Thursday, November 1, 2018

Papertrey Ink Make It Monday #341

Hello everyone!  I have several projects to share with you that are a result of this week's Make It Monday #341, Painted Brushstroke Backgrounds by Dawn McVey.

I love this technique, but I don't have acrylic paint like what Dawn used, so I had to improvise.  I thought about going to buy some, but I decided to try using what I had on hand first and see if I could make it work.  I did, just not quite in the same way.  Acrylic paint dries very quickly and doesn't over saturate the paper so I needed something that worked in much the same manner.  I wasn't really able to retain any whitespace like Dawn did, but I am still really happy with my results and I am always tickled pink when I figure out a work around.

© Dawn McVey, 2018
I have lots of different watercoloring mediums on hand and selected one that if I wasted it, was not going to be a big deal.  You can find online or often at Hobby Lobby some Sargent Art Watercolor Magic which comes in a big 8 oz bottle.  The 2 bottles I have are Pearl (White) and Gold.  Both have the pearlized finish.  By adding drops of re-inker to the white and occasionally to the gold as well, I was able to create custom colors in Papertrey Shades.  I did not add any other liquid to the mix, only dampened my brush (1 of the brushes in the Tim Holtz/Ranger Pack) and removing most of the water from that, it gives a brush stroke look.  Because the solution was about the same consistency as Acrylic paint, this worked.  It's important to note, that I did NOT use watercolor paper for this, just white cardstock.  I did try one panel of watercolor paper, but it was unsuccessful.

These are just a few of the background panels that I have to work with after all the cards I've made.

This card and the one below are the same card.  The colors showed up differently depending on if they were facing the evening light last night or my camera flash.  I think that is a lot of what I really liked about these.  With the pearly white watercolor, it gave the backgrounds a ton of shimmer, shine and sparkle no matter what angle you are viewing it from.

The same card facing slightly toward the setting sun.   I like taking my pictures early in the morning, but I don't always have a choice.

This background was made using Blueberry Sky and Dark Indigo with the white watercolor.  I love how the white showed up as a silver color.  My daughter's Christmas Tree is White, Silver and Sapphire with white lights and I was trying to use those colors as experimentation for the banner I'll be making to hang on her fireplace.

Lately, I've been experimenting a bit with other white cardstock and while Stamper's Select white remains my top all-purpose card stock, for some things I like to use Cougar Digital White in the 100# weight.  It's not coated, but it is very, very silky smooth.  There is a big difference in the way it feels vs. the Stamper's Select White.  I still use PTI's Stampers Select White for all of my card bases and much of my stamping, but I do love the Cougar Super Smooth when I want really smooth cardstock for Copic coloring or other techniques from time to time.  This is one of those times.  It is Bright White and so super smooth!  It was perfect for this technique because after adding the brushstrokes to the paper, it was still silky smooth.  It actually held the brush strokes very well because the consistency was much thicker than normal watercolor.  I was also able to layer by letting the color dry each time and them coming back in with additional layers of white or gold.  To warm up the gold a bit, on a couple, I added Berry Sorbet to the Gold Watercolor and on some others a bit of Classic Kraft.  One results in a warmer gold while the other results in a more beige-y gold.

For my first card, I chose to use many of the same products as Dawn including Tag Sale #12 and Spruce & Sprigs. I also used the "Joy" die from Lizzie's Bold Borders: Flurries.  I nearly messed up my first card by using a liquid adhesive to apply the word so I got smarter on the next projects by running a strip of cardstock through the Xyron and then die cutting it.  That made it super fast and easy.  I'm thinking I definitely need to stock up on my 2.5-inch Xyron Refills.  I only have one spare at this time, so I'll need to do some couponing to get some additional refills.  I have several of the 1.5-inch on hand so I'm good there depending on the size of the sentiment I'm planning to use.

I die cut the front panel with the same stitched rectangle I almost always use.  It's the largest one from WPLUS9's Gift Card Layers dies and it cuts a full A2 panel with crisp, clean edges and stitching detail.

Once that was die cut, I cut Tag Sale #12 from that panel and adhered the negative to my cardbase.  I also die cut a piece of fun foam from the same die to go behind my "ornament" and provide a bit of dimension.  I used liquid glue to adhere those two pieces as it is really hard to apply any kind of tape runner to the foam.  Even score tape is a bit frustrating.  As always, I used Ranger Multi Medium Matte for my liquid adhesive.

I die cut multiples of the Spruce and Sprigs Elements from Stamper's Select White Cardstock and stamped them using my MISTI Stamping tool with primarily Papertrey Inks.  It's always good to have an extra die cut or two just for the purpose of stamping and making sure they line up right when you are using the negative as a place-holder.  I know I will use at least one of each during this process of lining things up right except for the rare times when I nail it the first time around.

I stamped some of the holly leaves in Pine Feather while I stamped others in New Leaf.  I added a bit of depth and dimension by sponging in a darker color where the base of the leaves and the center line are.  I tried Pinefeather, Olive Twist, Ripe Avocado, and even Fresh Asparagus from Gina K Designs which is one of my favorites for this purpose.  I think you can choose based on what the primary color you used or want is.  I tried adding some Ripe Avocado to the Pinefeather and that didn't really do much by the time the ink dried.  So just play around to get a color combination that you like.

Now as you know, once I get started with a technique that I love, I have a hard time quitting.  When I saw how these brushstroke panels dried, I had to try them with Lizzie Jones' Bold Borders: Yuletide.  I absolutely love this die and I have tried it with several kinds of papers so I just had to try it with these!

I'd have a hard time picking a favorite color combination.  This was Vintage Jadeite with New Leaf and Gold Watercolor.

I used Red Metallic Sequins with gems in the centers for this card.  I love adding little gems to my cards and I have a good selection of sequins as well.

The colors I used for this were Dark Indigo, Vintage Jadeite, New Leaf and Gold with no additional color to change up the shade of gold.  Sapphire Metallic Sequins with Gems provided the finishing touch.  The holly leaves for these cards are from Pretty Pink Posh called Festive Holly Dies.  I like these because they have that same stitching details as the cover die.  I used the insert to cut my title from, again run through the Xyron before die cutting which is by far the easiest method of adhering.  Since the backgrounds are watercolor, the wet adhesives can damage the card's surface/finish.

This last card is probably my favorite because it is pink and purple with gold and bling!  All of the backers for the cover die are shimmer cardstock or shimmer vellum.  This particular one is the same color as Gina K's Plum Punch and I used Metallic Sequins as well for this card.

I hope you enjoyed my project for Make it Monday and all of the bonus cards I've shared with you here.


  1. Wow, a wonderful color palette and so many pretty cards. Great technique and beautiful work!

  2. These are just gorgeous, Vicki! I see you had fun painting panels too. And your holiday cards all look so different just by swapping out the BG even tho’ your elements are basically the same. :)

  3. Wowser you have been busy and what a treat to visit and see so many lovely cards for the challenge :)

  4. All your cards are beautiful! I enjoyed seeing the variations. My favorite is the blue/green one (next to last in your post) with the soft colors against the white background.


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