Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Beautiful Grunge

Have I shared with y'all how I became obsessed with cardmaking?  Late in my last career as a teacher, pay cuts and horrendous LA commutes found me in a bit of a rut.  I wanted to get a special gift for a dear friend and colleague on her birthday, but was by necessity tightening those purse strings like nobody's business.  So I decided to make my friend a card.  When I saw how unmistakably moved she was by my humble gift (I learned later that she carried it in her purse for a pick-me-up on tough days), well of course I immediately became the die-hard cardmaker that I now am and forever will be.  Out of somewhat trying circumstances, I discovered that cards are the best gifts of all!!!

Since that day, she has requested from me cards for her teenagers' birthdays.  Recently, I even received a request from the younger daughter for her older sister - the idea that my cards are becoming one of their family traditions made me very, very happy.  When I asked for any preferences, she mentioned blues and silvers."  Having a sense of the recipient's tastes, this is what I came up with. I had just been inspired online by Ania Dabrowska, a mixed media artist that has a very unique sensibility.  Check her out - very cool! 

beautiful grunge

Beautiful Grunge

This project incorporated a good deal of die-cutting and used a variety of media. I stamped some texture onto the black blooms with Clearsnap pigment inks, and after assembling the flowers, spritzed heavily with Vanilla Shimmer Smooch Spritz.  FYI, I just bought a jumbo size of that lovely, glass vial!  See how the Smooch works its magic in the sunlight?

Glistening Black Blooms

For the butterflies, I upcycled clear plastic scraps of packaging, die-cut them, and slapped on paints in blues and silvers.  By leaving a good deal of transparent plastic visible, the butterflies became amazing conductors of light. Can you see the shadows?

Transparent Butterflies

To create an interesting background that draws the eye towards the textured cluster, I first heat embossed a large cardstock square using a few of my favorite stamps pulled from the 7 Gypsies IC075 For the Record Cling Set...

"For the Record" Stamp Set

Silhouettes, hot air balloons, butterflies, and measuring tapes? Mmm mmm mmm.  I also pulled from another beautiful collection of 7 Gypsies cling stamps, IC0148 Abundance.

"Abundance" Stamp Set

The sentiment stamps above possess just enough distress to suit my tastes and so nicely enhance an aged or grungy effect!

Distressed Sentiment Stamp

In the pic below, you can see a close up of the clear embossing.   If you caught my last "Tags for Twins" post here, you know that one can employ this technique to maintain the patterns of the paper beneath.  Here the clear embossing is used for a completely different effect, creating a nice resist, ready to be spritzed.

Embossed Resist

Mother of pearl, untwined twine that had been rolled in ink, metal snaps, die-cut gears, and tiny punched flowers finished off the project.  The combined pearlescent effects helped create a sense of light despite a rather dark palette.

In the Sunlight

Thanks for joining me here, folks.  If you're interested, you can see another mixed media card with more 7 Gypsies on my blog today!

Until next time - Vivian

Supplies:
Stamps: "For the Record," 7 Gypsies/Hampton Art
"Abundance," 7 Gypsies/Hampton Art

Inks
White, Cerulean; Colorbox Pigment Inks
Faded Jeans Distress Ink, Tim Holtz

Paints
Pearlescent Blue, Metallc Silver; Lumiere

Sprays
Vanilla Shimmer Smooch, Clearsnap
Slate Glimmer Mist, Tattered Angels

Paper
Old World Stack, DCWV
Black cardstock, PTI
"Meadow Lark," My Mind's Eye
Upcycled Clear Plastic Packaging

Dies & Punches
Spiral Blossom, Spellbinders
Flowers 3-D, Flowers 3-D Fringed, Gadget Gears, Mini Butterflies; Sizzix
Small Flower Punch, Fiskars

Embellishments
Twine, The Twinery
Self-adhesive pearls, Recollections @ Michaels
Metal snaps and mother of pearl buttons, LA Downtown Fashion District

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