Sunday, March 13, 2016

Cardaholics New Technique Challenge - Bokeh

This month's card exchange challenge was to use a new technique.  I've been eyeing the Bokeh technique for quite some time and thought this was the perfect time to pull the trigger.  Bonus was I found a card on Pinterest that I really liked and modified.  I have to say that Pinterest is amazing.  This card post is from August 4, 2014, and it's still circulating.  I can't remember if this is the site I learned the technique or not...

Anyway, here is the card I made.  : )
The technique in a nut shell.  Watercolor Paper (Z3146), Watercolor Paints (Z3132) and Paintbrush Set (Z3188), All-Purpose Mat (Z2045), water, Craft Heater (Z555), White Daisy Pigment Ink (Z2163), Sponge (Z697), stencil (traditionally circles, but I used balloons instead).

Cut your paper 0.5" larger (for both dimensions) than your finished size!  I found out the hard way my first try - I wasted some paper!!.  And I'm going to confess here that it took me some time to purchase the All-Purpose Mat, but am SOOO glad I did!  The mat saves your work surface for a project like this, and cleans quickly and easily.

You are going to tape around all the edges of your paper.  I used Washi tape rather than going to the garage and hunting for painters' tape.  This is why you want your paper 0.5" larger than your finished project (where the tape is will remain white - and it won't blend right if you try to paint after removing the tape - remember, I figured this part out the hard way).

Once you're taped, use your brush and spread water over the project piece.  Be generous. Next are the water colors.  I chose blue (#13) and yellow (#36).  With water, I picked up some yellow and placed it on the water soaked paper.  Some of the paint bled, and some didn't.  I put that on the paper in diagonal streaks.  After cleaning my brush, I picked up the blue and put it down next to the yellow.  If my paper was getting dry, I added more water to the area.  It didn't matter if paint was already down, I added more water so it would blend together.  Where the two colors came together are the green parts in the picture above.  Don't worry if the paper is wavy, it can be corrected (if need be).
Blue #13 (second row) and Yellow #36 (last on the right)

You may need/want to go back and add more yellow or blue to the project.  Or more water.  Once you are happy with the look, you need to let it dry.  You can do this by walking away for at least a half an hour, or you can grab your craft heater and help the process along (this is what I did).

After it is dry, it's time to apply the White Pigment ink over the watercolor background.  What I read was having different sizes was ideal.  My balloons were cut at 1.5" and 1".  How did I do that?!  I used my Cricut Explore to cut them out at different sizes.  : )  The larger stencil, the lighter the pigment was applied.  I made the two sized balloons overlap sometimes too.  Then I finished the effect with a pencil eraser (those are the small circles).  I used my craft heater to set the pigment ink (instead of letting it air dry). And that's Bokeh!

For this card, I cut the finished Bokeh watercolor paper down to 5.5", and then cut 0.5", 0.75", 0.5" for the three strips.  I cut them in that order so that when I'd adhere them to the card front, the pigmented balloons would come back together.  I made several cards for the exchange, being careful to cut in that order and then keeping the strips together.  Remember that if you are mass producing cards and you want to maintain the continuity of the strips.

After I adhered the strips to the front of the card, I stamped Happy Birthday (Finding the Words D1646).

When I cut the balloons for the stencils, I cut some out for the front of the card too.  Using Design Space, I removed the highlight from the balloon image by right clicking the balloon and choosing "Hide Contours".  Click the area you want removed and then click away from the image.  No more highlight.  Those balloons were cut to the specification (1.75") of the coordinating stamp set - ARTISTE COLLECTION (Z3170).  One balloon I cut out from White Daisy cardstock and stamped on it with Crystal Blue (Z2117), while the second balloon I cut out from Pear Paper Fundamental (Adventure packet - Z3125).

The Pear balloon was adhered directly to the card front.  I then placed the Crystal Blue balloon where I wanted it and stamped the balloon string.  I then put 3-D Foam Tape on the balloon and repositioned it to look seamless.

The final step was to add the (retired) blue and green epoxy bubbles.  Current items to use would be the Enamel & Glitter Duos - Blue Dots (Z3122) and Clear Sparkles (Z1752)

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