Thursday, 19 May 2016

Just start...

Merry Christmas Card with blue grey shimmery background and kraft sentiment and mat

A few projects in planning and partial execution at the moment, but the one I've finished is this week's 52 Christmas Card Throwdown card. The discipline of a weekly deadline is tough but good for me, makes me make time (even if it is usually when I should be sleeping!).

It's a colour challenge this week:

52 CCT Colour challenge - blue, grey, kraft

I'll admit, I was a bit stumped with this one. The design team samples were gorgeous, but I couldn't get my head round a way to make this work with the stamps etc I have.

So I decided not to think about the end and get started - a bit outside my comfort zone, but actually a lot of fun and often ends up somewhere special.

So I made some blue and grey sploshy backgrounds, using the plastic folder technique. (I'm sure this probably has a more technical name than that, if you know please share!)

Blue and black ink in plastic folder ready to make backgrounds

I started with distress inks, black soot (hoping that with water it would go grey), peacock feather and salty ocean.

As always happens with this technique, once I started I got into it and tried different combinations - the fish tanks were covered with sheets of drying ink. Chipped sapphire tended to go purple, so that wasn't helpful.

I then thought this would be a good time for something I'd been wanting to try. (It wasn't really a good time as I should have been fast asleep, but hey!) I was thinking about crafting with my godson, and that this is a great technique that's easy and fun for kids, and doesn't need fancy or expensive equipment. But most kids don't have a stash of distress ink pads, so I wondered if it would work with felt tip pens.

So I had a go, using a super cheap set I'd bought for rubber stamps. Turns out, it works well! As the initial ink is laid down in lines rather than splodges, you get an impression of the lines in the final pattern, especially on the lower print which you don't squidge with your hand so much. I'm sure this could be a positive rather than a bug, you could draw swirls and all sorts.

I had a pale grey felt tip, which gave a much softer result than the black soot distress ink (I don't have a grey ink pad at the moment), so I tried using that with tumbled glass distress ink (as I don't have a light blue felt tip). And I really liked the soft, almost ethereal result. So these are the sheets I used for this card - the rest go into the stash!

Blue and grey pale inky random backgrounds

I forgot to take a photo before I stamped on the sheet I used, but these are the others from the set. You can see the lines, especially on the two underneath prints.

I now had a background starting point, where to go next? I needed kraft to go with my blue and grey, so cut my favourite Merry Christmas die sentiment from kraft card.

Merry Christmas die cut from kraft card

Like this a lot, the delicacy of the die looks good with the rustic kraft card.

I wanted to make the background more Christmassy and frame the sentiment, so I fell back on a trusted technique - mica powder on stamps. I used the Clarity snowflake set - it's such a pretty set of snowflake images. I chose two blue mica powders, one was pale and comes out very grey, which works well for this theme, the other was a stronger mid blue.

As I don't have a watermark ink pad at the moment (it's in the post I hope!) I used a silver pigment ink pad, which is sort of metallic grey so fits in with the colour scheme.

I stamped off the edge of the card all round, mixing the stamps and alternating mica colours. This somehow transformed the background - from being a generic random pattern, it has become distinctly wintery, it looks like snow flurries and frost to me now.

Unfortunately the pictures don't really show the shimmer in the snowflakes.

The final steps are to mount on a layer of kraft card to tie in with the sentiment, then onto a 6x6 card base.

Merry Christmas Card with blue grey shimmery background and kraft sentiment and mat

Merry Christmas Card with blue grey shimmery background and kraft sentiment and mat

Merry Christmas Card with blue grey shimmery background and kraft sentiment and mat

This is not a card I would have planned - I wouldn't have used these colours together, or kraft with shimmer, or have thought the background would work like this. But I am so chuffed with the results, I love this card. Taking a leap of faith into the unknown has paid off this time.


  1. This is really pretty. I love the background! You created the colour combo so nicely and I love the snowflakes and the wording

    1. Thank you Birgit. I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

  2. I love this card! Stunning ink effects! Thanks for joining us at 52CCT, April x

  3. c'est un superbe résultat Lucinda, je sais que ce choix de couleur est difficile mais le défi en valait la peine, ta carte est magnifique, merci de jouer avec nous chez 52CCT, biz

    1. Merci Fabiola, je suis impatient de voir le nouveau défi de demain.

  4. What a beautiful card - this colour combo was very challenging and you did a great job.

    1. Thank you Marina. It was challenging wasn't it? But I guess that's kind of the point....


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