Playing with Watercolor

I’ve been intrigued with watercolor for some time now. The loose flow and blending of colors is surely a favorite. I’ve never been good at drawing real, representational images but I’ve been practicing here and there with a few things. Last week I decided to just pull out my watercolors and try my hand at that. I had fun, but I must say the real life representation is still lacking. My flowing watercolor gets very tight and restricted when trying to capture the image. Well, more practice is in my future. For now, enjoy some zero calorie cake!

Homemade ink pad

I’ve seen this done a million times and have tried it a couple of times but wanted to try again.

Task: Use a baby wipe and re-inkers to create your own ink pad.
My take: Tried to use colors to get a rainbow effect.
Results: The inks didn’t mix as well as I thought they would to get color blending and the lines of ink that I squired onto the pad showed up in the stamping. Not my favorite and I won’t likely do this one much. But it is different and colorful. I just threw together a whole batch of simple thank you cards to have on hand when needed.

Fun foam stamping part 2

A few days ago I showed how I was doing a challenge to die cut some materials to use as stamps. Fun foam was the example and I didn’t have any at the time. But a trip to the craft store, for something entirely different, lead me past the fun foam isle! Plus, my first try at this technique ended up way to busy and I wanted a cleaner look. So here is what I did.

Task: Die cut fun foam to use a stamp. Then use the foam shape as an accent piece.
My take: I used fun foam as well the other materials I had tried and liked (cork & rubber shelf liner). I gave each heart a shadow using one of the other materials as a stamp.
Results: I like it. The fun foam stamped very nicely and worked well as a bonus embellishment. The only issue I had with this card was the stitching. The rubber shelf liner caused the presser foot on my machine to drag. I may have use a piece of was paper over it to get it to flow smoothly through the machine and then torn away the paper later.

Velveteen Stamping

I’ve never done this technique before and wasn’t sure how it would work.

Task: Stamp a background stamp using white pigment ink on white cardstock then overstamp with images to get the background stamp to “bleed through” the images.
My take: I did just that.
Results: Interesting. I wonder how different it would look if the background stamp where done right over the top of the image. Right now the impression this technique gives is that the images is in the background. It may be different with different backgrounds and/or images. And on a technical note,  my background stamp was not completely clean when I stamped with it so my white ink had a slight pink tinge to it.

The third way

A couple of days ago I posted about using a single stamp to get more than one style out of it. I got 2 when I posted and today I am here with the third. Today’s style is artsy with a watercolor resist technique.

Task: Use one stamp set to get different looks.
My take: Before I used this set to get a funky retro color vibe, an elegant/formal card and today is watercolor/artsy.
Results: I used embossing ink and clear powder on the smooth side of watercolor paper to stamp my images and then used ink pads and water to blend color around the embossed images to create the water color resist. I’m very happy with how it came out. Initially I had stamped the sentiment and then spritzed some water over the sentiment to get it to soften it, but it bled out in jagged, fractal like patterns that was unpleasant. So I just made another sentiment flag to cover up the ugly. Done!

One stamp 3 Ways

Okay, I have my one stamp but I only got two ways out of it so far. But I do have plans for a third way so stay tuned!

Task: Take one stamp set and use it to make 3 different styles of cards.
My take: Make a retro funky style, an elegant style and an artsy style.
Results: I didn’t get to the artsy style yet. This stamp set seems to really fit that task well since it is already distressed in nature. I plan on a watercolor look. Watch for that post. For this challenge I wanted to see how different I could get. So I used some highlighter markers to ink my stamp and get funky color and movement. Getting everything lined up (I ended up using a stamp positioner) was a pain. Clear stamps would have made this job WAY easier. The elegant card came out very well I think with the fruit stamp being shadded with ink and embossed with thick embossing powder. Adding a touch of gold washi finished it off. I’m happy with how I got different looks out of this same set. Good challenge!

More Class Challenges

I’m back again today with another class challenge from Clean and Simple Cards 4. This time I’m making a birthday card for my nephew.

Task: Use 5 items to make a card.
My Take: I set out with the idea to use washi and wood veneer. Washi I have a lot of and love it but use it rarely. Wood veneer is a favorite so I have plenty of it and some shapes I wasn’t sure what to do with. I ended up using 3 stamp sets, the wood veneer shapes and the washi tape as my five items. “Freebies” were cardstock, ink & adhesives.
Results: The card is a little busy and unbalanced color-wise. I would have pulled some red and blue down to the bottom right corner some how. Regardless, I’m satisfied and it will work well for my nephews birthday.

Quick Pics

Just a couple of quick pictures of what I’m working on.

Task 1: Die cut fun foam and use it as a stamp.
My take: I didn’t have fun foam so I looked around for anything textural I could use that was thin enough to be cut with thin dies (although steel ruled dies and thicker materials were an option). I found thin cork (top heart), rubber shelf liner (middle heart) and sticky-back felt (lower heart) to cut. I used them as stamps then adhered them to the project too.
Result: Well the card layout is just too busy, but that is another problem altogether! Stamping with each material was doable but needed a little finessing. The felt and cork both absorbed a lot of color from the ink and became very dark, so using them as accent pieces made the color too heavy. I would have used them to stamp light colors of ink instead. My favorite was actually the rubber shelf liner it have fun texture and held the ink fairly well. I will try another design layout with these same materials for a cleaner and simpler design. Fingers crossed.

Task 1: Use ink pads direct to paper to create custom paper colors to match stamping.
My take: I used ink to create a paper strip that would highlight the negative space of the leftovers from the first card. I then stamped the message with the same ink for a balanced design.
Result: I really like the texture and color of this card. The subtle xoxo stamping was done with Versamark achieving tone on tone movement and balance. Very happy with the results here.

More embossing

If you read my last post you know I am taking a class and prompt #1 is to play with embossing. I didn’t have most of the items needed so tonight I tried some alternative ideas. Here is the report of what I tried.

Task 1: Make a multicolor embossed background. Use Post-It tape to mask off areas after inking with embossing ink. Add color 1 of embossing. Remove some masking. Add color 2. Repeat for all masking.
My Take: Use washi tape instead of Post-It tape.
Result: Washi tape was too sticky. It left sticky residue which clung to the embossing powder. It also lifted some of the embossing ink and thus get crisp images. (I used black, copper and silver embossing powders. Can you see all the colors? That part was lovely.)

Task 2: Make a faux ceramic tile. Using a chipboard element called Inchies, mask it, then die cut the whole thing with a wafter-thin die to just cut the masking paper while embossing the Inchie underneath to allow texture and different masked areas for inking. Cover the whole tile with clear embossing powder to get a ceramic look.
My Take: I used Avery label paper sheets as a masking paper replacement. I tried to reduce the sticky factor by running the sticky on my pants before using it. To replace the Inchies I simply cut chipboard into circles using a steel-ruled die.
Result: Masking paper was still too sticky. After running it through the die cutter, it adhered to the chipboard and peeled off the top layer when I tried to remove it to ink. This left an unpleasant fuzzy texture. The chipboard was just too dark to get the bright pops of color that the technique had. I do have thinner white chipboard so I may try again with that. (However, it may be too thin and the die may cut through it instead of embossing it.)

Task: Use different colors of embossing powder to create cool backgrounds.
My Take: Since I don’t have many different colors of embossing powder I tried making my own using clear embossing powder and Pearl Ex (an old, old stash item).
Result: I started with about a 2:1 ratio of powder to Pearl Ex and that was too much Pearl Ex (the white piece was stamped at this ratio). It did not allow a nice texture with the emboss. For the black paper I added more embossing powder for a 4:1 ratio. That worked better, gave nice color and nice embossed texture. As you can see the colors of Pearl Ex acted differently on white paper than black paper so this is important if you want a specific color for a project! One other note about the Pearl Ex: use an anti-static powder liberally before embossing because the Pearl Ex is VERY staticky and will stick to everything. After using the anti-static it still stuck to everything but was easy to wipe away using a baby wipe AFTER the heat embossing was finished.

Experiment with these things for yourself and see what you think!