December 11, 2014

Forest Scene Card

I don't normally keep aside Christmas cards for myself, but this year I've made an exception.  Today's card was a strange lesson in how doing everything wrong can sometimes be right.

Let's start with the stencil.  I made it out of green acetate on my Silhouette SD.  I'd intended the silhouette to allow me to make white birch trees on a dark background.  So, first mistake: I made a stencil of the birch trees rather than a stencil of the spaces between the trees.

I managed to mostly get the delicate stencil off the sticky backing it's cut on.  I believe there was only one minor tear.

Despite getting the stencil wrong I still wanted to try it out, so I went on to step two, spraying the stencil with a repositional adhesive, so I could lay it on my paper and not worry about it moving around while I inked around it.  I was a little too impatient with this step and didn't let it sit long enough to become tacky rather than sticky and just slapped it down onto the die cut oval of glossy paper I was using (taped to my scrap paper on my craft mat so it wouldn't move either).

I started the stencilling by running a black marker over the indents in the trunks, so it would have the birch bark look.  I then took black, blue and metallic blue gelatos and preceded to smear them into the spaces between the trees, forming a night scene.  It took a fair amount of time to get this dark enough and blended enough, but I was happy with how it looked.

Then I pulled up the stencil.  Because it was more gluey than tacky it stuck to the scrap paper, ripping  the paper and the stencil.  The panel didn't tear, but the glue came off the stencil, making the front of the panel sticky.  I also noticed that the black marker ran, making the indent bits less defined than I'd intended.

Here's a photo of the stencil after removing it from the panel.

I decided the panel was probably a waste, but thought it might be worth trying the old eraser trick on it.  I was hoping the eraser would pick up the glue, allowing me to still use the panel.  Well, the eraser had two effects, the first was to smear the gelatos onto the white trees, the second was to form a grey mess with the glue.  Now, had I continued erasing I would have gotten rid of the glue in time, but the trees would have been ruined due to the smearing colour.  But I realized that the darkness where the eraser hit the glue - and the texture that formed from it - looked surprisingly like actual tree bark.

So I stopped erasing and flicked some white paint pen flecks at the panel.  I also ran a marker around the edge, so it would have a black frame.

To finish the card I used some silhouette cut holly flourishes, deer and poinsettia (the larger poinsettia was done with a die and accented with a marker).  I also took some white plastic wire and glued beads to the ends to add to the flourish.  Finally I added some gold embossing liquid to the centers of the flowers and stamped the greeting.

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