Love My Boys

Posted by Jelissa Mei

5 February, 2015 - , , ,

Hello Maja fans! I’m in today to share with you a layout I made with the beautiful new collection from Maja Design, the limited edition Nyhavn papers.

What caught my eye was the beautiful bright pastel colors and of course, the lovely images of harbour life. While I didn’t have a suitable photo for the theme of the papers, I did have one of my two boys that matched the colors perfectly. I also have for you, some tips to make your pages more visually interesting and have a sense of “togetherness”.


I used a sheet from Vintage Spring Basics as my background paper and built up my layers with the Nyhavn papers. One thing I love most about Maja papers is that the collections flow seamlessly into each other and you can use different ones altogether in the same project. Because my background paper is a soft but bright yellow, I chose to use a contrasting soft blue paint to make the mixed media work I did more prominent but still maintain a pleasant dreamy feel. I also used lots of circular shapes here (in my chipboards, masking, embellishments and stamping) because circles signify “togetherness” and threads to show the brotherly bond. Repeating the presence of certain elements (in this case the circles) creates a sense of flow and consistency throughout the page.

Let’s explore more tips in the close-ups:


Many layers here created with papers from Nyhavn. Alternating the papers with designs on it, or stripes/dots/repeating motifs, colored or just plain neutral ones give a lot of dimension and helps the layer to distinguish itself from the others. Tucking in embellishments between the layers also breaks the monotony of papers only and makes your eyes want to stay a bit longer on the cluster.


One way to let your photo stand out amidst all the layers and embellishments is to give it a contrasting element. I like to draw a border by dry-brushing gesso and making all the paint strokes very visible. This gives a shabby effect and I do this for all my photos. Some other ways include distressing the photo and giving texture to it,  or using a transparency overlay with either color filter effects or an Instagram-like border. You can also think about editing the way the photo appears (eg. black and white) in a photo-editing software like Picasso or Lightroom. My photos are usually either b/w or have the colors de-saturated to contrast it from the rest of the colorful elements I have on the page.


Lastly, create movement in your work with the help of a visual line. If you see the main layout again, I had a composition that takes you from the top right corner to the bottom left corner. Every thing I have on the page (the big piece of chipboard under my main paper layers and cluster, to the title piece) accentuate that visual line I have created. The main part of the page with the photo however, has another visual line of its own (from left to right as seen by the paint drips). The extra bit with the zipper tag cluster was added in when I was doing touching up to make that second visual line more obvious but natural at the same time. Also, don’t forget about leaving some white space – that means parts of your layout without anything on it – as it helps to let your eyes breathe from all the exciting parts of the page.

So that’s all I have to share with you for today. I hope you find the tips I’ve shared helpful and I would love to see how you have applied those in your own projects. Do join us again on the Maja blog soon for more inspiration from the rest of the DT.



Papers used: Heritage Habour, Like a Colorful Bouquet, The Sunny Side, 2nd of April

Mediums: Paints, modeling paste, gel medium, mists, liquid medium (13arts), UTEE, Distress Inks (Ranger’s), embossing powder (American Crafts)
Chipboards: Blue Fern Studios
Metal bits, flowers, stencil: Prima Marketing
Stamps: Prima Marketing, Kaisercraft


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  • Beautiful design and layout and lovely colors as well. And, your little boys are sooo cute! Thanks for sharing the tips!

  • Jenny Grotherus says:

    I just love how you use the colours and all the details. Plus the way you share your tips! Appreciated.