Hello! I recently made a card where I blended economy coloured pencils using baby oil. I was asked what other oils could be used instead and I made the comment that Vaseline petroleum jelly would also work as a blender. I prefer to use Vaseline to blend cheaper pencils, so I thought I would make a piece to show how the results can differ to those of baby oil.
Basically, Vaseline improves the quality of a cheaper pencil, giving a smooth, creamy “richness” to the pencil lead. It can be used in several ways too, depending on your choice of application.
I have used Vaseline several ways in this piece. In some places I have laid down a thin layer of jelly before I’ve started working. In other areas I have touched the pencil onto the Vaseline directly before starting to work. And finally, I have rubbed some areas after colouring to lift the colour when I haven’t been happy with the blend.
When laying down a layer of Vaseline before working, I simply dip the tip of a clean paper stump (or a cotton tip) into the Vaseline, picking up the tiniest amount possible. I usually put a small “blob” on the inside of the lid to pick up from. I then wipe the tip over the area to be coloured, rubbing the Vaseline into the paper with the stump. I have kept a stump specifically for Vaseline use. I keep that stump clean, only using it to lay the Vaseline down, rather than using it to blend as well. I remove any excess Vaseline from the card before colouring, by dabbing it off with a tissue. That area should only have a satin sheen, rather than an oily shine to its appearance. The pencil slides easily over the surface, which feels so much smoother than the usual scratchiness you would feel when rubbing the pencil over paper and, in this method, I use the pencils themselves to blend, leaving a deep saturation of color. All the larger areas in this piece have been worked in this way.
The next method is to “dip” the pencil tip into the Vaseline. I’d rather describe the dipping as touching. Instead of dipping the pencil tip into the jar, I rub a cotton tip on the jar wall so that the cotton is just covered with Vaseline. I then touch the pencil tip onto the cotton before I begin working. This method gives the same result as the last method, a rich intense colour, and you still get the same creamy feel as you lay the colour down. Again, I blend with the pencils themselves rather than with an extra tool. This method is particularly good for small areas where a cotton tip or paper stump is too thick to go. All the thin areas of this piece have been done using this method.
The final method works the same as the baby oil method. The pencil colour is laid onto the paper and then rubbed with a paper stump or cotton tip dipped in Vaseline. This will blend the colour out from where it’s been placed to nothing. This method is good for shadowing effects and is the method I use to lift colour when I want to rework an area. Lifting the colour allows me to work on the area with pencil again, without rubbing the whole area out and starting again.
If I’m still unhappy with the result, the pencil can still be rubbed out, if necessary, when using Vaseline. It can be a little harder than usual so I use a light sand eraser, being careful not to rub too hard, so as not to damage the paper’s surface.
Now, onto the card! I cut Vellum Bristol board down to 5″x7″ and stamped the two flourish images from Altenew’s You Are stamp set around the edges with Ranger Archival Jet Black ink. I coloured the images with yellow #306 , orange #314 , red #318 and rust brown #392 Faber Castell Classic Coloured Pencils, using the above methods.
I wanted a focal point for the card so I decided to die cut 4 Couture Creations Ornate Rectangles from black cardstock. I stacked the rectangles and used Ranger Matte Multi Medium to glue them together. I wasn’t happy with how plain black looked on my piece, so I went through my stash, looking for options to glam the frame up. After trying out all my options, I decided to dab Bo Bunny Gold Glimmer Spray onto the rectangles using an old paint brush. Dabbing, rather than stroking, allows the glimmer in the solution to settle naturally while drying and stops any brush marks showing up. It worked so well that I think I’ll be trying this with other shimmer sprays I have in the future.
I also decided to add a few quick flowers to the frame. I stamped two of Altenew’s Daisy mini stamp set and three small flowers from Altenew’s Vintage Flowers stamp set onto a scrap piece of Bristol Board. I used Memento Dew Drops Dandelion, Canteloupe and Tangelo to stamp the layers and I quickly fussy cut them all out when dry. I also added a few white highlights to each flower with my Sakura White Gelly Roll Pen.
I then cut a small white panel for the back of the frame. After hand drawing some branches and adding dots, using a yellow Sakura Gelly Roll Aqualip Pen (#803), I stuck the stamped flowers in place and trimmed the daisy so it would fit behind the frame. I stuck the flower panel to the back of the frame and stuck the whole assembly into place. I finished the feature by adding the final daisy to the bottom corner of the frame.
While I was happy with the design, I thought the whole piece needed to be framed so I trimmed a quarter inch off each edge of the panel and mounted it onto a black, top folding card base. The black edging helped to tie the black stamping into the whole design a little more.
Finally, on to the challenges! My colour choices are based on this month’s Altenew Inspiration Challenge and the handmade background is the current design requirement for Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge. My design also meets the prerequisites for Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge that has a theme of making a feminine card. And, last but definitely not least, Cas-ual Fridays Challenge theme is “off the edge”, which is where all the background stamping is placed.
With all four challenges rolled into one design, I think my carding is done for one day.:)