Saturday, 16 September 2017

Faux patchwork for a colour challenge

It's time for a colour challenge at the Christmas Card Throwdown. I think these are my favourite challenges, they offer so many options!

This time I wanted to try a technique I'd seen on telly - kissing stamps. It looks very straightforward - but isn't quite that easy!

I used the solid hexagon from Sam's shapes stamp set from Clarity, and tried a variety of other Christmas and background stamps for the "kissing" stamp. I had a long practice session on copier paper before I went near my good card!

Looked at overall, this is quite appealing, but any closer and you'd see the blotches, or the non-pattern.

Here are my lessons learned:

1. I started with my current favourite distress oxides, but quickly found they are too creamy and thick for this technique, whether on the solid or patterned stamp.

2. I used distress inks - worn lipstick for pink, fired brick and aged mahogany for red, and bundled sage, old paper, crushed olive and pine needles for green. They are not the best stamping inks, but when applied to the blending mat rather than direct to the solid stamp, worked okay. I also used cranberry and bottle adirondack inks on the patterned stamps.

3. It's obvious with hindsight, but it works best with a lighter colour on the solid stamp and a darker one on the patterned stamp.

4. Rubber stamps worked a lot better than clear ones for the pattern - they were more solid and squished less. Clarity clear stamps were the exception - they are thicker and more sturdy than most clear stamps, so also worked well.

5. Bigger patterns worked best - the smaller, more detailed patterns just got lost between the two inks and didn't transfer well.

After all that research, I attempted the actual card. This is what happened.

My second hexagon was a blotchy mess, and I got a fingerprint on the card!

Undeterred, I turned the card over and tried again, being much more careful with messy fingers!

Much better! Not perfect still, but very acceptable I think. I love the patchwork quilt feel, which has a lot to do with the hexagons, but also the varied patterns.

This is the main focus of the card, so just the finishing touches remained. For a sentiment, I used the Clarity word chains to stamp "Merry Christmas" in black archival ink. I used my Tim Holtz stamp platform. I find I get a worse stamp the first time, I'm not sure if it's harder to ink up the stamp, or to apply it compared to a block, but as I can re-stamp as many times as I like, I get a more even stamp in the end. The only hitch I've found is using card I've previously wet, so it's not 100% flat. It can mean I don't get an exact match when I re-stamp at times. I've learnt to be very careful to hold the card down when lifting the stamp off.

I then trimmed, added a line around the edge with a sharpie and mounted on a 7x7 card blank.

I'm very happy with how this has turned out. Having limited colours to play with has helped with making the hexagons coherent, I think too many colours could look a bit over the top. Keeping the rest of the card plain stops it looking too fussy.

As a bonus, I mopped up the ink from the blending mat, which gave me a background in the challenge colours. I used it to make another card here.

If you'd like to join in with the Christmas Card Throwdown colours challenge, head to the blog here. You have until midnight BST/ 7pm EDT on Friday 6th October to enter (that's three weeks rather than the usual two as there is a fifth Sunday in September!). I look forward to seeing how you use our colour combination.


  1. Elle est si moderne et pourtant le patchwork est si ancien, mais quel magnifique design, biz

    1. Merci Fabiola. Combiner l'ancien et le nouveau peut être si efficace, j'espère que je l'ai réalisé ici.

  2. You've done really well with this tricky technique. It's a great idea and works very well for the patches. I've loved patchwork as long as I've know it existed.

    1. Thanks Alison. It was definitely trickier than I expected - it looks so easy on telly!!! The patchwork effect was a happy accident, not planned at all, but I love it x


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