Monday, May 30, 2011

Failed Faux Mother of Pearl

Today's project ended up totally different from what I had originally planned. I was trying to do the Faux Mother of Pearl technique, following a tutorial posted by a very creative fellow demo, France Martin. Must have missed the part where she said to use glossy white paper. I used Whisper White. Had the image all stamped and coloured before I realized my mistake. 

So I decided to tear and smear and curl corners and rough up edges instead to make this.

Here's what I used:
Stamps: Bella Toile background stamp, Elements of Style, Four Frames
Paper: Whisper White, Marina Mist, Crumb Cake
Ink: Stazon Black (to stamp the Bella Toile); markers to colour image: Crumb Cake, So Saffron, Pretty in Pink, Marina Mist, Pear Pizzaz; edges and image are sponged with Soft Suede.
Other: Crochet Trim, Decorative Label punch, Stamp-a-ma-Jig (to place sentiment).

Creativity is always a journey - at least for me it is! Sometimes a project takes a detour and I end up in a totally different place from where I thought I was going. But that's what makes it fun!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Time to tidy up!

Every once in a while I just have to spend some time tidying up my work space. Whenever I do this I always unearth some "treasures". These treasures are bits and pieces left over from other projects. Or, they could be from projects I started and then for one reason or another, never finished. It's not always easy getting the vision in my head to translate to the cardstock, ink and stamps.

I don't even remember what vision I had when I stamped these images from the Inspired by Nature set. I think I was trying to create a watercolour effect. That effect is created by inking the stamp first - I used markers (Rich Razzleberry, Old Olive, Soft Suede) because I wanted the different colours - then spritizing with a little bit of water from a spray bottle, and stamping on watercolour paper. When I first looked at these, they didn't look very watercolour-y! So I took my Aqua Painter and smudged things around a bit. I love my Aqua Painter!!!

It still looked a little blah. So I did a watercolour wash to create some sky and grassy areas. This is a very, very easy technique. I took a Marina Mist marker and, using the brush end, scribbled it onto the lid of a stamp set. This leaves behind a pool of ink that I can then dip my Aqua Painter into, and then just wash it across the paper. The beauty of this technique is that you don't want it to be an even coat of colour. I love creating darker and lighter areas. It creates more interest in the overall picture, I think. To do the grassy area, I used the same technique with a Pear Pizzaz marker. It was a bit tricky doing this in the small spaces between the long blades of grass that I had originally stamped. But, again, with watercolouring, all you need is a hint of the colour and texture.

Once I had my masterpieces done, they needed to be framed! And it just so happens that there were some perfect frames in the pile on my worktable. I had used the Top Note die and the Big Shot to cut out the centres for another project. The cardstock had first been embossed with the Square Lattice embossing folder. I always save the "frames" that are left over. (Hate throwing away something that can be put to use!) Since these were in Old Olive, they were a perfect fit to frame my watercolours! The framed images were then mounted onto a Soft Suede base.

For the sentiment, I used a sneak-peek stamp set, called Four Frames, a hostess set called Occasional Quotes and the Decorative Label punch with Very Vanilla cardstock. I used a Soft Suede marker to colour around the edge to make it look like it was layered.

OK, after all that, do you finally want to see the completed projects? Here they are:

Hope I've inspired you to take a look at all the bits and pieces laying on your workspace!

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