Hello, I’m never really comfortable making a one layer card. It only takes one mistake and the whole card is ruined. That thought always makes me nervous and, because I’m nervous, I know in more likely to make that one mistake.
This week Cas-ual Fridays Challenge gave me the drive to attempt a one layer card and Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge gave me a topic to work with. Their theme this week is “based on a book”. I read a very funny book about an imminent garden gnome attack and I couldn’t resist making this card.
I’ve had the MFT You Gnome Me stamp set for a while now and still hadn’t used it. These little guys are so cute and I thought them perfect for making a one layer scene.
I started stamping directly onto the front of a 5″x7″ card, using Ranger Archival black dye ink and began with the flower boot. I thought the gnome with his hands in the air would look cute if he was poking out from one side so I decided to make him look like he was scaring another gnome. That meant I needed masks for my stamps.
When I make masks for stamps, I always find myself cursing the fact that I have to “waste time” cutting out the mask. I know they’re necessary but they just slow me down. I know I could use dies to cut them quickly but sometimes the white space those die cut masks leave isn’t what I want. I also hate the idea of making a mask each time I need one so I had to find a way to make masks that last, and I did.
I start by stamping the image onto post it tape and allow it to dry. This is where I get creative. Once dry, I cover it with clear, adhesive book cover plastic. I had a full roll left over from covering school books so it seemed perfect to give my masks longevity.
I place the stamped, uncut post it tape onto my table, cut a piece of adhesive book covering big enough to cover the image and carefully lay the plastic over the image. I then lift both layers carefully off the table and put the book cover backing paper behind the pieces. The post it won’t stick to the backing paper well but that isn’t what it’s there for. I use the backing paper to hold the mask so I don’t damage the adhesive with my fingers while I’m cutting. I carefully cut around the plastic covered image and remove any remaining backing paper from the plastic covered mask.
The mask is now ink proof and long lasting. I use them normally but when I’m finished, I remove them while still dirty, lay it on my table and wipe it over with my chamois. When fully dry, they’re ready for storage and another use. I store them on the front acetate of the stamp set or on a scrap piece of acetate that I keep with the stamps. I know adhesive won’t last forever but a new layer of any temporary adhesive will renew that. I can’t tell you how long they’re likely to last either because none of the masks I’ve made this way have worn out yet.
Once I’d made the masks for the set, I stamped the peeking gnome, the snails and finally, the gnome on the right. I originally thought I would leave the background untouched but these little guys needed a setting. I left all the masks in place and turned my attention to making a quick background.
I used a piece of recycled acetate packaging as a mask and placed it across the card, where I wanted the horizon and placed Tim Holtz Crackle stencil across the bottom. I dusted Scattered Straw Distress ink over the stencil with a Inkylicious Ink Duster and with that, the gnomes now had a path to walk on. I also gave each cobblestone a little texture by dabbing areas of each stone with a Picket Fence Distress marker.
I die cut two cloud strips, using cloud border dies and used them to create a sky. I moved my acetate mask over the cobblestones and placed a sheet of copy paper beside my cloud templates, to stop any wayward brush strokes from ruining the sky. I dusted the layers of cloud with Tumbled Glass Distress Ink and then defined the edges of each cloud bank further with Mermaid Lagoon Distress Ink.
At the point where the ground met the sky, I left my acetate mask in place and blended the blue in at the horizon, after starting on the acetate. This method stops any nasty brushstrokes and I’m able to keep building the colour by dragging the excess ink from the acetate onto the card without reinking the brush.
I allowed the background to dry and coloured all the stamped images with my generic watercolour pens, blending colours in the same way you would with alcohol markers. I finished off with drops of gold Pico Embellisher in the centre each flower.
The one layer was stressful at times but I completed it without too much grief and I think the book reference gave my scene a great direction. Looking at my finished piece will make me smile for quite a while.