Sunday, November 27, 2016

An Easy Technique...Beause That's the Only Kind I Do

I suspect my gray-haired avatar doesn't pop to mind when you think "technique," but easy techniques always grab my attention. Jennifer McGuire first introduced me to the technique I'm spotlighting today.

Don't you like how I worded that last sentence? Makes it sound like Jennifer and I are best buds, getting together to stamp all the time, right? Yeah, no. I'd be way too intimidated to stamp anywhere near her. She's a professional, while I putter obsessively in my well-lit basement nook, muttering to myself in my pajamas.

I don't do badly for all that, but if you want to see a professional blog, check out hers. No comparison. So many pretty videos!!!!

Anyway, this easy and versatile technique gives meban excuse to keep some of those transparency pieces that somehow end up collecting in my craft room, usually backing from Papertrey sets that I put into CD cases.

Here's what I do. (I've shared this before, but here it is again if you missed it the first time.)

1. Put the transparency on a water-safe surface. I use my self-healing cutting mat.

2. Apply whatever medium you want to the directly from a pad, scribbled water-based markers, watercolor, Smooch, ink drops from a re-inker, watered-down acrylic paint, etc. Doesn't matter. Colors will usually end up lighter than they appear, especially with watercolor media, so opt for bright or dark colors rather than pastels. For today's cards, I scribbled dark blue and dark purple watercolor crayon on the transparency.

3. Spritz generously with water. If you want, take a brush to the mess to blend things around. That's how I dissolved the crayon fully.

4. Place a piece of cardstock or watercolor paper on top of the wet mess and press it down. I let it sit for a few seconds so the paper absorbs as much of the pigment as possible.

5. Peel the paper off the transparency, and yay! You get something like this.

6. Wipe the transparency clean to use again.

7. Make something pretty with your pretty paper after it dries. It will dry flatter if you wrap it in waxed paper and press it under weight to dry.

The first card really takes advantage of the gradation of color. I love how the soft blues and purples make the black pop and soften it at the same time. Each square was punched individually...and I kept them in order as I punched to make arranging them on cards easier.

Most of the squares obviously ended up on the first card, but some that didn't have as clear a gradation worked well in an alternating pattern to make a second card.

To make arranging the squares easier, I aligned them using a quilt ruler laid across the card. The squares are popped with dimensionals but are very close together, with maybe 1/16th of an inch between them.

Variations for this technique are long as you enjoy the unpredictable results. You could emboss the paper first, then press it onto the colorful transparency to make serendipitous resist art. Make a bunch of different colored pieces and use them for paper piecing. Use glimmer mist instead of plain water to add shimmer, or use Twinkling H2Os or Smooch for colorful shimmer built in!

You've gotta love a technique that uses stuff you already have lying around in fresh ways, so if you've never done this, give it a try. It's so much fun...and just a little messy.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Papertrey Quilter's Sampler and Sentiments
ink: Archival black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: 3/4" square punch, dimensionals, transparency, watercolor crayons, water spritzer, brush


  1. One of my favorite techniques!! Distress inks are some of my favorite to use for this

  2. oh so pretty!! Your ability to get all those squares lined up perfectly, on dimensionals, is way beyond my skill set. Thanks for the reminder to get out stuff and play! Hope your Thanksgiving weekend was filled with family, food, and fun.
    Lu C

  3. Beautiful!
    And that's about how far I also take it regarding technique :)

  4. Absolutely beautiful cards, Susan! I've seen lots of card makers use this technique in videos, but I've never tried it. You've inspired me to give it a try!

  5. Jennifer may have the more professional blog, but your prose is far superior! You always make me chuckle just a bit :-) As for the card, I am more impressed with how you lined up the squares so (for me).

    1. It's not so hard if you use a ruler and tweezers to place the squares. Patience and practice, LOL!!!


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