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by Melissa Rusk »

Wed 10

Rainbow Valentine Video
by Dave Brethauer

With Valentine's just about a month away, there is a lot of love in the air here in the studio. So I thought I'd create some super easy rainbow colored Valentine's cards that come together in a snap.

Valentine's Day is such a great excuse to make some handmade cards - as you know, there is a lot of creative care that goes into making something handmade and it always seems like such a genuine way to express love and friendship.

For these projects, I decided to skip the classic red and pink and instead used the whole spectrum of colors - and I love how they turned out!

(To view this video in HD click here)

For the first project in the video I did a really simple watercolor background. I used my Gansai Tambi watercolors, but really any watercolor set will work, because the technique is really basic. I just swirled some paint onto a piece of cardstock, instead of watercolor paper, to create some spots of color. Normally I would be tensing up at the thought of spreading watercolor around on cardstock, since paint doesn't really want to move correctly on this type of paper. But the idea here is that there will be some uneven color and brush strokes - adding some texture to the background will help make this card come alive.

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I started the process by making a whole bunch of backgrounds - here are a few to show you some of the results that I got. I played around with the shapes of the areas I was painting and also how much water I was using. This is the part of the creative process that I live for - watching colors run together and overlap to create new colors - the unexpected surprises that come with making art.

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You'll need to work quickly and decisively on cardstock - it won't allow you to go back and fix areas like watercolor paper does. But that's OK, because you'll get a different, possibly more beautiful look out of cardstock! Cardstock is inexpensive compared to watercolor paper - so experimentation is allowed! Expect that some things won't work - you may have to toss out a few pieces.

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Once I created a few backgrounds that I was happy with I began making the card. I used the 99938 Classic Double Stitched Heart Rings to cut holes in the watercolor background and then added the 30117 Wrapped Stitch Frames to create a frame around the center.

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Since I really wanted the watercolor rainbow to be the important factor on the card, I wanted to keep everything else simple. I chose white for the border frame, to match the white cardstock in the center, and for the sentiment I chose a plain black ink. The sentiment is from the CL5218 Wirework Hearts clear stamp set and looks clean and crisp in the lower right corner.

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Now here's the same composition using a different watercolor background. I used lots of paint and water to create this background and love how the colors all swirled together. Note that the cardstock curls and buckles when you put this much water on it - but you'll be running this cardstock through your die cut machine to cut out the hearts and again when you cut out the frames, so it gets flattened back out. Just make sure it is dry before you cut it!

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Up close, you can really see all the little rivers of colors! I added some Fairy Sparkles sequins to glitz things up a bit and they look terrific over the watercolor - they take on the color that is below each of them.

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I continued experimenting with different backgrounds and die cut combinations (I made a lot of backgrounds!) and really like how each card had its own personality.

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I used less paint on this particular card - which gave me a more pastel effect - and I used the same size heart die over and over for the cut outs. The effect is more subtle - the color is softer - and with more die cuts there is more white overall.

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At this point I started noticing all the "leftovers" that I had from my cards. I'll use all of these heart rings by repurposing them for a new batch of handmade cards in the future. They are all ready to go and look amazing in varying watercolor shades.

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The sentiment that I used is from the Wireworks Heart clear stamp set again - and this card is easily mass produced. You could send this card for Valentine's Day - but really it could be used for almost any time of the year.

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 A sprinkle of the Fairy Sparkles sequins adds a little more dimension to this version - and makes the pastel colors shine.

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I switched things up a bit and came up with a similar card using a slightly different composition. This time I used the Poppystamps 1938 Pointed Rectangle Frames to create the border and the Poppystamps 1986 Splendid Stitch Hearts to create the row of heart shapes across the center. I reserved the die cut hearts for another project - the watercolor shows through the heart shaped openings and creates a rainbow across the card.

I used a strip of vellum over the rainbow and stamped it with a sentiment from the Poppystamps CL462 Valentine Fairies clear stamp set - a little white embossing powder really worked on the vellum to make the sentiment stand out.

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I really liked how the strip of vellum added a frosted look to the card so I set about making a stack of these cards - until I ran out of watercolor backgrounds!

But not to worry, I had some rainbow colored background papers on my desk! I think what I loved most about the vellum cards was how the colors softened behind the vellum - so using some background printed papers worked just as well. 

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I continued using the Poppystamps 1938 Pointed Rectangle Frames and Poppystamps 1986 Splendid Stitch Hearts to create the base - and just slipped the rainbow papers in back.

(The papers are from our friends at Lawn Fawn - this is the Really Rainbow 6x6 Paper Pack available in February - thanks Kelly, these backgrounds are so brilliant).

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I wanted to see how the card would turn out with a mix of the techniques I was using - the 30117 Wrapped Stitch Frames for the borders and stamping the sentiment directly on the paper.

This time I inserted all of the rainbow hearts directly into the holes - this showed the stitching detail of the hearts, and the rainbow paper added gorgeous color.

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Whether you make your own rainbow background or not - these cards are really going to brighten someone's day. I am a big fan of these types of cards -where color is the star and the rest of the card is easy to put together.

Now go grab your paints and brushes - and make some cards!

 

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