Tutorial by Linda Fields
Drawing from a childhood memory… I looked out my bedroom window and admired the beautifully thick bed of flowers cascading over the brick planter bed like a waterfall. It was a masterpiece to behold! To this day, that memory reminds me of the joy it brought my mother – God rest her soul.
I dedicate this to you, Mom
I will never stop talking about the importance of using what inspires you. Like this color palette!
- Heavy Cardstock Paper
- Altenew Waterproof Ink Pad – Obsidian Black
- Altenew Bougainvillea Build-a-Garden Set
- Altenew Masonry Wall Embossing Folder
- Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Inks
- Tim Holtz Distress Ink – Lost Shadow
- Altenew Applicator Brushes
- Nuvo Drops – Yellow & Black
- Double Sided Tape, Foam Tape, Artist Tape & Glue
- Sakura Micron Black Ink Pen
Stamp, Stencil, Die
The Bougainvillea Set by Altenew is a beautiful, must have treasure for your crafting arsenal. I used Altenew’s Obsidian Ink to stamp the flower cluster on two different pieces of white card stock. It’s important you use the right stamping ink for the job because if you’re water or other liquids, you may not want your stamp to run. The stencil masks included with this set are fairly easy to follow but I don’t like doing the flower stems first so I ended up going out of order.
To create the blended depth of color, I used five dramatic Tim Holtz Oxide Inks and one Distress Ink. I built my color up in thin, light layers. One color on top of the next with the deepest, darkest tones in the center or where there would be shadow. A heavy hand with brush applicators will not give you depth and transitions you want and need.
I misted my flowers with water after and used a paper towel to remove ink to create a stippled effect.
TIP: Make sure your paper is completely dry before using artist tape. The paper is weekend by water and can easily be torn or damaged.
Flat vs. Depth
This was my first time using these kinds of stencils. I was excited to experiment and learn. I thought I knew what I was doing but I didn’t. And that’s ok! You have to crawl before you can walk. So you may want to practice until you get the look you want.
FLAT – If you don’t gradiate your colors then they will be one-note flat liners. Maybe a cartoon like style is what you want? If not, then read on for those realistic techniques that’ll give your flowers the dramatic spotlight they deserve.
DEPTH – All you need is one applicator per color family. I am in love with Altenew’s Brushes. Are they really bristles? They’re so soft! Don’t use a lot of color at one time. Don’t be afraid to mix them and take your time to place the darker shades in the deeper recesses.
Once your flowers are die cut, you’ll want to dry arrange them according to your backdrop. In this case, I was making a 3.5″x8.5″ slimline card so I had a wonderful long canvas to play with. I decided to hang the flowers drop down. To make the flowers fit just right, I fussy cut smaller sections out.
TIP – If you mess up and don’t keep your margins consistent when fussy cutting, you can always take a black ink pen and cover your mess.
Great, the flowers look perfect so how do I get them over to the backdrop without losing the grouping? Use artist tape or sticky seal plastic wrap over the top of your flowers to temporarily keep them together. Flip over and put your tape vs sticky foam where they need to go. Differing heights creates depth and interest.
Not satisfied with a plain white card behind the flowers, I decided to add more layers of dimension and texture. I used Altenew’s Masonry Wall Embossing Folder and the Tim Holtz Distress Lost Shadow Ink to build a wall. I stamped “I adore you” into the stone but I didn’t like all of them so I covered others up with the extra cut petals. Of course, those little finishing touches are critical so I brought out my Nuvo drops and had fun. Let them dry over night just to be sure you don’t ruin them.
TIP – The Altenew Embossing Folders are 6″x6″ so you get the effect you need and want for my slimline cards unless you are very careful when embossing. Make sure your placement is exact and don’t roll it through your machine all the way. Stop before the end of the folder happens. Rotate your paper to the other end and repeat. Be careful to line it all up and you’ll have a great backdrop! Thicker paper? Spray your paper with a light mist of water to make the embossing deeper. I did a kind of dry brushing over the high points and edges of the wall for full effect.
NOTE – My bouquet design above changed many, many times before I came to a final layout.
Find what inspires you then grab it. Use it. Let color guide you to that emotional charge you want to pour into your piece because it will convey its story to others when all is said and done.