This will be the last post of 2020 and no doubt many of you will be glad to see the back of this very challenging and for some, very sad, year.
I am sharing some Christmas cards I made. It's always a dilemma every year deciding what products to use and what kind of cards to make.
This year I decided to use some Pink Ink festive stamp sets and colour the images using Cosmic Shimmer Watercolour Inks. Pink Ink brought out some fun festive themed sets earlier this year which feature mice and robins together with the odd fairy here and there for good measure. I decided some of the designs featuring mice would be perfect - A Christmas Carol and Merry Christ-Mouse, together with a lovely big robin called Robin Redbreast, of course.
And I'd been itching to play with Cosmic Shimmer Watercolour Inks so this was the perfect opportunity. The inks come in glass bottles and inside each lid is a pipette. The top of the lid has a centre "button" which you press to suck up ink into the pipette, and then you can drop the ink onto a palette ready to start painting. The pearlescent inks contain mica pigment and these need to be shaken really well to mix the mica into the liquid. They contain a little ball to help with the mixing. You'll need to keep re-mixing the pearlescent inks during painting using your brush to ensure the mica doesn't separate from the liquid.
I stamped the images using Versafine Clair Nocturne ink pad which is the perfect ink pad for stamped images with lots of detail. They were all stamped onto a good quality white card. Whilst the stamped images dried completely I got my Cosmic Shimmer Watercolour Inks together and started deciding on the colours I needed.
I used Hazelnut for the mice, with a diluted Mighty Magenta for their ears, hands, feet and tails. A variety of colours proved perfect for all the other elements, including the pearlescent inks, which added a touch of shimmery goodness in various places. The inks are inter-mixable to create different shades - for example Fresh Meadow is a really fresh green but it's too bright for pine needles, so I mixed a tiny amount of Liquorice Black into it and this created the perfect pine needles green, and layering Mighty Magenta with Raspberry Jam over the top gave a much richer red colour than the Raspberry Jam on its own, which is quite a light red.
Light and shade are achieved by using either "neat" ink or ink diluted with water. Depending how much water you add to the ink you can achieve a wide range of effects from just a tiny hint of colour so more of a wash, to full-on intense if you use no water at all.
The inks paint beautifully and even fine detail is easy to achieve using a finer brush.
One thing you need to remember is because you're using a "wet" product, you need to be careful to not over-saturate the card, otherwise the surface will start to bobble. It's better to apply the colour one layer at a time, allow that to dry, and you can go back and add more layers if you need more intense colour.
Here are some of my images ready to use to create cards. I couldn't get the lighting right for taking the photos - it was quite late at night when I took them, so I'm sorry they're a bit dark but I hope you can see well enough the finished effect with the inks.
And here are my finished cards!
Some of the coloured elements were used inside the cards so they weren't completely plain.
My painted images look nothing like the images on the front of the Pink Ink packaging, but I wasn't trying to copy what they'd done, their coloured designs were just my guide. This is my take on their designs. And although I'm not the best at colouring, I was very pleased with the finished designs.
I loved using the Cosmic Shimmer Watercolour Inks to colour these images. They are a delight to work with, the colours are vibrant and a little goes a long way. What's not to love?
So, all that remains is for me to wish you all a better year in 2021. Keep safe, keep well, keep calm, keep crafting and make time for yourself when you can, because we all need some "me" time occasionally.