Tuesday, January 19, 2016

How To Tuesday - Note Cards

Hello!  I like to practice new techniques on small bits of paper and I think that note cards are a great way to use those finished pieces.  I've recently discovered distress inks and I'm having a lot of fun playing with them and using them along with my rubber stamps.  One technique I'm enjoying is an embossed resist technique, with resist ink as a watercolor paint.  In this "how to" I'll share with you the supplies I have in my personal collection and how I use them.  (I am in no way endorsing any of these products, nor am I suggesting that these are the only brands/types you should use.  Though I do enjoy these products, there are still others I have yet to discover and add to my personal collection.)

Supplies needed:

watercolor paper cut to 2.5" x 5"
white (pigment) or clear (watermark) ink
clear embossing powder
heat tool (or oven)
pencil (optional)
eraser (optional)
distress ink or watercolor paint
palette, lid, or laminated card
paper towels
I began by preparing my watercolor paper with the stamped and embossed image.
Once my cards were embossed, I was ready to begin painting.  Distress ink can be pressed directly to a smooth surface to discharge ink.  With a wet brush, we can pick up color and even blend colors on the surface before adding it to the paper.  TIP: If the ink dries on the plastic, simply wet it again to reactivate it.  This is a good way to conserve ink, too.  There's no need to wipe the plastic clean unless the colors become muddy.  It can be used again at a later time.

The melted embossing powder acts as a barrier, resisting ink and paint in the areas of the paper it was applied.  Pretty cool, huh?

1. Color your paper with wet ink.  
2. Allow it to dry.  A heat tool can be used to speed up the drying process.

3. Water droplets can be added to create a "bleached" effect.  Let the drops sit on the paper for several seconds.  (30 seconds?  A minute?  You decide.)
4. Use a paper towel to blot the water droplets and reveal your finished painting.
 I wondered if it would have been easier to work on ONE large piece of paper that could be cut down later, so this example was a test for comparison.  I cut this paper down to 10" x 5".  That would give me four cards.  I used a pencil and ruler to very lightly mark lines so I knew where to stamp.  I also wanted to compare different inks while at the same time using the same clear embossing powder.  From left to right the inks are: Memento Luxe, Wedding Dress; ColorBox, White; ColorBox, Silver; and ColorBox, Yellow.  I hadn't used my black distress ink yet, so I thought this test would be a good project to use it for.  I painted black ink across the length of the paper, then layered colored ink over the first three cards, adding extra black ink over the last.  I really like the way they turned out.  It's a different effect, and for our gloomy, rainy skies today it seemed rather appropriate.  Once the ink was dry, I erased all of my lines and cut the cards down to 2.5".

NOTE: My preference for white ink would be the ColorBox pigment ink because it was much more "wet" than the Memento Luxe.  Memento Luxe is GREAT!  But for this project, I think the ColorBox was a better pigment ink.
 Don't forget to go back and erase those lines!  (I do like my Sakura eraser.)
I didn't tape my cards down before painting to keep them flat.  When they were dry I stuck them between the pages of a heavy book and let them sit for a bit.  It works for me.  My cards are informal and handmade.  I think the little irregularities add to their handmade charm.

I hope this demonstration offers some inspiration and I look forward to seeing what you come up with.  As always, thank you for following along on my handmade journey.  Happy crafting!

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