Category Archives: Eclectic Paperie

What’s Up, Buttercup? (Creating a Watercolor Background)

Good Tuesday morning to you, friends!  I have another fun watercolor project to share with you today.  This time, I’ve created a watercolor background for a card that I like to call, “What’s Up, Buttercup?”

Sometimes a card almost makes itself.  And sometimes, a card wrestles your creativity to the ground before it gives in and comes together.  This was one of those cards.  I almost gave up and pitched the whole thing into the trash.  But wisdom prevailed, and I set the individual elements on the corner of my desk and walked away.  When I came back today, I knew what direction to take, and just how to finish this card.  Creativity wins the day!

008 (2) I used Distress Stains, Watercolor paper, and a water spritzer to create this happy watercolor background.  Using Tumbled Glass, Shabby Shutters, Broken China and Wild Honey Distress Stains, I began by cutting two pieces of cold press watercolor paper to 5×7.5″.     I spritzed the papers heavily with water and then used the Distress Stain applicator to scribble out some color directly onto my craft sheet.  I then swiped the paper through the puddle of stain from several different directions until I liked the way it looked.  Then, I heat dried the paper, and repeated the entire process with each color until I had the look I wanted.  Here’s a close up of the watercolor background:

I love the soft watercolor effect you can achieve with this technique.

I love the soft watercolor effect you can achieve with this technique.

Once I was happy with the watercolor background, I pulled out a stencil from my stash.  I’m a novice when it comes to stenciling, so I taped the stencil over one piece of watercolor page to make sure things worked out well.  I then spritzed liberally with Sunflower Sparkle Perfect Pearls, and dried the paper carefully with my heat gun.  When I felt like I could lift the stencil without creating a smeared mess, I removed the tape and finished drying the background.  I used a brown sharpie marker to outline the stenciled posies.  

I knew I wanted to create some sort of pocket to go on the front of this card…a pocket full of posies, if you will.  I took the other watercolor background and stamped a floral background stamp from Hero Arts using Ranger Archival Ink in Coffee.  This was heat embossed and the watercolor background peeked through as lovely flowers.

011 (3)  This was die cut into a pocket shape, and stitched around the edges.  I added some ribbon to the top edge, cut out a pocket tab and stamped “hi” on it and then adhered the pocket to the watercolor base using dimensionals.  I still had an extra strip of the embossed paper, so I ran this through my die cut machine using a Spellbinder’s edge die.  This worked perfectly as a header for the card.

009 (2)  I used the same die to cut a decorative edge on the base of my watercolor background BEFORE I attached the pocket.  (Sorry…sometimes I get ahead of myself!)  I added copper brads to cheery  yellow daisies, adhered the whole kit and kaboodle to a kraft card base,  and added a twine bow and button.  I’m so glad now that I didn’t toss this happy card!

014 (2)  For the inside, I stamped directly onto a kraft card base and then added flowers that I stamped onto a pretty yellow paper pulled from my scrap drawer.  The sentiment was hand written. I traced over the vine with a turquoise gelly roll pen, just to add a little sparkle. 

010 (2)  So, What’s Up, Buttercup?  What obstacle are you trying to press through today?  Are you at the point of utter frustrations? Ready to trash things?  Maybe the key is to just walk away for a few minutes (or a couple of days, as I did) and then come back to that brick wall with a fresh perspective.  Sometimes, taking a break is the most creative thing you can do.  And, it makes the difference between a full trash can…and a happy ending!

Thanks for taking the time to visit my little blog today.  I hope you found something here to make you smile.  If so, my mission is complete.  Don’t forget to leave me a little comment….you  know they make me happy right down to the tips of my crafty little fingers.  Until next time…



PS…I’m linking this project to Inspiration Emporium Marvelous Masks and Spectacular Stencils Challenge.

And, I’m also adding it to The Eclectic Paperie E-Team Challenge: Flowers

I figure after all that angst, I should make the most of the opportunity!  LOL

Product used in this project: Stamps: My Favorite Things,: Pretty Pockets, Hero Arts: Flower Table Cloth; Inks and Sprays: Ranger Industries: Distress Stain in Tumbled Glass/Shabby Shutters/ Broken China/Wild Honey, Coffee Archival Ink; Dies: My Favorite Things, Pretty Pocket; Spellbinders, A2 Bracket Borders One; From my stash: cold press watercolor paper, button, twine, ribbon, double stick tape, clear embossing powder.


A Hand Bound Book Within a Book inside a Pocket with a Tag

A Hand Bound Book made from folded paper

The good folks over at The Eclectic Paperie have issued another fun challenge this week:  make a piece of art that includes folded paper.  I immediately got to work on this fun card/tag/hand bound book combo made using Graphic 45’s wonderful ABC primer paper. 019 (2) Some time ago, I designed a template for a folded pocket card and tag.  I used this template to start my project and very quickly created the darling pocket and tag that you see here.  In the center of this of this photo is the little hand bound book that I made from folded paper.  Here are some photos:  020 (2) 021 (3) 022 (2) 023 (2)

A book within a book

I love interactive art.  It’s playful and whimsical.  This little book has a secret inside: 025 (2) 026 (2) There is a book within the book!  With room to write a special message, it adds a special element of fun to the whole design.  Some of the vintage pictures are from the Graphic 45 paper pad.  Some are from Crafty Secrets.   Again, minimal stamping here, but I did ink and distress the pages.

030 (2) 029 (2) 028 (2)    Because of the way the book is constructed, the pages are very heavy weight, and almost feel like a board book.  Nice and sturdy for little hands.

I just love the way everything folds up neatly into the pocket. 034 (2) 033 (2) And then the tag can be used as a bookmark.  The pocket has room to slip a little gift card to a bookstore or a toy store, too.

Lots of folding but very little stamping:

The only stamping on this project is the “Happy Birthday” wish.  Everything else is accomplished with simple folding, cutting and gluing. 

032 (2) 031 (2)

Are you up for the challenge?

Why not join in the fun at The Eclectic Paperie this week?  If you’re not inclined to create a project, then go and take a look at all the wonderful art that others have made and shared there.

Thanks for taking the time to read my little blog! If you have any questions about this project, where to find supplies,  or about paper crafting in general, please feel free to ask.I love sharing my creations with you, and I love hearing from you, too.  I savor every single comment, and reply personally. Your comments make me happy, right down to the tips of my crafty little fingers!  Until next time!



When is a Book Not a Book?

I know, I know…corny….but it was the first thing that came into my head.  Wanna know the answer to “When is a book not a book?”  When it is a canvas, that’s when.  This week, Simon Says Stamp and Show issued an irresistible challenge” Something Messy”.  (  At almost the same time, The Eclectic Paperie issued an altered book challenge.

Now ,I love to alter books, so that challenge was right up my alley.  I’m not so big on getting messy, however.  I am a great lover of mixed media style (Anita Houston, Marjie Kemper, Sherry Cheever, Vicki Chrisman and May Flaum, Jim the Gentleman Crafter and of course Tim Holtz,  are some of my personal art heroes)  but I am really intimidated by all that blank canvas/paper and all that ink.  What if I do it wrong, what if it doesn’t turn out right, what if, what if, what if?  So, the perfect exercise to stretch my skills (which is my big goal for 2013) was to combine the two challenges into one.  At least in my little brain, that seemed like the right thing to do.

021 (2)

(Sorry for the wonky photos.  It’s incredibly gloomy here in NC today, and I had the hardest time getting a shot of this!  Either the photo was bleached out, or it was shiny.  I took more than 2 dozen photographs all over the house and finally decided it was not going to get any better.)

This is one of the largest pieces I’ve done to date.  The canvas, which I covered with a sage green burlap, is sized 11 x14″.  I started with a vintage dictionary page, stamped an image from Stampin’ Up on it with Ranger Archival in Jet Black. This was covered  with black superfine embossing powder and heat set . Water pens were used  to color in the image, Distress Inks added color to the page the page. A harlequin stamp from Red Lead Studio added some more detail. I added some other images from Tim’s Lost and Found Stamp set (flimstrip and flying birds) to round things out.  The  dictionary page was placed between two sheets of brown packing paper and ironed  until the embossing powder melted off and only the silhouette remained.  (Faux batik technique…Sherry uses this a lot.) I then used a white Signo pen to outline the silhouette image because it looked a little lost on the page..

:    015 (2) 010 (2)

The dictionary page was sewn onto a piece of Graphic 45 ABC Primer paper which was triple stitched around the perimeter.  Wonky stitching (yes, people, that is a professional term) was added to the distressed dictionary page. I splattered with ink, added distress stain, and used Studio Matte Medium to secure some dried ferns from my stash.  Picket fence Distress Stain was added to an Idea-ology word stick.  This was secured with twine.  Bits and bobs were added, taken away, changed out, added, taken away….and I left the piece overnight to think about it.  I really wasn’t sure if I liked it at all.  But I sent a photo to my daughter Liz, and she said although it’s very different from what I usually do, she liked it quite a lot.  OK. then we’ll finish it.  And let the chips fall where they may.

Here are a couple more photos: 007 (2) 016 (2) The edges were finished with Tim’s tissue tape, coated with Bronze Distress stain and overstamped with a leaf image.

I will tell you this, folks.  Mixed media is a lot harder than it looks.  I love watching online tutorials and I love the results these talented artists achieve, but until you give it a try, you have no idea how challenging it is to do a piece like this.  But, it was fun, too.  I felt like little locked doors in my mind were creaking open as I let go and just played with the inks and stains.  It was a change, and you know what they say about that…a change can be as good as a vacation.

Why not get out your supplies and enjoy some playtime?  Try something new, something different.  One of these challenges would be the perfect excuse.

Don’t forget to leave a comment for Thursday’s Blog Candy.  Today, I’ve added some vintage sheet music to the mix.  Fun! Remember: you must be subscribed to this blog to be eligible for the blog candy.  Here are the deets, in case you just found me:

Thanks for stopping by to read my little blog.  Your comments never fail to make me smile!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...