Experimenting with paper, inks, stamps, paints, fabrics, stitches, metal..........

Experimenting with paper, inks, stamps, paints, fabrics, stitches, metal..........

Tuesday, 7 May 2013


The ATC swap for May - Anything Goes But Must Contain a Button.

I have been playing around with making backgrounds with alcohol pens ProMarkers and thought the colours would go well with some old buttons I had.

Starting with the palest colour first, draw stripes along the card using the chisel tip, overlapping some of the shades.  I used a coated card by Clarity.  Actually, not my favourite card, but worked well for this technique - non bleeding and the colour sits on top of the card, rather than soaking in so the ink can be blended with each stroke of the pen.

Using a stamp from Stampin' Up and some Distress Markers I stamped some leaves on card cut to ATC size.  This card should work well with water based dye ink, but only if it isn't too wet.  The best approach is to ink up the stamp and then stamp lightly onto scrap paper before on the card.  I still had some problems with voiding and pooling, but actually made some interesting patterns.  The ink also took a while to dry.

Using the fine point on the Distress pens I added some little doodles on some of the leaves, once they were dry.

I stamped the flower heads on my regular stamping card in various co-ordinating colours and cut them out and inked around the edge with 'Old Paper' ink using foam.

The flower heads were mounted using foam pads and a button was added in the centre of each one, sticking with dimensional glue.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

F is for........... Techniques

While photographing my ATCs this month, I realised how many different techniques I had used and thought it would be an ideal blog.

The theme this month was 'F is for.....'  Initially I decided to do some needle felting but after three attempts was not very happy with them.   I certainly wouldn't be sending them off for swaps, or posting them on here!  So I reverted to a medium I am much more happy with - Paper (and Stamps of course).

Distress Ink Techniques
All of the cards and 'F's had Distress ink applied, in various colours, mostly blended with a foam applicator.  Some of the applied ink has been spritzed with water, along with 'faux bleaching' in some of the flowers in the 'Fs'.  This is simply where ink is removed by painting the desired areas with a wet paint brush and soaking up the water and ink with kitchen paper.  All of the cards were distressed further, around the edges of the cards and the 'F's with a dark brown ink to create an aged look.

Heat Embossing
Making embellishments by heat embossing stamped images is a really easy way to get matching and co-ordinated elements for ATCs and cards.  For a vintage look, bronze or aged gold are the perfect colour embossing powders.  The 'F's were prepared with bronze powder.  The image is stamped with an embossing ink, the powder is sprinked over the image, tipping the excess away, before heating with a  heat tool to melt the powder.

Altered Papers

For the Koi and swirl of water around the fish I altered some papers.  Using some thin patterned paper in yellow tones, Distress Ink in yellows, oranges and reds, were applied, blending together with a foam applicator.  Once dry, on the paler piece of paper a thin wash of Twinkling H20 paint in a neutral colour was applied, creating a co-ordinated (and cheap) pearlised paper.

Bottom - original paper
Middle - altered with yellow and orange ink, beige pearlised paint
Top - altered with orange and red ink
Although a little time consuming you can get some pleasing results with masking techniques.

I favour using Eclipse tape which is paper on a roll with repositionable glue on it's reverse, but post-its work very well too.  I made two masks for the Flowery Fan ATC by stamping onto Eclipse tape and cutting them out (these can be saved on an acetate sheet for re-use). 

To create a trio of images, the first and prominent image was stamped on the card.  When dry, the mask was placed over the top and the next image stamped.  This was masked then the final image was stamped.  The  masks were peeled off to reveal the final collection of images.

Repeat Stamping
This is a brilliant technique for beginners as you can't really go wrong.  It is also one of my favourite techniques for creating my own papers.  I have used this on most of the cards for this swap, using ferns, fleur de lys, swirls, flowers and flourishes and involves stamping a single image around the card over and over again.  It often involves stamping over the top of previously stamped images changing the orientation of the image, which can end up creating dimension even on a one-dimensional project.

Stamping off/Second impression
By inking up your stamp and stamping onto scrap paper before your actually image you can create a lighter ink colour or more subtle image.  I used this on the Forest of Ferns ATC, I don't think any two ferns ended up the same colour.  This technique often gets used for flowers when a tone-on-tone effect is required - it's a lot easier than trying to match up loads of different colour inkpads.

Paper Piecing
Paper piecing is a good way to highlight areas of a stamped image or quickly decorate an image, rather than colouring it in.  The Koi image was stamped using grey and then red on the altered papers.

The fish and the large swirl at the forefront of the image was cut out then stuck over the original stamped image on the trading card.