you SU!ers out there, I wish I had used Baja Breeze instead of Soft Sky). Here are my dragonfly masks, stamped up where the paper is most sticky. I wanted them to be floating above the text stamp, so I had to mask them, too (but I only had to cut them out twice - about 5-6 sheets of paper together at once. Needed my long thumbnail, though, to get them apart!!). I only actually cut out the part with the wings - the rest of their bodies I just stamped over. The last bit was the text block. I should say that most of the stamp placement was random (just stamped each image roughly equally spaced). But I wanted to be sure the text surrounded most of the dragonflies, so that dictated placement a bit for that stamp. But it wasn't 100% matchy...... AND I WAS DONE!

The next step: cutting the thing up (yikes!). Before I did this, I went through some of the cards I made in the past, to see what my sort of "go-to" layouts were when using patterned paper. I wanted to make it easy on myself! So I made sure I planned to cut a few pieces that were easy to use. For the remaining sections, I looked through magazines and on the web to find inspiration, and came up with sketches that determined what the remaining shapes would be. I drew them out and cut them out of plain printer paper first, just to play with them a little.

Then I made sure my diagram was correct (uh, that was the plan, it wasn't EXACTLY correct) and cut out my masterboard pieces. As I was working, I decided to tweak things a little. One of those 4 1/2 by 3 inch pieces got cut into three parts: a 4 1/2 by 2 inch piece, and two 2 1/4 by 1 inch pieces (those two I used for the tags). This was just because my layout with that piece just wasn't coming together. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow. I also trimmed one of those long skinny pieces in order to mat it (but I only had a tiny 1/4 inch sliver left, so I think it's okay in OSW world!). You can see my "waste" pieces there on the bottom right - not too bad. And that's it! I will definitely do it again, and I'm sure it will go more quickly next time. Then I was left to make 6 cards! Oh, and two tags, and a box to put them in. (You can see the results in my previous post.) But it's all fun, really.

So, wanna see something funny? You know that sparkling clean and neat craft room I was telling you about? This is what it looked like when I was finally done........

Have a great weekend!! :)


Colleen Kramer said...

This is so great! Love your story mixed in with your crafting details. You have really given some great direction and suggestions and it must have taken quite a bit of time to put this post together. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Ali Manning said...

Wow, wow, wow! This is totally amazing - you did such a wonderful job. I like the idea of using a piece of designer paper as inspiration because often I don't know where to start. I'm going to try that. BTW - I really hope that you're considering applying the Gingersnaps design team!!

Shar B said...

Beautiful masterboard! I love how you paired it with a OSW. Great idea!

Ellen said...

oh jean you did make me laugh where you say I'm trying to make it easy for myself.

Love your story how you put it all together . You must have a very ordered mind.
The result is mind blowing , I know whom I would choose as the overall winner of these fun challenges. fingers crossed

Anonymous said...

Jean - what a hoot! It's amazing what has to come out to really get creative! tfs!
Pam Going Postal