How to create a double page spread...a tutorial

A double page spread is a great way to either fit in more photos or incorporate larger photos while still having space to embellish your spread in a pleasing manner. However, it can be intimidating because you are working on covering a much larger surface and you want the pages to relate to each other in a cohesive manner.

If you are new to creating double page spreads, the easiest way to start is to use the same base paper - either the same colour cardstock or 2 sheets of patterned paper of the same design.

On this layout, I went with 2 sheets of patterned paper of the same design. I used a more muted base paper to really make the photos pop.

Extra tip #1: You can use different base patterned papers if you don't have 2 sheets of the same design. As long as they coordinate, they would be pleasing to the eye.

Extra tip #2: Use papers from a paper pack because they are designed to coordinate.

To ensure continuity between the pages, I used the same elements on both pages. Like the houndstooth paper and the Christmas lights. I matched up the Christmas lights at the center to tie the pages together.

I find it much easier to work on one page at a time instead of both pages simultaneously because I like my pages to be able to stand alone if they ever got separated. Also, working on a single page makes the task at hand a little less daunting.

Once I'm happy with the general layout of both pages, then I work on deliberate ways to tie the spread together through embellishments.

Photos don't have to be put in the same position on both pages. Here on this page, I tilted one of the photos to create more interest (and make it less noticeable as the photos are of different sizes...hehe).

Repeated elements on both pages help guide the eye from left to right, contributing to the overall cohesiveness of the pages.  Like the tags on both pages. Even though they are not exactly the same, they are quite similar (twine and cupcake). Or the ribbon tabs. And wax seals.

I also anchored the pages by adding a strip of yellow cardstock plus red washi tape at the bottom left  (page 1) and top right (page 2) edges to help with the cohesiveness of the overall design.

I used pops of red on both pages to help guide the eye along  the pages as well.

There you have it..how to create a double page...according to me. *winks*

Do you like creating double page spreads? What is your modus operandi for creating great double page spreads? Please share!


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Make Stuff Monday: I may have a rat problem. *winks*

The Chinese Lunar New Year is just round the corner. And since the upcoming year is the Year of the Rat, I googled CNY decor and found this cute YouTube tutorial on how to make a rat out of ang pow (red packets).

Of course, I went with bigger ears, bigger googly eyes, bigger whiskers and used a pipe cleaner for the tail because I'm not very good at following tutorials (*The crafter in me thinks I can wing it much better..hehe*). But look at this rat, isn't it cute???

Now I may have a rat problem because everyone wants 2 (apparently, 1 is not enough because it might get lonely..*winks*). And for the first time ever, I have had to say, "I can't. I'm out of googly eyes! " *hahaha*


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This week's quick card using paper scraps

The quest to make a significant dent in the paper scrap pile continues! *winks*

Here is this week's quick card using my paper scrap stash.

As always, I went with a lot of colour and pattern....I did add a piece of kraft cardstock to help "break up" the patterns.

Happy weekend friends! :)

P/s: It's the last weekend before CNY 2020 so I'll be busy baking and decorating on Saturday and Sunday. Can't wait to share the cute decor stuff I made. See you on Monday! ;)


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Happy mail from a sweet friend...thanks Lizzy Hill!

Just wanted to share happy mail from a sweet friend - Lizzy Hill.

She created a pretty little folder (pictured is the front and back of the folder).

A look at what was housed inside the folder.

Here are the goodies I received!

So grateful for a sweet friend who took time to curate a package filled with stuff that I can't wait to use. Thanks Lizzy! :)


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Another self-portrait from my sketchbook

I haven't been drawing much of late. This was a self-portrait I started back in December 2019 (over a few lunch breaks aka art-on-the-go sessions) and finally added the finishing touches over lunch yesterday. *winks*

I struggled a lot with this one due to my lack of practice...can you tell? *LOL*

Definitely working on mastering hair in 2020. Usually I'm too tired from "fixing" the face...*hahaha*

(Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils and Uniball Signo White pen on Strathmore toned gray sketchbook.)

Hope you are having a great week so far my friends! :)


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Tutorial Tuesday: How to work with patterns on a layout

So I've been simultaneously trying to tackle my stack of 12x12 patterned papers as well as my (super fat) single file folder with divided sections of paper scraps. Typically I would pull a sheet of 12x12 patterned paper as my base, then try to piece together the whole things using my scrap stash.

Even though I would usually pull out random pieces from the scrap folder to "build" the layout, this time I pulled out the patterned paper pieces that kind of "go" with the bright patterned paper base I had chosen just to share a little of how my "creative" brain works. *winks*

As for the choice of the patterned paper base, you can choose colours that either match your photos or complement your photos. Don't worry too much about the actual pattern "clashing" with your photos because you can use a mat on your photos to break up the busy-ness of the patterns.

You can apply some tried and tested design rules here...like dark colours recede and brighter colours enliven a layout.

Since we were celebrating my sister's birthday on this layout and we had a cutesy Rilakkuma-themed party, I went with a bold brightly coloured patterned paper as the base for my layout.

Now, you don't have to choose sooooooo many patterns to work with, especially if patterns intimidate you. I really wanted to challenge myself and use up as much scrap stash as possible. :)

Here was how the layout looked when I incorporated the patterned paper scrap pieces I picked out.

One of the easiest ways to use patterned paper scraps is to cut them into smaller pieces and just tucking them under the edges of your photos to create a "dimensional" mat. You can vary the colours and patterns to achieve a pleasing colour/pattern combo.

On this layout, I used rectangular pieces of scrap paper (because I was lazy..hehe) but you could also round the edges and use a border punch on the papers to create more details and interest to your piece. 

I did, however, fussy-cut the floral pattern to create a visual triangle so that the eye can focus on the photos instead of being distracted by the numerous patterns on the layout. And in case you were wondering, I did use every piece of patterned paper scrap I chose (see photo #2) albeit in smaller bits.

My next step is to "texturize" my layout ...of course, with more patterns (the more the merrier..haha). 

Since the only "dark" colours are in the photos, I grounded the layout by adding a dark green printed ribbon (chocolate packaging) at the base of the layout. I also added word stickers on the photos to guide the eye to the photos. While the human eye loves to look at colours, the human brain loves to read text. Which is why I like to do my journaling on the photos or near the photos.

I used a super large sticker for my titlework... that helped to guide the eye down to the photos.

To "break up" the patterns, I like to do embellishment clusters around the photo edges. Personally I'm drawn to tactile elements so I like to incorporate bits of ribbon scraps (in the form of tabs at the edges), dimensional stickers and chipboard pieces. 

Vary the sizes and colours to create a visually pleasing cluster.

Washi tape is a great way to use patterns on a layout in a less obtrusive way since it is semi-transparent. I like to use washi tape as additional adhesive insurance as well as a "mat" for my clear stickers.

There you have it...how to work with patterns on a layout.  Do you like to work with patterns on your layouts?


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Make Stuff Monday: an upcycled decorated bottle

Hello friends! Today's Make Stuff Monday is an upcycled decorated bottle. :)

I started with this XO bottle. Love the details on the bottle....

So I kept parts of it unembellished....*winks*

Of course, I also went overboard with the embellishing on the parts I wanted to cover. *LOL*

The lace stash got slightly smaller so all's good. :)


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The one about the bronze medal

So nephew #1 came back with a bronze medal for the International Biomedical Quiz 2019.

He wasn't too happy with his performance and said that he will get gold in 2020. We shall see about that won't we? *winks*

So I actually got up from my chair, walked to the chest of drawers located outside my bedroom, opened the drawer of neglected tools, pulled out a border punch, walked back to my desk, used the punch on a strip of scrap paper, adhered it to my layout, carried the punch and put it back in the drawer of slightly less neglected tools. Go me! *high fives all around*

Playing along with Stick It Down.


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Tutorial Thursday: Yum pan #2

Back in March 2014, I shared my first yum pan (aka badly scratched Tefal pancake pan turned decorative piece).

Well, five years on and another badly scratched pan joins the yum pan family. *winks*

I started by cutting a piece of grey felt and adhering it to the base of the pan.

Then I covered the sides of the pan with remnant lace pieces.

Next I went in with some lace trim to cover up the uneven edges.

Once that was complete, it was time for my fave part of every project - embellishing!

And yes, that is an oyster shell.

Because when I go eat oysters and scallops at a restaurant, I bring the shells back with me. Yeah, these were on a plane with me. From Taipei to Singapore. *LOL*

I love that the oyster shell added a little dimension and sparkle. :)

I received "complaints" that we keep using the same signages for family photos so I made this one - perfect for new year celebrations and birthdays. ;)

What do you think?


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