Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Layout inspirations

Sketches are a great source of inspiration. The Close to my Heart Idea Books are not only catalogues, but also great sources of inspiration..

The following layout was inspired by Atlantic Hearts Sketch #129 and the layout on page of 102 of the Close to my Heart 2015/16 Annual Idea Book.

I am working on a scrapbook about my European vacation this past summer. I have combined the CTMH Wanderful and Laughing Lola paper collections to get more variety in the book.  The number of overlapping colours between the two collections is fantastic! Flaxen matches the Laughing Lola gold and Thistle is a close match to the Laughing Lola purple.

The inspirations:

Monday, October 19, 2015

Bokeh Stamping Technique - three ways

This technique allows you to imitate a photographic light technique (out of focus dots of light) using paper and ink.

Warning: This technique can be messy.  If so desired, you can use disposable gloves to keep your hands clean.

Supplies Needed:

All Bokeh Techniques
-          White pigment ink
-          Circle stencils of various sizes
-          Sponge daubers
-          Card bases, papers and other accessories to complete your cards

Dry Technique
-          White cardstock
-          2-4 ink pads of various colours
-          Stamping/crafting sponges

Wet Technique
-          White cardstock or watercolour paper
-          2-4 re-inker colours
-          One spray pen for each ink colour (or spray bottles)
-          Masking tape
-          Suggested: craft heater
-          Alternate: can use baby wipe technique (baby wipes, dish/base) or watercolour paints

Step #1 – Create a background
Using one of the techniques, cover a piece of white cardstock or watercolour paper to create a soft, multi-coloured background. Make sure the ink or colour is completely dry before moving on to step #2.

Dry Technique: Using ink
Bokeh Technique - Dry

1.                   Press the sponge or dauber in the ink colour of your choice.

2.                   Sponge randomly on your cardstock.  It helps to move your sponge or
                dauber in a circular motion.

3.            Add a second and/or third colour using the same technique. 
*For more visual interest, you can overlap the colours as you are inking.*

4.                   Completely fill in the cardstock – do not leave any white areas.

TIP:  Try inking with a sponge on scrap paper first.  Try using different pressures and sponge areas to create different looks.  Different types of sponges will give different looks as well. Also, if using pigment inks, the colours will blend more like paint than the dye inks.

Wet Technique: Using re-inkers
*** WARNING: This technique is VERY messy and wet. 
Be sure to place a mat or disposable cover beneath your work.***

1.       Cut a piece of cardstock or watercolour paper to the size that you wish to 
work with.

2.       Put masking tape around all of the edges, taping this piece down to a matt 
or scrap paper.  The masking tape helps in three ways: a) helps reduce curling of 
the paper when it is wet, b) helps prevent water or liquid from escaping from the 
area you are working on and c) it helps to keep your surface stable so that it 
doesn’t move while you are inking it.

3.       Mix 3 drops of re-inker with 10 drops of water.  (Use a painting tray or 
individual containers for each colour or spray pens.)  Do this for all of the colours 
that you wish to use for your background.

4.       Wet the paper down first using a paintbrush, sponge or waterbrush.

5.       Using a paintbrush, sponge or waterbrush, randomly spread the various ink 
colours around on your paper until there is no white paper showing.  You can 
overlap colours to create new colour combinations. OR If using spray pens, 
alternate spraying the various colours until the page is covered with ink.

6.       Leave this paper to dry overnight or dry it with a craft heater.

Fold a baby or wet wipe in half and then in half again.  Or for a larger stamping 
area, fold the wipe in thirds.  (You want at least 2-3 layers for the ink to soak 

1.     BABY WIPE TECHNIQUE - You can use the baby wipe technique (placing drops of re-inker on baby wipe to create a multi-coloured “stamp pad”) but instead of using stamps use a sponge. Create your background as with the techniques above.
      WATERCOLOUR PAINTS – You can use watercolour paints to paint a background using brushes or sponges. TIP: Watercolours always look darker when wet.

Step #2 – Bokeh Technique

WARNING: Be sure that your background is dry before beginning this step otherwise your background will smear and you will get colours on your white ink pad.

HINT: To see what the Bokeh photography technique looks like check out page 14 in the Holiday Expressions 2015/16 catalogue.  The Christmas tree in the background is an example of this photographic technique.

1.    1.      Place a circle stencil down on top of your background. 

       2. Press your sponge dauber in the white ink.  Press the dauber down into the stencil hole and fill the circle with ink.  Don’t just press down, move the dauber around.  The white ink is very wet and paint like, so you can drag the ink around.

       3.  Using different sizes of circles, fill the background with as many white circles as you think appropriate.  In this case, more is better. 
      Remember to start with a light amount of pressure.  You can always add more ink later.  Be sure to use different amounts of pressure for different circles to change the intensity of the white ink.
      Be sure to clean your stencil periodically so as not to smudge unwanted ink on your project.
       4.  Overlapping circles and having partial circles that run off the page edge also help to create a more authentic look.
       5.  For the smallest circles, just press your dauber directly onto the paper.  These small circles will appear as the brightest points of light.  (It helps to not just press the dauber down, but also to rotate your finger a bit inside the dauber.)

TIPS: - You can create your own stencils from cardstock or acetate using dye cutting machines.
      This technique can be done with shapes other than circles eg: hearts, snowflakes etc.

Step #3 – Card Assembly
1.       After the bokeh white circles have dried, cut a piece of the bokeh patterned cardstock or paper into the size and shape desired to decorate your card.
          Adhere the piece to your card base.
         Decorate your card as desired.

Suggested videos:
This technique is hard to pick up just reading about it.  Try these videos:

1.       Watercolour technique using reinkers:
2.       Watercolour/wet technique:
3.       Dry ink technique with sponges/daubers:

Wet technique (re-inkers and spray pens)
CTMH Stamp: September 2015 SOTM - Paper Garden and Say It All Hostess Rewards Stamp 

Dry technique
CTMH Stamp: Fallen Leaves D1492 & 

Dry technique sample
CTMH stamp set: C1559

Baby Wipe & Bokeh Techniques combined
CTMH Stamp set - Birthday Wish C1624