Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Technique Tuesday - Watercolor Backgrounds

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!  This is my last Technique Tuesday of the year for 2010.  I look forward to sharing many, many more ideas with you in 2011, with Techniques Tuesdays, gallery cards, and challenges, as well as general postings. 
I would like to thank so many of you who have taken time to comment on my blog postings, or sent me emails of encouragement.  It really means a lot to me, and inspires me to keep going.  It really is great to hear that you are enjoying my efforts.....so thanks again.

For today's technique, I played with watercolor for a background.  These are quite simple, really.  I just used watercolor paper, spritzed it with water until it was quite wet, then rubbed ink from stamp pads onto my craft mat, and picked up the ink colors from the mat with a water brush, then ran the brush across the wet paper.  The instant the brush touches the paper, it runs and spreads.  If the color does not bleed as much as you'd like, simply spritz, or add more water with your water brush.  When it looks the way you like, dry with a heat tool.  The colors will dry a little lighter than they appeared when they were wet, so it's good to keep that in mind. The paper will curl while it is drying, so I turn it over and dry both sides until it flattens back out.  You can always iron it flat, but I find that the tape holds it down on the card and keeps it flat.

On this purple/green sympathy card, I used eggplant and lettuce Adirondack inks, then dried the paper with my heat tool right away.  I used Nestabilities dies for the shape for the design panels, then I stamped the flourishes and the sympathy saying (Impression-Obsession stamps) with black ink.  Finally, I added some silk flowers, crystals, and highlighted with the Stardust gel pen.
I began this thank you card the same way, with watercolor paper, and cranberry and current Adirondack inks.  Then, I decided to give it another spritz of water, and inked the dragonflies in the two colors and stamped them randomly over the entire wet background.  I love the way they faded and feathered into the background.  After drying with a heat tool, I stamped and embossed thank you in the bottom right corner.  I stamped the frame and saying on white, cut it out, mounted onto black, then cut around to give a narrow black border.  I wrapped ribbon around the watercolor panel, tied a bow, then attached the frame over the bow with foam mounting tape.  I layered the panel onto a black card, and highlighted with a Stardust gel pen and added crystals to finish it off.

If you are on Facebook, stop by and say hello...I'd love to "friend" you.  This is me: http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1181568098

That's it for tonight.  Have a very happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!  God bless.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Technique Tuesday - Past Winter card ideas!

Christmas is sneaking up on me, so I'm taking the pressure off myself for this Technique Tuesday post, and posted four cards I had made about three years ago.  It's fun to look back!
The first card with the tumbling snowman heads is one of my favorites.  I simply stamped one of the snowmen, then masked it off and stamped again, repeating three times.  Then a simple watercoloring, and some glitter.
For the mitten card, I stamped the background, then stamped the mittens, and the saying four times, creating a "word window."

The blue snowman let it snow card is stamped, watercolored, then layered on gorgeous blue/green paper.
Finally, the pink snowman with the star. I stamped the panel with snowflakes, then the snowman, watercolored, and layered.
What I love about these cards, is that they are not necessarily Christmas cards....just snowmen and winter cards.  It's good to have some on hand.  They make great thank you cards, also!

See you next week with the final Technique Tuesday of this year.  I look forward to another year of techniques and ideas.  I hope you are enjoying them, and, as always, if there is something you would like to see or know about, please let me know, and I will do my best to do a segment on it.

Best wishes to you and your families for a blessed, happy Christmas and New Year!!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Technique Tuesday - Chalk Ink Background With Soft Image

I took out my chalk inks this week, and started playing.  I love the cat's eye shapes in the ColorBox chalk inks.  They stack on each other, and are so easy to use and great for storing.  This is a technique I taught a few years ago at my stamp store, and thought it would be a fun one to share with you today.  I don't really know what to call it, so I'm simply calling it what it is....a chalk ink background with a soft image.  Here's how it's done:
* Start with smooth white card stock.
* Rub a white Memories or Staz-On ink pad (be sure it is freshly inked) over the entire white panel, laying down a nice, smooth base of white ink.
* Immediately rub on three or four coordinating colors of chalk ink, directly over the white inked card stock.
* Blend the ink colors into the white ink by rubbing the white ink pad back over the panel after it is inked with the chalk colors.  If you are concerned about getting the colors on your white pad, use a piece of Cut n' Dry with white Memories or Staz-on reinker to rub over the colors.  This will soften the colors, and blend them together.  See the close-up pictures from my cards.
* Stamp image/s over the background using chalk inks.  They will stamp out soft and whispy.
That's it! 
Here are a couple of cards I made with this technique:
The round poinsettia image is the part of this card which uses this technique.  I used a white Memories pad, and pink, rose, and red chalk inks for the background.  I used Penny Black stamps.  The papers are from Little Yellow Bicycle.  Here's a close-up of the background:
On this next card, I chose blue, orchid, and soft teal chalk inks.  When I rubbed my white pad over the inks, they softened to this really pretty background.  The snowflake stamped images stamped on so softly, making this background look like a soft, cool winter's snowfall.  Notice the white spots/specks all over the background?  This was a "happy accident."  I was spritzing my stamp with water to clean it, and some of the spritz landed on my work.  After a minute, these white spots appeared!!!  I loved it, and decided to keep it.
Here's a close-up of the background:
Stamps on this card are Hero Arts.

I hope you are enjoying your holiday preparations, and are almost ready and able to relax and appreciate the season.  I spent today relaxing with a great book, and dog-sitting for my neighbor's dog while she is away for a couple of days.  I made a yummy chicken casserole in my crock pot, did some stamping, listened to Christmas music, and just enjoyed watching the snow come down, and come down, and come down!!!  It actually just stopped snowing a couple of hours ago, after having snowed all evening and night, then all day today, into tonight.  It is supposed to start again, and accumulate another several inches by morning.  Slow going to work tomorrow. (Glad I had today off).

All supplies for today's technique are available at your local craft stores, or on many of the online stores.  Hope you'll give this a try!

Blessings and peace,


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Technique Tuesday - Altered Notebook/Journal Gifts

Don't let the word "altered" scare you off.  These notebook gifts started out as a simple composition book and a Dollar Store 5 x 7 notebook.  To "alter" them, I simply added some papers, stamped images, embellishments, and inking.  Here's a step-by-step on each of these gifts I made:
This Christmas journal, a gift for my sister-in-law for her birthday this week, started out as a black and white composition book, costing about $1!!  Here's how it is done:
-Paint the spine binding with copper Lumiere paint, which has a really pretty copper shimmer to it (not so evident in the picture).
-After the spine was dry, apply white glue to the front cover and adhered the poinsettia paper.  I pressed the paper into the glue onto the composition book firmly and thoroughly.
-Repeat for the back cover.
-Next, trim all the edges where the paper overlapped the edges of the book, using an exacto knife.
-Repeat for inside cover panels - I used a copper shimmery paper I had on hand.
- Distress the edges of the notebook covers with Ranger distress ink.
- Embellish/decorate as desired.  I created some die cuts with my Cuttlebug and Nestabilities dies and layered them on the book cover with foam tape.  On the top die, I stamped the Penny Black poinsettia, and word background, then sponge/distressed it before layering it on.  I added pearls for accent, and the bow was made using last week's technique.  I didn't have a coppery/red brad, so I took a gold one and used permanent markers to color it!
I stamped a couple of scriptures on the inside covers, layering them up.
That's it!!  How easy is that. 
Next, I made this 5 x 7 journal for my 12 year old niece, Sierra, and she absolutely loved it!! Lots of bling, and her favorite color (which also happens to be mine)! Here it is:
This started as a $1 journal, with a slightly stiff paper cover.  I wrapped the green dotted scrapbook paper around the cover, adhering with glue. Next, I added the striped panel, then the purple paper on the bottom.  I hot-glued the large flower (got all colors of these when they were on sale at Michael's a while ago for just such a project).  Lastly, I added the purple swirl crystals, and her name with letter rhinestones.  I made these purple with a permanent marker.  Sierra loved having her name in rhinestones on her journal!

Hope you will try these.  Plain and even patterned notebooks, paper pads, and journals are available everywhere, from dollar stores, to discount stores, to office supply stores, just begging to be covered and transformed into beautiful keepsake journals.  It's easy to make some pretty gift journals with a little glue, some paper, and a few embellishments. Add a pen, and they make wonderful, treasured gifts.
Enjoy these last three weeks of gift/card making before Christmas!