April 2021 Challenge Winners Congrats to the lucky winners of last month's mixed media challenge. @trekmom wins the $10 random drawing and @Claire Grantham wins the $6 drawing for the product bonus. Rachel will get these to you right after the INSD celebrations! May 2021 Challenge – Use a Brush or Pattern on your Photo New month, new challenge! I’m always striving to be more loose in my layouts with Rachel’s delightful mixed media beauties but also in general. One thing that I saw myself doing quite often lately, is using brushes and pattern blends on my photos. It gives the page a random feeling that I long for. I use them for different purposes and I will let you in on it in my sample layouts. In this spread I used a heart stamp to draw more attention to the focal point and gave the photo a bit more framing and contrast with the marks. The hearts also add to the meaning of “love” in this layout. On the following introspective page I used the birds brush on the picture(s) to enforce the inward, moody theme. It’s even on the photo’s edging. My idea for this challenge was sparked by a different problem though. I was taking a lot of shots of crows in the last weeks. Most of them were crows in meadows, as they are easy to spot and focus on. I love the iconic pose in this photo but I didn’t like the boring surroundings. I had something else in mind, tweaked the photo and used stamps to bring in the additional meaning of mystery and nighttime and hide the grass in the meantime. Crows are symbolic creatures. It is said they have a connection to the other world, to the night, even death. They also are an intelligent and social species. I feel very drawn to them and wanted to document it on a layout. This is the boring photo I used, untweaked. And this is my new layout with the very much retouched photo with lots of brushes on it. The stars and the moon phases point to the mystical nighttime theme. The texture brushes distract from the gras in the background. The Captivating Sistas also had their hands on this challenge! Gaelle used an arrow stamp and it does a great job to give some orientation in her photo. She also used a date stamp. Carrie also used a date stamp and a geometric image that enforces the theme of being on the way. Marilyn used script and typewriter stamps and a sprig on her beautiful low contrast photo. They emphasize the subtle theme of her page. They all can be found in PocketArt - Stashbuilders 4. Dady a.k.a. Géraldine used a breathtaking scenic photograph and blended it in fabulously. She not only used a date stamp but also a lot of other stamps to support the romantic outdoor theme. Maybe she will share her original photo in this thread. Ann Sofie used this romantic birds stamp to add even more of that >longing to be there< vibe to her lovely photo and a map stamp enforces the roadtrip theme. Marijke stamped a wordart on her photo, that might even work as the subtitle of her page. Aly added an arrow stamp, that points to the left and it's a sweet addition to a cute floral photo. This challenge is meant as inspiration for you to create a layout with a photo with stamps or brushes on them. Use a brush or brushes to enforce a theme of the page, add another meaning to it, to hide or reveal something on your photo. Your photo can be framed, without a frame, blended into the background or a whole page bleed. You can have more than one photo on your page, at least one of them has to be with a brush/brushes on it. You can also use a paper with a pattern to blend it into your photo. Your brush or pattern has to be clearly visible on your photo. Everything else on your page is optional, as long as you have other items on your page, too. See the first comment for some product suggestions, if you need them. Challenge Requirements Your layout must be comprised of 100% Rachel Jefferies products; 90% must be currently available in her store. You may use up to 10% retired products You may use items from Mixed Media Monthly subscription Kits if Rachel was a collaborator (you are not limited however to just using her elements or papers etc. from these collaborations). You may use Mixed Media Monthly Add on Kits designed by Rachel Please Upload your layout to the Rachel Jefferies Designers Gallery at TLP and list the products used in your credits. For your challenge entry to be counted, you MUST upload your finished layout to this thread. Please link your thread to your gallery image as it helps us leave love on your layout (and, validate your project). No double dipping…your layout must be used for this challenge only, no others. You must create a new layout for this challenge. This challenge will remain open until 31st May 2021. Prizes One lucky artist will be randomly drawn to win a $10 coupon to the Rachel Jefferies shop. New Release Bonus Entry! If you use one of Rachel’s products released in May 2021 (a new release, M3, BYOC and even SOSN released in May 2021) you will get a bonus entry for a chance to win a $6 coupon (should you not be the $10 winner). Please let me know if you are eligible for the $6 entry by stating “New Release Bonus Entry” when you post in the forum. If you have any questions just tag me and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Enjoy the challenge! Now for some product suggestions in the first comment!