Bubble wrap snow storm

The Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge this week was “Make your own Background“. The toughest part for me was deciding which of the many techniques I have seen to try first!

I decided to satisfy my old printmaking jones and break out the brayer.

20131210-230109.jpgWhen I was in college, I took a bunch of printmaking classes and loved it! Sadly, the techniques I was best at require a lot of huge equipment that I knew it was unlikely I would ever have space for – print presses are huge! So I’m always looking for ways to bring a little taste of printing home.

So I had a lot of fun making some monoprints that should make cool backgrounds. All I did was use a brayer (it’s a rubber roller with a handle) to roll out basic white craft paint. Then I pressed different sizes of bubble wrap into the paint and dabbed them onto my papers.

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For this card, I decided to go a step further, and use the paint as a resist for some Distress ink. So when the white on white bubble wrap print was dry, I inked my craft sheet with Weathered wood and Faded jeans, spritzed the ink with water, and pressed the paper into the result.

20131210-230836.jpg I blended in a little more ink with a blending tool to even out the ink texture a little.

After the inking, I dried the paper with a heat gun, but the paper was pretty warped, so I pressed it with my household iron on a low setting. Is that normal? Do other people working with wet inky techniques press their work, or is there a different technique or paper I should try?

All that was left to do after that was to embellish my snowy background a little. I stamped a gusty wind, glued on some 1-inch circle snowflakes that I designed in Illustrator for a different project, glued on my geeky gamer symbol (it’s a symbol of protection from a game called Arkham Horror), drew in some more gust lines, and coated my circles in a thin layer of Stickles.

Ingredients: solid card stock papers, acrylic craft paint, bubble wrap, brayer and plexiglass (for rolling out the paint), Stickles, Zig pen, Distress inks, Inkadinkado stamp

Learning: I used my new techniques for getting a better impression from acrylic stamps, and I still don’t love the results. I even test stamped on a scrap of my background paper, and it just looked much less even on the final version. This time though the strong texture of the paper might have been the issue. I think my scrap was less textured being closer to the edge.

Loving: It was a ton of fun to print my own background with the bubble wrap! I was also please with how I echoed the round shape of the bubble impressions with my 1-inch circles. And I surprised myself by successfully freehanding the extra gust lines. Sometimes I think I use stamps as a bit of a shortcut and crutch. I need to remember that I am somewhat competent at freehanding some types of things!

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