I am so excited and a bit nervous to be a part of the Brutus Monroe Inspiration Team. While paper crafting is not new to me it has been years and years since I’ve actually done any serious card making. I am old school — arts minor in undergrad that meant a lot of carving of wooden linoleum blocks, cutting of screen printing film, printmaking, graphic design, lettering, and textile design but all with very old techniques — heavy emphasis on the old. Over the years I have watched the scrapbooking and card making world evolve, incorporating new materials and new techniques. I am still a bit surprised but quite tickled to be able to share a bit of my journey with the Brutus Monroe Inspiration Team and all of you. My hope is that it encourages those of you who might be intimidated with the seeming intricacy of card making. I think I’m living proof that cute things can be accomplished with baby steps.
That being said when asked about a speciality or favorite style — what immediately comes to mind is layering — lots and lots of layering with a toss of vintage prints (mostly florals) and lovely geometrics. In all areas of my life I am heavily influenced by vintage — but not the stuffy sit-up straight style of vintage — I definitely lean to the comfort of overstuffed furniture and lots of patterned pillows, quilts, ruffles, ribbons and bows. So it’s not surprising that my journey into card making reflects that love and is shaded with Victorian and bohemian touches and lots of shabby chic.
Not going to lie — my initial “jump in and see what happens” experience using primarily Brutus Monroe products was fun when all was said and done; but not so much along the way. I attempted to stamp with the Alabaster Pigment Ink on the natural craft cardstock, which was a little iffy. I wasn’t sure about inking and the pressure of stamping; but I just went with it. I also experimented with watercoloring techniques I learned in my early days using the feather stamps, chalk inks and an aqua brush. Feeling really adventurous I grabbed the gold Liquid Elements Spray and went to town only to see at the end I was spraying Squeaky Clean on my freshly stamped and colored designs! Luckily no one was within earshot! Not one to admit defeat easily, I lightly spritzed the gold on my prints and let it sit. That being said, I will post a pix of the final card at the end of this…I just didn’t want that to be my lead picture! Nothing like leading with a “whoopsie!”
The two birdcage stamps I worked with were so much fun. After more practice I got the hang of properly inking with the Detail Ink and then figuring out the pressure to paper equation. I think I did pretty well. The detail in these birdcages is so incredible I didn’t need to color either one of them. I did spray the background (this time with the real Liquid Elements) with Sterling. Warning: Don’t panic. Even when spritzing lightly, initially the spray looks really dark; but it dried to a wonderful patina, reminding me of vintage mercury glass. I printed the cages over the dry background and that is how simple it was. I selected a few vintage prints that I had worked with for my planner stickers and used them to frame the birdcage. A few differently colored organza ribbons and gray and purple cards from my stash added the perfect shabby chic touch to the finished cards. All and all — the technique is quite easy (with the addition of a textured tape around the Squeaky Clean bottle so my earlier error wouldn’t be repeated); and, I have cards I will be happy to send to family and friends.
The cards here and at the opening of my post are kind of my next steps version. I wanted to add some color to the stamped images but not by coloring. Instead, I used Brutus Monroe Chalk Inks in Aubergine (dreamy), Sage and Sea, overstamping layers for depth. At first everything just looked muddy but once they were dry the colors blended together and I think they are pretty. I over spritzed with the Liquid Elements Sterling on the feather piece and am really happy with the result. Again using vintage designs from my planner stickers, I layered both sections and then positioned them on a simple white card adding a wrap of a black and white fabric ribbon. So there you go…my first foray into the world of stamping and card making c. 2016 — I think it was a success!
And, as promised, here is that first attempt card — no judging…just wanting you to see that it’s all just paper and ink and so not much is lost if something goes awry!