I’m a border person, with nearly all of my pages featuring one. The Week 16 prompt was to include a border of some kind and my spread ended up all borders, with concentric rectangles decreasing in size as the design moves toward the center. Some of the members of the Facebook AJA group suggested that it looked like a magic carpet, which I didn’t see at the time, but completely agree with.
I decided I would like to have another go at borders, but this time I didn’t want to go the magic carpet route, nor did I want the usual frame around the perimeter of the page. But if not that, then what?
I thought about it for a bit and decided I wanted it to be curvy. I’m a person who loves curvy, organic shapes, so that’s pretty much a no-brainer. I also wanted something different than any of the borders I’d used in previous weeks, which added a bit of a different challenge.
With that in mind I sat down with my journal and a pencil to see where this might go.
Look closely at the right side and you’ll see the faint pencil outline of my curvy, swirly design.
The likelihood that I would create the same thing for the other side, and mirror image it? Slim to none. The darker version is traced on a piece of Deli Paper. By doing that I knew I could flip the piece to mirror the design, then trace that mirrored version on the left side. And that I would be happier with the result than with anything I might draw to try and mimic the first side.
Since I want to mirror what is on the right side and trace it, the easiest way is to use a soft lead pencil and scribble on the FRONT, over the traced design – right over the pencil marks from my tracing. Remember, I want to flip the design to get a mirror image. This scribble method allows me to trace without a piece of Saral or other transfer paper. Salral is kind of like an artist’s carbon paper, only less messy.
My suggestion is that you use two different kinds of pencils: a hard lead for the lines on the page and a soft one for the scribbling you do on the Deli Paper which acts as your transfer medium. Hard leaded pencils create lighter lines that are easier to erase – unless you bear down hard and make a darker line. Those are more difficult to erase cleanly, so don’t do it!
Again, the lines are faint (there’s less to erase that way), but if you look closely you can see the design on the left side. The section along the top and bottom, that are not the curvy side bits, was freehanded. Just wing it – those parts don’t need to mirror or be the same. At least I didn’t feel as though they needed to be.
Here I’ve used a black PITT Pen in the F, Fine Tip and have inked in the design. You can also see where I’ve penciled in other sections and an idea for filling the curvy shapes.
Mission accomplished so far. Not only do I have a border that looks nothing like a magic carpet, it looks nothing like any other so far this year.
More lining of the other areas. I’ve still not made up my mind that I don’t like the crosshatching, but trust me… it’s going, going, gone. Very soon.
The important part here? The varying widths of the lines. It happened accidently when I was trying to “fix” a section that looked a little off. In no time it looked nothing like the rest of the lines of the border, so the solution was to thicken them all randomly. With no discernible pattern of what is thicker, who’s to say anything is imperfect? Perfect is way too difficult to achieve. I aim for a perfectly imperfect look in my work.
Bubbles are one of my favorite fill designs. I really enjoy creating them and love the way they look. To begin with I fill an area, beginning with larger circles and then decreasing the size as the area becomes full. With the area mostly filled with larger circles of varying sizes I begin to use smaller ones to fill in those in between spaces, till everything is full and it looks something like this…
To create the bubbles I used black PITT Pens in an F and S tip. Aside from those two pens, the only other thing you need is a little time and patience. Since I love the look I’m willing to put the time in.
It felt like there was a little too much open space, so in come the dots which are another design element I use often. I took the photo part way through the process and did finish the section all the way to the bottom. And added them on the right side too.
With those sides done it was time to think about what to do with the center of the spread.
Leaf shapes. A couple of groves of them. Penciled in first, otherwise they’d be a mess. And a half.
Then inked with a F tipped black PITT Pen. Now what to do to fill the leaf shapes? I started on the left…
Which I liked, but was feeling the lack of color was a detriment.
So out came the metallic Gelly Roll Pens and on goes some shimmering color.
The glittery areas were done with Gelly Roll Stardust Pens.
And… this is as far as I got. Everything on the left side of the spread is finished and I’m pleased. The day to day demands of Joggles got in the way of my finishing the elements on the right side.
Will I get back to it? Honestly, it’s difficult to say, but at a guess it won’t happen for a few weeks. Next Monday I’m attending a trade show, leaving early Sunday morning, which means my week is compressed to begin with. Getting next Monday’s spread done will be more of a focus than finishing this one.
The challenge/prompt was to develop a border that was not my usual, not a magic carpet, and different than everything else I’d done so far. I’m satisfied that I met the challenge, even if the spread is incomplete.