I didn’t get a chance to write about this card in yesterday’s Instagram post, which was part of an Instagram hop to celebrate the March release of Alex Syberia Design’s digital stamps. (You can check out the hop and the associated giveaway by starting here.) I thought I’d share a bit today in a separate post. As usual, what I had intended to be just a few words just kept getting longer and longer….imagine that…! 😂 So, a blog post it is!
The digital stamp that I used for this card is one from Alex Syberia Design’s March release and is called, “Spring Tulips“
I love the movement in this image and how the cluster of flowers looks like they are floating in the wind. I was a little stumped for colors, so I started going through my Instagram feed for inspiration. Mona Toth and her use of color has lit up my feed for years and today was no exception. I stumbled across her video, detailing how to color bubbles in a way that makes them look iridescent and as if there’s a rainbow captured in each little orb! It is an amazing video and card project! It’s definitely worth a view if you haven’t already seen it!
Y’all know I am very uncomfortable with making critter cards (even though I enjoy the heck out of seeing them!) but I thought I could try to apply Mona’s technique to flower petals.
The digi stamp that I had selected was perfect for this technique (or so I thought)…the petals are large enough for me to get some cool blending of the colors, and, my coloring method of choice is watercoloring with Karin Brushmarker Pro, which should be a bit easier to blend than the Copics that Mona had used. I decided to go for it! I printed the cluster of tulips out on Arches Coldpress Watercolor Paper in a no-line coloring tone and went for it!
The first petal turned out exactly as I had hoped! I had used only the 3 primary colors: Cerise (pink without too much red or purple in it), Sky Blue (a turquoise that didn’t have too much green or purple in it), and Canary (one of the lighter yellows that wasn’t too flourescent). I used my solution of Inkon3 Liquid Pixie Dust and water to move the colors around and create green, purple, and orange shades, rather than adding those colors manually. I really liked the effect and how the colors worked together.
I skipped the adjacent petal and went to the next. That went well too. I went around, happily blending my watercolors, until I had to work on the “in between” petal. Oooooops…I hadn’t really considered which colors would go where & now I would have to really work to ensure that complimentary colors were NOT next to each other & accidentally create mud or icky gray muck!
I had quite a wrestling match with the colors, but, eventually, I had a few petals completed & proceeded to try to break up the petals by using gray Copic markers and a black colored pencil for shading.
It looked OK; however, at this point, I knew that if I tried to do all 3 blooms the same way, it would look like a mess, rather than the floaty, iridescent look that was my goal. Quite honestly, I was also running out of time for getting my project done. I decided to fussy cut the colored bloom from the cluster, even though I knew I would regret losing some of the pretty edges that I had achieved with the watercolor. I also knew that I’d have to add leaves and other elements, since the single completed bloom was only about an inch and a half in diameter and was not large enough to carry a full-sized card.
So, I drew leaves. And a stem. I tried to mimic Alex’s illustration style for this digi stamp as much as possible. Once I was happy with my efforts, I proceeded to scan my drawing, to recolorize it to match the no-line hue that I had used when printing the flower cluster, and to watercolor it. I used my favorite blue and green combination on the leaves. It looked pretty, but, it was at this point when I decided that it wouldn’t work and I needed to stop…
The decision to stop working on this was a bit tough for me. I loved the angle of the leaves that I had drawn (I had to step waaaaaay out of my comfort zone to draw & was, quite frankly, a bit bummed that no one would see my efforts!). I also loved the colors that I had chosen, but, when I placed the colored tulip on the stem, it looked washed out when compared to the vibrancy of the greens. And, since I was using Karin Brushmarker Pro, rather than traditional watercolor, I couldn’t lift the color off of the leaves very much. What to do?!?
I almost decided to give up on this project for now. Clearly, I didn’t know how to make pastels work! Then, I had an idea….if I left all of the elements around the flower to be a white or a gray, the rainbow should sing! So, I started over! It was a good thing that I had scanned the leaves that I had drawn into a file… I could print it out again!
Of course, I could not just LEAVE it alone. (get it? 🤣) Being the color gal that I am, I couldn’t just leave gray to be gray! Gray bums me out too! So I added a bit of lavender that I mixed using a smidge of the pink and blue markers that I used on the bloom. That proved to be just enough of a hint of color to make the stem & leaves less boring without overpowering the lighter tints of the tulip!
Now it just came time to add other elements to the card. I decided that the flower was best suited for a mini-slimline-sized card. I had no background dies, embossing folders, etc. that would work with that size, so I proceeded to do strategic partial diecutting with 8 background dies until I had a few background selections. Nothing was really working. None of my frame die cuts worked either. Then, I saw a stack of Tonic Studios Media Dies that I had purchased in a recent sale. There were 2 frames that were the perfect size for my flower and would stick a bit off the edges of the card, just as I like it. I fussed with the dies, since I had never used Media Dies before & was completely unaware that Media Dies were a different thickness than the dies that I had been accustomed to using.
Ta-dah!!! 🤗🤗🤗 Boy, that was quite the struggle!
The frame is comprised of 4 layers of heavy duty white cardstock cut using Tonic Studios Charlotte’s Frame Media Die. The sentiment is from SSS Tiny Words, which I stamped using Versafine Onyx Black ink. I glued and foam mounted my tulip at various heights for dimensional interest, then added a few Glass Slippers sequins from The Ton.
That’s all folks! I hope I didn’t talk your ear off!