Growing and Learning from Challenges

I’m back! I hope everyone had a great weekend! 
I learned an awesome new technique at Scrap Matters this weekend. Every Saturday, they have a challenge to use a new technique in a layout. Don’t worry, they provide the tutorial for the technique and Ramona did an excellent job on this one! This past Saturday’s technique was on blended photos, a skill I really needed some help with.
The tutorial does expect you to have some working knowledge of your graphics program and to know how to clip a photo to a page so make sure you’ve been checking out some of the basic tutorials I’ve previously provided for you. In my pages on the right, there’s one on finding tutorials. If you’ve been there and got the basics down, then check out this week’s tutorial challenge at: 
My entry for the challenge uses the kit “Tomorrow’s Strength” collaboration by Cluster Queen Designs and Valerie Wibbens. Though this kit has lots of color elements and papers, I really love the simple black/gray/white pages included. For this project, they were perfect to use. Add a few color elements and they pop off the page! Here is my entry:
I applied that new skill to this next layout as well, applying it to some splatters in the background onto the blue paper to make it look as if it was really an underwater view. This layout uses the kit “Swim Like a Fish” by Clever Monkey Graphics (I LOVE this kit!) and a template from the Fuss Free Make a Splash 2 set by Fiddle Dee Dee. It turned out great, didn’t it! 
Notice that I went from a simple monochromatic (or nearly so) layout to a wild splash of color with tons of layers on the next one? That’s what I love about this as compared to when I was making dolls. I feel much freer to experiment with techniques, color and layouts. I’m not always successful with each layout, but the point so far is to just LEARN how to do this, to explore the craft and practice what I learn. I’ve even been able to use what I’ve learned to recolor a few elements, add design details to papers and change templates around to suit myself. 
I encourage you to check out the tutorials if you haven’t done so already and start learning new techniques and skills. Enter a few challenges. They help you gain new skills and they also give you a focus to apply to your layouts. You may be hesitant to enter a challenge if it takes you out of your comfort zone, but you might just find you love it! This advice applies to any new creative endeavor that you are learning. Challenge yourself and watch yourself grow. It can be an exciting journey!
Here are the links to the products I used if anyone is interested:
Have fun and keep learning in whatever craft or art you are learning!

As always, Happy Crafting!

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