Saturday, 23 March 2019

Embossed snowflakes

Time for another 52 Christmas Card Throwdown challenge. This week, Goga has asked us to play with embossing folder backgrounds.

This was timely for me as I got some great folders at a stash busting sale recently.

I started by colouring my card with distres oxides in cool blue shades, with a touch of black to tone it down. I realised too late that my only photos were blurry though!

I then ran the card through the grand calibur with an A4 snowflake embossing folder.

At one end I added gold wax, with silver at the other.

I cut this down, to give a 5x7 card  with gold and a 6x6 card with silver.

I really wanted to use a Christmas tree die I'd also got at the sale, so cut this in black, along with sentiments.

I added the gold wax to this too. The silver version of the card, with the large "Merry Christmas", didn't come together well so I'm still thinking about that one!

I edged the gold card with more wax, then with black ink, glued on the die cuts and mounted on a 5x7 card blank.

This is a very simple card, I'll call it "letting the embossing be the main feature". The shimmer from the wax doesn't show in the photos, but you can see how it picks out the embossing. The gold on the mottled blue gives a lovely shabby chic look.

And one day I'll work out what to do with the silver one, it was a bit plain and adding some bronze didn't help.

To play along with this challenge head over to the 52CCT blog. As there are 5 Saturdays in March, we don't have a challenge next week, so you have two weeks to play with this theme, it closes on Friday 5th April.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Gingerbread smiles

For Goga's theme challenge at the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown, she has chosen "Gingerbread Man".

I made a gingerbread man card a few years ago for a "food and drink" challenge. For that I drew my own gingerbread man, I think I've got my template somewhere still, but in the meantime I've acquired a die. It's not my usual sort of thing, so I thought I'd better make use of it here otherwise it'll just languish in the folder.

So the first thing was to cut the die from kraft card.

I coloured white card with sharpies for the bowties - I couldn't decide on the colours so made a few!

To mount them I stamped the diamond from Sam's shape stamps, and cut out with my gullotine.

Then the background, my favourite bit!

I wanted to go typically Christmassy, so got out the mowed lawn and barn door distress oxides (green and red). Squidging them onto my mat, I spritzed and used an acrylic block to break them up and apply them to the card, then dipped the card onto the mat. I added the two colours separately, drying in between layers, so they didn't mix and give me mud.

The green was a bit bright, and I still had a lot of white, so I used my pine needles distress ink - I don't have that colour in oxides, and wanted the transparency anyway.

And then added a bit more red!

I cut this down to size for a 6x6 card.

For a border, I used a mandala stamp by Tina from Claritystamp, stamped over the edge repeatedly (using versafine black). I also edged the whole piece with a black sharpie.

For the sentiment, I chose a script style, and stamped in black. I then highlighted with a white gel pen. I love the snowy feel of this. And where I'd gone over the black too much, I went back over with a fine black drawing pen.

And then I thought I was done. But when I looked at my photos, the gingerbread men looked a bit flat and stuck on.

So I went back in with the drawing pens - sepia for the eyes and buttons, and grey around the edges for a bit of a drop shadow to ground.

Still not sure I'd have added the gingerbread men if it wasn't the challenge theme, but they are kinda cute, and it's a bit different for me. And the die has been used!

To share your take on a gingerbread man card, click through to 52CCT. I'm sure there will be some really lovely images out there to be used! You have until Friday 22nd March to enter.

Saturday, 9 March 2019

White and gold

It's time for Goga's colour challenge at the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown. She's chosen white and gold for us to play with, a classic, classy combination.

After last week's mammoth process, this week was meant to be a nice, quick, easy card. I have learnt that I am very bad at quick cards, and at composition! However, it was quicker than last week, so we'll call it a win.

I pulled out a pale gold metallic acrylic paint, and a large sheet of card. I applied the paint through a couple of Clarity stencils, then brayered the ink onto a small gel plate, to lift with a snowflake stamp and then stamp what was left on the plate. I also used the gel plate to load the brayer to apply to a music stamp and a script stamp. And brayered directly in places too.

Voila, a quick gold and white background.

I cut two pieces from this, both to fit a 5x7 card blank.

I sponged more gold around the edges to frame the backgrounds.

I had a plan to use these with ribbon and ivy die cuts, but when I tried it out, I didn't like it at all. So then I spent ages cutting various dies to try to find something I liked. I used white zeta hammered card, to give some texture.

In the end I got there - and have a lot of spare die cuts to go in my stash!!

I used a snowflake spray die by Leonie Pujol, and a nested shape die from The Works. On the latter I stamped my sentiment using Clarity's mini word chains, and heat embossed with metallic platinum Wow powder. (I know it's not called gold but it comes out a pale gold to match the paint so works!)

I cut the spray die cuts into smaller pieces to arrange coming from behind the sentiment. I also added a bit more paint to one of the backgrounds, to get a better contrast with the white. Unlike last week, the two cards are very similar, although I definitely prefer one.

So this is my favourite, it just seems to hang together better somehow.

This is the other, the angle shows the shine on the paint a bit better.

I suspect this will be a popular challenge, these are such great Christmas colours. Our thumbnail gallery of entries will be so pretty!

To join in, head to the 52CCT blog. Entries close on Friday 15th March.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

A scrapbook inspired sketch

Goga is hosting the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown this month, and as always we kick off with a sketch.

Poorly me, poorly daughter and a trip to the New Forest mean I'm running a bit late on this one! It didn't help that I decided to copy an approach that I saw someone do in a scrap book, that is quite involved and took a while! Here's the link to the original.

I started with designer papers, I went through my stash and pulled out ones I didn't particularly like. I don't really use DP, but I'm still a bit precious about the ones I like.

I cut plain card to size, then cut up the DP to make the sketch design and attached. I also did some squares for spares, making a random pattern.

I then brayered and brushed white gesso over the top - this is why I wouldn't use the good papers, they won't really show.

The papers take the gesso to differing degrees, which I like.

The next step is to add texture paste through a stencil. I used a snowflake spray on two and a damask pattern on the others.

Once the paste dried, I added spray inks, with water spritzed on to encourage it to run. I used pigments and mica sprays, so lots of shine.

This is the sketch ones once dry. I left the others at this point to play with another time.

I stamped my sentiments and my images onto rice paper, with a black archival ink - I started using versafine but it bled too much.

I used a water pen to tear out the images, and added them to the bases with mod podge. The rice paper disappears into the background, so it looks as if I've stamped onto the background, except of course I'd never be able to get a good image over an uneven base like this. Plus if the stamping goes awry I can have another go without having mucked up the background.

Once dry, I went round the papers with a black pencil, to redefine the sketch. I went round the edge too.

The one on the right was too pale, so I added more colour by painting on distress oxide with a water brush.

To add detail and interest I stamped over with black archival and detail stamps - music and script. Mostly second generation.

The images looked a little washed out so I coloured them lightly with distress oxides.

I also splattered gold paint over both, especially the poinsettia. I was happy with the reindeer at this point, but the other is still not working for me, so I decided on the nuclear approach. I covered a background stamp with peacock feather distress oxide and went over the lot!

Much better - I did lift a lot of colour from the oval and the sentiment strip. Possibly would have been better to mask these.

I then used gold gilding wax on the left side. I'm much happier with this, it's got more oomph somehow. It was a bit wishy washy before.

Final touches with pens - black on the poinsettia and white on the sentiment.

This is much better now, although not sure about the poinsettia still - might have a further play!

This one came together much more easily - the papers didn't take the gesso so well so there was more colour and texture in the base to work with. It's funny how that usually happens when I make two cards alongside each other, they diverge along the way!!

So, how will you use this sketch? To join in, head over to the 52CCT blog, the challenge is open until Friday 8th March. Have fun!!