Friday, 30 March 2018

Specimen (Fig.3457) - Tag & Journal Page

Hi everyone,

hope you’re all looking forward to a lovely Easter Bank Holiday break.  I know I am.

With Easter literally on the doorstep and everywhere wantonly draped with Easter eggs, my thoughts were obviously running along  the same line when I hit my craft room today.

This is my latest 'creation':

Before I launch forth into the making process I'd like to mention a VERY talented artist, Veerle Moreels. It’s was her 'go to' technique that I used on the tag and, in fact, it’s a technique that I’ve been turning to more and more since Veerle shared it on her blog, A Coloured Mind( ).   If you don’t know Veerle’s work you are in for a special treat, as her art is exceptional and simply gorgeous. No wonder she is on France Papillon's Butterfly Design team..
I won’t go into Veerle’s technique, as you can see her demonstrating it far better then I can describe it in the videos on her blog.  Suffice it to say, I cut a piece of 300 gsm watercolour card to the size of a Ranger Size #8 tag, grabbed a piece of acrylic, a Ranger Distress Sprayer, a fine detail paintbrush and set to with Stamping Up Ink (Baja Breeze) to create my background.

Once happy with that I used the same ink to lightly shade the edge of my tag and added a few fine splatters of watered down, white acrylic paint before setting it aside.
Next I printed off an egg image from the internet, well a couple of images in fact.  I wasn’t sure of the texture I wanted so I needed an extra image for experimental purposes.

Unfortunately my printer is an inkjet printer and not a laser printer, so I had to be particularly careful colouring in both images with Baja Breeze. The ink in an inkjet printer activates with water, or certainly mine does. So working very carefully with an almost dry paint brush I gradually built up the shading on both images until I was happy. 

Here’s were the experimenting came in. Knowing that both the SU and the printer inks were water reactive but wanting a crackled texture to my eggs, I tried out a test piece on a scrap of card: Firstly I applied a layer of Ranger Micro Glaze to seal the inks, then a layer of Ranger Distress Crazing Collage Medium  over the top.  Unfortunately the Collage Medium crazed  everywhere on the test piece except where I’d applied the Ranger Micro Glaze....Obviously no good for what I had in mind.

Next I used one of the coloured egg images; this time I applied a fairly thick layer of Ranger Distress Crackle Paint (Rock Candy) with a very gentle dabbling motion so as not to activate and move the inks too much.  Whilst I was delighted by the result, gorgeous crackles, the thickness of the Crackle Paint distorted the colour and the shape slightly, plus the egg looked too shiny for my liking.

But the gently dabbing motion hadn’t activated the inks soI decided to try the Ranger Distress Crazing Collage Medium in the same way onto the second egg.... The result was fantastic and exactly as I wanted it. A matt finish that was gently crazed with the inks undisturbed.... RESULT!

Here's a close up.....

Ever since I first tried machine stitching onto card and paper I’ve been addicted. In fact my machine has seen more card and paper under the needle foot than it has fabric. Using white cotton I stitched round the edge of my tag and to hold the fine gauze in place. Then using a ball-end tool I gently shaped the egg by rolling it around on the reverse to help it into shape before using dimensional foam pads and a touch of Glossy Accents to hold it in place on top of the gauze. 

The label was computer generated and layered onto torn and inked vellum (Baja Breeze again)..... Vellum is another ‘like’ of mine just because of the way the torn edges take the ink and how the end result can still look delicate. I used Ranger Idea-ology Remnant Rubs (Botanicals, Numbers) in a couple of places on the tag for a faux botanical theme.

Finally, I backed by tag in black card and added Stamping Up ribbon and a tiny date tag to the top.

When I tidied everything away, the egg that I crackled with Ranger Distress Crackle Paint was sat in splendid isolation in the middle of my craft table. For some reason I didn't have the heart to assign it to the bin. So after deliberating for a minute or two, out came everything again and I set to to created this page for my art journal.... waste not want not.

Journal page image......

And a couple of close ups......

And lastly both together...... Not much difference really.

Baja Breeze is such a delicate colour, especially against the white of the card, but still builds up nicely to add depth as more layers of ink are added.  I knew it was the colour I wanted for my egg but adding the Ranger Distress Crazing Collage Medium over the top gave an unexpected and subtle matt finish reminiscent of egg shell... It couldn’t have been better. 

As ever, thank you for letting me share my latest artistic efforts and, if you're a chocoholic, I hope this weekend is chocolate heaven for you (Smile).

Enjoy your Bank Holiday and hope you find time for some crafting.

Carol. xx

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