Saturday, 25 May 2019

Something new to play with

This week at the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown, Rosi has chosen a technique I hadn't seen before, the eraser technique. Fortunately, she provided links with the instructions, here is my favourite.

I had two goes at this, as you can see.

I started with pounding the graphite dust through the Claritystamp leafy swirl stencil. This gave quite a delicate grey pattern.

I then stamped, using black archival ink. I used the Claritystamp Merry Christmas, and this holly swirl that I haven't got the brand for. The latter is a secondhand stamp, and not in the best of condition, so probably not the best choice for this project. Thank goodness I used the stamp platform, but I still had to use a black pen to sharpen the line.

I used a pencil eraser to remove the graphite from within the stamped images. Maybe it was my eraser, or because the graphite was too pale, or I'm not very thorough, but it didn't create much of a contrast.

I sealed the card with hairspray to hold the graphite; until that point I had been a bit paranoid about fingerprints and smudges, it's a messy technique in that sense, not in the way I like!!! I edged with the black ink pad.

This is the finished card, mounted onto a 6x6 card blank.

It's delicate and pretty, although I think needs a touch of colour, and doesn't really show the eraser aspect of the technique.

So, I had another go.

This time, I masked the card with tape. I was able to rub the graphite in, rather than just dab it on, so got a darker colour (although the camera angle doesn't show it below).

I stamped some Claritystamp snowflakes while the mask was still in place.

When I removed them, I got a much better contrast. Unfortunately, some of the masking tape took the top layer off the card on one side. I hate it when that happens!!!

I carried on regardless, and erased the graphite from within the snowflakes. This time I did get a better contrast.

I stamped a sentiment (also Claritystamp) in the centre. To deal with the tear, I trimmed back to the outside of the graphite area, then mounted onto another, larger piece of card, which I edged with the black ink. I sealed with hairspray before mounting. This then went onto a 6x6 card blank.

This one worked better from a technique point of view, but isn't so pretty. Maybe I needed more snowflakes!!

I'm also not sure about the lack of colour - although there's no reason not to use colour with this technique.

So, that's my experience trying out the technique. Let's see what you come up with! You have until Friday 31st May to have a play and join in with the 52CCT.

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Time for a Christmas sing song

Rosi's choice for her theme challenge at the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown is "Choral".

Anyone who knows my cards will know I love using musical notation, so this was a gift, but I had to give them the choral angle!

I started with some more of my shaving foam sheets from last week. These have a pale green which is actually a mix of the previous colours I used, but is similar to bundled sage, then I added lucky clover and seedless preserve. I love this combination!!!

I tried to choose three sheets with maximum contrast, so the next step worked.

I die cut squares from the sheets, one inside the other.

I then swapped the squares around to have a contrast. I was hoping the three sheets were sufficiently different to be able to mix and match, but the two darker ones looked very similar, so I ended up with this:

For the bottom set, I upped the contrast by over stamping the middle square. I used seedless preserve and a musical notation stamp.

As these colours are quite full on and rich, I just used black for the focal points.

The first is a Clarity stamp, perfect for this theme, with the music and words for "Deck the Halls". I stamped with versamark then heat embossed with black powder.

Unfortunately stamping across the joins in the layers made it a little uneven, I had to fill in with a black pen on the seams. But it is legible in real life, the contrast in texture with the background is more apparent than the photo shows.

For the other two cards, I used die cuts. I have two music dies, so out they came, then I went through my sentiment dies for ones that were Christmas lyrics. I'm not religious so didn't want the carols, but found two that fitted perfectly.

I bought this sentiment ages ago, I knew it would come in handy!

You can see the stamped music on this card. I know I say it a lot, but it shows better in real life!

No snowflakes this week for once, but I still got some snow in.

To share your 'Choral' themed cards with us, head over to the 52CCT blog. You have until Friday 24th May 2019 to join in. Have fun, I think we're going to get some great cards this week.

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Shaving Foam Fun

This week we have a colour challenge on the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown. Rosi has chosen brown, silver and turquoise for us to play with.

For this I had a sesion with the shaving foam and made some backgrounds. I used peacock feather and walnut stain distress reinkers. I also added silver mica powder to see if that worked - but it didn't!

These three were just the start - I made a whole stash of prints in different colours, including rainbow prints for May's Berkhamsted Creative Challenge.

I used the top left and bottom prints as backgrounds, and the top right for die cutting. I also painted some card with silver paint, for die cuts.

I used my favourite Tattered Lace Merry Christmas die for the sentiment, then die cut snowflakes, holly and ivy to arrange around the outside.

They were edged in distress ink, then mounted on 6x6 card blanks.

This one, with the snowflakes, is very delicate and pretty. Snowflakes are my go-to answer for Christmas cards, they always work!

This darker background is a bit more rustic. I love this holly die, but always struggle with how to arrange it. Fortunately I remembered a trick I'm sure I've used before, and cut the ivy to go with it.

These are quite simple cards, although all the die cutting took a while - partly because I cut a lot more than I ended up using! They've gone in the stash, nothing is wasted.

To join in with our colour challenge, head over to the 52CCT blog, you have until Friday 17th May to enter.

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Sketchy trees

I got completely derailed this week! It was the first full week of hubby and daughter back at school after Easter, so I thought I had loads of time - then it disappeared. So my plans for this week's 52 Christmas Card Throwdown card changed when I got to Friday afternoon and hadn't started! I was going to do a Groovi card; that'll have to wait.

I did get two cards made, but we had a play date that I'd forgotten about (oops!) so I didn't quite get the blog posted for the challenge launch.

So the good news is that this is definitely a quick card to make, although I don't think it looks like a quick and simple - and it's always useful to have those up your sleeve!

Rosi is hosting the challenge for May, and she has chosen this sketch for us:

I started with an A5 sheet of Sheena's stamping card. I sponged distress oxides over to make a vague sort of night time landcape/skyscape.

I flicked water over this, then blotted, to give a speckled or starry effect.

This worked much better than I expected - I think it's the card, which is not what I usually use. So now I know!

I cut this down before stamping trees, using black archival. I went through my stamp folders to find a suitable stamp, and found this one. It was one of the first I bought from Clarity years ago, and had forgotten about, but it's really beautiful.

I then cut masks for the tree from copy paper, and stamped again using watering can archival, to suggest distance. Where I missed parts of the stamping, I filled in with a light grey drawing pen, and blotted.

I cut this background down to make three panels.

For the toppers, I used sizzix tree dies, in two sizes. After cutting in black, I wanted a greater contrast in size so cut the smaller one down a bit. I also thought they looked a bit plain, so over stamped using the same tree stamp as the background. I used hickory smoke distress oxide, so it'd show on the black, but third generation so it wasn't too strong.

The card went together on a 5x7 card blank.

I love the atmospheric background this has created, and so easy to do! I might bash out some more and use reindeer die cuts, or Santa and his sleigh in the sky.

Just to prove this was a quick card, I made another yesterday afternoon as well, with a music theme.

It occurs to me that as neither have a sentiment they are not identifiably Christmas cards, but I think they have a Christmas feel.

To join in with the challenge, head to the 52CCT blog, it runs until Friday 10th May.