AFC Pink Inchies

Here's my first step for the process of a new project I am currently working on:

Pink Inchies

- created for a charity art auction for breast cancer awareness via Art For Cures, which is run by the super talented, ever-creative, fount of seemingly endless energy




) ...

I started with a 9x12 sheet of 140lb watercolor paper I prepped using my

salted watercolor BG technique

, using some metallic pan watercolor and a bit of red-pink tube color that I watered way down and used as a wash on parts of the front as well as the entire reverse of the paper, to give just a bit of color to the back of the pieces instead of leaving them white (

I don't feel a piece is really finished unless I've done something to the back as well, so most of my paperart work will usually be arted on both the front and back in some way


We're supposed to be using Ria's "collage 88" technique, in which you collage your entire work on one single 8.5x11 paper then cut it up into 88 inchies, and then add any embellishements or whatever. Which is actually the way I normally do a set of inchies anyway (

paint, collage, etc an entire BG sheet, then cut the squares, then add "extras")

I'm just using a larger sheet of paper, which should yield more inchies, right? Yeah well, we'll get to that later ... So I start collaging (

now remember the color theme of this project is shades of PINK, with some minor black, white or silver the only other colors allowed

) with pink shaded papers from my stash (

some KoolAid stained sheet music and papertowel bits, some tissue paper and pink mulberry scraps

) - and here's where I make a mistake right off the bat.

I end up almost completely covering my beautifully textured shimmery pink watercolor background! I shoulda (

coulda, woulda

) collaged on the BACKSIDE that had the plain pale pink, and let the pretty side be the reverse which would show nicely under the backplates but!

Oh well

, too late now, yeah? So I was kinda GRR'd about that for a bit but let's just move on ... Once I finished my collaging -

and yes that last picture is it, I didn't do a whole lot of collaging as far as the actual design, more just a buildup of the background

- I decided against any rubberstamping or doodling on the whole (

though I had originally planned to splatter paint a little bit at this point, to help tie all the collagy-ness together a bit better - but, well, I just forgot. Woops

.), so I went ahead and proceeding to the cutting them up stage:

And here's where mistake number two rears it's head. From a 9x12 sheet of paper I should get 108 individual inchies (

88 to send in for the swap, plus a nice batch of extras to provide the host some more material for the auction goods

) But for whatever reason, the last 2 strips or so do not come out to be a full inch wide. Did I make a mistake and cut a tenth of an inch too big on some earlier strips? Is the trimmer in need of a new (

whatever the little rubber cutty-strip piece is called? and the answer there is YES, it is. I think I have maybe one good edge left on it before it's totally shot

) Can I just not measure correctly? (

also a yes

.) So anyhow I'm left with approximately 94 inchies all told and not even all of those are compleeetley 1" square (grr.) so I just barely squeeked in my 88 pieces from that sheet. And here they are, remixed in no particular order:

So that takes care of step one - step two is the addition of my "goddesses" and any further embellishments and doodly funstuff. Which I need to get a move on with since these are due to Ria pretty much by week's end (!) And I'll post that process later ... maybe ...

~ gem ~


- Here are the finished inchies!

Easy "Watercolor" Backgrounds

This is a short tutorial on how to make a "watercolor" style page background with a wax resist design. I do these in art journals or whenever I need a colored BG, but fast. The supplies you'll need are: A piece of paper (I prefer watercolor), or a journal with decent paper, 2-5 different colors of dye based ink stamps, a clear wax crayon, a spritz bottle with plain water, and newspaper or other protective surface to work on.

Start by using your clear wax crayon to make a design on the paper. I have a stash of Easter egg color kit "magic crayons" that I use just for this purpose. It will be hard to see your design, so I usually stick to abstract swirls and random squiggles. You could always try colored paper I suppose, but keep in mind that will alter your ink hues too. Then choose your ink colors - in the examples here I used Rubber Stampede's dye based inks in the little single serving size pads. Here's where you need to work quick: Spritz the paper lightly with water so that the entire piece is just damp, then apply the inks directly to the paper (DTP) by rubbing and swirling them around until you get the coverage that you want, blending them around and on top of each other. You will instantly see the design appear where the wax crayon "resists" the ink. Then I use the spray bottle to spritz droplets of water onto the paper, randomly and using varying pumps of the sprayer (from fine mist to large splats of water) to further water down the ink on the page - and once they dry completely the effect is pretty cool:

Closeup detail from same page:

And thats really it - you can add as much or as little (or none!) water as you like, and you can leave it as droplets like I did here, (I did it in layers with a fine mist on the bottom - letting that dry - then dropping larger splatters on top of that) or use a damp paper towel to wick up some of the drops and remove even more of the color. Or use the same to smooth and blend the colors further - up to you, just play around with it! Of course how yours turns out will depend on the paper and / or inks used (some papers will suck up the ink too fast or other dye inks will bleed through and not blend as nicely) but it's such a quick and easy process you really can't go wrong, so just try everything - at the worst you'll end up with a bunch of scrap BG papers to use in collages and other altered art stuff!

Thats it for today - I do have a different background making technique I'll post another day - it's my main "go-to" style when I need to make BGs for use in ATCs or art squares or 4x6 collages or whatever ... so 'til next time!

~ gem ~