Saturday, 5 August 2017

Tropical Christmas

Our new Christmas Card Throwdown is here! The challenge is "Tropical Christmas".

I am very frustrated as I got most of the way through a card last weekend, but when I came to finish it today I couldn't find it! We're having a massive sort out for building work, so it must have got caught up in something we've tidied away - it'll turn up eventually. Here's the photo of where I'd got to.

So I found myself this evening with a card to make from scratch!

Fortunately, I received a happy parcel in the post yesterday - 6 distress oxides! So I've had a play with those.

Using watercolour card, I applied cracked pistachio, broken china, fossilised amber and fired brick directly to the card, then spritzed with water to move it around - it really is amazing how they change and react to water. I dried with the heat gun, then applied the colour to an acrylic block, spritzed, and applied over the card. I dried again, and repeated. As the colours are opaque, they build up nicely.

(No photos of the stages I'm afraid, I was trying to be quick!)

I cut the card down to size for a 6x6 card blank, and added more red in a pale area. I stamped a lily into one corner - a very tropical flower! - using archival black ink. This is a wooden block stamp I've had for ages. I painted the lily with wilted violet, then added a bit of fired brick, mixing the two on a craft sheet. Once dried, I added fossilised amber in the centre.

I stamped the Clarity ribbon Merry Christmas above the lily, and painted the letters with fired brick and wilted violet. This is where I found how forgiving the distress oxides are. Where I went outside the lines, they lift off easily with water, and once dry I could paint outside the letters with the background colour and the opacity disguised the overshoot.

To finish off, I went over the lily with a permanent black pen, as I wasn't happy with the stamping, edged in black sharpie, and added clear sparkle pen to the centre of the lily and the letters.

So, a quick and simple card, hopefully the tropical colours (which the camera has bleached a little) and lily meet the challenge criteria!

I was having so much fun with the oxides I decided to keep going, and made a thank you card for some friends who we'd seen while they were visiting from the states in May, and who'd subsequently sent a far too generous parcel for our daughter.

I made two more backgrounds in the same way as above, adding the wilted violet into the mix.

I stamped the Clarity ribbon Thank you onto one piece (using the Tim Holtz stamping platform, which is as well as it didn't stamp well on the first go). I painted in the letters as before, then trimmed it down to a small square. I trimmed the other piece to a larger square to back it. One side of the larger piece was a little plain, so I added more of the wilted violet with an acrylic block. I edged both pieces with the black sharpie and mounted. I added the sparkle pen to the letters again.

It looked a little flat at this point, so I got a small amount of white gesso and painted a tiny amount around the letters, to the right and underneath, and smudged it in. It added a bit of dimension and just lifted the letters a touch.

Inside the card, I stamped the Thank You again, using a mixture of the oxides.

I realised as soon as I'd done it, that using the stamp platform would have made this a lot easier and by doing multiple stampings I would have avoided risking contaminating my ink pads. Ah well, live and learn, I'll remember next time I hope!

To join in with our Tropical Christmas challenge, head over to the Christmas Card Throwdown. You have until midnight BST on Friday 18th August to enter. I look forward to seeing your interpretations of our theme.


  1. Magnifiques couleurs ensoleillées Lucinda, une très belle création, biz

    1. Merci Fabiola, c'est amusant de jouer avec des couleurs aussi vives

  2. How frustrating to lose the card, it looks great too. I'm sure it will turn up so you'll be able to finish it. The new inks look fun and I keep seeing them everywhere but don't have any yet. What brilliant backgrounds and gorgeous colours.

    1. Thanks Alison. I found the first card whilst tidying up a few days ago, it just appeared on the table! Not able to finish it at the moment, but will do at some stage. The distress oxides are great, I was trying to be good with buying new stuff, but glad I gave in to temptation with these. Now I want the rest of the colours though!


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I really appreciate hearing from you, and try to respond to every one.