I was working on some sample cards in the studio over the last couple of weeks and came up with a couple of ideas that I'd like to share.
I was trying to make some projects with a very soft look to them - pastel and blurry, like what you might imagine a scene to look like on a crisp winter morning with a little fog in the air.
Both of these projects use deer - my favorite animal! - but I have scaled them differently.
My first project is a sample I featured in our Holiday 2017 video - I had a lot of requests to do a step by step video on how it is made, and so I did!
(Watch this video in HD by clicking here)
To create the soft look that I was going for, I used my Distress Oxide inks in Cracked Pistachio, Broken China and Faded Jeans. I was careful with the amount of ink that I sponged onto the paper - adding just enough to create some soft bands of color.
The key is to overlap the ink - I apply the color in a circular motion, over and over, a little at a time. It actually helps if your inkpad is a little dried out! That way, you don't get as much color on your sponge.
For the sentiment I used 99794 Sentimental Merry Christmas cut out of glittery white cardstock. I was trying to keep most of the card white, but I noticed that when I cut out the Merry Christmas in plain white cardstock it was a little, well, plain.
So I decided to use something glittery (it always works!) and now the sentiment floats on top of the scene and really stands out!
To create the composition, I used the 99823 Gentle Valley Oval and 99811 Gentle Horizon Oval - layered together to create a dimensional look. These two dies were designed to go with each other - of course you could use them individually, but when I created them, I made it so that one set of hills is slightly lower than the other. That way you can create some depth when layering.
There is a natural shadow that happens when you stack these together, so there is a little shading between the foreground and the background.
In the video you can see how easy it is to create the background and then fit it like a puzzle piece into place - the aqua and blue sky just slips right into place around the trees - it is so easy!
To embellish the base of the card I used pieces of the Poppystamps 1872 Snowflake Screen to make the corners a little more interesting. Just cut the Snowflake Screen out of white cardstock and snip off a few areas to use on the card.
The base card is a Memory Box Powder notecard - it is so very pale blue, nearly white. In fact, you will probably think it is white unless you put some actual white cardstock on it! The effect is very subtle when you use a Powder notecard - but it really enhances the soft aesthetic of this handmade card.
Finally, I decided to use the Poppystamps 1886 Tiny Fawns at the bottom of the oval. They are just the right size and look like they are greeting each other on the hill!
I cut the Tiny Fawns out of white cardstock and colored them in with a Copic Marker (Brick Beige Cream copic marker) and then embellished them with a few tiny white dots on their back by using a White Opaque Pen.
I had some extra materials lying on my desk so I decided to try the card in a different color scheme. I was trying to create a more "rosy" color scheme, so I sponged the background with Distress Oxide ink in Fired Brick and Worn Lipstick.
Since the colors were a lot warmer, I changed out the glittery white cardstock for some metallic gold - and I love how the Merry Christmas shines in the sky!
A quick spritz of water added some texture to the sky - and I decided to try just a solo deer. The Memory Box Cranberry notecard makes a basic background for the project - and you are done! The layer dies make this look like more work than it really is - and you could mass produce these in a flash!
For my second project, I wanted to really focus on minimal color and create a faded spatter effect behind the trees. I knew that I wanted to use the 99829 Alpine Trees and the 99167 Valley Deer Trio, so all I had to to do was figure out how to make the dark ink fade perfectly to white in the background.
Iced Spruce turned out to be the perfect Oxide Ink for this effect - the gray is a little bit blue and green, and when I spritzed it with a little bleach solution (2 cups water to 1 tablespoon bleach), I could achieve the effect I was going for. You can see in the video that you want to start the sponging low on the card, behind the trees, and then fade the color out toward the top.
When I applied it to the paper, I tried to create sort of a pointed "blob" area that would mimic the outline of the trees. My goal was for that color to fade around the trees, so that the color appears to be only positioned behind the treeline. The edges of the ink were good, but not perfect.
But a spritz of the bleach solution, centered towards the top of the sponged area, faded the edges of the ink beautifully!
I tried the inked area in a couple of different positions on the card- and it turned out that it still looked great even if you didn't keep the ink directly behind the trees.
It really is a mesmerizing effect - it reminds me of looking at the forest when the snow is falling really hard. All you can see is some shadow - and the rest of the sky is filled with white.
I realized that a little color would help the composition, so I cut the Valley Deer trio out of an off white cardstock and sponged them ever so gently with Distress Oxide ink in Vintage Photo.
I sponged them so that most of the color was at the top of their bodies - which naturally kept their stomach and legs a little lighter. Simply add a few white dots from a white opaque pen and they are ready to be used on the project!
I hope you'll try creating your own soft and subtle projects - the soft pastel color is the star here! I hope you are inspired to make your own winter pastel project!