I’m glad it seems that you’ve enjoyed yesterday’s post about my top picks from CHA. I had a lot of fun researching and writing it! To be honest, I can’t really tell which I enjoyed more – being there at CHA but incredibly tired after every day of working or sitting at home and being able to watch everything unfold from the comfort of my computer. I guess I’ll just have to go again to the next conference and compare notes. ;) I definitely missed seeing some of my best friends. It’s always so strange when we’re there together, though. We’re working so we don’t really have time to talk, but it’s just so nice to be around your friends.
Someday I’ll live in a magical place where I always have friends coming to visit or we all can just go out and have lunch or coffee whenever we want. <3
Today I wanted to share more from my recent influx of inspiration and craftiness. Seriously, everything has been making my creative wheels turn. Yay! I actually was inspired by Jess’s card here the other day and came up with a little twist on her rainbow idea.
I was able to create three cards with similar patterns and pretty minimal work with this fabulous watercolor design (of course using my beloved hexagon background…. seriously…. in love). The trick? Distress Markers. YES!
I’ve actually showcased this technique on a previous post, but I’ve never done it with a specific pattern in mind before coloring. In this case, it was a gradient from yellow to blue – part of a rainbow. The great part about using Distress Markers to color stamp is that they stay usable for several hours – up to two days – and you just add water to re-activate them.
Once you’re done coloring your stamp, you spray lightly with a mister (I do about 5 sprays from about 14 inches away, until there are tiny little water droplets all over the stamp) and press watercolor paper onto the image. Smooth over the whole image, making sure to transfer every part with a bone folder, and then lift your paper up. You can then repeat this process without recoloring your image up to three times.
Above, you can see how the pattern is still very alive and well after even the third impression. The colors become more pastel over time as the stamp becomes cleaner and the colors become more diluted.
Here are the Distress Marker colors I used to methodically color in the stamp. I went from yellows to blues, lightest to darkest and kept a mental note of which areas I colored in as I went along. (Lighter colors like yellow don’t show up very well on red rubber, so you have to trust yourself a little! After I was done coloring with all the rainbow colors, I went back over the outline of each hexagon with this light grey color. This grey allows me to clean up any overlap or coloring outside the lines I had on the hexagons with the colors and also helps bring in a very cohesive look to the overall image.
Here are some tips for experimenting with this technique:
- always use watercolor paper. It will absorb the water easily but still maintain the vibrancy of the markers. The best paper I’ve found for cardmaking + water techniques is the Simon Says Stamp watercolor paper. I buy them 3 packs at a time!
- use the side of the marker to color onto the stamp. Using the very tip won’t transfer enough color over and could cause the felt to fray. (This is the same with any stamping marker – try to avoid using just the tip.)
- if you’re using a lot of colors like I’ve done in this example, its a good idea to stamp the image out on a scrap piece of paper and mark each hexagon off as you’ve colored over it with color. This will take out the guess work of remembering where you colored with what (it can get pretty complicated with 12 colors!)
- for images with a border around each color, save that color for last so you can “clean up” your coloring and be more free when you’re laying color down in the first place (I did this here with the Pumice Stone marker)
- if coloring a monochromatic design (example: just light, medium and dark blues), it’s helpful to color over your entire image with the lightest color first. This way, if you miss a spot, you’ll still have the lightest color there.
- color a background (or even a smaller stamp) with distress markers very quickly and try stamping it onto scrap watercolor paper before you invest lots of time in your pretty coloring. This will help give you a feel for how much water to spray on your stamp to re-activate the ink. Too little water will result in a “blotchy” appearance, while too much water will result in lines melting into one another or pools of color on your finished color. Experimenting around lets you figure out what look you want to achieve with your project.
To finish off the cards, I stamped a Rad sentiment onto some vellum with Black StazOn ink (StazOn dries almost instantly on smooth surfaces) and sewed it onto the card bases. Oh! And the card base is made with the fab Steel Grey cardstock from My Favorite things. It’s my favorite dark grey ever (and frames the wonderful watercoloring perfectly). I kept the rest of the design simple so nothing tried to compete with the Distress Marker stamping. It sings its own song this way. :)
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tutorial on Rainbow Stamping with Distress Markers. I’m particularly in love with the third impression of the hexagon stamp. It’s so light and subtle, but it’s so lovely when you see it by itself. Which one is your favorite impression? Now that I’ve had some time to play with these lovelies, I’m absolutely ecstatic about the release of the brand new Distress Paints from Ranger (read my blog post about those here). I can’t wait to show you even more fun things with those! What do you think, maybe it’s time for No Stress Distress Inks Part Two? Hehe. ;D
Hope you’re having lovely weekends. I go back to classes on Tuesday. Oh boy.
P.S. A little Leia lovin’ for you!
She always sticks close to me, especially when I’m crafting. Sometimes a little too close – the stitching on the cards above probably has some Leia spit trapped in it. She chased the string the whole time while I sewed. Ha!
But sometimes she gets sick of chasing ribbon or trying to attack my ipad and just falls asleep on the blanket on top of a box right next to my desk. I love having her right there. :)