Thursday, 21 January 2016

Orange? Really?

Well, 52 Christmas Card Throwdown have really done it this week. The colour challenge is orange!

52 CCT January colour challenge - orange

Thank goodness for the design team inspiration, as I was completely stumped - Christmas just isn't orange, is it? Don't get me wrong, I love the colour, but it's sunny or Autumnal, not Wintery or festive, to me.

Orange Christmas card with snowflakes and Merry Christmas die cut

Turns out this was a really fun challenge, as I had to start something without really knowing how it would end up.

I decided to have a session making backgrounds in orange, and see where that went.

I started with clingfilm backgrounds. I used Stamps Away stamp and colour card, a coated card, and brayered distress ink over it. I used spiced marmalade, ripe persimmon and a bit of mustard seed and fired brick.

Card brayered with orange inks

Then sprayed a length of cling film with water and placed it over, crumpling it a little. I had quite the production line going.

Orange cling film backgrounds drying on the fish tank

The top of the fish tank is great for drying things, as it's nice and warm. Both tanks were covered!

I also tried a few salt backgrounds. I used watercolour card for these, then spritzed them directly with water and sprinkled salt onto them. Worked out quickly that these don't go on the fish tank - they need to dry naturally to work. Rub off the salt once dry to reveal the dappled pattern.

Salt backgrounds in a range of oranges

So now I have a great set for my stash, but which to use? After playing around a bit, I went for one of the salt backgrounds, cut down to just under A6 size. But I wanted to add more to the pattern, so I got out the Clarity snowflake stamps I got for Christmas. I stamped in watermark ink, then added micaboss and heated with a heat gun. I then added white mica powder.

Orange salt background with snowflakes in white mica powder

The snowflakes aren't perfect as the salty card doesn't take the stamp very well, but for a background they're pretty.

It still needed more texture though, so I stamped again using spiced marmalade distress ink. Far too dark! I tried adding more white mica to tone it down, and really liked the effect.

Orange salt background with snowflakes in ink and white mica powder

If you look at the right angle the ink snowflakes shimmer like the mica boss ones.

Orange salt background with snowflakes in ink and white mica powder

That's a very pretty orange background made! Now how to make a card with it?

I pulled out another Christmas present, a Merry Christmas Tattered Lace die, and some Tattered Lace snowflake dies. I cut them in silver Centura Pearl card, and laid them over the background.

Originally I'd planned to use the mica boss, ink stamps and die cuts as separate effects on different cards, but it turns out that in this case less is not more, and the different textures all together work beautifully.

I edged the background in spiced marmalade, then with brushed corduroy to tone it down to more of a burnt orange. A Centura Pearl layer underneath, edged in orange sharpie and brushed corduroy, forms a frame and mount for the orange layer, and it all goes onto a 5 x 7 card.

Orange Christmas card with snowflakes and Merry Christmas die cut

Orange Christmas card with snowflakes and Merry Christmas die cut

I love the result, and I have been convinced that orange can be Christmassy. In addition, I have a lot of background papers for other projects - I already have plans for some of them.

I also really like my new die. I think this is one to cut several times in different colours and finishes, and have ready to use as it'll work on so many different cards.


  1. Hi Lucinda, I have to tell you that at first I struggled a bit too, because I also didn't believe that orange can be festive color, but in the end it looks great.
    You did a really good job, I love your card and how you actually used different shades of orange. It's really beautiful! :)
    Thanks for playing with us at 52CCT, hope you will join us again. :) Kaja

    1. Thanks Kaja. And thanks for your card, it helped point me in the direction of making orange patterned backgrounds. I guess we were both pleasantly surprised!

  2. Your card is beautiful, too :-))
    And I like your homemade background, it is gorgeus.
    Hugs, Andreja

    1. Thank you Andreja. It was a lot of fun making the background, I like this kind of multi-layered texture art.

  3. And you rocked the challenge Lucinda! The blizzard of snowflakes on your background is just stunning. Great work. Thanks so much for playing along with our colour challenge at 52CCT this week! Deborah, DT.

    1. Aw, shucks, thank you Deborah. Blizzard is a great description, I like that a lot!

  4. Thank you for writing out and photographing your process, this was very informative. I really like the effect and have never heard of Mica boss or powder so I may have to add that to my wish list. You've created a terrific non traditional Christmas card! ~K

    1. Thank you. I love mica powders, I end up using them all the time, so be warned they are addictive! Maybe I should challenge myself not to use them one week. Micaboss is very useful, it works brilliantly with gilding flakes as well as mica powder. Enjoy experimenting!


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