Sunday, August 3, 2014

Pump Up Your Paper


     I love all the magazines in the Stampington & Company family.  One of my favorites, Somerset Studio, always comes with free artist papers and I really liked this month's selection.  I decided to play around with the pages and some dimensional paint from Scribbles and I love how they came out.  My challenge to myself was to see how many projects/items I could get out of only two 8 1/2 x 11 pieces of paper.  I love the results.


     When you go to choose the papers you want to work with, find ones with a heavier weight --they seem to hold up to the techniques better.

     For the red sample that came in the magazine, I loved the hand painted quality to it and just started using my Scribbles dimensional paint to accent the artwork.  You don't want to completely obliterate the design, just enhance it.  No rhyme or reason, how much or how little, what kind of shapes is completely your choice.  HINT:  Before using the paint, hold the bottle upside down over scrap paper and shake down a couple of times.  Squeeze out some of the paint as practice.  These bottles have a tendency to "burp" so start a little on scrap paper before you go on to your piece.

    The concept is the same for the other floral paper.  Just have fun -- a little or a lot, the paint gives a fun boost to already pretty papers.  HINT:  This paint can be pretty thick, so don't rush the drying time otherwise you might end up with a smudgy mess.

     GREETING CARDS:  I like having a stash of ready-to-go blank cards for those unexpected parties, housewarmings or just to send to a friend moments.  (I used to keep a bunch at my office and you would be surprised how lucrative that became with all the work birthday parties and people forgetting to buy cards!)

     The first really easy way is to take your blank card stock, determine which part of the page you want as your card front, trace and it is just that easy.   That's it.   They work for so many different occasions.

     The next type of card are what I call the mosaics.  Here are a couple of totally different approaches.  TILES:   Using the green floral paper that you have left over.  Cut into long strips, then cut again across to create tiles.  I like the mismatched look, but if you want a more refined look, measure into exact pieces.

     I spread a thin line of glue all around the card surface as I don't have enough patience to glue every piece.  Begin laying out in whatever order you like.  The goal is not to recreate the original piece, although that would be a cool too.  OK to have some hanging over the edge and trim once dry.  Card # 3 done!

    A little bit more involved process but a fun technique is embossing.  Using a Versamark watermark pad, rub over the front of your card.  It is clear with a slight glisten to it.  Next, pour embossing powder over the whole card in a thick layer.  There are millions of colors and types of powders out there, I liked the color name for this one - Blackened Stoneware.  HINT:  Do the embossing powder application over a tray or some sort of plate.  Although you are using the whole jar, very little remains on your card front.  The rest is dumped back into the embossing jar.  I like the TIDY TRAY product.  Available on craft retailers and online and very affordable.

     Once applied, use a heat gun -- holding it straight up and down a few inches off your card and start melting the embossing powder into the Versamark treated card.  BE CAREFUL!!!  The heat gun gets really hot.  You will know when the embossing powder is melted correctly and it turns color and melts into a plastic like consistency.  See below for an example.

     Going back to the red paper, I cut in long strips but did not cut into tiles like the previous example.  Apply to your card front in whatever pattern you like - again I went for a more free form approach.  Done!

     The next card is what I call the scraps card.  Little bits of odd sizes...I cut them down with a decorative scissor.  Another way to make this card more unique looking...I trimmed off a strip from the front of the card, used that as a template and cut out a piece of the scrap and used that inside the card.  So when the card is opened, you have a strip of color on the inside of the card.  I also added some more scribble paint and I think it is another fun look.

     BOOKMARKS:  I believe there are still people out there that love books!   Even with my E-reader, there is nothing so satisfying as the feel and smell of a real book.  Takes very little scraps to create a fun bookmark.  Fun idea would be if you are giving a book to a friend, have the card and bookmark match.  Very cute!!

     GIFT TAGS/PLACE CARDS: With the small amount of paper you have left, save for place cards and/or gift tags.

Nothing is wasted on this type of project which I just love!   So with just two pieces of paper you have created some beautiful cards/gift items.  Have fun and experiment with different papers, colors, techniques.  It will get addictive I warn you!

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