The book begins - "If tomorrow morning the sky falls..." As of late I have felt the sky falling and when trying to prepare for this month's newsletter post I pulled out a book that I was given back in 1991 by a dear friend. We had just received the new Art Squares and when thinking about how I would create some type of trading card I put two and two together and realized that inspiration was at my finger tips.
My inspiration is the book titled "If You're Afraid of the Dark" by Cooper Edens. The whimsical illustrations and sweet words bring a smile to your heart! So in that moment, ideas began to flow.
This little book is truly amazing and I encourage you to get a copy to share with your children, a friend, or just for you!
With this post I am happy to share a brand new addition to our Inchie Art product line. In addition to Inchies, Inchie +, and Twinchies, Inchie Arts has rebranded their product line and added two new sizes to that line - ATC sized (2 1/2" x 3 1/2") and 3" squares. These Art Squares are now availabe in seven different colors. I am so excited about these additions due to the ever growing popularity of Mixed Media art. The surface of these squares allows for you to stamp, watercolor, spritz, add gesso, paste... you name it, give it a try.
Today I will share how to use several different product lines with the ATC cards - Claudine Hellmuth's Studio Line, Distress Paint, Dylusions Ink Sprays and Embossing Paste - let the exploration begin.
"If your heart catches in your throat... ask a bird to sing."
Cut patterned paper pieces to adhere to your ATC Art Square. For this card I am using the Wheat color ATC card together with a couple of papers from the Studio Calico Classic Calico Collection Volume 3. To adhere the paper to the trading card use Studio Matte Medium. This adhesive is fantastic to use with paper and many other items.
At CHA Claudine taught a fabulous way to utilize her stencils and paint on projects. Using tissue paper you can create fantastic layered looks and be able to place your objects exactly where you want them... with no mess!
Position the stencil and use an ink blending tool (be certain to use the foam pad version) and a small amount of Studio Paint. After I shot this photo I actually added a very small amount of the teal to alter the sky blue color ever so slightly.
Allow to fully dry. You can heat set it with your Heat It tool if you are in a hurry as the paint layer is so thin.
Paint a layer of Studio Multi Medium on your trading card and position the tissue paper atop the trading card. Then paint a second layer of Multi Medium over the top of the tissue paper. Allow to dry.
The effect of Stencil Paste when used with stencils is fantastic. Apply a small amount to the straight edge of a craft scraper and smooth this over the area of the stencil you would like to use. You can mask off any areas you do not want the paste to seep through - in this case I had plenty of space to work without risk of making a mess, so no masking was necessary.
Remove the stencil immediately after adding the paste. I like to clean my tools immediately after use for ease, BUT another great tip Claudine shared for cleaning those stencils that might have dried paint, is to put it in a container and add regular rubbing alcohol. This helps to easily remove the paint from the surface of the stencil (AND an added bonus is that it works for removing paint from clothing as well ;-D)
Another product that adds wonderful dimension when using stencils is Studio Gesso! In the picture above I have mixed the gesso together with Studio Sky Blue paint.
Using tissue tape to ast as my mask, I tape off all areas of the stencil that I did not want gesso to seep through. Apply in the same manner as you would the Embossing Paste. Work quickly as you need to remove the stencil immediately to avoid "seepage".
As you can see I did get some "seepage", but it turned out to be a happy accident...
You can see in the closeup picture below that I used Blank Canvas paint on the end of a small brush and stippled it over the blue paint creating this fantastic little shadow. Yep, everything works out in the end :-D
Use a fingertip knife to cut away the excess tissue paper.
Add a sweet heart pearl...
and listen to the birds sing in your heart.
"If you find your socks don't match... stand in a flowerbed."
Dylusions Ink Sprays can be used in multiple ways - spritz with them and paint with them. For intense color add the spray to a watercolor brush using a pipette. For less intense watercolor effects spritz a little ink on a non-stick craft sheet and use a waterbrush filled with water to apply the ink.
To fill the watercolor brush unscrew the barrel of the brush and remove the black valve. Add the ink, insert the valve and you are ready to paint with delicious intense color. I prefer to use Tim's watercolor brush for this application as the color of the barrel is clear, whereas the Niji barrel is green in color. Using the Niji for all my water projects makes it easy to identify the difference very easily.
TIP: Store these brushes alongside your bottles by using a rubberband to attach them to the bottle and easily identify which colors you have at your fingertips.
Art Squares are available in white which are perfect for watercolor techniques. For best results be certain to always use the pebbled side of the Art Squares. Position an Eclipse Tape mask over the flowers...
and stamp cute little Ruby with her boots hidden in the beautiful blooms. Remove the mask and paint.
Simply watercolor directly on the ATC card using the beautifully intense Dylusions inks. As you can see when I first started I had a rather mottled look that was a little too dark for my liking. I simply brushed over this surface with my waterfilled waterbrush and used a paper towel to dab off the excess color creating a fabulous sky.
It is simple to create your own little cloud masks. Attach a couple of small Eclipse Tape strips to a piece of typing paper and die cut two sizes of clouds.
Reposition the mask over the flowers and one over cute little Ruby's body.Then position the cloud masks on your project using the White Distress Paint dabber to add texture. Allow to dry as shown, or use a paper towel to dab away some of the excess paint for a fluffier effect.
Add detail to the flower centers and buttons with a Clear Gloss pen. (Sorry for the poor photo - I just couldn't get a better photo of this little detail.)
Standing in a bed of flowers makes everything better!
"If you're afraid of the dark... remember the night rainbow.
Distress paint has fabulous coverage - I began with a white ATC card!
Apply the Distress Paint direct to the card. As you can see the surface is streaky, but...
wipe over the surface with your finger and it all magically smooths out! Distress Paint will easily wipe off your fingers - yeah! Once it is dry it becomes permanent on your surfaces, yet it will still come off your hands with ease.
With the paint still wet, spritz with Dylusions ink and watch the paint react to the waterbased spray - WAY cool!
Apply heat to dry enough to remove the tacky nature.
Situate a starry stencil and spritz with White Linen Dylusions Ink Spray. It creates an awesome night sky effect as it dries.
Apply a small amount of silver embossing paste to the straight edge of a craft scraper.
Swipe over your stencil work from the bottom up allowing the paste to feather out as you move upwards for a random look.
It was amazing to observe the waterbased Dylusions paint seep up through the paste as it dried. Unfortunately I did not think to take a picture at that point because I set the stencil back in place once the paste was dry and reapplied more silver paste over the top because I wanted to truly have a silver background. If you look at the final picture below you can sort of see what I am talking about as the stars towards the top have a purple cast to them. Experimentation is going to lead you to many fascinating discoveries!
Dab three different colors of Distress Paint on your non-stick Craft Sheet and use a waterbrush to pick up those colors swiping them across watercolor paper to create a rainbow effect. I started at the top with Barn Red, then added a stripe of Mustard Seed, cleaning my waterbrush and then blending a strip of the two colors to create an orange. Continue adding and mixing colors until your rainbow is complete. Allow the paper to dry and then cut out the rainbow and apply 2-way glue to the entire surface. Sprinkle with Warm Highlights glitter and remove excess glitter.
Once your base is completely dry attach the rainbow using 3D pop dots.
"If there is no happy ending... make one out of cookie dough."
I hope that this inspires you to pull out a favorite book and be inspired. Create an entire series on your own or ask some friends to join in the fun and then trade your cards. Above all, enjoy the time you get to spend just fiddling around with your crafting supplies and run away from life for just a little bit!