The sun, and colouring

vintage-teacup-pair

Colouring has always given me problems. Both physically, as I am of partly Irish heritage so, basically almost see-through pale and red hair. Prone to ‘lobster’ within about five minutes of full-on British sunshine, which, let‘s face it, on a sunshine scale is still in the ‘could try harder’ range.

Also, craftily. I cannot colour. Helpful TV or YouTube demonstrators say things like ‘just decide where the sun would be, and therefore where the shadow is and you can’t go wrong’. Poppycock. I am aware of the sun (see aforementioned personal issues with the golden orb) and have managed to grasp the tricky concept of shadows since childhood (Peter Pan was a big help with the science bit).

But the demonstrators don’t tell you what to do after that!! Just because I know where the sun is, does NOT mean I know where ALL the shadow should be! And how do I make a shadow anyway? I try just adding a smidgen of a darker shade, or two, and attempting to blend it in a bit, but I still can see it is not good enough, not ‘right’. And when do you stop? When is it finished? How do you know? I have heard people say ‘it will be obvious when you are finished’. Never has been to me. Does that mean I should continue until the paper literally falls apart with the amount of alcohol marker I have slathered it with? Will it be done then?!

Is colouring an ability you either have – like perfect pitch – or you don’t? Was I not in the right queue at the gene pool? Was I still changing into my swimming costume? Or reading the warning notice and wondering what on earth ‘bombing’ was? Or eyeing up the lifeguard? Or did I just see a notice that said ‘do you want chocolate’ and got distracted? Then in the meantime all the colouring genes were handed out, the counter closed and I was left with ‘you will always find comfort in cocoa beans’ as my gift??

So, this first card graphically demonstrates another failed attempt at colouring. I thought I would be strategic and use pearl card, as I hoped the markers would glide and blend more easily. Sadly it still looks like someone did it with a cheap felt-tip pen that was gasping its last. Having spent some time stamping and embossing the cup, saucer and spotty decorative detail I felt demoralised. Even more so when the marker smudged some of the embossing a bit too. I didn’t think that was supposed to happen. I thought that was against the law. But hence all the circling around the embossed dots, rather than gliding over them seamlessly. And I honestly laid down SO MUCH colour, went over and over with the pens but still have ugly lines and blotches. Phooey.

vintage-teacup-blue

After that, I licked my wounds (and a couple of bite size Snickers left over from Christmas) and went back to using colour in a way that works for me. Paper piecing. Stamp it, cut it out, layer it up. Emboss a scattering of random hearts too. Some inner calm was restored, but not enough for me to be able to decide on pink gingham ribbon, or blue gingham ribbon? Therefore, like the witches in Sleeping Beauty, I ended up with both.

vintage-teacup-print

Supplies: Altenew Vintage Teacup stamps and Wam Grays ink cubes; Clearly Besotted Diagonal Stripe stamps; Crafter’s Companion Centura Pearl card; Papermania Blueberry Hill paper pad (old); Create and Craft gingham ribbon

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Beetle mania?

The second thing I intended to do today was use (more!) old Kanban stamps I came across whilst rummaging last week. They are quite simple line drawings, almost caricatures, of iconic cars. My car knowledge is sketchy at best, but I think there is a mini, 2CV, Morris Minor, a Rolls Royce, Vespa, Camper Van and a Beetle, plus some road signs, speed limits and so forth. To me they look like paper piecing waiting to happen.

I chose the (I hope) Beetle (could be a mini!) as I had a mind to use some funky WRMK paper I have also had for ages. It is so bright and 1960s-ish that I thought it would be perfect. If you have never tried paper-piecing, give it a go; it’s a great way of getting colour into your card if, like me, you are not born to wield pens and pencils with any semblance of dignity. Also I find it very relaxing.

So, stamp my car once onto kraft card and cut it out. Do this first in case you make a mess of it. If you leave it to the end having done all your paper piecing and then get it wrong, there will be bad words used. Then stamp onto your patterned paper and cut out the sections you want, just inside the stamp line. This makes for a neater end result.

For the windscreen you have a choice. Stamp it again on white card, just the top bit with the windscreen, but this time with a blue ink, so you get the lines indicating the reflection. Now you can either cut this out in the same way (just inside the line) and stick it on to your patterned car and then stick that in turn onto your kraft card cut-out; or you can go in with the scissors and remove the windscreen section from your main image, then cut out your windscreen a little outside the line, to give you somewhere to put the glue. Stick it in place carefully, then adhere to your kraft card image. Obviously I went for the more complicated option. No idea why, really, except perhaps an urge to make sure that my simplistic hippie multi-coloured psychedelic vehicle looks as realistic as possible…?! And then I stuck googly eyes on it! Go figure. I couldn’t help it. When I looked at the car and the way the pattern had worked out it seemed like she had a bit of a pout. Not wanting to miss an opportunity to anthropomorphise, eyes had to be added. I have named her Clara.

hippie beetle detail

For the number plate again I stamped the bottom section of the car onto white card, then used a tiny word stamp to fit into the number plate before cutting it out and piecing it on. A kraft card background, embossed using Teresa Collins Modern Stripe, plus a tiny tag cut from more paper from the WRMK pad and a Spellbinders Charmed, I’m Sure die. Pink baker’s twine, 3d foam for the car and done.

hippie beetle card