Sunday, May 26, 2019

Exploring Ink Blending....

Happy Holiday weekend from Sunny Chincotegaue Virginia.

Today I have my next "homework" blog for you about ink blending. I have to warn you it is pretty long! Do you ever look at those ink blended backgrounds and get intimidated?  I used to! But as with any card making technique I have liked, I found that helpful hints can get you right over that fear. You will be bobbing your head saying 'yup, I get it now'.  I am going to show you some great techniques you can do with ink blending along with a really fun card. 

These are all the different tools I use for ink blending. I am sure if you are making cards you are familiar with most of these products.  First is the big make-up brush, there is a brush made specifically for blending made by Picket Fence called Life Changing Blender Brush Set. They are fabulous! I have found that I can get the same result with a set of make-up brushes I got on the cheap at TJ Maxx. The next one is a Finger Sponge Dauber. Then we have Tim Holtz Mini Ink Blending Tool, and finally the Nuvo blending sponge.  

Here is my take on them. I love the brush for when I only want a hint of color, it allows me better control. The finger dauber is great for adding bokeh type circles or doing smaller areas. The Tim Holtz mini blender I find difficult to use. I am not sure why! Lastly is the Nuvo sponge, this one is my go to. Although I have my personal faves for things you may want to practice and figure out what works best for you. 

The type of paper you use is also important. I find the smoother the paper the better, unless of course if you are using ink blending for a watercolor effect. I have two papers I really love for blending. The first is Gina K Artist choice, as it is a nice thick paper. The second is Stampin' Up! Whisper White, this is a thinner paper.

Blend a whole sheet with a single color to match your project. This is super helpful if you are missing a card stock color!

Use two three or more colors to set a scene. This would be great for a card featuring water.
Add some texture by flicking water (on the left) or watered down white craft paint (on the right). This is great to create sky and water.

This did not photograph well, but I spritzed the piece with shimmer spray and it actually sparkles
Distress Resist Spray leaves you with a great shiny texture, think rocks and beaches or even SNOW.
Embossing on top can give you a quick and eye-catching card!
You can also do small sections to highlight one area. Doing spots like this in multiple colors looks very cool also.  Experiment, you never know until you try. Remember you may not think your blend is smooth but when you place something on it or over it you will be surprised at how great it will look. Never give up before you finish. Give it a try IT'S FUN!

The card I will be making uses heat embossing 
and a watercolor technique.


Starting with a piece of cold pressed watercolor paper, I stamped my image with Versamark on the smoother side. Then heat embossed with white embossing powder. 

I blended color into the leaves and flower with my smallest brush then spritzed the whole thing with water. I could have stopped here as this looks totally cool already.

I felt as though it needed something I took some black paint and mixed it with some pearl paint and some water and flicked it over the whole darn thing!

Next I trimmed my image a bit making it 5 x 3.75 and set about to build a card. Since I can alway use Thank You cards I added the Thanks! sentiment from the Fabulous You set the flower was from. I stamped it with Versafine and used Clear embossing powder to make it really pop. Using my usual base card of Neenah Solar white I then added a layer of Stampin' Up! Blueberry Bushel cut with Whimsy Stamps Hand Stitched Nested Rectangle Die. I added black card stock to the back of my main piece trimming it with just 1/8 of an inch then attached that to the card base with fun foam for dimension. For my final touch I added 5 tiny Basic Rhinestone Jewels from Stampin' Up!

Here is the finished product!
I hope you enjoyed this REALLY long post about ink blending. Do me a favor and pop down to the bottom and leave me a comment letting me know what you think.  

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Honey Bee Stamps Cosmos, Clean & Simple style....

Happy Hump Day from Busy Annapolis!

It is Commissioning week at the Naval Academy. I really love this time of year, it is so cool to see The Blue Angels fly over the house. They really are a sight to behold.

Today I have Class 3 of my Altenew Educator  Certification classes for you. 
Clean & Simple Boutique Cards.

Clean & Simple cards generally have a minimal look, with a bit of "WOW".  For some great examples check out  AAA Cards Challenge page. If you pop over to my Card Challenge Gallery, you can see the cards I have entered! 

For todays card I started with a base of Neenah Solar White, adding a layer (also in solar white) that I embossed with a striped embossing folder. I placed a piece of Darice Fun Foam between these layers. Then I set about to build the rest of the card. I stamped one of the flowers with Versafine and embossed it with clear embossing powder, and cut it out using my Brother Scan N Cut.  Taking Bazzill Black card stock I put double side adhesive on one side and used the bloom die cut. (I use the double sided adhesive to make it easier to attach to the card.) Lastly I cut a word window out of MFT Bundles of Blossoms Pastel paper and stamped the sentiment with Versafine and clear embossed it. 

I had planned to leave everything black and white except the sentiment strip, but after putting it all together I felt like I was missing the  "WOW". Deciding just a touch of color that would blend with the sentiment strip and the envelope would be just the thing. I used a Zig Clean Color Real Brush marker in Pale Pink, and just flicked in a bit of color from the center.  

I feel like the pop of color in the flower helped balance the card out. I love bright fun colors when I make a card but,  I wanted to keep this card on the soft side. You could certainly do it with a bright pink or a yellow. Something really attention grabbing. 

I hope you liked learning a bit about Clean & Simple cards. They can be quick ad FUN! 

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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Altenew Hyacinth.....

Welcome to my second Altenew Educator Academy Class! 

For this class I am using the Altenew stamp set Hyacinth. Yes! Shout out to Ramsey Alexander AGAIN for the use of this stamp set. 

Remember in my last class post I said I had a hard time eyeballing the layers? Well after reviewing the videos for the class I realized I had been stamping them backwards! When I learned two step or layer stamping way back when I learned lightest ink and largest area first. NOPE! Incorrect, start with the darkest color and the smallest and build out.  Game Changer!  This card was SO much easier to do than the first one. 

I experimented a lot with colors for this one, settling with Tim Holtz Distress Inks. For the flower I am using abandoned Coral for the darkest part and Dried Marigold for the other two layers and Old Paper for the centers. I chose Crushed Olive and Shabby Shutters for the stem and leaves. 

Next I worked up my base card. Since the intent of this post is to show you layered stamping I tried to keep the card layers and colors simple. As usual I started with a base of Neenah Solar White followed by Stampin' Up! Grapefruit Grove, then a layer of Lawn Fawn Perfectly Plaid in Spring both cut with a Lawn Fawn Stitched Rectangle Die. The final layer is also Neenah white cut with a retired Stampin' Up! Label Die and mounted on Darice Fun Foam for dimension and stability. 

Now for the fun part!  I decided to use both of the flowers and stamped them using the two coral colors on Gina K. Artist Choice 110lb, it seemed to give me the smoothest coverage. 

Once all the main flower parts were stamped I added in the stems 
and leaves.

I was slightly off on the smaller flower and since I was going to use it behind the bigger one I didn't stress too much or redo it. This could have been alleviated if I had used a stamp positioner, but I really wanted to try and eye ball the placement.

cut the flowers with the dies in my Gemini Jr., then set about to assemble my card.  I laid the smaller flower flat with the larger on top secured by dimensionals. I then stamped a sentiment and added that along with three iridescent clear dew drops to finish off my card.

I really love the sentiment set and dies I used for this card.  They are from Neat & Tangled and the link to purchase them and all the other supplies I used are below in the Clickable Shopping List.  Thanks for learning along with me! 

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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Altenew Japanese Mum

Good Morning! Welcome to my first Altenew Academy class blog. All About Layering 1.

I know!  About time I started.....  Anyway, I consider myself a pretty seasoned paper crafter. But lets be honest, 90% of the time I stamp an image outline and then hand color it.  I generally do not purchase 2 or 3 step stamps. You know where they have LAYERS of stamped color.  Hmmmm first three classes are 'All About Layering". 
Challenge Accepted! 

For my first class I chose to use Japanese Mum. Special thanks and a shout out to my friend Ramsey Alexander who graciously has 
loaned me several Altenew stamp sets including this one.

Starting with my basic white card stock, I use Neenah Solar White in 100lb. I like a nice solid base. I added a layer of Bazzill Black Heavyweight Card Stock. (This is an awesome black paper.) Since I decided to do my flower in pinks I chose the lightest color and cut a coverplate with my Honeybee Stamps Watercolor Lines Coverplate. I adhered these together for my background. 

Now for the challenging part. Let me tell you I went into this thinking 'easy peasy". Yeah well not so much! The hardest part for me was lining up each layer perfectly. A lot of people can eyeball this with no problem, me included. It is the part after you ink up the stamp and have to place it back down perfectly that got me!  I decided I had better use my Stamparatus stamp positioner.  You can also use a Misti...I have both sizes of that one too. Using the Stamparatus took the guess work out of it.  You only have to line up the stamp dry on the paper. 

 Before you add each layer of color place the stamp down on the image to align it correctly. Pick up the stamp with the plate of your positioner, ink it up and stamp.  I chose to do the outline of my flower in Smoky Slate to keep the outline soft. 
 Three layers: outline, solid lightest color, sightly darker second step.

All three layers. The deeper last color layer really gives a lot of dimension! 

I did the same for the leaves using Brutus Monroe Raven for the outline and Stampin' Up! Mossy Meadow, Old Olive and Pear Pizzaz for my three layering colors.

This set comes with coordinating dies making it super easy to cut out. 

I wanted to have the sentiment blend in, so I chose to stamp it on a piece of vellum. Using Versafine and clear emboss powder, being very careful when heating it so as not to burn or curl the edges.  I adhered it with Mystic Vellum adhesive. I attached the leaves to the back of the flower and then used foam squares to mount the flower and leaves, giving it dimension. For a finishing touch  I added Honey Bee Stamps Dew Drops in Holly Berry. I like to affix these with Nuvo Deluxe Adhesive, and I use the Tanto Crystal Ninja pick up tool to handle them. This tool is the bomb! 
I do hope you liked my first class card. I chose the sentiment just or you!  

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