I recently participated in a fun Designer Challenge over at Pixel Scrapper. It was called “Pass the Kit.” We signed up for the challenge, were put into groups by level of experience (I claimed “advanced” – yeah, I’m ownin’ it!), and given instructions. The idea was that the first person would get the color palette from the challenge organizer, make one item, and then pass the palette and item on to the next person. That person would make an item and pass everything on to the third, and so on.
I received the palette first. It’s quite lovely, I think, all soft purples and blues and tans. I made a deep blue paper with a big gold foil vintage world map on it and passed the palette and paper on to Catherine, who was next on the list. With my design as a jumping off point, she made a stunning purple paper with gold vintage constellations on it and passed everything on to Shelley, who made a beautiful night sky paper scattered with twinkling stars. And just like that, we went from just having a color palette to seeing a theme emerge. I suggested the name “Celestial” and we decided to go for it. Cintia, our fourth member, was on vacation when we began but jumped right in when she returned, and even took on the daunting task of making a preview combining all our finished work (and did an awesome job at it).
Unfortunately the links for this freebie are expired, you can read on just to see some design-process fun. Someday I will likely post these again as a freebie, so keep your eyes on this page!
I made three different types of goodies for the kit. One is a set of “stitch & glitter constellations,” consisting of the 12 zodiac constellations made of stitches with glitter stars. Each constellation comes in a monocolor (gold stitch with silver stars) and colored (varies) version. I made these really big and I think they look wonderfully dramatic filling a black background, but of course they can be shrunk down to any size.
Next up is a little mini kit with two 12×12 papers, that first blue and gold world map paper and a starry galaxy background. There are six starry elements; they and the galaxy background were made using images from the Hubble telescope. I’m particularly enamored of the hot air balloon filled with stars. Then there are three painted elements, all sized large enough to hold their own on a 12×12 page – a vintage constellation map overlay and two scatters made of blended paint like last month’s Autumn Art Painty Bits.
Finally, I made a template, the first 12×12 layout template I’ve ever made to give away. If you recall, I’ve been playing with art journaling and have recently been participating in a bunch of art journal challenges. Well, one of the challenges was to use art journal materials to make a traditional scrapbook layout, scraplifting from a given original layout. What I ended up with featured some cool star cut-outs, so when our theme became “Celestial” I thought it might be fun to turn my own layout into a template to include with this kit. Here’s my original layout:
It was not as simple as a layout-to-template conversion I might make for my own use, because the shapes and elements I used were Personal Use designs made by other designers so I couldn’t just turn those into layers and voila! have a template. I had to remake everything from scratch. I am quite happy with how it turned out, and I hope it can be inspiring and fun for others as well. It also tickles me that the chain of inspiration will be: original layout picked for scraplift challenge (which by now is pretty different than what I’ve ended up with) -> my personal layout inspired by that one -> template I made inspired by my layout -> whatever you end up making with the template. Very fun!
There were too many gaps in timing as the team passed the kit around, and we knew we only had two weeks to complete the challenge, so at a certain point we made a shared Dropbox folder and just dropped things into it as we made them. So we were still inspiring and getting inspired by each other’s designs, but in a less structured fashion. Here’s what we ended up with, with all our parts together:
I had a great time making my parts. I found the palette really pleasant to work with and, as always, tried some new techniques and learned a lot. I also learned a valuable lesson about designing with a group – when you are planning to share the kit as a whole (all of the designers’ parts combined in one kit) you can’t do things at the very last minute. Which, as you probably know if you’ve read this blog before, is often how I do things. I am usually finishing up, quality checking, writing my TOU, creating previews, writing my blog post, and sometimes even still designing well into the night on the day before a deadline.
All in all this was a fun and novel experience. I don’t know how soon I would do it again because the pressure of knowing I was holding up my speedy and timely companions was stressful, but I LOVED the back and forth of inspiration and the sense of building something together with other designers. Another member of Pixel Scrapper (who is now on my Creative Team, as she’s one of my favorite scrappers EVER) made a lovely layout with our kit, “Not Your Typical Sagittarius.”
Here are previews of the other designers’ parts and links to their blogs. I don’t think any of these parts are available for download anymore, but if you like the look of someone’s designs, head over to their blog – they may have other freebies and treats awaiting you!
There were three other groups designing with this same palette for the Pass the Kit challenge. They ended up with different themes but of course the palette is the same. See the rest of their creations in the Pass the Kit thread at Pixel Scrapper.