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by Penny Ward »

Sat 21

Fabulous Snowy Sky Video by Dave Brethauer

Well, hello all you Memory Box fans!

I am so happy to share a video with you today that will teach you a background technique you will use over and over. The results are wonderful each time - and very creative.


I think this is one of my favorites because of this particular combination of color - the blues and purples, and then the small golden accent. This is truly beautiful in real life - you must try this so that you can see it in person!

(Watch this video in HD by clicking here)

I used Distress Oxide inks for the background - Wilted Violet, Faded Jeans and Broken China - all sponged together and overlapped. And then there is a small dab of yellow ink - Fossilized Amber - to create a little burst of light in the upper right corner.

I have been sponging backgrounds for a long time and by now, I can whip up a background in no time. To give it this bright spattered look I gave it a little spritz of water mixed with a bit of bleach. My portions change from time to time - the stronger the bleach solution, the brighter the white spots get and there is a more noticeable "halo" around the spots. Generally, I stick to a recipe of 2 cups water to one tablespoon of bleach, but you should try what suits you.


You can see the difference between the two cards here - the card on the left has the tiny drops and the card on the right has larger drops. This is just a matter of how you use your spray bottle.

I spritz it with a spray bottle - if I squeeze quickly, then the spray comes out in tiny drops. If I squeeze slowly, then the spray comes out in larger drops. As a bonus - you will be disinfecting your craft area!


I used the 99834 Single Deer Oval to create the first layer - and then the 99816 Batavia Snowflake Oval for the second layer. Both of these are cut out of white cardstock, which provides a bright contrast to the colorful background. Both ovals are exactly the same size, so they line up perfectly. And if you want to add some snowflakes to the card, the 99825 Batavia Snowflakes match the snowflakes in the oval!


In the video you will see that you have some leftover pieces - like the reindeer above. This is what is left over after you cut out the background - don't throw it out, this makes another beautiful card!


Adding a white background, and gluing on a few sequins - you'll have another card in less than a minute!

I have designed a lot of layered dies over the years, including the tree and branch collage dies in the Faerie Cards video I made awhile ago. It is a concept that I really have had fun with as I developed Birch Press Design Dies over the last few years - layering cut paper to create intricate artwork, like I did in my Peony Blooms video. I really enjoy assembling these layers to create some dimension on cards.


I ended up really liking the color scheme that I used for the background, so I made about a dozen background pieces, changing where I was putting the color until I came up with a composition that reminded me of the Northern Lights.


This turned out to work perfectly with a die that I hadn't played with too much - the 99822 Sheer Treescape. This die features some cut lines to create some texture in the paper - these extra lines do not cut out a shape but rather just add some extra detail to the image.

The treescape creates a perfect border - and the "Northern Lights" jump up through the treeline. The only change here is that I added Distress Oxide Ink in Black Soot to the border to darken the edges. A spritz of my bleach and water solution added the look of stars (or snow, depending on your perspective).


That beautiful sky was begging for something to be flying in it - so I placed the 99606 Small Reindeer Team in the sky for fun!

I hope you will try out this background technique - the bright spatters really make the background come alive and the colors seem to intensify. These quick cards are the perfect project to try this out on. 

I really hope you have fun if you try these cards! We'd like to give you a chance to make them by entering to win 3 dies! The Sheer Treescape die, the Batavia Snowflake Oval die and the Single Deer Oval die! Just leave a comment on the video or on the blog for a chance to win. Leave comments by October 26, 2017 at midnight Pacific Coast Time!



Fab video Dave and can see why it could become so addictive too love the results and thanks for sharing.

Fabulous Winter skies... I can see snowflakes and Northern lights, magical!

Beautiful backgrounds, very inspiring! I am wondering if I could substitute white vinegar for the bleach, I can't use the bleach, it takes my breath away and I get a ripping headache. I will try the vinegar and or kosher salt and see if it works. I need more distress oxide colours. The snowflake oval with the layered glittered snowflakes on top is gorgeous. I think I need the snowflake oval for my cards! The northern lights background is outstanding. Thank you for sharing the excellent video tutorial and for the step by step on the blog, all are very clear and helpful.
Jacquelene L

Love these backgrounds you created. I will have to try this.

These backgrounds are absolutely stunning ! Thanks for the bleach recipe !

Just gorgeous. Will have to try it! I actually have the inks you used and wouldn't I love to win the dies!

Absolutely stunning!! Love the backgrounds and your cards.

These are just lovely - I think your layered dies are just the best!

I am new to Distress Oxide inks, now I know I NEED them. My Memory Box Poppystamps collection grows with every new release. Love them all!

I love the cards made with these dies. Beautiful

Love this. Looks like a fairly easy process so now I just have to try it! Would love to have these dies.

These cards POP with color and personality! This is a must-do technique for Distress Oxide inks. Memory Box has the most wonderful dies and stamps - I've loved them for years. These dies deserve a spot in anyone's collection. Thanks for the technique!

Wow... these are absolutely gorgeous! I have to try out this technique! I'm going to watch the video now!

These backgrounds are so fun! Can't wait to give it a try!

Love the way the oxides blend so easily. Love the cards and the effects.

This is so gorgeous! Question.... does the bleach rot out the innards of your spray bottle?

I just purchased the oxide inks and have been hesitant to use them. But.....now I am going to dive right in. The card is stunning and I hope mine will be too.

Awesome backgrounds! Looking forward to trying them.

Always fun to see "what's next" with Memory Box!

It seems to be ok - it is a pretty weak solution, and I usually rinse it out once I am done.

Fabulous colors, loved the deer and snowflake oval. I'll have to try black soot to make a night sky, great look.

Just beautiful! I love Memory Box dies.

What kind of sponge are you using for blending? It seems to lay down the color very smoothly.

I remember stamping with a bleach solution 18 years ago or more :-) Beautiful cards! Great use of color and an excellent tutorial!! Kudos

Fabulous video and a really fun technique. Haven't used the 'bleach tech' in a very long time. Thanks for the inspiration...everything old is new again!!

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