Everyone has or still is experiencing loss. The pain is deep and real. Me, my brothers and sisters, all the grandkids and great grandkids, we all experienced that loss when my mother passed away just weeks ago. It seems only yesterday. Now, my sister is also in the hospital and the doctors have little hope she will last much longer. I would argue they don’t know our family but then again, my sister is so very tired. She’s ready to leave her lifetime of suffering behind. I entered my sacred space tonight and with God by my side, I created this prayer card. I hope she feels our love despite the miles between us. God bless her sweet heart.
Do you have a special place where you can go to craft and create? That sacred place to heal? And when there, where do you pull your inspiration from? I often times start with a color palette, one that fits how I’m feeling or how I want others to feel. Sometimes that’s all I need to start. Let the therapy begin!
Altenew’s Inspiration Challenge
Did you know Altenew has a monthly Inspiration Challenge? It was my first contest so I was really honored to be one of their November winners. I’ve decided to enter again for the April 2023 Challenge. If you love to be creative then check out Altenew’s fun contests and wonderful blog hops!
Techniques, Tips ‘n Tricks
Mood: I used watercolor paper (hot press) to create the card. I was going for a relaxed, vintage look using Pinks and Tauny Browns as my inspiration. I wanted to create the feeling of warmth, love and hope that is everlasting.
Smooshing: I used 3 different distress inks and water on my glass mat, swirling the colors together, so I could press the watercolor paper into the inks. Dry with a heat gun between layers and use watercolor scrap paper to clean up the leftovers.
Die Cut Frames: I cut 3 frames from the scrap paper, stacked and glued them together to create height and strength. This is an awesome technique I first saw watching Jennifer McGuire. You can use it for sentiments or anything you want to give a dimensional look to.
Vintage Aging: I used Tim Holtz Distress Inks and foam applicator to age the edges of the card and the frame. I also used water and pounced with a paper towel to add distressed water marks.
Shadow Stamping: You might know this technique better by the term, generation stamping. That initial stamped image is the 1st generation so if you stamp again, without re-inking, you now have a 2nd gen image. I was going for a fading shadow effect for the sentiment “Follow Your Dreams”, a great background technique.
Stamping: I wanted to make sure no matter what medium I used, my stamped image would look perfect and unmarred so after using Archival Black Ink to stamp the Iris flowers by Altenew, I dusted the surface with powder and used clear embossing powder with a heat gun to set it.
Triad Coloring: I prefer to use 3 shades from each color family I’m using. It helps me create the smoothest transition possible. I used the brush nib of my Altenew Alcohol Ink Markers to create various width lines and shading. It’s important to color in the direction that makes sense. If you have a flower petal that’s drooping down then color using downward strokes. A leaf is growing sideways so color the leaf following the same direction. Start from your lightest color (1) then medium shade (2) to the darkest shade (3) and end by returning to your lightest color again to blend (4).
All In The Details
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again because it’s true – it’s the little things that really add that special finishing touch to the card. I used a Micron Drawing Pen (005) to draw missing lines that were covered by the frame. I added in fine details, drew some leaves, added petals and did some stipple shading (painting with dots). I used Nuvo drops to make black and yellow spots and I’m letting them dry overnight as I write this. And before I forget, I decided to offset the flowers and frame instead of putting them dead center. This turned what could have been an ordinary card into a very special, vintage card, created to send love across the miles.
I never thought Christmas would come in Spring but that’s exactly what happened yesterday when I checked the mailbox. A wonderful surprise gift was waiting for me. I was instantly inspired and knew a watercolor effect using happy colors would reflect my tears of joy, and adding a vintage tone after would lock in that memory forever. So, what emotion do you want to share or have others feel? Welcome! Join me as I create my latest, thank you card.
The first thing I did was use the flower stamp using ink that wouldn’t run in water. This is very important since the image was going to get very wet. I used a stamping platform to re-stamp several times since the watercolor paper has a texture. Using a small, round, watercolor brush, I used clean water to loosely paint below the flowers. I added green using an Altenew Watercolor pen then blue. Let your layers dry before adding more color. The color will change once dry.
TIP: Once you add you can’t take away so it’s always best to create one light layers at a time until you get the depth of color you want. However, should you make a mistake, you can use water to thin what you put down and create a nice gradient.
I added more water, holding the card up so it would drip down. Let the colors blend and create something beautiful! I fussy cut the upper edge of the flowers creating a unique edge and opening. Using Altenew Crisp Inks, I used the same water technique but started with a dry brush so I wouldn’t get water on my ink pad. Add more water later, letting it drip down, and watch how the ink gives a brilliant watercolor finish!
TIP: Can’t find or have this stamp? Don’t worry! Look for a stamp that is large enough to extend past the sides of the paper but small enough to play with it for layout. I did an angled corner cut but maybe your stamp is better suited running along the bottom or side? Use the way the card opens as your baseline to finding how to cut one side of the stamp you use.
I continued using the crisp inks to paint my flowers and leaves. I used a micron pen after to add fine details and to crisp my lines by going over the stamped image again. I used a sponge applicator around the edges and corners to add that vintage look using Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Vintage Photo and Ground Espresso. I added the You’re So Thoughtful sentiment and thought I was done but realized a few Nuvo drops were needed. Never underestimate the power of that last little touch!
Imagine a beautifully aged copper door, covered in a gorgeous patina, pull inspiration from ancient pottery, or combine the two to create an amazing color palette! Welcome and enjoy my latest Persian inspired Birthday card!
The Urdu Language
Wikipedia Source: There are over 100 million native speakers of Urdu in India and Pakistan together – there were 50.8 million Urdu speakers in India (4.34% of the total population) as per the 2011 census; approximately 16 million in Pakistan in 2006. There are several hundred thousand in the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, United States, and Bangladesh. However, Hindustani, of which Urdu is one variety, is spoken much more widely, forming the third most commonly spoken language in the world, after Mandarin and English.
You could use any box or spray booth but I used the Tim Holtz Splatter Box to create my background. I sprayed many layers of colors and stood the paper at an angle so the stains would move and drip down. Warning! The paper you use for this is important. I would recommend using watercolor paper or something equally as thick. While my card stock did work, it took a very long time to dry.
After cutting down the backdrop to size, I lightly powdered the surface before stamping Persian Motif Flowers with sticky, clear Embossing ink. I used Altenew’s fine copper embossing powder and a heat gun for this entire project. The powder to metal transformation is magical! I used the embossing pad like a stamp to create copper edging on the card. Caution! When embossing parchment paper, get your tool hot prior to shorten the time needed to emboss. This will lower your risk of warping or melting the paper.
A Beautiful Jewel Finish
I thought the card was done but there was something missing – jewels! After putting the front on the card base with foam tape, I added royal blue gems to each flower because every birthday should be this special.
Hey there! I’m so glad you’re here! Today is all about the “happy”. Grab your paper, your sprays, and dies! Join me for a bit of sunshine crafting!
Name That Spray
What mood or emotion do you want to evoke? From passionate pinks to soothing blues, I was long over due for some joy. Using thick, bright white card stock, I grabbed my homemade Metallic White Pearl formula and combined it with the Tim Holtz Mustard Seed Distress Spray Stain to get the beautiful, sunshine happy backdrop you see above. You’ve seen all those wonderful metallic pearl sprays but how many do you actually own? They aren’t exactly cheap and if you’re like me, they don’t last long. Time to make your own! Mix any color(s) of Blick Liquid Watercolor with Metallic Pearl and water to make any color you want! The best part after you find that perfect ratio is naming your new color spray!
GET IT TOGETHER
I added a nice mat to frame my backdrop so it would look clean and finished. Now to create the tone on tone flower. I combined Altenew’s Craft-A-Flower Cape Marguerite flower petals with the stem piece from Altenew’s Craft-A-Flower Snowdrops set to reimagine my happy card. I used Altenew’s Pure White Ink Spray first followed with a thick coat of my Metallic Pearl Spray on all the flower pieces before putting them together. You’ll really want a good heat tool for this. It’s a great way to naturally curl your petals while speeding up the drying time.
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I highly recommend using Nuvo glue to give you time to move your pieces exactly where you want them to be. Once the flower was put together, it needed a perfect finish to it’s center so I used Nuvo Vintage Drops to lay down coordinating matte black. And for the sentiment, I used Simon Says Stamp Word Mix 2 Stamp and Die set with sticky ink and Altenew’s Fine White Embossing Powder to create a bunch of tags. This set is a great way to get multiple sentiments quickly and Altenew’s fine powder gives you amazingly detailed, crisp results you’ll love.
Box It Up
I decided to change things up and make my first ever, slimline box to hold my card. I wanted it to have a fun, country free feel so I used wood grain, heavy weight paper to make the lid and a coordinating black base for the slimline card to fit in. Yellow baker’s twine and a hole punched sentiment was the perfect fit to tie it all together. May your day, and every day, be filled with beautiful joy and happiness.