Saturday, 15 July 2017

Rainbow bright

Our new challenge at the Christmas Card Throwdown is colours - and we're looking for a rainbow! (Or at least five colours.)

I've been seeing lots of videos on making gorgeous painty backgrounds recently, so wanted to try for myself. I pulled out acrylic paint in the seven colours, along with a small brush and card cut to size for a 6x6 card blank.

Working from top left, I dry brushed the paint on, horizontally and vertically. I managed to get several blurry photos of the result, this is the best one!

Using the same paint from the palette, I sponged it onto my favourite old holly stamp, and over stamped the background. I started with first generation in the red area, but that was too blotchy, second generation was better. So I painted over the offending holly with the red, then with white as it had become too solid, then more red until I was happy. The joy of using acrylic rather than ink!

At this point I wasn't in love with how it looked, it was a bit messy and wasn't working particularly well. So I added some white lines to lighten it, applied using the side of a piece of cardboard.

That was better - the mess is starting to look more grungy.

To go onto the background, I die cut a Spellbinders Christmas tree, and a "Seasons Greetings" sentiment, from hint of silver Centura Pearl.

I also blended round the edge of the background with vintage photo distress ink, and then edged in brown sharpie pen.

I cut a mount layer from the same Centura Pearl card, and constructed with a tape pen and a zig glue pen.

For something I was unsure about all the way through, I'm really pleased with the final result. Just shows that sometimes you have to keep going!

To join in with our rainbow card challenge head over to the Christmas Card Throwdown. You have until Midnight BST on Friday 4th August (slightly longer than usual!) to enter. We'd love to see what colourful creations you come up with.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

A chance to play with my new modelling cream

We have a lot going on at the moment, get ready for building work to start in a couple of weeks. So my card for the Christmas Card Throwdown sketch challenge missed the first post - fortunately I've just got in for the "still time to play" post.

Here is the sketch we have to work with:

My card borrows heavily from a canvas I watched Maria Simms making at the Clarity Open Day last month (such a great day down in Crowborough). I think she did something similar on the TV too.

Using Clarity stencil card cut to size for a 6x6 card base, I brayered on the champagne Viva Decor modelling cream. I was lucky enough to win a raffle at the Open Day, and got three pots of this cream (amongst other things). The other colours are bronze and gold.

I then started random stamping over the top with a script stamp and expresso adirondack ink, second generation. Confession time, I meant to use archival but pulled out the wrong ink pad and didn't notice! But this one seems to have dried okay, and is a better colour, darker and less orangey.

I added my favourite old holly stamp for a more Christmassy touch.

For more texture and interest, I ran one side through a Tattered Lace embossing folder.

I positioned a snowflake stencil (from Stamps Away) over the background, and masked off around a row of three snowflakes. 

This allowed me to spread the bronze modelling cream through to give my three focal points.

While the cream was still wet, I sprinkled Autumn Leaves gliding flakes over the top, then left to dry.

Unfortunately, the lightness of the cream lulled me into a false sense of security, and I also left my blending mat, stencil and tools to dry - they took some scrubbing later! Lesson learnt - this is a texture paste and needs to be washed off immediately!

Once dry, I gently rubbed away the excess flake, to leave a touch of sparkle on my snowflakes.

I decided to do something similar for the sentiment area, so used the Clarity stripes stencil and a bit more of the bronze modelling cream. Again, the gilding flakes went on when wet.

While that dried I die cut my sentiment from black card - I can't remember where these dies came from.

I thought about using bronze or glitter card, but actually like the plainness of the black, I think it looks better.

I also cut a matt to go behind, from a patterned bronze paper I've had a pack of for ages and rarely use.

Once dry, I rubbed away the gilding flakes again. I'd been a bit heavy handed and smudged the modelling cream, so the sentiment has been strategically placed to conceal that bit.

I added a bit more stamping, and blended the espresso ink around the edge to give a vignette. 

Then it was just a case of putting it together on the card blank, using a tape pen, and a zig glue pen for the sentiment.

This has been my first chance to play with the modelling creams, they're a lovely consistency and give a great shine. I've only used the cream from the lid so far, so hopefully they'll last well too.

To join in with the sketch challenge, go to the Christmas Card Throwdown, you have until Friday 14th July at midnight BST to enter.