Hello again! This card is my second entry into this month’s Altenew Inspiration Challenge. If I had to give this card a title, it would be “the card that nearly wasn’t” as there were several times I nearly discarded it in the making process.

This entry was inspired by the August monthly challenge colours. They’re such a classic combination and the grey element can be so easily highlighted with silver.

I’m still trying different cardstock to use for watercolour that suits my style. I don’t think my technique is that great and I often get so disgusted with my piece that I throw it out before it’s finished. I’m also a major control freak and I tend to overwork my paint and, as a result, damage the paper. I’ve heard the adage of “let the water do the work” but so many cardstocks are too absorbant for me and don’t allow the colours to mix to my liking. I’ve even added glycerine to my water to extend the drying time!

When only making a card, I really don’t want to take out a mortgage to pay for good quality watercolour paper, so, today I’ve tried Bristol Smooth Cardstock. I still managed to overwork the surface in several places but this cardstock was much more forgiving than others I’d tried (I’ve got some Ranger watercolour paper on the way, finally!).

For this card, I began by stamping Altenew’s Floral Sprig stamp several times with Memento Dew Drops Desert Sand onto a piece of 5″x7″ cardstock. In hindsight, I actually think I’d have been better off stamping the images with a light grey.

I decided to use some old, generic brand, pink watercolour pens (that are no longer available) and three shades of grey in the Tombow marker range (N60, N65 and N55).

Rather than using the marker directly onto the card, I scribbled it onto a ceramic coaster that I use as a pallet (I found a set in an op shop) and picked up the colour with a water brush. This could well be my second watercolouring mistake as the water brush can be a little too dry one minute and way too wet the next. Again, in hindsight, I should have just used my normal brush.

Once all the flowers were coloured and dry, I masked them, using the matching die to quickly cut the masks out. I painted the background, with a “dabbing” technique to give a mottled effect, using Hickory Smoke Distress Ink picked up from my ceramic pallet.

I still wasn’t satisfied with the appearance of the background, and, as a control freak, I couldn’t bring myself to enhance it using a splatter technique.

Instead, after it dried, and knowing that Distress Ink reacts with water, I chose to use a dropper to apply droplets of water in a much more controlled manner. I left them sit on the surface for a minute and then blotted them up. Once the drops were dry, I reapplied water to several spots a second time to lighten them further. I’m my opinion, this was the first thing I did right!  

At this point, I decided that my contrasting colour would be better left as white. I cut the finished piece down to fit the card base and inked the edge with the Hickory Smoke Distress Ink pad. I cut my work to leave roughly the same sized border around the piece as was around the flowers, for continuity.

For the sentiment, I die cut six “Halftone Happy” die cuts from white cardstock and one from metallic silver cardstock. I glued them all together, finishing with the silver layer.

Finally, I went back and heat embossed the word birthday, from the Halftone Happy stamp set, in Wow white superfine embossing powder. I would never normally heat emboss after I’ve attached the piece to a card base but, as it was a small word on strong cardstock, I was able to get away with it, without warping the card. I finished by gluing the “happy” into place and topping it with a layer of Glossy Accents

As I said, with all the mistakes I made along the way, this really was “the card that nearly wasn’t”, so now I think I’ll just call it a “phoenix” (rising out of the ashes) card instead!


One thought on “Card 2, Altenew Inspiration Challenge, December 2016

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