Monday, August 3, 2015

"Background Check" Backgrounds

Online Card Classes has been having their latest class, "Background Check," during this past week. The format is a little different from past classes. Instead of creating cards each day, the instructors devoted the first 2 days of each three-day segment to demonstrating background techniques. Days 3 & 6 were the only ones when they actually created cards using the backgrounds they had created. So I have a few backgrounds that I have not turned into cards just yet.

My first background was inspired by Jennifer McGuire's demonstration on Day 1 of class. I applied Hero Arts' Soft Pool, Pool, & Green Hills dye inks to a piece of white cardstock, using the direct-to-paper method. I then inked up the "Damask" background stamp by Impression Obsession with Versamark ink, and stamped that on my background. The pattern only appears when you heat it with a heat tool, but I like the soft, subtle effect.

Kristina Werner had a lesson on Day 2 on stamping over pigment ink with dye inks. She used a border stamp, but I didn't have any that was suitable for this technique, so I opted for one of the "Rounded Diamonds" stamps from Avery Elle. I stamped the diamond shape 9 times on a pale grey cardstock, using Hero Arts' Unicorn pigment ink. After that had dried thoroughly (which took a LOOOOONG time) I inked up the stamp again with Hero Arts inks in Bubble Gum & Soft Pool, and Simon Says Stamp's Sunshine ink. (Not all at once, of course! LOL) I stamped with each color over the white, slightly offset, so I ended up with a two-tone effect. I did find out, though, that even though the pigment ink is dry to the touch, the dye-inked stamp will still pick up the white, so you have to clean the stamp between each stamping.

Laura Bassen's lesson on Day 2 was on plaid stamping. I used the stamps from Clearly Besotted's "Basic Stripes" and Hero Arts Soft Granite ink to stamp the plaid pattern in my first background. Once I'd finished stamping, I used Distress inks in Dusty Concord, Salty Ocean, Mustard Seed, & Abanoned Coral to blend color over the pattern. The Dusty Concord came out a little too dark, but I think the overall effect is pretty cool!

For my second plaid background, I decided to go for a more feminine look. I used the same stamp set, and Hero Arts inks in Bubble Gum, Soft Pool, Butter Bar, & Soft Lilac for most of the stripes. For the green stripes, I masked off either side with painter's tape, being careful not to press too hard so it wouldn't rip my paper when I pulled it up, and inked with Twisted Citron Distress ink & my mini ink blending tool.

Day 4 of class was devoted to "Die Cutting Techniques for Backgrounds." Kristina Werner demonstrated a DIY cover plate technique. For my card, I used 3 different dies: the cloud die from Mama Elephant's "Landscape Trio," and the scalloped dies from Pretty Pink Posh's "Stitched Borders 2" & "Stitched Borders 3." I first cut a 4.25x5.5" panel from white cardstock. I die cut with the largest die, a little more than 1" from the bottom. Then I moved the die up about 1/4", and cut again. I repeated the process with the two other dies, moving up the panel, and making sure to keep the pieces in order as I cut.

I inked the upper edge of the bottom piece with Mustard Seed Distress ink, the second larger piece from the bottom with Wild Honey, the next one with Spiced Marmalade, and the top piece with Fired Brick. My idea was a sunset (or sunrise) illuminating clouds. Finally, I attached each inked piece with foam tape to another A2-size card panel, using the narrower die cut pieces as temporary "placeholders" to get everything spaced correctly.

I'm not sure yet what I'll do with most of these borders, but it's kind of nice to know the cards I will make are already started! :)

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