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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Some scenic brayer work...

I worked on brayering a couple cards late, late last night, and finished the layouts today. They both turned out a bit brighter than they are in real life - they are actually more muted, even with the intense colors.
This one, Twilight Migration, was my first, inspired by the cover photo of a book I just started.

I was hoping for a lighter look, like on the cover, but got a little heavy handed with the brayer LOL I almost always use those airy yellow circle sponges to add lots of color, so thought I'd break out of my pattern temporarily and give brayering a go. Inspired by Michelle Zindorf lately, as is every one on the planet apparently LOL and with good reason! And scenic stamping was my first love when I was just getting started so it's nice to make a little return trip :o)

I learned a lot of what not to do with this card LOL, so here are some tips for you, and for me to remember next time:
  • start with a nice brayered layer of lighter ink than you want to end up with, to add the darker ones to (if you try to put dark ink on plain white cs it will get splotchy, like putting foundation on a dry face - goes on much smoother with a neutral base like lotion)
  • after inking up the brayer, I ran the end edges across a dry scrubby pad to take the hard edge off when applying color to cs ( I'm not such a pro yet that I can do it otherwise
  • clean the brayer thouroughly if you are switching color families or you can end up with muddy versions of ink colors

Alright, I wish I had gotten more ink on the wheat before embossing. I would have liked them not to be so stark white. The first ones turned out fine, but then I stamped off on the paper a couple times for lighter ones but apparently there was no color left on the rubber, just Versamark. So, my lessoned learned: more color is better than less! I brayered over this in Stampin' Up!'s Apricot Appeal, Creamy Caramel, More Mustard, and sponged on some brown at the bottom. Talk about everything but the kitchen sink - I must've used 8 colors on this card!

I covered this area with a Post-It and brayered on some light blue over the whole sky area. I added Perfect Plum to the horizon line, and two more shades of blue to the sky, masking a moon area after the first darker shade went on. I wasn't originally going to add the moon and geese, but when I saw where it was all headed I changed my mind. You can see that I ended up with some harsh lines with the last coat so I trimmed a slim panel to detract from this and add some interest.

I used some of the brown ink to stamp some more wheat and I was ready to put it together. Other than the gold brads, the only other addition was to stamp the blue panel with Stampin' Up!'s Sanded background.

This second card is my favorite...

Click photo for detail

I have a thing about waterfowl of any sort, but I particularly love herons. I get insta-happy every time I see one flying over - they are so peaceful and majestic. And watching them patiently wading thru shallow water looking for food - well, I could do that for hours!

I bought this unmounted stamp at the stamp convention this past May (thanks Juli, for pointing me in the right direction!) from the Stamping Sensations booth. I believe it was originally a Bad Axe image that they now own. The grasses are by A Stamp in the Hand.

I used Michelle's method of stamping the image on white cs, coloring him in (I used a combo of Tombow greys and Stampin' Up!'s So Saffron) and then going over him with a Versamark pen so that I could emboss the whole image (using fine detail clear powder), allowing me to stamp and color everything over the heron, which I wanted as my focal point. This way is so much better than the old-days way, where I had to cut a mask for EVERY THING! Those knobby little legs get tough to do that way!!


Be sure to swipe your cardstock with an antistatic pad, etc. before embossing because even a few stray specks will be permanantly white, even after brayering.

I brayered the water area with SU's River Rock, and then a blue, adding some more blue and brown with a sponge for dimension and shadowing. I had to extend the water line at the base of my bird image so I used a Micron black pen to do that as I had stamped him in black Staz-On. I also added a few extra squiggles to the bottom area. I stamped the grass at the water line in SU's True Thyme and sponged some black, brown, and blue inks as shown.


Don't use Staz-On to stamp over your embossing because it won't wipe off easily. If you forget and use it, you can try removing it with the Staz-On cleaner and a Q-tip.

For the sky, I brayered on SU's So Saffron, More Mustard and Pumpkin Pie, I think. The sky seemed too empty and "large" so I added some antiqued brass brads to the top, and adhered it to an Army green panel. For the base lighter green panel, I used True Thyme to extend the grasses out and then stamped SU's Canvas background in second generation River Rock over all. I pierced the panel around the edges of the smaller panel, and stuck it all together ;o)

Thanks for stopping in - have a great rest of the weekend,


Shirley said...

It doesn't surprise me to see how truly artistic you are. It shows with every card you create. Don't blush, its a fact. These cards are lovely. I actually like them better than Michelle's, but that's just me. Her work is lovely too and its her. Hard to explain.

Anonymous said...

Oh my! Fantastic creations, Nancy! I tried Michelle's technique once, but didn't have solid leaves. lol These are truly beautiful. I know how you feel about blue herons...although I can't get close enough to the river to watch them eat. Too much brush along the banks. Seeing them fly over is another thing, though.

Ginni said...

Both of these are absolutely gorgeous, Nancy. Of course, you already know what a fan of yours I am - you always do such outstanding work.

Mchilly said...

Your have such a great work :-)

sandyh said...

love both of these cards, did a lovely job! the heron is my fav also!

Manna said...