Light the Path Design Team Kate McDougall | Introduction Page

Light the Path Design Team Kate McDougall | Introduction Page


Hi everyone and welcome to a blog series created by our design team and designed to inspire you for Light The Path! This is our creative workshop that will help you document a year of healing. You can learn more about this dynamic project here: Light The Path. Today we have Kate, who will be sharing her Light The Path Introduction page from her project. You can see more of her stunning work on her Blog: Kate Makes


Hello everyone! I’m Kate and I’m so pleased to meet you. Today I’m sharing a little bit about myself, my life and hobbies, along with a layout that I hope you will enjoy.

About me

First up, my summary statistics. I’m 35 (or 36 if you’re reading this after the end of November), a mum of 2 amazing kids (17 & 7), I live in Edinburgh the capital of Scotland. I was a career changer at 29 when I segued from working as a beauty therapist to full-time agricultural college. Education has been a big deal for me these past 6 years, I started out at entry level with no knowledge or experience of farming. Last year I graduated with my degree and now I’m settling into a PhD. My research subject is sheep genomics, I’ll be looking at what immune genes are switched on and off. My hope is that I’ll be able to improve the health and welfare of sheep, who are some of the most amazing animals! I never expected to go to University, much less get onto a PhD programme, so I feel immensely grateful for this journey and the people that have helped me along the way.

I was attracted to the Light The Path team as I’ve come to realise I’ve lived with a form of maternal trauma for many years. I had my daughter at 18, and was quickly sidelined from her care by a relative. I’ve carried a lot of pain over the situation for along time, but it’s taken me this long to begin to understand that the situation was wrong and that I can grieve the relationship I lost with my child. Now that she is becoming a young adult we have been able to begin to build a relationship again. It’s a time for celebration, but also for confronting the past. I’m looking forward to embracing a healing art journey in 2021 with Light The Path and the Light Bearers.

My scrappy habits

I’ve always enjoyed trying new things, and I picked up scrapbooking sometime in 2017. My interest was born out of wanting something to do with my photos. I LOVE photos and am always trying out a new editing app or trying to improve my photography technique. Scrapbooking has given me a way to get my photos off of a screen. I have worked digitally for a few years as I couldn’t really find much product that I liked in shops near me. I started out with the Project Life app and then moved on to using Photoshop where I discovered a whole new world of creativity. I love making digital layouts in 12×12 format the most, and when there’s a sale on I like to print up a layout photo book.

This year though I started wanting more physical scrapbooking in my life. I’ve made mini albums since I started, I love the small format and the way you can be really creative with the shape of your album (check out my IG for an example from last year’s December Daily). I picked up a 6×8 Project Life album kit on clearance and fell in love with the size. When the pandemic lockdown hit, I started documenting in A5 (~6×8) notebooks to try and record something of our experiences during this unprecedented time. I think that spending so much time on a computer screen for work or study has pushed me away from digital layouts a little bit. I often crave the tactile paper experience. After my graduation last year I treated myself to a Cricut Explore Air 2 with some prize money I received. It has let me explore so many new aspects of papercrafting! I also have a Canon craft printer, and combining the two has been fantastic. I can use all the fabulous digital supplies I love and transform them into physical layouts and minis.

So that means that I create lots of different types of scrapbooks, what I chose to make next mostly depends on my mood and what’s inspiring me at the time. A lot of the time I’ll be inspired by a particular photo I want to scrap, but sometimes I’ll have a kit or cutfile that I just want to make something pretty with. Creating really feels like ‘me-time’ and helps me recharge my batteries. I usually share over on Instagram, you can find me at @scrappy.kate

My layout

I found the gentle colour palette and whimsical elements of Elif Sahin’s kit so inspiring. So much so that I couldn’t stop with just the one layout! The first step was to print and cut the cards and elements, I used my die-cutting machine for the elements. I started this layout with white textured cardstock and built up layers of mixed media using gesso and acrylic paint (pink) rolled on with a brayer. I flicked some blue ink on top and rolled some of that in too before letting dry. I had a cardstock stencil that I’d cut some time ago using a Paige Evans’ cutfile, and I used that and texture paste to create the lined pattern. The sailboat is foiled using the Cricut. In my photo editing program I took the boat sticker and used the colour-picker tool to mask the background, before using the line art in Design Space. You might also be able to remove the background directly in your machine’s software, and there are a number of background remover apps out there as well. I used the We R Memorykeepers Foil Quill and silver foil directly on top of the (dry) mixed media. I used some sandpaper on some areas afterwards to give a distressed effect. After that I layered up the gorgeous elements around my photos.

Light The Path Kate McDougall December 2020 - introductions
Light The Path Kate McDougall December 2020 – Introductions

In this detail shot you can see the shine of that lovely foil! After the background was finished I just layered up the elements with the photos. I print at home on a Canon TS9551C, this is matt photographic paper for art prints from Marrut, which is why it looks so thick. I like matt with black and white photos if I’m looking for a soft, low contrast look.

Light The Path Kate McDougall December 2020 - detail
Light The Path Kate McDougall December 2020 – detail

For the facing page I used a Project Life design D page protector, I recently picked up a bunch of them on sale and like the pocket layout. I printed my photos on a mix of matt and glossy paper. I used the ‘true to myself’ card to journal my thoughts using my typewriter, I saw this Dolly Parton quote the other day and it really resonated. I wanted to use up as many of the pink and blue embellishments as I could, so layered them around and directly on my photos. The bottom right card was an easy make, using a piece of white cardstock, the cute ‘girl you totally got this’ tag from the embellishments, with a piece of raffia and a charm from my stash. The ‘Love’ wood veneer piece was also from my stash, a generic brand from The Works (a discount stationary/book/toy store we have in the UK). The ’emotional journey’ flag cluster has no backing, they’re simply adhered together and tucked into the transparent pocket.

Light The Path Kate McDougall December 2020 - pockets
Light The Path Kate McDougall December 2020 – pockets

I enjoyed making these layouts so much. It helped me get some recent photos in my album and let me experiment with some new artsy techniques. I hope you enjoyed hearing about me and my process. If you have any questions please leave a comment either here or on Instagram.

Much love,

Kate x

Light The Path Design Team Member Aneika Walton


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