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Getting To Grips With Graphic 45 - Part 1 - By Jane Hewitt

First in a series of articles and project ideas by Jane Hewitt.
Anyone who knows me or has been in one of my classes probably knows that Graphic 45 is my favourite paper manufacturer; yet I am very aware that there are many people, who, while they like the papers, choose not to use them because they find them a bit daunting and just don’t know what to do with them.
When I look at images of Graphic 45 projects online I am constantly reminded that I am in no way an expert – there are some amazing paper-crafters out there using Graphic 45 to produce stunning work. I am just someone who loves Graphic 45 paper and I want to share my passion for the papers and try and inspire others to overcome their ‘fears’ and give it a go.
I would like to present to you a series of Graphic 45 articles with hints and tips for using Graphic 45 papers and products, spotlights on particular paper releases, skills that suit the Graphic 45 papers and project ideas to use with the latest Graphic 45 ranges.

One of the best sources of inspiration for using Graphic 45 papers is the Graphic 45 blog which can be found here. They have a very active blog with lots of sneak peeks of new products, giveaways, project tutorials and they also showcase the work of their designers. The projects on display are quite amazing and certainly inspire me to want to give things a go – though I could understand that to look at the designers’ work can be a little daunting and many beginner (or even intermediate) crafters might think ‘I’ll never be able to do that so why even try!’. Don’t lose heart – the projects you do with Graphic 45 don’t have to be all singing and dancing and in this vein my first article title is ‘conquer your fear’!
Conquer your fear
To start with, you need to get over your fear of Graphic 45 and just start to use it as you would any other papers. Ask yourself – what are you afraid of? Is it that you don’t want to cut into the paper in the first place? Are you worried that you won’t like your end result? Is it the cost of the paper? Well, I feel like that with lots of papers but actually Graphic 45 is no different so I say – just go for it!
My advice for this would be if you are nervous - avoid the ‘title’ papers. As beautiful as they are, they need a bit more thinking about so you’re better off with a selection of patterns from the collection. That way you don’t need to think as much about what you’re going to ‘do’ with them. Next team them with a plain cardstock and for your first foray into Graphic 45 try using the patterns sparingly – keep your layout simple. Lots of the layouts you will see on the Graphic 45 blog are very elaborate, but that’s because the designers are trying to showcase the papers, chipboard shapes, stickers etc. so they try to cram as much product on as they can (and undoubtedly, they do a beautiful job – but it can be a little hard to live up to). So try using a sketch, some plain cardstock and two or three patterned papers which work together. Either cut your title from cardstock or buy some Thickers.
The next thing to stop being afraid of is trying to make your layout or project fit the theme of the papers – you don’t have to have pictures of the circus to make a layout with Le Cirque papers or photos of antiques to be able to use Olde Curiosity Shoppe!
This is a great Le Cirque layout by Robin Shakoor taken from the Graphic 45 gallery:

And here is a lovely layout by designer Jane Tregenza using Olde Curiosity Shoppe papers:
Both of these pages use layering of papers and designs. I’m going to keep my first project for you even more simple using layering and punched designs.
To copy my design exactly you will need:
12”x12” Blue cardstock (not sure the exact blue I used as it was from my stash!)
A small amount of orange and black Cardstock
Bohemian Bazaar papers: a sheet each of Dazzling delights and Lap of Luxury and small amounts from Jasmine Nights, Vivid splendour, Opulent Sunset and Kaleidoscope
Coloured brads
Black ink
Punches: different sized circles and scalloped circles, butterfly, leaf
Thickers (I used black Tinsel font)
Below is my layout and a video to show you how I put it together…
If you don’t want to use Bohemian Bazaar then there is also a sketch for you to use with a different paper line – but do try to use Graphic 45 – after all, that’s the aim of these articles! But whatever you decide to do…happy crafting.

The sketch...

My layout...
A video 'how-to'...

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