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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!



Love your videos Dave, wish you would do more, beautiful cards and dies!

Beautiful backgrounds! Thank you for showing your bleach and water sprinting technique! It makes a perfect night sky! Your dies and cards are always amazing!

Beautifully done!

Very Nice cards and ideaas, Thank You!

Beautiful cards and thanks for sharing this technique. The dies are fabulous!

LOVE these beautiful backgrounds! Thanks for sharing how you did it. Will have to give this a try! Thanks for giving us all a chance to win these fabulous dies!

Can't wait to try sponging and spritzing! What beautiful cards!

Wow! Fabulous backgrounds. I like the extra samples showing other ways of using the background with different dies...background and as color on the die cuts themselves. I have used bleach to remove color from stamped images that were embossed...but never thought of this.

Is it wrong of me to covet these dies? They are beautiful and I just loved the tutorial Dave. Definitely must try some of these techniques.

Love the cards can't wait to give it a try. You make it look so easy!

Absolutely beautiful backgrounds! Thanks so much for all the great tips. Will try the bleach solution on my next card. I do lovey oxide inks!!!

What a creative idea! Love it!!

I love your work, your techniques, and these cards. Thanks for making the dies available through this contest. Win or not, I am going to give the technique a try!

Your cards are gorgeous! I love the vibrant backgrounds and I remember the bleach technique also.

All of the cards turned out beautiful, but the tree line die with the Northern Lights background is my favorite. I definitely need to work on my blending techniques. Thanks for the tip about adding bleach to the water for misting. I love the results!

amazing backgroUnds and great technique, thank you for the inspiration!

Just beautiful Dave!!! I never thought of using bleach to make things whiter! I will definitely be trying this. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

All I can say to start with is....WOW! I really like the dies and the diversity with them. And the way you did the backgrounds is amazing. Thanks for the great tutorial and sharing.

Great backgrounds and stunning cards, thanks for your time and effort.

Beautiful cards with AMAZING backgrounds and dies!!! Loved this video!

Wonderful beackground and beautiful dies! Memory Box dies always create gorgeous cards!

So beautiful!!

Dave, these northern lights cards are fabulous. I love the inlays, and that's something I definitely want to try. Would love to win these dies.

Beautiful! I hadn't heard about the tablespoon of bleach added to the water for spritzing. It does make a difference instead of just water. TY for the tip

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