This weekend, I needed a break from staring at Christmas paper for the cards, so I did a bit of colouring and needed a birthday card. Luckily, I had a card that I was trying to make, but wasn’t very Christmassy, and worked much better as a birthday card. I was struggling between using gold or silver to accent the card, as I liked them both, but the silver won out.
As for the colouring, I used my Staedtler triplus fineliner set, and used a variety of hatching, stippling and lines to fill in areas. This was more about doodling casually and not worrying about cards and things and whatnot.
Spose I’d better get back to my pile of card making.
These are my own oil pastel scratch art papers. Unfortunately, I forgot what colours I had made them beneath the black. I guess blue Santas can be Christmassy. It is cold in the north pole.
Perhaps, next time, I’ll write the colours on the back, though it is exciting to uncover the colours without knowing. Might work better for non-specifically coloured images, like the bear.
Quick update, this is the brand of paper that I’ve been using. Also, the technique of scratching away a layer to reveal another colour, is called sgraffito, and it often used in pottery, when an enamel, or coating is applied, then scraped off in a pattern, showing the clay beneath it.
I have a couple of problems. Try as I might, I haven’t been able to make a scratch paper that works as well as on the store bought paper. The oil pastels give great colours, but not much detail. On clear packaging plastic bags, I can get the detail, and I can layer it onto patterned paper, but I need to glue it together somehow. I’ve tried contact, plastic, foil paper and gouache, alcohol ink, water based ink and acrylics. I’m even trying watering down the acrylic and adding more layers. The reason I want to make my own paper, is that I’m running out of the bought paper, and they don’t sell it where I found it anymore. Getting the artist quality is really expensive (I think it’s called Tiger paper.) Maybe I’ll look for some online.
Anyway, I figured out that I can make nice embellishments, that are protected from wear, by scratching small images, then using resin dome stickers, and trimming them out. These will be nice to use on cards, I think.
I did a pile of embossing this morning, ready for cards. I’m not one for planning cards ahead of time, so I just embossed random images in random colours, so I can pick them out from a box and cycle through ones until I find an image that matches, or is close enough that I can see what size and colours will fit.
I only finished one card today, so I’d better up my game, but in my defence, I wasn’t feeling great. At least I have some embossing and embellishments ready for future cards, so wasn’t all wasted time.
Figuring out new things.
Today, I had the thought of stamping in yellow chalky ink, so I could scrape the black off the scratching paper (scraperpaper?) in a nice Christmas design. Since you only get one chance to draw into the paper, it’s nice to have a plan to follow.
I covered this piece with contact to prevent future scratching. Just make sure you don’t peel the contact off if you misplace it, as it will remove all the detailed work you put in. I wonder if laminating would work, since there is plastic in the paper. I bought some laminating pouches to try this, as well as laminating colourful paper to turn into more scraperpaper. I have some contacted paper with drying black paint on it at the moment.
I made some pieces with oil pastels, but you can’t get as great detail, because the paint tends to come up slightly clumpy.
Hopefully I will be able to experiment quickly, and can implement this I to my cards. It is quite fun, but gets a bit messy with the paint and oil pastels. But mess just means I’m being creative. You should see how messy my house is.
The time has come. The Christmas paper is out, the dimensional adhesive is flying, and there is ink everywhere.
I was thinking about how cards evolve from year to year, as we pick up new skills, tools and supplies. Two years ago, I made all my cards without my Big Shot machine, and this year, I have heaps of new dies and a heat gun. Not to mention new paper that comes out. I even found a new Christmas stamp set yesterday, and bought a magazine, with more stamps and card making supplies, today. I should be all set for making, I just have to work out how many I need.
One really handy item that I also picked up yesterday, was a Uni-ball Signo Broad white gel pen. I’ve had plenty of white gel pens, and they all get stuck and make a weird line where the pen makes two lines instead of the one you want, if it works at all. I even had the regular Signo gel pen, thinking it was just the same, but boy, was I wrong. I had seen some great card makers and artists use the broad pen, and I thought they edited out all the trouble of getting the pen to work, but it wasn’t. This pen actually works. Brilliantly. As the name suggests, it does produce a much thicker line, but it is so vibrant against black, and you can even make small dots with it, despite it having a ballpoint. I would definitely recommend this pen.
After the developments of the foil paper, I was finding all my foil card in my stash, and I came across a packet of scratch paper. If you read my blog a while ago, you might have seen me use this paper to draw on. This is usually in the kids art section, or you can make it yourself, by covering a pages thick with waxy oil pastels, and covering it with black acrylic paint. I remember doing this is early primary school, as one of my earliest arty memories.
Since I was using the embossing folders in my big shot machine, I decided to try out this scratch paper. I had completely expected the black to come off so easily, and be all scratched when it came out the folder, but it didn’t.
When the paper came out embossed, all the black was still intact, and so I was able to scratch the top of the embossed image to bring out the colour. I spent a long while scratching each individual star, until I thought of using a kitchen scourer to gently scratch off the black and bring out the design in a very shabby, scratchy look. This sped things up a lot, and I discovered the slightly different looks depending on if you brush the paper one way, cross hatching, or rubbing in circles.
I was very impressed with the look I achieved, and would like to try it out with some homemade paper.
I think the most fun part is not knowing what colour you will uncover next.
Exciting new development.
While watching YouTube, I saw some tips for card making with metallic and iridescent plastic, and I wanted to try and recreate some of the techniques with foil cardboard.
First of all, this card embosses amazingly. I had some trouble embossing thinner paper and card and was getting annoyed, but this is wonderful. Secondly, to bring out the embossing, the lady in the video used stazon ink for the non-porous surface, which I don’t have, so I was colouring with black Copic. As the video was speaking about alcohol inks sometimes removing the colour, I noticed that there was silver shining through the black on the pink paper. This lead me to wiping off foil with a q-tip and rubbing alcohol. The effect is pretty awesome, and probably preferable to sanding, which is what I was going to try. More experimenting needed, and perhaps a truck load of Christmas coloured foil paper…
Dramatic stuffing melty snowman!
Living in a hot climate means no snow. I’ve never seen snow and the best we get in winter is flooding. Thanks to Pinterest, I’ve seen a whole load of needle felted snowmen. One snowman took my attention, as he was half melted, looking almost like the consistency of ice cream. I liked the shape and the idea of making something that looks soft out of felting. The melting aspect also appealed to me, as I always find it odd that even though Christmas is in summer where we live, we still celebrate Christmas based on colder countries, with fake snow spray in windows, eggnog, and plastic snowmen. So, I think a melting snowman is a great symbol that we should evolve Christmas for our own country, if for noone else but the poor men wearing hot winter suits and beards as they dress up as Santa on 40 degrees Celsius days.
At least it’s a dry heat.