The inspiration for "Blog Love," the layout I'm sharing today, comes from all around the Internet. In this post I'll show you how I combined ideas from The Color Room, Once upon a...Sketch, and Scrap Africa, in order to create this layout. (Links & explanations are in the body of this post.)
I got the color scheme from The Color Room. Their gorgeous palette #144 (pictured below) is heavy on green, which made me think of my online name, Green Denise.
I decided to be a bit literal and add green to a picture of myself, Green Denise. I xeroxed (and enlarged) my photo, then cut the image to form a mask. Below you can see the mask and my "trial run" using it with chalk.
For the actual layout, I used a few different media to create my self-portrait. First, I repeatedly pressed a black ink pad over the mask. This created a "grungy" base that gives depth to the image. Next I swept metallic green paint over the mask. I then removed the mask and let the paint dry. Finally, I outlined the image with black pen (for definition) and rubbed black and green chalk over the paint (for subtle shading).
I purposely placed the mask so that the words "открыткое письмо" appeared in my glasses. I played a bit with the meaning of this phrase. Открыткое письмо is the old term for postcard in Russian (now the shorter word открытка is used instead), but it can also mean "open letter." Since my blog is something of an open letter to the world, I thought it fitting to use the words отрыткое письмо in my portrait.
I also added a hand-stitched border to my portrait. I got this idea from Once upon a...Sketch.
Now, why is this sketch backwards? I wanted to show how I used the mirror image of Nadia's sketch to guide my design choices. Of course, I also followed the journaling prompt from the February Once upon a...Sketch challenge. The prompt was to write about love...any aspect or type of love. As the title of my layout implies, I wrote about the reasons why I love my blog.
I used additional journaling as a design element. All across my background paper (except in the area masked by the paper dolls) I wrote in blue pencil, over and over again, these phrases: "This is what I love. This is how I connect. This is how I love to spend my time. This is my beloved hobby." You can see these repeated phrases in the photo above.
The challenge this time around at Scrap Africa is to create a layout with hearts as the main accent. I used hearts symbolically in this layout. Since I wanted to emphasized how I love the way that my blog allows me to connect with people around the world, I made a chain of paperdolls whose joined hands form heart shapes. I used this chain of dolls to mask off the central band of my layout. I layered color (pencils, watercolors, chalk) over this chain of dolls, as you see in the photo above.
I saved the hearts that were left over from cutting the paper dolls, and I used these hearts, as well as bits of the dolls, to create a decorative border near the lower edge of my portrait.
And, finally, I used a distressed Dutch postage stamp with a heart-shaped Earth as a little banner for one of the paper dolls to hold.
Thanks for sticking with me through this long post, as I've explained how I used three inspirational challenges to create my page. I hope you've enjoyed learning about the symbolism behind my design choices for this layout. I've enjoyed connecting with you via my blog today!
ETA: Great news! This layout was featured in The Color Room!