Monday, February 29, 2016

Club Scrap Team Challenge: Weather Florals

Time for Team Challenge at Club Scrap. You should have arrived from:  Hetty or if you are lost, you can start at the begging by clicking  

This month we used the stamp set: Weathered Florals

What is there not to love about Florals.  Using these wonderful stamps I set out to explore different ways to color them.  There is a 4th card that was made with this set, and it is in the previous Blog post.  It was made for the "Can You Case It" Challenge.  Really should be included here as it is goes along with this exercise.  But scroll down and have a peak.  

Card 1: Color Pencils with Glaze Pen embellishments

This is the simplest of the cards.  I stamped in Versfine Onyx Black having intended to use heat embossing and then coloring with copics.  But I had a new ink pad, Amazing what a difference the new pad made, and just loved the boldness and crispness of the image.

I lightly colored with my Prisma Pencils and then tried various methods to blend.  I had stamped on Neenah solar White, so I had a slick surface with little tooth.  First try was a blending tool made for markers, not much happened.  Then tried the Dove blender with little improvement over the other tool.  Thought about using vaseline as I have heard it works well, but there was not one tube or jar of vaseline in my house that had not been used on dog or horse and I was not going to go to the store.  Then I remembered Gamsol.  Not sure why I have that but I think I was needing mineral spirits for something and that was what HobbyLobby had.  So with a blending stump and Gambol, I blended and shaded.  Love the outcome but it lacked pizzaz.  So I grabbed by Glaze Pen in Black and highlighted the centers of the flowers and the swirls.  Still too flat, so out comes my Wink of Stella, Perfect.  This is a card that needs very little else, Beautiful finished and says it all.
A2 card, Kraft Card Base, Purple Mat from Kit.  Nothing else.

Card 2:
Water Color and flowers go together like Peanut and Jelly, you can do without one or the other, both together magic.  I struggle to get that truly watercolored effect with stamps.  I took a water color class (2 actually) through On line Cards.  Dawn from Wplus 9 is a beautiful watercolorist and I have enjoy watching her videos.  So she empowered us to cut lose and go Impressionistic.  Well here is my rendering.
It does not look anything like the stamp, I think Hibiscus when I look at this and thus the foliage reflects that impression.  When you are painting florals and are lose with your paint, the entire process has it's own mind set.  It is very hard to force it to become.  This is a wet on wet technique with layering of color.  It took me several days to get it just right.  When I thought I was done, I would leave it to dry and then fiddle a bit more.  Finally I just walked away.  There are things I would change, but in whole it is fine and while not true to the stamp is a card I would gladly send, only thing needed was a sentiment, I put that inside, I just could not bear to risk messing it up with stamping.  

I used third generation stamping with a grey archival ink and then wet the paper, dropping color onto the wet areas and let it flow.  I allowed it to start to dry before adding any additional colors.  The foliage was created using brush strokes and a double loaded brush (2 colors on different sides of brush).  
I used Arches Cold press paper for this card.  I think for cards this is not the best choice as it is very thick and hard to have a single layer card.  My Canson paper is easier to use for card fronts, but this technique uses a lot of water and a good paper was essential.  I used  a layer of fun foam and placed it under a book for a little while and it was smooth and no buckling noted.    I also used Scor-tape to adhere.  This is a A2 card, mounted on White paper and Matted with red from the kit.  A few sequins add a bit os sparkle.  
There is not much more I can say about this card.  There are many water color techniques and many ways to achieve results.  Time and patience plus practice is needed.  I am not as comfortable with watercoloring as I like control, but it is a good exercise to explore color and how different paints and paper can be used to get different results.
Card 3, back to our comfort level, well Sort of!!

I wanted a card that truly reflected the stamp.  I lost that in my watercolor card and decided the ink needed to be part of the process.  In the first one, I used the faint outline of the stamp to guide me in my initial color placement, but with movement of the paint on the paper, the lines were quickly obliterated.  So I pulled out my distress inks!!
Peeled Paint, Crushed Olive, Picked Raspberry, and Chipped Saphire a stamp and water, all set!

 I used several stamps in the kit and stamped the images onto Ranger Watercolor Paper.  

Using a craft mat, I applied ink to the mat.  
I first wet the area to be colored with clear water to get the ink activated.  Then using a water brush dropped more color onto the petals.  Made sure that the area to be colored had a dry border.  So I moved around the flower, allowing each section to dry before adding water to an adjoining area.  When the flowers was finished and dry, I activated the green foliage stamping to blur those edges.
I also dropped additional colored blobs to represent flowers in the background.  This is to help balance and get the focus on the flower that is now clearly in the forefront.  Looks ok, but while I like the background, the flower seems wrong.  So after drying, I get out my distress markers.
The markers are used to add the detail back into the painting.  This is similar in water coloring, where there is a primary layer and then you add more pigment with less and less water to create details and definition.  I did try this with distress, but it is wetter or wetter, no real pigment change and the ink migrates readily.  The distress markers give that color concentration and if too harsh can be softened with water.
Here is after using the markers.  The final step, was to use a black micron marker (copic .3mm to add additional detail.)
The more obvious area for this last step is the center and the background flowers and stems.  This too is an A2, matted on Purple and the card base is Kraft.  Wonder why everything is purple.  I was trying to get a card that was truly purple looking for the Challenge at "Can you Case It".  Purple is very hard to photograph and have it read purple.  This flower is more purple than it appears here and the Matt is a beautiful purple.  Pink just steals the show!!
Well that is it for this challenge from me, but continue on to your next stop :  Debbie at Deb Duz Scrappin.
Until next time,
Happy Crafting

Distress inks: Picked Raspberry, Crushed Olive, Peeled Paint, and Chipped Saphire
Cotman tube watercolors
Arches Cold Press watercolor paper
Ranger Watercolor paper

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Blog Hop for Club Scrap: Crewel and Unusual

Time for the monthly blog hop.  This is where you see all the wonderful creations than have been made from this months kit.  To start at the beginning,  start at  Club Scrap Hop,  If you have been hopping along, you should have arrived from From Deb at debduzscrappin.

Crewel and Unusual Deluxe Kit
This month I am going to organize this differently.  Normally I show you the cards and then discuss the process.  Today, I am going to discuss the making of the background and the creative process.  Then we will explore how the cards were made.  All were simple and are based on the background.

Backgrounds are the work horses of card making.  Any time you create there is a fair amount of testing and experimenting.  All these failures can become elements or information for another process.  I wanted to make a background with distress.  I have all the colors, so how do I choose which ones to use.  Well I play.  The first step is the technique.  I wanted stripes.  So I grabbed some ink and started to figure out what I wanted. 

                   Placed some reposition tape on my card stock and colored between the line.  
This is what I got.  As you can see, I messed up, there is a big glob of black ink on the paper, but remember I am experimenting.  Both with color and with placement of the color.  

Next using white pigment ink, I started playing with how to stamp and position the stamping.  I cut my stamp down so I had one very smooth edge and placed that on the grid line on my block.  I used this to help with placement.  

Ok, I like this concept but I did not like the colors.  So, I pulled out my color swatch sheet and chose several colors I thought would work.  Started to place them randomly on the paper, adjusting and changing inks based on what I was seeing and liking.  Here are my sample papers.

I take what I think will work and place them on paper, overlap, blend, adjust.  I even try different spritzing techniques to get the effect.  The bottom one has been sprayed with water that had Perfect Pearls added to it.    Ok now I know the colors and what can be next to the other, the intensity of the color or the softness.  I took the same process I used in the first example, but with different inks and created these backgrounds.
One is a bit darker, the other more stripes are more irregular.  To the darker one I added the white line stamping.  In looking over my samples, I decided they had promise as well.  So, I took out a stamp that was ink splatters and stamped a circle splatter in white pigment onto the the background, used a towel to tone it down in places.
Double click to get an up close view of the inking and how the the stampings have been faded in places.  I will list the colors of distress I used in the supply section.  Are you ready for the cards!!

Card 1:

This is a simple card.  Once the background was prepared, I just trimmed down the panel, stamped a floral and greeting on the front, heat embossed with white powder and mounted it onto a mat and then onto an A2 Card base.  

Note: I did mask off an area where the Hello would go, stamped and heat embossed the flower and then stamped the image.  I used a white Gel pen to "clean up the edges".  

Card 2:

Again the background did all the work.  I stamped the greeting and heat embossed in clear.  It seemed flat, so I cut 3 diecuts from cards stock with a zigzag die, and glued them together.  Then I added a top layer of glitter paper, a silver ribbon and bow and a few rhinestones.  Added a white mat and placed it onto an A2 card base that was created from the red paper in the kit.  Stunning!!!  And all from a sample sheet. 

This photo shows the inking best.  It is most promenade at the corner on the right side of bottom edge and on the top left corner.

Card 3:

Not as straight forward but simple.  Last month Trisha showed us how to put a window in a card.  Follow this link:  Greetings to go YouTube, and at about 2:30 secs, Tricia Morris will show you how to make this window card.  I followed her instructions, but changed the measurements.  This is an A2 card.  The small panel measures 3/4", the window is 1 1/2".  I cut the panels of the background , stamped and doodled on them.  Also cut out additional stamps from the left over backgrounds  and adhered to the so the "peak out over the window.

Stamped and colored the image on the inside with copics and doodled with a White Gel Pen.  This view is with front panel cut off and folded.  A few Pearls and it is a wrap.  

That was fun.  Don't you just love making backgrounds and with amazing stamps to finish off the project, stunning cards that are easy to mail are a fun project.  I also have more backgrounds available for more cards.  A productive process..
Your next stop is:  Hetty over at Craftchaos

Until next time,
Happy Crafting

Crewel and unusual: Deluxe Kit
Distress inks used:  In final project:  Cracked Pistachio, Wilted Violet, Worn Lipstick, Twisted Citron, Spiced Marmalade, Ripe Persimon.  In the first test run: Blueprint Sketch, Carved Pumpkin, Candied Apple, Lucky Clover, Squeezed Lemonade.  There looks to be others in both groups, but when they are blended over each other they create different colors.
Unicorn White Pigment Ink
Hero Arts White Embossing Powder
Black and white Gel pens, Copics and Multiliner in black.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Club Scrap: Soft Water Color with Crewl and Unusual

Hi, I haven't been posting as much lately, up to my eyeballs with work.  But I did find time to create a card with the Crewel and Unusual Stamp set.  I am fascinated by Watercolor but am always disappointed in the outcome.  I know what I want but I can't seem to get there!  I have more paint and paper than I can tell you.  Well over at Online Card Classes, they were offering a class in watercolor for cardmakers.  I took the first class, I learned a little, but still struggled.  A second class offering was for an intermediate class taught by Dawn from Wplus 9, and I finally got it!!!  Stop fiddling, treat water as a medium, let it do the work.  Great advise.  So here it is, finally a soft, controlled watercolor.
I love this card for its simplicity but mostly because finally I get it!!!

So lets talk about what I have learned.  There is a lot of discussion about paint and brushes, paper and technique.  Ask any artist what they use and you will get a list that is as individual as the artist.  Professional artist are not brand specific, they are color and media specific.  They have their paper and their tools and each is preferred because it works for them.  Not necessarily you!!!  I asked my sister in law what paint and paper I should buy years ago and  I will always remember her response,"Whatever you like, dear".

At the time I was disappointed that she wouldn't just show me a pile of paint and brushes and give me a "grocery list", because I so wanted to paint like her.  She is a watercolorist and her watercolors and florals are phenomenal, but she is an art gallery type artist and a college professor, and truly for her the answer was "Whatever you like"!  I now understand,  it took her years of experimentation to learn what worked for her.  How could she provide a lifetime of learning into a simple list that would magically turn me into an artist.   After all this time and reflection,  I know now, that what she meant was "what ever works".  Be it cost, or product availability, it is a personal choice.  So my dialog here is to remind you to just play, because in the end that is what will help you determine your "grocery list".... Use what you have, enjoy the process and fill up the garbage can or cut it up into something else, but just do it!!!

Let us talk about this card.  Crewel and Unusual UM are the show stopper here.  This stamp set is wonderful and so versatile.  But how to create a card that allowed these images to be center stage.  Watercolor seemed the right answer but it needed to be soft.

I started with the background.  Watercolors are a pigment that has water added to it to give intensity.  When we soften ink or acrylic we add white paint, with water color you just add water.  That seems logical but it is not necessarily intuitive.  I struggled with softness until I realize water is the major ingredient.
Here is the background wet.  Look at that water, a lot of it.  I wet the paper and dropped very diluted paint onto the background and just let it work.  I did not brush, or fuss, just drop and watched.  In fact I left it and went shopping.  Can't fiddle if I am not there.

So after it dried, I needed to create the card.
I do a lot of stamping to figure out placement.

Once I knew what and where I was stamping, I trimmed down the panel and stamped in white pigment ink, heat embossed with a white embossing  powder.
Look how different that background is after drying!!!

Next I wet each area and again just dropped in the color.  Then with a clean wet brush, moved the pigment and softened the area.  Once dry, enhanced a few areas and dried again.

It is still wet here.  I am showing this so you can see how much it lightens as it dries.  I wanted soft so left if but had I wanted it this intense, I would have needed to add more pigment.  This is best done by layering.  Let each layer dry before adding more.  Use more pigment for a hard edge or soften with a wash of clear water.  How much water depends, go light and add slowly.  Then I added a few splatters and called it done!!!

In the end I was afraid to risk my masterpiece to an errant stamping, so just placed a ribbon, mounted onto and A2 Card base with a purple mat.

                    A few pearls add visual interest and helps guide the eye to the focal images.

 This card was mounted onto the mat with fun foam.  The reason, well I used arches watercolor paper.  It is rigid, thick and well, not what I will be using in the future for cards.  I love my 400 series canon watercolor paper as it is more malleable, but Arches is suppose to be superior and holds up well to all this water, so I gave it a try, but some of the advantages create other problems.  Remember my first paragraph about what I learned?  Use what works for you and chose what you use based on what you like and what works.  For me Canson Water paper, student grade watercolors, hobby lobby or Michael's brushes and time to play.  That is my recipe for success.  The best part of this process for me, however,  is my stamps and I so love Red Rubber.  I can cut them, bend them, shape them and stamp them.  I get nice crisp clear stampings every time.  One argument is that you can't see through them, oh, well make practice runs or use a MISTI or other stamp positioner.  What ever works, you are the boss of your art, take charge!!

Until next time
Happy Crafting,

Links and supplies:
Club Scrap
Crewel and Unusual, UM

Weathered Florals, UM

Arches Watercolor Paper
Cotman watercolors
seam tape
Unicorn White Pigment ink
HeroArts White Embossing Powder
Remaining items came from Kit.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Club Scrap: Challenge Card for "Can You Case It"

Today I am going to share a card that I created for: Can You Case It.
This weeks challenge is:
Purple, Kraft or tan, and white.  Well this months club kit is all about flowers and there was a gorgeous purple paper and cream colored paper in the kit.  Perfect!!  So off I went.  This was harder than expected.  I created many cards and none read as purple.  So for this posting I am going to show the only purple looking card that I was able to get to photograph as purple!

So, how did i create this?  If you follow ClubScrap Blog, you would know that Color Burst by Ken Oliver has been a hit over there.  I love pigment powders and had not tried this product so thought I would.  It is much harder to control the pigment and distribution with this product as the powder is so fine, but I did get a few backgrounds that I liked.  Trying to incorporate these busy backgrounds into a stamped project is a challenge so I chose to create flowers from he backgrounds.

I stamped the dahlia flower from the kit onto to background and cut them out.
Once finished I used a mica blend to fill in the centers.  I die cut some leaves from green paper and was ready to complete my card base.

First I made an A2 card base from Kraft that was top folded.  On a piece of white cardstock stamped stripes using the line stamp included in the Kit with Purple ink. I attached this to the bottom edge of the card.

Next, I cut a panel from the linen like paper that was included in the kit, and using a circle die, rounded the bottom.  This was placed over the stripes.  A sentiment was stamped and heat embossed with clear powder and attached over the stamped panel.  All that was left was to arrange the flowers and leaves.

Perfect card! Makes me think of spring.
All supplies are available through Club Scrap.
The stamp used was from the Weather Floral Unmounted Stamp Collection
I used Purple, Yellow, Red  and Blue Colorburst-Single-Colors .
Die cut for leaves, unknown.  I have an envelop full of random leaves from various manufacturers, most likely Spellbinders or Sizzix.  

Be sure and visit:  Can You Case It to see all the other cards made in this wonderful color combination.
Until Next time,
Happy Crafting