I recently started using the phrase ‘no card left behind’ at my classes. I know sometimes a card needs to left behind; sometimes a fresh start is best. I’m not talking about those instances; I’m talking about the times when the card is basically working. The colours are pretty, the layout is balanced, the stamping is solid but then something goes wrong. It could be a crooked sentiment or maybe a smudge of ink, perhaps an incomplete imprint from the stamp. In these situations I have adopted the policy of “No Card Left Behind” and I like to make sure it happens in my classes. I like the participants to go home happy with the their cards. I know they might try it again and tweak things or they might decide the design is not for them and never try it again. Either way I like them to go home with the promised cards.
To this end I have a few emergency solutions up my sleeve. I’m sure you have them too. Some of my class participants joke about the butterfly fix: “I can always stamp a butterfly over that” It can work in some situations but not really on a snow scene! I have shared some of my fixes before and have decided to continue in the spirit of “No Card Left Behind” and share some more from time to time. I will try and remember to photograph the problem before I come up with the fix but sometimes I just forge ahead and its too late for ‘before and after photo shoots’.
I have two cards to share today; the second one is the NCLB. I started both with the tree image embossed on watercolour paper with silver powder. I added distress stains to the paper and blended them immediately with water and a paintbrush. For the card above I kept the colour contained in the tree area just letting it bleed out a little by spreading the stain and water with a brush. On the other panel I blended the colour all over the panel so the whole rectangular area was covered in shades of green. I then sprinkled salt on the wet paper and let it dry. The result was a pretty textured background but overall the design was lacking something. I set it aside and finished the above panel with some silver, blue, green and yellow splatter. I added a bit of definition around some of the swirls and the border with watercolour pencils.
Now how about the NCLB card? You can see I ended up punching out stars and arranging them as a tree but it took a bit of fiddling around before I settled on that design. I first punched squares from the watercoloured panel to see if I could come up with a three or four square CAS layout but that wasn’t coming together so I punched as many stars as possible out of the squares and remaining scraps and arranged them in a tree shape. I had a little star punch that framed the star at the top of the tree and cut a little trunk from a scrap. All the shapes are popped up with 3D foam squares from Scrapbook Adhesives on a white panel which is popped up with the thin 3D foam squares. I had a few narrow scraps left so I stamped a simple sentiment and attached it as a tab to the panel. Punches are a good option for saving a card that will no longer work as a whole panel. I often punch squares from a stamped design but circles or fancier shapes like flowers and stars are great to arrange into a new design.
Thanks for wading through this rather long description; have I inspired you to give the occasional mess up a second chance? Do you have strategies for saving your hard work after an annoying slip or smudge?
Stamps: Oh Christmas Tree , Winter Magic (PB)
Punches: large and small star
Inks: Versamark, Versafine Majestic Blue (Imagine Craft/Tsukineko), Distress stains Pine Needles, Evergreen Bough (Ranger)
Pencils: Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils Indianthrene Blue 247, Viridian 161, Lemon 107 (Faber Castell)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Neenah Natural white 110lb cardstock, Neenah Solar white 110lb cardstock
Also: Silver Embossing Powder, Silver Wink of Stella Pen, Salt, 3D foam squares, thin 3D foam squares (Scrapbook Adhesives)
On the Penny Black blog this week the designers have been showcasing sentiments from the new “Season’s Greetings” release. I used this “Merry Christmas” die cut last week but it looked very different coloured with a silver sharpie. I coloured it for today’s card with gold embossing powder and used the same powder to emboss the Christmas balls and the edge of the mat framing the panel. You can see some of the shine on the border but in real life the words and balls glisten in the same way. I embossed the balls first then painted them with distress stains. I painted the background in blue and green diluted and blended with plenty of water then sprinkled salt over it to create some speckly texture.
Thanks for your comments and encouragement which I love to read. I have had a few questions lately which I hope to respond to in the next few days.
Stamps: Most Wonderful (PB)
Creative Dies: Joyous Wishes (PB)
Inks: Versamark (Imagine Craft/Tsukineko), Distress stains Barn Door, Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade, Evergreen Bough, Broken China (Ranger)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Avon Brilliant white 110lb cardstock
Also: Gold Embossing Powder, Gold Wink of Stella Pen, Salt
For the next little while at least I will be jumping between Christmas designs, autumn designs and last days of summer designs. I think some of you found the autumn theme of my last card a little much while it is still officially summer. I totally agree; I always hold onto summer as long as I can. I’m happy if I can wear shorts and summer dresses right through September!
Having said that here is another Christmas card. I created a little holly panel by stamping the “Happy Holly” stamp on damp watercolour paper. I inked the stamp with Memento markers then spritzed it and the paper before stamping. The ink bled into the paper straight away and I spread it even further with a water brush. When it was dry I restamped the holly image and painted the leaves and berries with ink from Memento ink pads. To finish I matted the panel in red, added a sentiment and popped it up over some holly die cuts. An adhesive sheet from Scrapbook Adhesives made it much easier to attach the die cut.
Stamps: Happy Holly, Joy Filled (PB)
Creative Dies: Holly Berries
Inks: Memento Rhubarb Stalk, Cottage Ivy inks & markers ( Imagine Craft/Tsukineko)
Also: 4×6 Adhesive Sheets (Scrapbook Adhesives)
Cardstock: Neenah Classic Crest Avon Brilliant White 110lb smooth , Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper
I tried something new on today’s card, colouring with Sharpies. If you visit here often you know I do most of my colouring with inks, watercolours and pencils but there was a 24 pack of Sharpies at Costco recently on sale for $9.99 and it called out to me. I have done very little colouring with markers so this was quite experimental and I thought I was less likely to make a mess with a simple design of leaves. To help me “keep inside the lines” I embossed the leafy stamp, “Wondrous” in gold powder first. I used the three greens below plus a touch of yellow. I began with the lightest green on one side of each leaf then added the middle green, then went back over both with the lighter green. I was pleased to see the darker colours did not stain the tips of the lighter colours. When I was finished I added a thin strip of the darkest green to a few leaves. The gold marker was used to make a border around the whole panel which I popped up on a white card base with dimensional tape. The sharpies don’t seem to have colour names or numbers so I added a photo of the ones I used below.
While the “Wondrous” stamp was out on my table I made another card in a very different style which I will share tomorrow. Thanks for your kind words about our “lights” cards yesterday; I shared your comments with my son.
Creative Dies: Wondrous, Foliage Fancy (PB)
Inks: Versamark (Imagine Craft/Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Neenah Solar White 110lb, Black cardstock
Also: Gold Sharpie, Green & Yellow Sharpies, Gold cord, Gold embossing powder
I had fun creating this little string of lights. I cut several strings of lights with the “Sparkle String” die and experimented with colouring techniques. I decided on the radiant neon inks because the colours are so soft and pretty. To colour the lights I left them in the negative die cut with a bit of tape on the back to keep things from moving around. Before I coloured each light I removed the little white highlight and set it aside. I sponged each light in a radiant neon ink then darkened the left side with a slightly darker ink. (To Electric Green I added Electric Blue, to Electric Yellow I added Electric Orange, to Electric Coral I added Memento Luxe Love Letter, to Electric Blue I added Electric Purple.) I added a bit of sparkle to each bulb with a clear Wink of Stella pen then slotted the white highlights back in. The cords between the bulbs and the die cut sentiment are coloured with a silver sharpie. My finishing touch for the string of lights was glossy accents on each bulb which made them all quite shiny and raised.
I decided to set the lights on a black background but wanted “glow” around each one. I tried the sponging the neon ink directly onto the black cardstock but the colour was not light or bright enough. By sponging with white pigment ink first I provided a white base for each bit of neon sponging. I glued the bulbs to the black panel but not the cords so some of them are raised a little. To attach the Merry Christmas I used a Scrapbook Adhesives Transfer Sheet before die cutting. When it came to sticking it down all I had to do was remove the backing and press it down onto the black panel.
The little splatters you see in the detail picture below are clear Wink of Stella and the larger ones are Silver Wink of Stella.
Since I am showing you my sparkly light card I thought I would share a card my son made the other day. In our latest bit of sorting and organizing he found a set of stickers I had bought him long ago. The set had several instruments but he just used the drum kit and amp. He added the lights, the rack for the lights, the sponging and the little cord and power outlet himself. The coolest feature of this card however is the way it lights up.
Inside he attached a small battery operated light which shines through the holes he punched for the floodlights!
Thanks for dropping by and thanks for the responses to my latest video. I know my videos are few and far between so I appreciate your positive feedback very much.
Creative Dies: Sparkle String, Joyous Wishes (PB)
Inks: Radiant Neon Electric Blue, Green, Coral, Yellow, Orange, Purple inks & Memento Luxe Love Letter, Wedding Dress ink (Imagine Craft/Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Neenah Solar White 110lb, Black cardstock
Also: Silver Sharpie, Glossy Accents, Clear & Silver Wink of Stella pens, Scrapbook Adhesives Transfer Sheet
In creating today’s card I used a co-ordinating stamp and stencil from Penny Black. By applying ink to the Flower Dance stencil and pressing it onto my watercolour paper I was able to create background pattern and colour all around the flower image I later stamped and watercoloured. I have a video tutorial showing how I did it below.
This is the kind of technique that will never produce the same results twice. I’ve tried it already using another stencil with quite different results which I will share once I’ve completed the card.
Stamps: Charming, Friendship, Letter Background (PB)
Stencil: Flower Dance (PB)
Inks: Tumbled Glass, Milled Lavender, Evergreen Bough distress stains and Peacock Feather, Dusty Concord distress inks (Ranger)
Markers: Wink of Stella Gold pen
Cardstock: Neenah Classic Crest Avon Brilliant White 110lb smooth , Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Penny Black Mix & Match Blue Lagoon paper
Also: Teal grosgrain ribbon, gold cord