Brilliant Brusho!

Brusho is a watercolour pigment which is supplied in small drums of crystalline powder.  The powder is very vivid and a little goes a long way – often beyond your project and half way across your desk!!  The powder can be mixed with water to use as a traditional watercolour medium or can be used with sprayers and brushes to create a unique mix of hues and patterns.  This second use interested me for making backgrounds for my cards.

Warning! It’s quite a messy business.  Cover your desk with some scrap paper and if you don’t want multi-coloured fingers for a few hours, wear gloves.

I had chosen mainly blues with a purple and black as I wanted to create night sky inspired works.  The pots arrived and were identical in their anonymity!  The colour names were written on the pots but I thought it would make life easier if the actual colours were displayed on the pots.  I mixed up a tiny amount of each powder with a little cold water and painted a patch of each colour onto some sticky labels.  When dry, I cut out a circle (my 1” punch is the perfect size for the pot lid) and a couple of small strips for the sides of the pot.  I pushed a pin into each lid to make the pots into shakers to save taking the lids off each time.

I also cut out a smaller circle for my index card and also had a little calligraphy fun with this too.

Using shimmer paper (as I would be using a lot of water, watercolour paper would also work), I taped the pieces to a board to keep them flat.  It was more successful than not taping – the pieces still buckled but not as much.  For these four pieces, I either spritzed – powdered – spritzed or just powdered -spritzed.  Here you can see

1. the powder on dry paper;

2. the crystals starting to burst when the water is applied;

3. the patterns changing as more water is added making more colour release.  I used a mix of 3 or 4 colours on each piece.

When I was happy with the coverage and patterns, I left them overnight to dry.  I’ll warn you – it’ll probably look a hot mess at this stage.  The colours are lighter when they’re dry so wait until then before you decide whether to chuck it away!!  You may be surprised…

Remember the Friendly Silhouette dies from a few weeks ago? I wanted to use these again but using white rather than black card and the dramatic backgrounds created using Brusho are perfect for this.

What’s lovely about Shimmer White card is that it has a light glittery effect which shines through the Brusho and adds a bit of interest to the sky.

I tried a sentiment in a smaller font on this card but it looked a bit lost so instead I decided to make the most of the dark background and heat emboss the sentiment there instead.

This panel looked more like a galaxy so I added the star flourish and the star cut outs from Stitched Stars dies (to be released in the 2019 Autumn/Winter Catalogue on 4th Sept).  The coordinating So Many Stars stamp set has only Christmas sentiments so I used another star-themed one from my stash.

I had chosen these colours for making snowy night skies for Christmas cards and these two were made using only Prussian Blue.  The top one was sprayed first then had crystals sprinkled on.  The bottom one had crystals sprinkled onto dry paper and then brushed with a paintbrush and lots of clean water.  A little mist of spray created the blue haze at the bottom. I heat embossed the trees from Waterfront and Snowfront (another A/W 2019 catalogue release) stamp sets and stars from So Many Stars using white embossing powder.

This card also featured only Prussian Blue.  This time, I painted plenty of clean water where I wanted my sky and left the bottom white for the snow.  I then sprikled the pigment onto the wet area.  As the card bent with the added water, it allowed the paint to run and create that brilliant Northern Lights type of pattern.  Bet I can’t recreate that!

As the paper got quite warped, I used wet glue to adhere the panel to the card base and placed it under a weight until dry.  It emerged perfectly flat.

Here’s another galaxy style with a large cut out star with the new Mercury Acetate (A/W Catalogue) behind and some silver heat embossing.

Stampin’ Up! Have now released Pigment Sprinkles, their own version of Brusho in colours to match some of their card and inks.  The colours are mainly pinks, oranges and greens so will give a completely different look. I think I’ll be purchasing some of those in the not too distant future!

p.s. You remember at the beginning how I said the crystals go a long way?  This is what I cleaned off my desk afterwards despite having protective sheets of paper down…

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

 

 

Ice, Ice Baby!

I was first introduced to the Black Ice technique at Team Training back in January this year.  One of the other demos, Stella, did a demonstration of this and I thought it looked quite intriguing.  I made a note of it, thinking I’d try it out soon and then promptly forgot all about it!

Sadly, Stella passed away earlier this month but thinking of her reminded me that I hadn’t given the technique a go.  I didn’t know Stella well but first met her a few years ago at a card making class and subsequently met her a few times at demonstrator events.  She was always very friendly, so full of life and had a great sense of humour.  She will be missed and I dedicate this post to her.

The technique was ‘invented’ by an American demonstrator called Melissa Kerman.  She has lots of great videos on YouTube, not only on this technique but lots of other cool ideas too.  Anyhow, here’s my first crafting journey onto Black Ice!

First of all, shiny card is needed for this technique: foil sheets are perfect.  I used silver foil and Grapefruit Grove foil (from Sale-A-Bration earlier this year).  I hadn’t used any of this foil as I had no idea what to do with I, it’s not really one of my colours.  It seems it was crying out for this technique.

A sheet of scrap paper is needed to work on.  I applied a small amount of temporary adhesive to the back of the foil piece and stuck it to the scrap paper. It is possible to do this without sticking the pieces down but it does make life easier.  Using a black Stazon ink pad, I started off the edge of the card and lightly dragged the ink pad down the foil, pressing harder at the beginning and end to get a black edge.  The aim is to get a streaked, antiqued kind of look.  It took a couple of passes as the card was wider than the ink pad.

Next, again using black Stazon, I stamped my design.  I used a selection of sets; Best Catch, Beautiful You and Lilypad Lake.  My fisherman looked a bit lost, floating in mid-air so I masked him and stamped the water from Lilypad Lake, after wiping off some ink as the fisherman image is quite fine.

Once the ink was completely dry (if in doubt wait a bit longer or dry with a heat tool) it was time for stage 2.  This time, I took a Versamark pad and using just the weight of the pad, dragged it down the foil piece in the same direction as the Stazon.  Again, it took a couple of passes.

I then applied clear embossing powder and heat set it.

The aim is to get a streaky look with the embossing powder, looking like lines of ice crystals, hence the name!  Here’s a close up once mine had been heat embossed.

I messed up the edge of this one as my temporary adhesive was rather more temporary than intended and came loose as I was applying the Stazon!  This resulted in the two heavy lines of ink on the left, which isn’t a good look.  I used an Inkylicious Picture Perfect stamp that I’ve had for years which has its own frame so at least the foil piece wasn’t wasted.

So, here are my finished cards.  I didn’t do much with the backgrounds as I wanted the focal image to be the star of the show.  (My photograpic prop this week is a kestrel feather.  We are lucky enough to have kestrels nesting just down the lane each year and I found this feather on our driveway.)

Best Catch fisherman with the other fishing images stamped for the background and sentiment from the same set. I used Basic Black and Always Artichoke as I love khaki and have stacks of that card.  It is retired now but Mossy Meadow is almost the same.

The yachts and water from Lilypad Lake with Pacific Point background embossed with retired Seaside embossing folder (there’s a High Seas folder now that would work for this theme).

The next two are my Beautiful You cards.  As I wrote earlier, Grapefruit Grove is not my kind of colour scheme so I didn’t have any coordinating card stock for my card base.  I found that the copper embossing powder worked well with the iced panel and Blackberry Bliss and Rich Razzleberry offered a good supporting role together with the Scripty embossing folder.  The other card used some very old DSP that had a vaguely pinky-peach coloured design on it.

Lastly, here’s the ‘rescued’ panel. I used a strip from an iced panel that I completely messed up in place of ribbon under the sentiment.

I hope you’ll give this technique a go.  It does involve a little trial and error but is great fun and gives stunning results.

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

Gift Card Holder

Gift cards are a marvellous invention!  They’re easy to post/transport and recipient gets to buy exactly what they want.  Win, win!  What they are not is very inspirational to look at.  A lovely handmade gift card holder solves this problem.  The beauty about these is that the theme can be changed to suit any occasion so are great for birthdays, Christmas, thank you, congratulations etc., the list goes on.   Here’s how it’s done.

You will need:

4⅛” x 10½” card base, scored at 2¼” and 5”

3⅞” x 5¼” card liner

3⅞” x 2½” patterned paper/DSP/card

4¼” x 2¾” mat layer (same colour as card base)

4” x 2½” card front

 At the end of the card base with the extra score line, mark the centre of the short edge of the card base and use a punch to cut out a semi-circle.

Apply Tear ‘n’ Tape along the top and bottom edges of the section with the punch out, just to the first score line.  Remove the backing from the tape pieces, fold down and press the edges well.  This makes the pocket for the gift card.  Glue the patterned paper onto the front of the pocket.

Decorate the card inner and the card front piece.  I used the grungy dots and sentiment from Beauty Abounds.  I then embossed the card front using the Pinewood Planks embossing folder.

Glue the card front onto the mat layer.  Apply glue to the left half only of the reverse side eand stick centrally onto the card base, over the patterned paper.

I was using up my freebie goodies from the Sale-A-Bration so used the butterfly punch to cut out butterflies from the DSP.  To add some dimension, I folded the wings gently upwards either side of the body and glued just the body onto the card front. I added a single rhinestone onto the large butterfly for a little bling!

Beauty Abounds in Sahara Sand and Very Vanilla and retired DSP

Now that’s way more exciting than the generic card you get with your gift card purchase!

Here’s a Christmas version I made using the Dashing Deer set, Birch background stamp and Woodland Embossing folder.

Dashing Deer in Night of Navy, Smoky Slate, Whisper White and Silver Foil.

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

Rainbow Butterfly Beauty

The Stampin’ Up! Butterfly Beauty die set has everything you need to cut out lots of butterflies.  I particularly like the two large dies that can be used individually or layered on top of each other.

I started by cutting out the two layers in Whisper White and Lovely Lipstick and stuck them together. 

To add further dimension and interest, I added Dimensionals on the back…

…and then mounted the whole thing on a Smoky Slate layer embossed with the Layered Leaves (retired) embossing folder and then onto a Basic Grey cardbase.

After making this card, I wondered how it would work making an inlaid butterfly, like I did previously with the retired (sniff!) dragonfly from the Detailed Dragonfly die set.  As you’ve probably realised about me by now, I like a bit of ink blending so I inked up a panel in a rainbow palette. 

Top tip for these dies: stick some double sided craft adhesive sheet on the back of your card before die cutting – it saves faffing about trying to apply glue to tiny pieces or thin strips of card.

Using Basic Black card, I cut out each of the two butterfly dies.  The first one, I used black for the back layer and cut the top butterfly layer from the rainbow panel.  I mounted this on a thick Whisper White cardbase that I had embossed with the planks embossing folder (also now retired!).

Then came to my butterfly rainbow jigsaw!  So, this turned out to be much more of a faff that I had anticipated….locating all those tiny pieces.

I stuck the black butterfly top layer onto a white mat and then inserted all the pieces into their matching holes.  This was then mounted on a Basic Black card base.  It was a very fiddly operation and, to be honest, I’m not sure I’d do another one.  However, the finished card looks super! 

 

 

 

Images ©2019 Stampin’ Up!

Simple Silhouettes

I do love a silhouette! Trees, plants, buildings, birds, people to name but a few – they all make great silhouettes that are super to use for card making.  Create a background by using your preferred method – sponging, brayering, watercolour, stamping, embossing – and put your silhouette over the top.  When I spotted the Friendly Silhouette Dies in the new Stampin’ Up! annual catalogue, they were immediately put on my wish list.   I mistakenly thought that there were 3 silhouette border dies in the set, and there are – sort of! More on that later though.

For two of my cards, I sponged a sunrise and a sunset.  What I like about inking sky backgrounds is that you can’t actually go wrong! For example, if you look at a sunset there are so many colours, shapes and patterns, many of which you’d think were unrealistic if you saw them in a painting but there they are in real life.  That’s one of the beauties of nature, it’s sheer randomness!

I began by sticking post-it notes along the card to make the horizon (1).  Then I decided whether or not to have a sun.  I had a sun in these so punched a circular mask from a post-it note and used both the negative (1) and positive pieces (3) at different stages.  After I’d sponged the sun, I removed the negative mask (2) and then placed the sun mask over the sun (3) whilst I sponged the sky.  I used Crushed Curry, Rococo Rose and Seaside Spray for my sunrise sky. I removed the masks and then coloured below the horizon using a Basic Black marker (4).

I cut out the floral border from Basic Black card and simply glued the border over the sunrise.  At this stage, I didn’t like the black horizon I’d drawn in so I just covered it up with the border die.

Floral border at sunrise

For the second card, I used an ink ‘smooshing’ technique.  I got my largest block and pressed my Blackberry Bliss ink pad directly onto the bottom third of the block, transferring plenty of ink.  I repeated this with Bermuda Bay on the top third of the block.  For the bit in between, I applied Night of Navy using sponge daubers.

Once the block was covered, I spritzed it with plenty of water and then placed the card onto the block, pressed well, then removed and left to dry.  The great thing about these types of background is that they are fun to make and are completely unique!

The bull rush border (my favourite!) was used for this card and I cut out an additional border from vellum and stuck it behind the black card, offset slightly to give some extra visual interest.

Bull rushes border in black card and vellum

So that bring us to the last die.  Now I thought that this was a palm tree border so image my horror when this is what was left when I’d cut out my border!  I even contacted demo support to check that the thing wasn’t faulty!!

Definitely not a palm tree!

Anyway, another demonstrator in Amanda’s team guessed (correctly) that it is designed so that you use the negative space instead of the cut out.  So, you ink up your background scene, then cut out the trees and put your background on top of a black card base to give you the silhouetted look.  Now call me picky but I think a background should be, well…you know, in the background and the thing that’s making the silhouette should be in the foreground.  Maybe I’m thinking about this too scientifically! Anyhow, this is how it looks behind my inked sunset.

Palm tree ‘border’ at sunset

I’ve left all my cards without sentiments so I can use them for whatever occasion demands in the future.

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!